Timothy Kuniskis head of Passenger Car Brands for FCA holds the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award. 

Auto Shows,Chrysler,Corporate Business | January 09 2017

NACTOY award caps off ‘incredible year’ for the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

One year ago, the all-new Chrysler Pacifica was introduced to the world at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), and in the past 12 months, it became the most awarded minivan of 2016.

Timothy Kuniskis head of Passenger Car Brands for FCA accepts the award for the Chrysler Pacifica minivan from Matt DeLorenzo, Vice President NACTOY . The Pacifica was named North American Utility Vehicle of the year at the North American International Auto Show, Monday, January 9, 2017 in Detroit

Timothy Kuniskis head of Passenger Car Brands for FCA accepts the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award for the Chrysler Pacifica minivan from Matt DeLorenzo.

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica returned Monday to NAIAS at Cobo Center in Detroit to receive a new honor: the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.

“What an incredible year it has been for Pacifica. It has been just a year now since we revealed (the Chrysler Pacifica) here at NAIAS. When we brought it out, we were very confident we had really something incredible on our hands,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat, FCA – North America. “We turned it over to the journalists and consumers to see what the reaction was … and the reaction has been fantastic.”

A diverse panel of automotive experts from the United States and Canada selected the entirely redesigned Chrysler Pacifica for the first-ever Utility Vehicle of the Year award, which was announced Monday morning at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

This is the second time the minivans have won the North American Car of the Year honor during the 24-year history of the award. FCA US LLC minivans won North American Car of the Year honors in 1996.

“(Chrysler) changed the name, (Chrysler) changed everything inside and outside,” said Lauren Fix, Secretary/Treasurer for the NACTOY Board of Directors. “(Chrysler has) proved that anyone can own this vehicle no matter where you live in the United States. This vehicle is good for anyone across the United States and Canada.”

Timothy Kuniskis head of Passenger Car Brands for FCA holds the North American Utility Vehicle award.

Timothy Kuniskis head of Passenger Car Brands for FCA holds the North American Utility Vehicle award.

FCA US introduced the minivan more than 30 years ago and created an entirely new segment in the industry. During that time, FCA US LLC has launched 78 minivan innovations. With the introduction of the all-new Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid, FCA US adds 37 more minivan firsts.

“That is a huge jump forward in technology, features and benefits for the customer,” Kuniskis said.

One of the minivan firsts in the new Chrysler Pacifica is a hybrid version, which is the “icing on top of this whole fantastic package.”

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has a range of 33 miles of all-electric power, and with a full tank of gas, the minivan has a 566-mile range that alleviates any range anxiety drivers may have.

“The Pacifica really makes a case for being the perfect family vehicle,” Kuniskis added. “Despite all the new alternatives in the marketplace in the last 20 years, there is still no better alternative for a family vehicle than the minivan.”

The Chrysler Pacifica minivan was named North American Utility Vehicle of the year at the North American International Auto Show.

The Chrysler Pacifica minivan was named North American Utility Vehicle of the Year at the North American International Auto Show.

Edward Cardenas

Hello from the Motor City! I’m Edward Cardenas and I’m multimedia editor for FCA US. As a lifelong Detroiter, I have been surrounded by the automotive industry. I’ve had members of my immediate and extended family work in the industry. I’ve covered it as a journalist and advocated for it
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Hello from the Motor City! I’m Edward Cardenas and I’m multimedia editor for FCA US. As a lifelong Detroiter, I have been surrounded by the automotive industry. I’ve had members of my immediate and extended family work in the industry. I’ve covered it as a journalist and advocated for it as a communications professional. I have also experienced the thrills of the industry while riding in a race car at nearly 200 miles per hour. Having this breadth of experience, I look forward to drawing upon my experiences to bring a wide range of stories, photos and videos about Chrysler, FIAT and Alfa Romeo to FCA Digital Media. When I’m not covering my brands, I’m spending time with my wife and two boys.