March 09, 2016
Brent Snavely

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica will get a combined fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon, putting it near the top of its class among minivans when it goes on sale this spring.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has previously said the Pacifica will have "unsurpassed" fuel economy among minivans but did not provide specifics.

Now, the EPA has certified the Pacifica at 28 mpg on the highway and 18 mpg in the city for a combined 22 mmpg, according to Fiat Chrysler's website.

That would mean the fuel economy of FCA's all-new minivan would match that of the 2016 Honda Odyssey, which also gets a combined 22 mpg and just under the 2016 Nissan Quest, which gets a combined 23 mpg. Pacifica's fuel economy is substantially better than the 2016 front-wheel drive 2016 Toyota Sienna minivan that gets a combined 21 mpg.

Honda is expected to reveal its next-generation, 2017 Odyssey later this year, according to various media reports, giving the Asian automaker an opportunity gain the fuel economy lead among minivans when it launches its new minivan.

The Pacifica minivan is the most important new vehicle FCA will launch in North America this year. The automaker has long been the sales leader in the minivan segment and is credited with inventing the iconic family hauler in the 1980s.

But industry sales of minivans have declined in recent years as consumers have gravitated towards SUVs and crossovers.

Fiat Chrysler is hoping its new, more modern Pacifica minivan will appeal to millennials as they have children and believes the Pacifica will draw new buyers to the segment.

Production of the 2017 Pacifica began late last month.

FCA has invested $2.6 billion to develop the new minivan and retool the plant, which opened in 1928. The automaker also has hired an additional 1,200 workers to make the new minivan.