2021 Chrysler Pacifica review: Ever the tough act to top

Maria J. Danford

The Pacifica might not appear like a Chrysler 200 anymore, but I assume we can collectively contemplate that a excellent point.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

When the Chrysler Pacifica very first debuted, it leapt to the prime of its course. In excess of the final couple of yrs, its rivals have whipped up some new tips, so for 2021, Chrysler focused on revamping the Pacifica lineup to give prospective buyers additional preference, and the success keep this van in contention for prime honors.


  • Smooth ride
  • Tons of usable interior house
  • Great cabin tech

You should not Like

  • Top trim operates north of $55,000.
  • Quit-commence roughness

Nameless appears, but who cares?

Chrysler very first confirmed off its refreshed Pacifica at the 2020 Chicago Auto Demonstrate, and several of my colleagues ended up fast to pooh-pooh its new layout, contacting its front finish as well boring or anonymous or whatever. I am in the reverse camp I assume it appears terrific, if only due to the fact it no lengthier has the same front finish as a Chrysler 200. Minivans are meant to be tools additional than toys, so understated appears stand for their utilitarian leanings. The rear finish is a lot sharper than just before, and thanks to new working lights on the two ends, its nighttime profile is considerably additional special than it made use of to be.

But when it will come to family members automobiles, a lot like one’s personal existence, it truly is what’s inside of that counts. To that finish, the Pacifica completely shines, especially in the new-for-2021 Pinnacle trim. Indeed, it truly is pretty much as high-priced as a BMW 5 Sequence, with my tester ringing in at an “oof”-inducing $fifty four,885, which include $one,495 for place. But, at the same time, it truly is virtually as luxurious as the Bimmer, thanks to normal trimmings like quilted Nappa leather-based seats, pillows for the 2nd-row captain’s chairs and just about each individual contemporary feature one would hope in a minivan.

Nonetheless, opting for all that luxury won’t suggest you have to compromise in other departments. The powered third row continue to stows simply, thanks to switches mounted near the liftgate. There’s continue to a vacuum tucked back there, as well. The only genuine compromise is the absence of Stow-n-Go 2nd-row seats, but they can continue to slide up and out of the way to make place for flat-pack home furniture bins, Christmas trees, an whole kennel’s value of canines, you name it.

Storage has usually been an critical variable in minivan interior layout, and the Pacifica Pinnacle goes previously mentioned and over and above the foundation trims with what it phone calls the Extremely Console. This redesigned middle console packs an amazing amount of money of storage, from a sneaky tray underneath to a cavernous cubby underneath the armrest. Just beneath the climate controls, you will find a wi-fi charging tray sizable adequate to accommodate any cellular phone now on the market, in addition to cup holders suitable for more substantial drinking water bottles.

Uconnect 5 is a tech-showcase centerpiece

FCA’s Uconnect is one of my favorite infotainment methods due to the fact it truly is uncomplicated and uncomplicated to discover. The latest model, Uconnect 5, will make one of its very first appearances in the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica, and no surprise, I enjoy it.

Now living on a 10.one-inch display screen, Uconnect picks up a couple of new tips that make living with the procedure even easier. A beefier processor usually means a lot quicker boot situations and enhanced responsiveness, while its Bluetooth capabilities develop to allow many concurrent sources. Amazon Alexa capability is baked in, as are wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. My favorite bit, while, is the new dwelling display screen, which shows many corners of the procedure (e.g. audio, navigation) at when, and you will find adequate display screen resolution to make every little thing surface good and crisp. USB ports are everywhere you go, with the front row on your own packing four USB ports, break up evenly involving USB-A and USB-C.

Uconnect 5 is a darling. It really is loaded with the latest options, and it truly is all wrapped up in a shell that’s uncomplicated to use and memorize with negligible distraction.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

In phrases of cameras, there are adequate on this Pacifica to give the British CCTV panopticon a operate for its dollars. The normal backup digital camera packs suitable resolution, and the surround-view digital camera will make parking a breeze. But the most exciting digital camera is really inside of the motor vehicle — a new FamCam interior check utilizes a roof-mounted lens to keep an eye on rear-seat occupants from previously mentioned, which is terrific for paranoid mothers and fathers seeking to keep an eye on a little one in a rear-struggling with vehicle seat.

When it will come to safety, the Pacifica Pinnacle will come normal with just about every little thing. Parking sensors? Examine. Energetic parking support? Examine. Adaptive cruise manage with quit-and-go functionality? Lane-keep support? Computerized unexpected emergency braking? Pedestrian and cyclist detection? You get the idea.

Delicate but continuous on the highway

I’ve usually appreciated the way the Pacifica drives, which is additional like a perfectly-dampened vehicle than a crossover, and fortunately FCA didn’t mess with achievement for the 2021 product. There are, even so, a pair new additions to assist the automaker keep up with the Joneses.

My tester rocks the same motor the Pacifica has usually used, the venerable 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. Listed here, it will make 287 horsepower and 262 pound-ft of torque, but what’s new is the potential to deliver that electric power to four wheels, somewhat than two. A $2,995 upcharge, its newly offered all-wheel-drive getup offers a little excess piece of thoughts for motorists in locales with additional than one or two seasons. I find it has no outcome on the Pacifica’s total character, mostly due to the fact the rear wheels really don’t really engage until the vehicle detects slippage up front, which boosts fuel financial state. The 362-pound weight delta won’t feel to have an impact on the stunning amount of money of hustle that the Pacifica’s usually packed, and the V6 continue to appears terrific when it truly is hustling down an on-ramp.

Nappa leather-based? In a minivan? Potentially you should go away the sticky snacks and beverages at dwelling if you purchase the Pinnacle trim.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

There’s a bit of excess ride peak on AWD Pacificas, but from what I can convey to it won’t have an impact on the handling whatsoever. This is one neutral minivan, with the suitable amount of money of physique roll to soften the ride without having making it feel as well wishy-washy, and with enough damping to remove most of the terrible bits on local roadways. Like just before, it will make a terrific highway journey minivan, soaking up the miles and returning a lot of comfort for lengthy stretches. The steering is nicely weighted, and the two the throttle and brake pedals are tuned to guarantee easy begins and stops each individual time. The precise quit-commence procedure, even so, is a little on the janky aspect, with enough jostling when the V6 the two cuts out and returns to existence.

The one place that the AWD procedure won’t be able to be disregarded is in the Pacifica’s fuel-financial state estimates. Whilst the front-drive product earns a respectable 19 miles per gallon town and 28 mpg highway, the added mechanical complexity of the AWD variant (and the heft that will come with it) drops people figures to seventeen and 25, respectively. Luckily, a light-weight foot can bridge that gulf a bit, as I am looking at highway figures closer to 28 or 29 mpg.

Down to brass tacks

The minivan section might not be the most riveting in the market, 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 vary of the Pacifica’s PHEV variant but promises 35 mpg put together. It really is also… incredibly uniquely styled. Honda just lately refreshed the Odyssey, as perfectly, but the modifications are all minimal, so it truly is little by little turning out to be the section laggard as Toyota and FCA offer additional routes to effectiveness, which is critical in family members automobiles of this dimensions.

If you really don’t want your minivan to appear like a little something out of Akira, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is a tricky act to defeat — but then once again, you could say the same about the 2017-2020 products, as perfectly. Throughout the Pacifica’s existence cycle, it amazed me with its family members-helpful functionality and high-quality ride, and its newfound flexibility only will make it additional pleasing.

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