Shoppers of family vehicles no longer need to look beyond the Chrysler Pacifica.
All-wheel drive is now an option on the refreshed 2021 Chrysler Pacifica minivan. The refresh of the minivan includes tweaks to the front and rear styling, a better infotainment system, more storage, and more standard safety features.
Chrysler hasn’t said how much the 2021 Pacifica will cost when it goes on sale in the fall of 2020. The Pacifica will be offered in four trim levels including Touring, Touring L, Limited and a new luxury-spec Pinnacle.
Styling and performance
For 2021 the Pacifica gets an updated front and rear end. Up front the family resemblance to the now dead Chrysler 200 sedan has been dropped in favor of a more crossover SUV face with LED lighting that bears some resemblance to the previous Town & Country. In the rear the thinner LED taillight now spans the entire width of the tailgate, giving the Pacifica a sleeker, less chunky look than the current model.
Inside, a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system headlines the dashboard on all models. Top-spec Pinnacle trims feature quilted leather seating in all three rows and leather pillows for the second-row seats. The center console has more storage and is now connected to the dashboard.
Most Pacificas will be powered by a carry-over 3.6-liter V-6 with 287 horsepower sent to the front wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. For the first time since 2004 the Chrysler minivan will offer all-wheel drive as an option. Those looking for the ultimate efficiency will opt for the plug-in hybrid model with 260 horsepower from its Atkinson-cycle 3.6-liter V-6 and 15-kwh battery pack. Chrysler claims the hybrid can drive on about 30 miles in electric-only mode.
Inside, the Pacifica retains its comfortable, well-laid out interior with seating for up to eight passengers, though most Pacificas will have seats for up to seven people with captain’s chairs in the second row. Non-hybrid Pacificas all feature fold-flat Stow ‘N Go second row seats to create a massive rear cargo area of 140.5 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. WIth all three rows up the Pacifica can still haul up to 32.3 cubes of stuff. The second row in hybrid models can’t fold into the floor as that’s where the batteries sit, but the heavy rear seats are removable.
There’s storage throughout the Pacifica, but for 2021 the front center console has been integrated into the dashboard giving it a more crossover SUV feel. The dual-level storage can hide up to 7.6 liters of gear.
In terms of comfort, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. The front seats are soft, supportive, and perfect for both soccer practice runs and road trips. The second row has slightly thinner seat backs than the hybrid, which are a bit more comfortable. There are twelve USB charging ports, two HDMI ports, and a rear seat entertainment system available to keep everyone charged and entertained.
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica hasn’t been crash tested yet but the structurally similar 2020 earned a 5-star overall rating from the NHTSA and the IIHS has named it a Top Safety Pick. We don’t expect the refreshed model to be less safe.
Every 2021 Pacifica comes standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, rain-sensing wipers, and automatic high beams. A surround-view camera system, park assist system, and parking sensors will be on the options list. Each Pacifica has five LATCH points and a bevy of airbags throughout the cabin.
Standard features include LED lighting, a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, power-sliding doors, and the Stow ‘N Go fold-flat seating system. Options will range from a rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens to quilted leather seating and premium audio system along with an interior camera system that gives front seat occupants a view of a rear-facing car seat mounted in the back seats.
- 2020 Toyota Sienna
- 2020 Honda Odyssey
- 2020 Kia Sedona
- 2020 Toyota Highlander
- 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is mechanically related to the Chrysler Voyager but the latter can’t be optioned with all-wheel drive, plug-in hybrid powertrain, or a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The only other AWD minivan is the Toyota Sienna, which has a cheaper interior and clunkier infotainment system. The Honda Odyssey drivers larger than the Pacifica and can’t be had with all-wheel drive. The Toyota Highlander isn’t a minivan and while it can move lots of people it lacks sliding side doors.