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2021 Chrysler Pacifica review: Ever the tough act to top

The Pacifica could not glance like a Chrysler 200 any more, but I think we...

The Pacifica could not glance like a Chrysler 200 any more, but I think we can collectively take into consideration that a superior thing.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

When the Chrysler Pacifica to start with debuted, it leapt to the leading of its class. Over the last couple years, its opponents have whipped up some new tricks, so for 2021, Chrysler concentrated on revamping the Pacifica lineup to give buyers far more selection, and the outcomes maintain this van in contention for leading honors.


  • Clean ride
  • Tons of usable interior room
  • Excellent cabin tech

You should not Like

  • Top trim runs north of $55,000.
  • Halt-start roughness

Nameless seems, but who cares?

Chrysler to start with showed off its refreshed Pacifica at the 2020 Chicago Vehicle Exhibit, and various of my colleagues have been brief to pooh-pooh its new layout, calling its front conclusion too uninteresting or anonymous or regardless of what. I’m in the opposite camp I think it seems wonderful, if only because it no more time has the very same front conclusion as a Chrysler 200. Minivans are intended to be equipment far more than toys, so understated seems stand for their utilitarian leanings. The rear conclusion is much sharper than ahead of, and many thanks to new running lights on the two finishes, its nighttime profile is much far more unique than it made use of to be.

But when it comes to family motor vehicles, much like one’s possess existence, it really is what is inside that counts. To that conclusion, the Pacifica unquestionably shines, primarily in the new-for-2021 Pinnacle trim. Indeed, it really is just about as pricey as a BMW five Series, with my tester ringing in at an “oof”-inducing $fifty four,885, such as $one,495 for place. But, at the very same time, it really is just about as luxurious as the Bimmer, many thanks to standard trimmings like quilted Nappa leather-based seats, pillows for the second-row captain’s chairs and just about every single modern-day feature 1 would assume in a minivan.

Still, opting for all that luxurious isn’t going to suggest you have to compromise in other departments. The powered 3rd row nevertheless stows easily, many thanks to switches mounted in close proximity to the liftgate. There is certainly nevertheless a vacuum tucked back again there, too. The only actual compromise is the lack of Stow-n-Go second-row seats, but they can nevertheless slide up and out of the way to make area for flat-pack home furniture bins, Christmas trees, an full kennel’s really worth of puppies, you title it.

Storage has constantly been an crucial factor in minivan interior layout, and the Pacifica Pinnacle goes previously mentioned and over and above the foundation trims with what it phone calls the Ultra Console. This redesigned heart console packs an extraordinary total of storage, from a sneaky tray beneath to a cavernous cubby beneath the armrest. Just beneath the weather controls, there is a wi-fi charging tray sizable adequate to accommodate any telephone at present on the market, in addition to cup holders suitable for more substantial drinking water bottles.

Uconnect five is a tech-showcase centerpiece

FCA’s Uconnect is 1 of my favored infotainment techniques because it really is clear-cut and effortless to study. The newest edition, Uconnect five, will make 1 of its to start with appearances in the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica, and no shock, I like it.

Now residing on a ten.one-inch display, Uconnect picks up a couple new tricks that make residing with the technique even easier. A beefier processor signifies more quickly boot situations and improved responsiveness, though its Bluetooth capabilities develop to permit a number of concurrent sources. Amazon Alexa capacity is baked in, as are wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle. My favored little bit, while, is the new household display, which shows a number of corners of the technique (e.g. audio, navigation) at when, and there is adequate display resolution to make everything show up pleasant and crisp. USB ports are just about everywhere, with the front row on your own packing four USB ports, split evenly involving USB-A and USB-C.

Uconnect five is a darling. It can be loaded with the newest attributes, and it really is all wrapped up in a shell that’s effortless to use and memorize with minimal distraction.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

In phrases of cameras, there are adequate on this Pacifica to give the British CCTV panopticon a operate for its money. The regular backup digicam packs suitable resolution, and the encompass-check out digicam will make parking a breeze. But the most appealing digicam is actually inside the car — a new FamCam interior observe employs a roof-mounted lens to maintain an eye on rear-seat occupants from previously mentioned, which is wonderful for paranoid parents seeking to maintain an eye on a very little 1 in a rear-dealing with automobile seat.

When it comes to basic safety, the Pacifica Pinnacle comes standard with just about everything. Parking sensors? Verify. Lively parking support? Verify. Adaptive cruise control with halt-and-go performance? Lane-maintain support? Computerized crisis braking? Pedestrian and bicycle owner detection? You get the thought.

Gentle but constant on the road

I’ve constantly appreciated the way the Pacifica drives, which is far more like a very well-dampened automobile than a crossover, and fortunately FCA didn’t mess with results for the 2021 model. There are, even so, a couple new additions to support the automaker maintain up with the Joneses.

My tester rocks the very same motor the Pacifica has constantly utilized, the venerable 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. Listed here, it will make 287 horsepower and 262 pound-toes of torque, but what is new is the capability to ship that energy to four wheels, fairly than two. A $2,995 upcharge, its newly accessible all-wheel-travel getup presents a very little added piece of intellect for drivers in locales with far more than 1 or two seasons. I come across it has no influence on the Pacifica’s overall character, largely because the rear wheels you should not actually interact right until the automobile detects slippage up front, which boosts gasoline overall economy. The 362-pound body weight delta isn’t going to appear to have an impact on the astonishing total of hustle that the Pacifica’s constantly packed, and the V6 nevertheless appears wonderful when it really is hustling down an on-ramp.

Nappa leather-based? In a minivan? Possibly you should depart the sticky snacks and drinks at household if you acquire the Pinnacle trim.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

There is certainly a little bit of added ride height on AWD Pacificas, but from what I can inform it isn’t going to have an impact on the handling in any respect. This is 1 neutral minivan, with the right total of entire body roll to soften the ride devoid of creating it come to feel too wishy-washy, and with adequate damping to eliminate most of the terrible bits on neighborhood streets. Like ahead of, it’s going to make a wonderful road journey minivan, soaking up the miles and returning a good deal of comfort for prolonged stretches. The steering is properly weighted, and the two the throttle and brake pedals are tuned to make certain sleek starts and stops every single time. The real halt-start technique, even so, is a very little on the janky aspect, with enough jostling when the V6 the two cuts out and returns to daily life.

The 1 position that the AWD technique cannot be dismissed is in the Pacifica’s gasoline-overall economy estimates. Though the front-travel model earns a respectable 19 miles for each gallon metropolis and 28 mpg highway, the included mechanical complexity of the AWD variant (and the heft that comes with it) drops individuals figures to seventeen and twenty five, respectively. Luckily, a gentle foot can bridge that gulf a little bit, as I’m seeing highway figures nearer to 28 or 29 mpg.

Down to brass tacks

The minivan section could not be the most riveting in the industry, 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 back again, which lacks the electric powered-only range of the Pacifica’s PHEV variant but promises 35 mpg combined. It can be also… really uniquely styled. Honda a short while ago refreshed the Odyssey, as very well, but the variations are all slight, so it really is slowly but surely becoming the section laggard as Toyota and FCA offer far more routes to performance, which is crucial in family motor vehicles of this sizing.

If you you should not want your minivan to glance like some thing out of Akira, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is a tough act to beat — but then all over again, you could say the very same about the 2017-2020 models, as very well. All over the Pacifica’s daily life cycle, it amazed me with its family-welcoming performance and high quality ride, and its newfound flexibility only will make it far more interesting.