Chrysler Pacifica Wins First Ever North American Utility of the Year Award
The 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit’s Cobo Hall introduced the world to the first ever North American Utility Car of the Year, joining the North American Car of the Year and the North American Truck of the Year. In recent years, sport utility vehicles, minivans and other non-pickup truck utility vehicles were grouped in with the trucks and in past years, minivans have been classified as both cars and trucks. To help recognize these two very different groups of vehicles, the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury added the Utility of the Year award for 2017 – and the first winner is the Chrysler Pacifica.
Pacifica Take the Prize
The Chrysler Pacifica is, without a doubt, the best minivan sold in America when you break down the available features – especially the class exclusive hybrid electric drivetrain. The Pacifica beat out the Mazda CX9 and the Jaguar F-Pace in the final round, while also beating the Audi Q7, the Buick Envision, the Cadillac XT5, the GMC Acadia, the Infiniti QX30, the Kia Sportage, the Mercedes Benz GLS Class and the Nissan Armada from the initial list of “semifinalists”.
Considering that the new Chrysler Pacifica likely offers the most utility of the vehicles included in the running for the first ever North American Utility of the Year, the win doesn’t come as a huge surprise- but stranger things have happened.
A Chrysler minivan was last recognized as part of these awards back in 1996, when the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country teamed up to win the Car of the Year award – one year after the Ford Aerostar (also a minivan) won the 1995 Truck of the Year award.
Now that the North American “of the Year” awards have been split up into Cars, Trucks and Utilities, we should see more consistency from year to year – with cars winning the car award, pickup trucks winning the truck award and the various types of utility vehicles (minivans, SUVs) fitting into this new class.
The Chrysler Pacifica is the best minivan sold in America right now, so this is one award that is hard to dispute. Congratulations to FCA for their Chrysler Pacifica claiming the first ever North American Utility of the Year award!