Already praised by critics, loved by drivers and named the 2017 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, it looks like the Chrysler Pacifica has more surprises in store. Recently, at the Chicago Auto Show, the Chrysler brand unveiled a new version of their acclaimed minivan. This Pacifica isn't just wheelchair-accessible, it's designed to be 100% accommodating to disabled drivers.

Also, Chrysler has partnered with Canine Companions for Independence in order to show how a service dog can complete the experience offered by the enhanced Pacifica. Truly, a canine companion is the best possible "add-on" for this wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

Why the Wheelchair-Accessible Pacifica is a Game-Changer

Wheelchair Minivan

As a company, BraunAbility is recognized as the world leader in automotive mobility. So, in creating the wheelchair-accessible Pacifica, they were the perfect partner for the Chrysler brand. Already recognized as "the most spacious wheelchair-accessible vehicle in the industry," this new Pacifica features AccessAbility™ technology (patent-pending). This includes the following:

  • An aerospace-inspired sliding door extension
  • The industry's widest side-entry ramp
  • Cantilevered seat bases (to expand interior cabin space)
  • All of the other convenient and high-tech features associated with the award-winning Chrysler Pacifica

The Chrysler brand is recognized as being the first OEM to actively support the automotive mobility industry. They are also the first manufacturer to offer subsidies to physically challenged drivers. In fact, Chrysler will reimburse buyers up to $1,000 cash to cover adaptive equipment. This ensures that more disabled people will be able to experience the freedom of driving their own vehicle.

The Partnership with Canine Companions for Independence

Chrysler and BraunAbility will be providing co-promotion support for the "Give a Dog a Job Program." This program benefits the group, Canine Companions for Independence (CCI). Established in 1975, CCI provides assistance dogs free of charge to disabled people.

Service dogs provided by CCI can understand and respond to at least 40 unique commands. And these special canines can help drivers get in and out of their wheelchair-accessible vehicles. In addition, they can pull a wheelchair, push hard-to-reach buttons and carry necessary items.

Chrysler hopes that consumers who purchase a wheelchair-accessible Pacifica will consider "giving a dog a job" by adopting one of these highly-trained companions. Also, through this campaign, the automaker wants to raise awareness and dollars for this worthy cause.

Here is a short video that shows how helpful an assistance dog can be to a disabled driver:

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Even without game-changing wheelchair-accessibility, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is an innovative addition to the minivan segment. Equipped with the Stow 'n Go seats that made the Town and Country popular, the Pacifica is great for families of all sizes.

It also comes with a long list of standard and available features (over 100) and "good" EPA-estimated fuel economy. For those who really want to save money on gas, there is a hybrid version with a 33-mile all-electric range.

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