2021 Chrysler Pacifica Review: Price, Expected Changes, Performance, MPG, and Rivals

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John Bedrow 

Automotive Journalist

July 19, 2020  at 3:22 PM

The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica minivan is the people-hauler most families will be opting for rather than the popular crossovers. Pacifica tends to be much smarter with a particular set of abilities that reaches way beyond what the ideal SUV offers. For the upcoming year, it is possible to have an all-wheel-drive with the plug-in hybrid powertrain.

In the 2021 model, we can see some extensive changes to the Pacifica, where it sheds the old front fascia from the Chrysler 200 and adorns a newer grille. There’s a plug-in hybrid version that’s more fuel-efficient and surprisingly quick then the standard powertrain.

It has room for up to eight occupants along with stable and comfortable road manners. Active safety and driver-assistance features are standard. Compared to many rival brands such as the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Kia Sedona, its functionality stands out. The Pacifica hits a few spots that nothing else really can.

What’s new with the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica?

  • New Front fascia
  • LED taillights
  • Optional AWD

Expected Release date and pricing: 2021 Chrysler Pacifica

The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica will be offered in four trim levels, Touring, Touring L, Limited, and a new range-topping Pinnacle variant. A range-topping Pinnacle trim is a step ahead from the limited as it has the Nappa leather seats, second-row captain’s chair pillow, and the new ultra center console. The pinnacle also features extra storage space. Another great addition is the standardization of various safety features which brings it at the same equation of its competitors.

As we are expecting a lot of changes in the 2021 Pacifica’s model we don't know exactly how each of them will be competent. According to the sources, here are the estimated prices:

  • Touring: $35,000 (est.)
  • Touring L: $40,000 (est.)
  • Limited: $45,000 (est.)
  • Pinnacle: $50,000 (est.)

It is expected to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2020 and the booking for the car would start in the third quarter of 2020.

What’s under the hood of the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica?

The non-hybrid guise of the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica packs a 3.6- liter Pentastar V6 that churns out 287 hp @6400 rpm and 262 lb-ft peak torque @4000 rpm. The power is transmitted to the front wheels as standard through a nine-speed automatic transmission. The standard V6 isn’t quite as robust as that of the Toyota Sienna, but it packs more grunt than a Honda Odyssey. The 9-speed automatic transmission complements the engine correctly.

This minivan also comes in a hybrid variant where its 3.6-liter V6 engine is supported by two electric motors and a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery with a combined output of 260 hp. All-wheel drive is optional, and the system can automatically disengage the rear axle in arid conditions to save fuel as not much traction is required. Infrequent, slow responses from the 9-speed transmission are the only flaws worth noticing.

Model

2021 Chrysler Pacifica (Expected)

2020 Honda Odyssey

2020 Kia Sedona

2020 Toyota Sienna

MSRP

$35,000

$34,790

$33,700

$34,235

Engine

3.6L Pentastar V6

3.5L V6

3.3L V6

3.5L V6

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

9-Speed Automatic

10-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

287 hp @ 6400 rpm

280 hp @ 6000 rpm

276 hp @ 6000 rpm

296 hp @ 6600 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

262lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

262 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm

248 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm

263 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm

*2020 figures used for reference

Chrysler Pacifica is one of the most dominant in its division when looking at the engine and performance characteristics. On the other hand, Toyota Sienna takes the prime position in terms of sheer numbers.  The Honda Odyssey and Kia Sedona walk beside each other when it comes to horsepower.

The 2021 Pacifica minivan can not be called quick but it does reach to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds while the Pacifica Hybrid does that in 6.9 seconds despite being a little heavier. Although, there are rivals like Honda and Toyota that have a little better acceleration time. In terms of braking the Chrysler Pacifica stops from 60-0 MPH in 119 ft which and the pedal feel is progressive.

How well does the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Minivan handle?

Driving the 2021 Pacifica is a serene and noticeably peaceful experience. It has precise handling for such a large vehicle, reliable power from the V6 engine, and a comfortable yet controlled ride. It’s tough to accept the fact, but this time the minivan works perfectly well.  The Pacifica’s steering is bulky and nicely detailed with perforated leather. The handling is uniquely excellent for a van that weighs more than 4300 pounds and can tow up to 3600 pounds.

Pacifica is fun to drive, with moderate acceleration and agile driving dynamics because of the lower center of gravity. The most notable mechanical change in 2021 Pacifica is the addition of the AWD system. It significantly improves the grip and traction around corners. Beneath, the Pacifica uses a car-like independent suspension to present a composed ride and capable handling on a winding road.

How many MPGs will the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica deliver?

The Pacifica with a standard V6 powertrain can put  19 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined.  The automatic stop/start system helps to save a little gasoline while idling.  Chrysler fitted a 19 gallons fuel-tank, which pushes the entire range to 532 miles on highways. The Pacifica Hybrid can travel up to 33 miles on electric power and is rated at 84 MPGe combined. After the depletion of the electric range, the Pacifica returned 30 mpg combined.

MODELS

2021 Chrysler Pacifica (Expected)

2020 Honda Odyssey

2020 Kia Sedona

2020 Toyota Sienna

MPG(City)

18

19

18

18

MPG (HIGHWAY)

28

28

24

24

MPG (COMBINED)

22

22

21

20

FUEL CAPACITY

19.0

19.5

21.1

20.0

RANGE (CITY/HIGHWAY/COMBINED, MILES)

342/532/418

371/546/429

380/506/443

380/520/450

*2020 figures used for reference

The KIA Sedona has the highest fuel capacity of 21.1 gallons among its rivals. In terms of combined MPG, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica minivan and 2021 Honda odyssey offer the same 22 MPG and stands at the top of rivalry.

