2021 Chrysler Pacifica review: Ever the tough act to top

The Pacifica may well not seem like a Chrysler two hundred any longer, but I imagine we can collectively take into account that a superior issue.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

When the Chrysler Pacifica first debuted, it leapt to the top rated of its course. Around the previous handful of a long time, its competitors have whipped up some new methods, so for 2021, Chrysler targeted on revamping the Pacifica lineup to give consumers more decision, and the final results keep this van in competition for top rated honors.


  • Smooth ride
  • Tons of usable inside place
  • Wonderful cabin tech

Will not Like

  • Top rated trim runs north of $fifty five,000.
  • End-begin roughness

Nameless appears, but who cares?

Chrysler first showed off its refreshed Pacifica at the 2020 Chicago Car Present, and a number of of my colleagues were quick to pooh-pooh its new structure, calling its entrance stop much too dull or nameless or whichever. I’m in the opposite camp I imagine it appears excellent, if only due to the fact it no more time has the same entrance stop as a Chrysler two hundred. Minivans are intended to be instruments more than toys, so understated appears symbolize their utilitarian leanings. The rear stop is a lot sharper than before, and many thanks to new operating lights on equally ends, its nighttime profile is significantly more distinctive than it utilized to be.

But when it will come to household vehicles, a lot like one’s very own existence, it truly is what’s within that counts. To that stop, the Pacifica totally shines, in particular in the new-for-2021 Pinnacle trim. Yes, it truly is almost as highly-priced as a BMW five Collection, with my tester ringing in at an “oof”-inducing $fifty four,885, including $1,495 for spot. But, at the same time, it truly is practically as lavish as the Bimmer, many thanks to typical trimmings like quilted Nappa leather-based seats, pillows for the 2nd-row captain’s chairs and just about each fashionable element one particular would anticipate in a minivan.

Still, opting for all that luxurious isn’t going to necessarily mean you have to compromise in other departments. The driven 3rd row still stows effortlessly, many thanks to switches mounted in the vicinity of the liftgate. You can find still a vacuum tucked back there, much too. The only true compromise is the absence of Stow-n-Go 2nd-row seats, but they can still slide up and out of the way to make room for flat-pack home furniture containers, Xmas trees, an whole kennel’s really worth of canine, you title it.

Storage has normally been an essential variable in minivan inside structure, and the Pacifica Pinnacle goes previously mentioned and beyond the foundation trims with what it phone calls the Ultra Console. This redesigned heart console packs an remarkable total of storage, from a sneaky tray beneath to a cavernous cubby underneath the armrest. Just down below the local climate controls, you will find a wi-fi charging tray sizable more than enough to accommodate any cellular phone currently on the market place, in addition to cup holders suitable for larger drinking water bottles.

Uconnect five is a tech-showcase centerpiece

FCA’s Uconnect is one particular of my most loved infotainment systems due to the fact it truly is straightforward and easy to understand. The most recent variation, Uconnect five, makes one particular of its first appearances in the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica, and no surprise, I appreciate it.

Now living on a 10.1-inch monitor, Uconnect picks up a handful of new methods that make living with the system even less complicated. A beefier processor signifies quicker boot occasions and improved responsiveness, though its Bluetooth capabilities expand to allow various concurrent sources. Amazon Alexa capacity is baked in, as are wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Car. My most loved bit, even though, is the new house monitor, which shows various corners of the system (e.g. audio, navigation) at after, and you will find more than enough monitor resolution to make anything appear great and crisp. USB ports are everywhere, with the entrance row by yourself packing four USB ports, split evenly in between USB-A and USB-C.

Uconnect five is a darling. It is really loaded with the most recent capabilities, and it truly is all wrapped up in a shell that is easy to use and memorize with negligible distraction.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

In terms of cameras, there are more than enough on this Pacifica to give the British CCTV panopticon a operate for its revenue. The typical backup digicam packs suitable resolution, and the surround-watch digicam makes parking a breeze. But the most exciting digicam is truly within the auto — a new FamCam inside monitor utilizes a roof-mounted lens to keep an eye on rear-seat occupants from previously mentioned, which is excellent for paranoid dad and mom wanting to keep an eye on a minor one particular in a rear-going through automobile seat.

When it will come to basic safety, the Pacifica Pinnacle will come typical with just about anything. Parking sensors? Check. Lively parking support? Check. Adaptive cruise command with end-and-go performance? Lane-keep support? Automated crisis braking? Pedestrian and bike owner detection? You get the plan.

Smooth but continual on the street

I’ve normally appreciated the way the Pacifica drives, which is more like a nicely-dampened automobile than a crossover, and luckily FCA didn’t mess with achievements for the 2021 model. There are, even so, a pair new additions to enable the automaker keep up with the Joneses.

My tester rocks the same engine the Pacifica has normally used, the venerable three.six-liter Pentastar V6. Listed here, it makes 287 horsepower and 262 pound-ft of torque, but what’s new is the potential to ship that power to four wheels, alternatively than two. A $two,995 upcharge, its newly readily available all-wheel-push getup delivers a minor excess piece of head for motorists in locales with more than one particular or two seasons. I locate it has no outcome on the Pacifica’s general character, mostly due to the fact the rear wheels don’t truly have interaction right up until the automobile detects slippage up entrance, which boosts fuel economic climate. The 362-pound fat delta isn’t going to seem to have an impact on the astonishing total of hustle that the Pacifica’s normally packed, and the V6 still appears excellent when it truly is hustling down an on-ramp.

Nappa leather-based? In a minivan? Maybe you ought to leave the sticky snacks and beverages at house if you buy the Pinnacle trim.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

You can find a bit of excess ride top on AWD Pacificas, but from what I can notify it isn’t going to have an impact on the handling in anyway. This is one particular neutral minivan, with the right total of entire body roll to soften the ride without having earning it truly feel much too wishy-washy, and with adequate damping to eliminate most of the nasty bits on nearby roadways. Like before, it’ll make a excellent street vacation minivan, soaking up the miles and returning a great deal of convenience for long stretches. The steering is properly weighted, and equally the throttle and brake pedals are tuned to make sure smooth begins and stops each time. The true end-begin system, even so, is a minor on the janky facet, with enough jostling when the V6 equally cuts out and returns to lifetime.

The one particular spot that the AWD system cannot be overlooked is in the Pacifica’s fuel-economic climate estimates. Even though the entrance-push model earns a respectable 19 miles for every gallon town and 28 mpg freeway, the extra mechanical complexity of the AWD variant (and the heft that will come with it) drops those people figures to seventeen and 25, respectively. Fortunately, a light-weight foot can bridge that gulf a bit, as I’m observing freeway figures closer to 28 or 29 mpg.

Down to brass tacks

The minivan phase may well not be the most riveting in the sector, but it truly is not like it truly is stagnant. The Toyota Sienna is now a hybrid-only affair, with optional AWD by way of a 2nd electric motor out back, which lacks the electric-only selection of the Pacifica’s PHEV variant but guarantees 35 mpg combined. It is really also… pretty uniquely styled. Honda just lately refreshed the Odyssey, as nicely, but the changes are all minimal, so it truly is gradually becoming the phase laggard as Toyota and FCA present more routes to efficiency, which is essential in household vehicles of this sizing.

If you don’t want your minivan to seem like a little something out of Akira, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is a really hard act to beat — but then once more, you could say the same about the 2017-2020 designs, as nicely. All over the Pacifica’s lifetime cycle, it impressed me with its household-helpful performance and good quality ride, and its newfound flexibility only makes it more attractive.

Rosa G. Rose

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