The Chrysler Pacifica minivan does something better than every other vehicle on the planet, and we'll exchange words with you over that. Crossover SUVs can't match its flexibility. The new mid-engine Corvette doesn't come as a plug-in hybrid. Ferrari's newest supercars don't have infotainment as good. Only two people will fit in a Miata.
The 2020 Chrysler Pacifica makes perfect automotive sense—and it's a better van than the Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey, too. That's why it's our Best Minivan To Buy 2020.
The Pacifica's earned our kudos before. We dubbed it our Best Car to Buy 2017 and our Best Minivan each year since. In 2019, our colleagues at Green Car Reports called the Pacifica plug-in hybrid their Best Car To Buy, too.
All this comes with the Pacifica's abundance of excellence and its flourishes of brilliance. The sleekly penned shape ditches forever the boxy body of the Dodge Grand Caravan, which, believe it or not, is still in production, like it's 1984. The Pacifica's interior dresses the part as well, with pricey models swathed in leather and stuffed with digital displays and warmer touches of wood.
Performance comes from a 287-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6, coupled to a 9-speed automatic, or from a V-6 that teams with batteries and motors in plug-in hybrid tandem. Either avoids the struggles of curb weight with strong punch, though Hybrids are a little less assertive thanks to the heft of their batteries (which also steal the space of second-row fold-away seats). The Pacifica handles it all with aplomb: It's almost plush on highway rides, and responsive enough when threading the two-lane roads between.
Minivans should be function-first, and the Pacifica doesn't fail. While the Odyssey and Sienna still have sliding second-row seats, the Pacifica's middle row can disappear like Houdini when the restaurant check drops. With the third row folded down too, it's maybe the world's best-looking cargo vehicle. It's almost unmatched for comfortable seating for up to eight passengers or eye-opening amounts of cargo.
Crash-test scores have been good, though a cheap Voyager trim omits standard automatic emergency braking. Fuel economy's exceptional in the plug-in hybrid, of course, at 30 mpg combined, and the 32-mile all-electric range avoids emissions in around-town commuting. The Pacifica's features omit nothing: there's 20-speaker Harman Kardon audio, rear-seat entertainment, a panoramic roof, leather upholstery and cooled seats, not to mention standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Minivan sales have slowed, but the Chrysler Pacifica asserts boldly why the minivan deserves a place on every family's shopping list, and more than likely, a place in their garage.