What changes to expect in the interiors of the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica?

It's hard for us to accept, but minivans do accomplish most of the things you desire-  just don't tell them to climb a cliff. The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is undoubtedly an excellent example with its massive cabin, well-thought-out details which are elegantly appointed in pricier trims. The 2020 Chrysler came up with an eye-catching interior and Nappa Leather seats, which grab your attention at first glance.

The front seats are comfortable with adjustable center armrests. The  Second-row bucket seats are standard, though a three-seat bench for row two is available. The second- and third-row seats are roomy, with excellent leg and headroom. One of the remarkable features - Stow and go seats are being relaunched in the 2021 model. They tuck into the cargo floor when not in use, and that's why moderately padded. Some vital features include FamCAM, a video system that allows the driver or front passenger to monitor kids and infants sitting in the second or third row.

MODELS

2021 Chrysler Pacifica (Expected)

2020 Honda Odyssey

2020 Kia Sedona

2020 Toyota Sienna

SEATING CAPACITY

7

7

7

7

FRONT ROW( Headroom/ Shoulder Room/ Leg Room, In inches)

40.1/63.8/41.1

40.7/63.1/40.9

39.8/63.9/40.9

41.0/65.0/40.5

REAR ROW(Headroom/ Shoulder Room/ Legroom, in Inches)

39.6/63.0/39.0

39.5/61.6/40.9

39.4/63.1/41.1

39.7/64.6/37.6

*2020 figures used for reference

2020 Toyota Sienna is the most spacious in comparison to all its competitors and Chrysler Pacifica needs improvement in this particular section. Adding to the 2021 Pacifica lineup will be the Pinnacle trim, the most expensive model.  It serves as a showcase for the optional Ultra center console that combines seamlessly into the dash. You also get quilted seats and pillows.

The trunk capacity of the Pacifica is 32.3 cubic feet of space with all the seats up and 140.5 cubic feet space when seats folded. In this section, the 2020 Honda odyssey rises above its competitors with a maximum cargo capacity of 158ft. It also has a Stow n’ Go space and comes with interior storage spaces throughout the cabin which includes armrest storages, cup holders, door pockets, and small cubby spaces.

How about the infotainment system of the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica?

Pacifica Minivan is expected to feature a new 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system which is limited to the top of the line Pinnacle trim and it comes with Uconnect 5 interface. It can be personalized according to user preferences and it comes with Android Auto and Apple Carplay as an added bonus. This system is expected to be much faster than the previous generation. It also comes with 12 USB ports in the cabin including some USB-C type with fast charging.

Infotainment Features:

  • 10.1-inch touchscreen display
  • Uconnect 5 interface(with AndroidAuto and Apple Carplay)
  • Amazon Alexa alliance
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • 12 USB ports
  • USB C-Type port with fast charging
  • Wireless charging
  • 19 speaker setup with 10-inch Harman Kardon subwoofer

What changes to be expected on the exterior of the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica?

The 2021 Pacifica drops its tiny grille for a more significant Jaguar-like face flanked by standard LED headlights. From the side, the two-box profile is preserved—indeed, what can you do to make a minivan look unusual? You also get refreshed taillights with a race track of red LEDs to help the big van look dynamic. The car has been given notable cuts and grooves to give it a humongous look, and the newly designed wheels give it an SUV stance.

Led fog lamps, grille, tweaked front and rear bumper, and beefed up tailgate have all been redesigned by Chrysler, which gives the 2021 Pacifica a more stylish and classy look.  The hybrid variant doesn't look much different with its blue badges and an AC cord plug on the left side of the vehicle.

MODELS

2021 Chrysler Pacifica (Expected)

2020 Honda Odyssey

2020 Kia Sedona

2020 Toyota Sienna

CURB WEIGHT (Lb0

4330

4354

4433

4505

LENGTH (in)

203.8

203.2

201.4

200.6

WIDTH (in)

79.6

78.5

78.1

78.1

HEIGHT (in)

69.9

68.3

68.5

70.7

GROUND CLEARANCE (in)

5.1

4.5

6.7

6.5

WHEELBASE (in)

121.6

118.1

120.5

119.3

*2020 figures used for reference

This time 2021 Chrysler Pacifica beats its competitors and tops the list as it has the maximum length and width. The car’s wheelbase is extremely appreciated as it has the best out of the lot but a minor disadvantage is that the 2021 Pacifica lacks a bit in the ground clearance segment.

Safety features offered with the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler has always kept safety first and has added many new safety features to the 2021 model. Pacifica Minivan is one of the safest ones in the lot. In 2020 NHTSA gave it ‘five-star rating’ and on the other hand the IIHS awarded it the ‘Top safety pick’

  • FWS (Forward Collision Warning)
  • Pedestrian Automatic Emergency Braking (PAEB)
  • Adaptive Cruise-Control
  • Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist
  • Automatic high beams
  • Advanced Brake Assist
  • 360 Surround View Camera
  • ParkSense Parallel Assist
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • Post-Collision Safety System
  • Remote Anti-Theft Alarm System

Will the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica be worth it?

The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Minivan not only holds its value in the market but also makes it the most exceptional car in the segment. The Pacifica is packed with the best safety features and offers the all-wheel-drive feature to be helpful in any weather condition with 9-speed automatic transmission. The Chrysler Pacifica is the family-based car that becomes one of the favorite minivans with its power, fuel economy, and value for money.

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