Chrysler's new minivan gets a dramatic new look and a new name for 2017: Pacifica.

Chrysler plans to shave about $1,400 off the base price of its all-new Pacifica minivan compared to the outgoing Town & Country people-mover.

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica will start at $28,595, plus a $995 delivery charge. The outgoing minivan started at $29,995. But load the new Pacifica up and you’ll top $42,000, the automaker said today.

Chrysler also revealed that the gas-powered version of the new minivan will deliver a combined 22 mpg, according to the EPA. That’s a significant bump from the old Town & Country and positions Pacifica as second-best in the minivan market – though Chrysler had been promising to lead the segment with “unsurpassed” mileage.

It’s still likely to get there with the plug-in hybrid version of the Pacifica set to follow. Chrysler expects to get an 80 mpg rating for the Pacifica Hybrid – while also delivering an estimated 30 miles per charge.

(Looking for the best family cars? Click Here.)

The Chrysler Pacifica is meant to rebuild the Detroit maker’s long-running lead in the minivan segment. It has been locked in a tight battle with Honda’s Odyssey model in recent years. But the industry, as a whole, has been struggling to shore up sales in a segment that has dropped by more than 75% since hitting its peak nearly two decades ago.

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

“There’s a martyrship about owning a minivan for some people,” Fiat Chrysler design director Ralph Gilles said during the Pacifica’s debut at the Detroit Auto Show last January. “We wanted to get that out of the ownership experience.”

To shore up interest, Chrysler has taken several critical steps:

  • It has given the new Pacifica a more sculpted, aggressive design, one more in line with the SUVs and CUVs that today dominate U.S. sales charts;
  • It has loaded up on new safety, comfort and convenience features, including a tri-pane panoramic roof, a built-in vacuum and Forward Collision Warning with auto-braking;
  • And it is holding down the entry price.

At a $28,595 MSRP – excluding the destination fee – the base version of the Pacifica comes in $1,400 below the old Chrysler Town & Country, even with plenty of additional content.

There are five different grades of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, and a fully loaded Limited model starts at $42,495 plus $995 for delivery. That price gets a buyer such luxuries as Nappa leather ventilated front seating, power third-row seats, a hands-free liftgate and a suite of safety features including a 360-degree surround-view camera system.

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is expected to get as much as 80 miles to the gallon.

All versions of the new Chrysler Pacifica will be powered by a 287-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6. According to the EPA, it will get 28 mpg on the highway, 18 mpg in the city and 22 in the combined rating. Final numbers for the Pacifica Hybrid model haven’t been released yet.

The gas version falls just short of the 23 mpg the 2016 Nissan Quest gets in the combined category. Honda is set to launch a new version of the Odyssey later this year and is expected to boost that model’s own 22 mpg rating.

(Honda Odyssey named the cheapest vehicle to insure. Click Here for the story.)

At peak, Americans bought 2 million minivans a year, with Chrysler keeping two plants busy churning out an annual 500,000 or more. It has long since closed the second plant and dropped one of its original models, the Plymouth Voyager. It plans to continue making the old Dodge Caravan as long as demand continues.

But it has invested about $2.6 billion to develop the new Pacifica model and upgrade the remaining minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario.

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica will reach dealer showrooms this coming spring, with the Pacifica Hybrid set to go on sale during the second half of the year.

(For more on the new Chrysler Pacifica, Click Here.)

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