2021 Chrysler Pacifica review: Ever the tough act to top

The Pacifica might not glance like a Chrysler two hundred any longer, but I consider we can collectively contemplate that a great factor.

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When the Chrysler Pacifica initially debuted, it leapt to the major of its course. More than the very last couple of decades, its opponents have whipped up some new tricks, so for 2021, Chrysler focused on revamping the Pacifica lineup to give potential buyers more choice, and the success retain this van in competition for major honors.


  • Smooth experience
  • Tons of usable interior room
  • Fantastic cabin tech

Really don’t Like

  • Major trim runs north of $55,000.
  • Prevent-begin roughness

Anonymous appears to be like, but who cares?

Chrysler initially confirmed off its refreshed Pacifica at the 2020 Chicago Automobile Clearly show, and numerous of my colleagues have been speedy to pooh-pooh its new style and design, contacting its front end too dull or nameless or no matter what. I am in the opposite camp I consider it appears to be like terrific, if only because it no for a longer period has the identical front end as a Chrysler two hundred. Minivans are meant to be instruments more than toys, so understated appears to be like depict their utilitarian leanings. The rear end is much sharper than right before, and many thanks to new jogging lights on equally ends, its nighttime profile is significantly more exceptional than it utilised to be.

But when it arrives to family members cars, much like one’s individual existence, it really is what is actually within that counts. To that end, the Pacifica totally shines, primarily in the new-for-2021 Pinnacle trim. Yes, it really is almost as highly-priced as a BMW five Series, with my tester ringing in at an “oof”-inducing $fifty four,885, together with $one,495 for location. But, at the identical time, it really is just about as magnificent as the Bimmer, many thanks to regular trimmings like quilted Nappa leather-based seats, pillows for the second-row captain’s chairs and just about every single modern-day characteristic one particular would count on in a minivan.

But, opting for all that luxury will not suggest you have to compromise in other departments. The driven third row nonetheless stows simply, many thanks to switches mounted near the liftgate. You will find nonetheless a vacuum tucked again there, too. The only true compromise is the deficiency of Stow-n-Go second-row seats, but they can nonetheless slide up and out of the way to make room for flat-pack home furnishings packing containers, Xmas trees, an full kennel’s value of pet dogs, you identify it.

Storage has generally been an essential factor in minivan interior style and design, and the Pacifica Pinnacle goes above and outside of the foundation trims with what it calls the Ultra Console. This redesigned centre console packs an outstanding total of storage, from a sneaky tray underneath to a cavernous cubby less than the armrest. Just down below the local weather controls, there is a wi-fi charging tray sizable enough to accommodate any mobile phone presently on the industry, in addition to cup holders appropriate for much larger drinking water bottles.

Uconnect five is a tech-showcase centerpiece

FCA’s Uconnect is one particular of my beloved infotainment devices because it really is straightforward and quick to master. The most up-to-date version, Uconnect five, tends to make one particular of its initially appearances in the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica, and no shock, I love it.

Now living on a ten.one-inch monitor, Uconnect picks up a couple of new tricks that make living with the system even a lot easier. A beefier processor indicates faster boot situations and improved responsiveness, although its Bluetooth abilities broaden to permit many concurrent sources. Amazon Alexa capacity is baked in, as are wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile. My beloved little bit, however, is the new household monitor, which displays many corners of the system (e.g. audio, navigation) at as soon as, and there is enough monitor resolution to make anything show up great and crisp. USB ports are everywhere you go, with the front row on your own packing four USB ports, break up evenly in between USB-A and USB-C.

Uconnect five is a darling. It’s loaded with the most up-to-date functions, and it really is all wrapped up in a shell that is quick to use and memorize with nominal distraction.

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In terms of cameras, there are enough on this Pacifica to give the British CCTV panopticon a operate for its revenue. The normal backup camera packs appropriate resolution, and the surround-watch camera tends to make parking a breeze. But the most intriguing camera is actually within the auto — a new FamCam interior watch uses a roof-mounted lens to retain an eye on rear-seat occupants from above, which is terrific for paranoid mother and father seeking to retain an eye on a very little one particular in a rear-struggling with auto seat.

When it arrives to security, the Pacifica Pinnacle arrives regular with just about anything. Parking sensors? Examine. Energetic parking assist? Examine. Adaptive cruise control with cease-and-go features? Lane-retain assist? Automated crisis braking? Pedestrian and bike owner detection? You get the concept.

Comfortable but continual on the road

I’ve generally appreciated the way the Pacifica drives, which is more like a properly-dampened auto than a crossover, and luckily FCA did not mess with good results for the 2021 model. There are, having said that, a few new additions to assist the automaker retain up with the Joneses.

My tester rocks the identical engine the Pacifica has generally used, the venerable three.six-liter Pentastar V6. Listed here, it tends to make 287 horsepower and 262 pound-ft of torque, but what is actually new is the capacity to send out that electric power to four wheels, relatively than two. A $two,995 upcharge, its newly accessible all-wheel-push getup delivers a very little extra piece of mind for motorists in locales with more than one particular or two seasons. I come across it has no effect on the Pacifica’s overall character, mainly because the rear wheels really don’t actually interact till the auto detects slippage up front, which boosts gasoline financial system. The 362-pound fat delta will not feel to affect the astonishing total of hustle that the Pacifica’s generally packed, and the V6 nonetheless seems terrific when it really is hustling down an on-ramp.

Nappa leather-based? In a minivan? Potentially you should really go away the sticky treats and beverages at household if you buy the Pinnacle trim.

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You will find a little bit of extra experience height on AWD Pacificas, but from what I can tell it will not affect the managing whatsoever. This is one particular neutral minivan, with the suitable total of physique roll to soften the experience with out creating it truly feel too wishy-washy, and with adequate damping to take away most of the nasty bits on neighborhood streets. Like right before, it will make a terrific road vacation minivan, soaking up the miles and returning loads of ease and comfort for extensive stretches. The steering is properly weighted, and equally the throttle and brake pedals are tuned to assure sleek starts off and stops every single time. The true cease-begin system, having said that, is a very little on the janky facet, with sufficient jostling when the V6 equally cuts out and returns to everyday living.

The one particular place that the AWD system cannot be disregarded is in the Pacifica’s gasoline-financial system estimates. Even though the front-push model earns a respectable 19 miles per gallon metropolis and 28 mpg freeway, the included mechanical complexity of the AWD variant (and the heft that arrives with it) drops individuals figures to seventeen and 25, respectively. Thankfully, a light foot can bridge that gulf a little bit, as I am looking at freeway figures nearer to 28 or 29 mpg.

Down to brass tacks

The minivan phase might not be the most riveting in the field, but it really is not like it really is stagnant. The Toyota Sienna is now a hybrid-only affair, with optional AWD by way of a second electric powered motor out again, which lacks the electric powered-only array of the Pacifica’s PHEV variant but promises 35 mpg mixed. It’s also‚Ķ really uniquely styled. Honda not too long ago refreshed the Odyssey, as properly, but the adjustments are all minimal, so it really is gradually turning into the phase laggard as Toyota and FCA give more routes to effectiveness, which is essential in family members cars of this dimensions.

If you really don’t want your minivan to glance like something out of Akira, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is a hard act to beat — but then once again, you could say the identical about the 2017-2020 types, as properly. Throughout the Pacifica’s everyday living cycle, it impressed me with its family members-pleasant features and good quality experience, and its newfound versatility only tends to make it more captivating.