2021 Chrysler Pacifica Gains New Trim, All-Wheel Drive

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - February 7, 2020

If there’s a body style that has suffered at the hands of SUVs, it’s the poor minivan. Consumers see SUVs with their higher ride heights and available all-wheel-drive systems as being safer, more capable family vehicles. For quite a few years, the Toyota Sienna was the only minivan offered with all-wheel drive. That changes, as the redesigned Chrysler Pacifica now has an available all-wheel-drive system, marking the first time one of Chrysler’s minivan has been able to send power to all four wheels since 2004.

Consumers looking to get a Pacifica with all-wheel drive are confined to the gas-powered models only; plug-in hybrid variants are still front-wheel-drive only. All-wheel-drive minivans retain Chrysler’s excellent Stow ‘n Go rear seats, ensuring they maintain the same level of versatility and usability as front-wheel-drive models. For times when road conditions don’t require all-wheel drive, Pacifica’s system can disconnect the power transfer unit and the rear-drive module for improved efficiency. Interestingly, the system can even route 100% of the engine’s power to the rear wheels if it deems it necessary.

All-wheel drive isn’t the only thing the redesign has brought for the 2021 Pacifica. The minivan wears a new design, featuring a brawnier look thanks to a smaller grille and narrower LED headlights. The rear end adopts a cleaner appearance with a new LED taillight that stretches the full width of the van. It’s a very Porsche-esque design that helps the Pacifica look more upscale.

Further helping the Pacifica with its high-end feel is a new Pinnacle trim. The Pinnacle is the new top-ranking trim in the family, which also includes the Touring, Touring L, and Limited. The upscale trim brings quilted Nappa leather upholstery, lumbar throw pillows for the second row, and a unique integrated Ultra console. The latter has been redesigned to look more like a traditional center console and be more aesthetically pleasing. Think of the Pinnacle as Chrysler’s competitor to the Honda Odyssey Elite.

Chrysler Pacifica

The new Pacifica receives a hefty update when it comes to technology. The minivan is Chrysler’s first product to come with the automaker’s Uconnect 5 infotainment system. Other tech goodies included with the new system include a 10.1-inch touchscreen, Amazon Alexa, over-the-air updates, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the ability to connect two phones simultaneously with Bluetooth.

In addition to the cool tech features for the infotainment system, the Pacifica can be fitted with two seatback touchscreens that also measure in at 10.1 inches to keep passengers entertained on long drives. A new FamCAM provides drivers with a view of the rear seats and displays the image on the infotainment screen. You can even zoom in on a specific seat or split the views.

Chrysler has bolstered Pacifica’s list of safety features for 2021. The minivan comes with more safety equipment as standard, with Chrysler claiming 97 features come with every Pacifica. A few of those features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and much more.

When it comes to performance, the 2021 Pacifica continues to utilize the same two powertrains as before. The standard combination is a 287-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that’s paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid comes with the same engine and two electric motors that are paired to a 16.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Before the refresh, the Pacifica was one of our favorite minivans. We’re sure that sentiment will only grow stronger after getting some hands-on time with the vehicle. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but the additions of more features should result in a higher price tag. Still, the addition of all-wheel drive, more standard safety features, a more high-tech infotainment system, and a more luxurious trim make the 2021 Pacifica even more appealing.

Learn more about the Chrysler Pacifica »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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