This week I have been behind the wheel of the redesigned 2021 Chrysler Pacifica minivan. Pacifica made its minivan debut in 2017 as a replacement for the Town & Country. Minivans are not my thing, but the exterior changes and sculpting Chrysler did for this new model makes it feel less like a van and more like an SUV.
Pacifica comes standard with the 3.6-liter tried-and-true Chrysler V6 Pentastar engine mated to a 9-speed automatic. Together they put out a respectable 287-horses. My test vehicle has the new advanced all-wheel drive system offered starting this year. There is also a hybrid version as an alternative to the V6. The 20-inch wheels on my test vehicle are sharp and give the van a tougher, more stylish look.
Also for 2021 is a new top-of-the-line trim option called the Pinnacle, which is what I am testing this week. Everything I see in this ultra-loaded van comes as standard equipment with this package.
Inside the van, you'll find heavily quilted Nappa leather seating for seven people. Second row occupants get matching quilted lumbar pillows that can be used or repositioned. Being a minivan, the ride height is low and makes it very easy to enter through the key fob-controlled and/or handsfree power sliding doors on both sides. Since the vehicle has captain chairs in the center row, getting to the 3rd row seat is easy as well.
From the driver's seat, everything is laid out logically and is easy to reach and see. A round knob to the right of the steering wheel serves as the shift mechanism for the 9-speed automatic transmission.
High on the center stack is the all-new 10.1 Uconnect 5 navigation screen. I often say Uconnect is the best and easiest to use system in the auto industry and this latest version is the best yet. It operates the 18-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with subwoofer, the nav, the Bluetooth, Alexa, and there are a host of apps that provide real-time information. Below the screen are controls for the parking systems and the air conditioning systems.
Standard Features and Safety
Being the top-of-the-line, the Pinnacle comes standard with a lot of nice features like remote start, power liftgate, the leather seating, heated steering wheel, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Alexa compatibility, a 3-pane panoramic moonroof, and second and third-row window shades. It also comes with heated and cooled front seats.
On the safety front, you get at no charge: blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, 360-degree rear view camera with cross-traffic alert, electronic stability control, and forward collision alert with emergency braking assist.
Some really cool features, again at no cost, are the incredible Stow-N-Go seats. All seats behind the front seats tuck into the floor easily for massive cargo space. The Pinnacle has a built-in vacuum that works great, there is a feature called FamCAM that allows the front seat occupants to see on the camera every seat behind them and you can zoom in on them.
Also, this package has a UConnect theater with two large 10-inch screens mounted on the front headrests for the rear occupants, a must-have for kids in the back. They can play their own games on their devices, or the system comes loaded with five different games. There are plenty of places to charge devices also.
Ride and Drive
The Pacifica Pinnacle is incredibly quiet inside, and the ride quality is very good as well. Headroom is good throughout, but the interior door height is limited, just be careful getting in. The only other complaint is where the tailgate close button is, which is just inside the rear by the driver's side taillight. I can see an issue if you don't move pretty quickly to get out of the way. I suggest using the key fob.
What You'll Pay
MSRP is just almost $55,000, but with the usual Fiat Chrysler aggressive incentives, Pacifica is one of the best buys out there and no other minivan offers some of the amazing features of the Pacifica Pinnacle.
For you guys who don't typically want to be seen driving a minivan, suck it up. This one is worth it.
- What I liked most: The amazing list of standard features.
- What I would change: The button for the rear liftgate.
- MSRP: Base price $53,390, as equipped $54,885 with transportation.
- Fuel Economy: Rated at 17 city, 25 highway, and 20 combined.
- Official Color: Maximum Steel Metallic Clearcoat.
- Odometer reading when tested: 3200 miles.
- Weight: 4,833 pounds, GVWR of 6300.
- Final Assembly Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
- Spare Tire: Repair kit.
- Length-Width-Height: 204.3” long/79.6” wide/70.7” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 19 gallons with the filler on the driver's side.
- Towing Capacity: 3,600 pounds.
- 2021 Pacifica Pinnacle in a few words: The new standard for kid hauling minivans.
- Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/60,000 miles on the power train.
- Manufacturer’s website: www.Chrysler.com