2020 vs 2021: What's the Difference?
Many newsworthy changes are happening for the Pacifica in 2021. On the outside, the styling has been changed to give the minivan an SUV-type look. The redesign included changes for the front grille, wheel designs, and rear liftgate. All-wheel drive is now available on certain Pacifica models. Also available on select models is a hybrid powertrain.
Technology is vastly improved for the 2021 Pacifica, with a 10.1-inch touchscreen coming standard this year. It runs the UConnect 5 infotainment system. Drivers can also now opt for wireless versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as up to 12 USB ports scattered around the cabin. There have also been changes to the trim ladder, with the L Plus model being deleted for this year and the Pinnacle becoming available.
What Do the Various Trim Levels Offer?
The four trim options for the Pacifica are the Touring, Touring L, Limited, and new Pinnacle. For its entry-level model, this minivan comes with an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat. It also has a strong list of standard tech features, including smartphone integration and Amazon Alexa compatibility.
When buyers choose the Touring L, they get perforated leather for their upholstery. This model also gains rear ambient lighting, heated front seats, and retractable sunshades in the third row. The Limited gets heat in the second row, ventilated front seats, power-adjustment for the front passenger seat, and an integrated vacuum cleaner. A hands-free power liftgate and tri-pane moonroof are thrown in as well.
The new Pinnacle model comes with second-row captain's chairs standard and includes under-floor storage bins. Perhaps the most enticing upgrades are the technology features, with a 19-speaker audio system and a rear-seat entertainment setup coming standard. The Pinnacle also adds navigation and park assist.
Which Trim is Right for Me?
For most families, the Touring L has plenty of features for comfort and convenience. The heated front seats and perforated leather help to give this model a more upscale feel without raising the price too much. Buyers can also customize the Touring L with a variety of packages, and even add fancy features such as the rear-seat entertainment system if they are willing to pay extra.
What Kind of Technology Does it Have?
No one will accuse the 2021 Pacifica of being stingy when it comes to standard tech. A 10.1-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, and Android Auto are all included on all four trims. Drivers can also enjoy both HD and satellite radio on any trim they choose. While only one USB port comes standard, higher trims can have up to 12 - including some USB-C ports.
Wireless device charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot are available for the 2021 Pacifica. Buyers can also get either a 13-speaker audio system from Alpine or a 19-speaker system from Harman Kardon. Families can get a handy in-cabin camera system that displays video of the backseat on the infotainment screen.
How Does It Perform?
Coming standard underneath the hood of the Pacifica is a 3.5L V6 that creates 287-horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. With it comes a nine-speed automatic transmission. This amount of power is adequate in most driving situations. The hybrid powertrain utilizes the same engine and two electric motors but creates only 260-horsepower.
The Pacifica can tow up to 3,600 pounds when properly equipped, which is perfectly acceptable for a minivan. Unlike most competitors, the Pacifica is also available with all-wheel drive. Overall, both driving and riding inside of this minivan are pleasant experiences.
Is It Safe and Reliable?
Five out of five stars were awarded to the 2021 Pacifica by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The results saw the vehicle getting five stars in frontal and side collisions, along with four stars in rollover tests. In all six categories that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Pacifica received the top score of "Good."
This minivan has more standard safety equipment than ever before in 2021. Highlights from the list include popular features like automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control. Top trim levels also add front parking sensors, a park assist system, and a surround-view camera system.
The news when it comes to reliability is a bit bleaker. According to J.D. Power, the 2021 Pacifica has a predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five stars. It is easy to find competitors with higher scores.
What's the Interior Like?
With three rows of seating, the Pacifica can seat either seven or eight. Buyers will find some plastic in the lower trims, although the cabin manages to feel upscale overall. Higher trims get more luxurious materials. Family-friendly features such as hands-free sliding side doors are available.
While the cargo space for the Pacifica is slightly below average, it makes up for it with its Stow 'N Go seating feature. Unlike many rivals, which require completely removing the second-row in order to optimize cargo space, the Pacifica can fold them into the floor. The maximum cargo capacity is 87.5 cubic feet.
What are the Alternatives to this Model?
The minivan market is one of the smaller ones out there. Buyers can save some money going with the Kia Sedona. It has a comfortable ride and a respectable list of standard equipment, along with a much lower price tag. At the same time, it is not as fuel-efficient and lacks the amount of technology that is found in the Pacifica.
Another option is the Toyota Sienna, which is the only other minivan where buyers can find all-wheel drive. The Honda Odyssey is always a favorite with its well-designed cabin and lively performance. Another option would be the Chrysler Voyager, which is a less expensive version of the Pacifica.
Note: All Chrysler Pacifica lease prices and dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.