An excellent load-lugger and people-mover. There are few more comfortable ways to transport large numbers of people than in a Pacifica. Chrysler has used all its know-how to create a truly flexible interior with decades of experience in the minivan sector (the Pacifica effectively replaces the fleet-only Voyager).

It’s possible to seat eight adults in relative comfort throughout Pacifica’s high-roofed cabin, but the real beauty of this minivan is its versatility. For instance, you can have a middle-row bench seat that drops down into the floor, or two captain’s chairs. Hybrid and flagship Pinnacle models aside, second and third-row seats drop into the floor to create a flat and spacious loading bay resembling a small van, with over 140 cubic feet of space. You can slide an 8’ by 4’ plywood panel through the wide tailgate, while those wheel-arch-flanking sliding side doors deliver excellent access.

Substance that’s not at the expense of style. It’s hard to make a minivan look sleek, but Chrysler has done a pretty good job. In silver, the Pacifica looks especially smart, with chrome wrapping around the triple windows, while the higher of the two door grooves incorporate adjacent handles for the front and sliding rear doors. There’s an elegance to its appearance, particularly from rear angles – parking this on your driveway isn’t an admission that you’ve given up caring about aesthetics.

The interior is equally pleasing. Higher trims feature soft Nappa leather and plenty of toys, while those second-row captain’s chairs are ideal for transporting surly teenagers in the style they’ll undoubtedly feel they deserve. These seats are standard on Hybrid and Pinnacle models, and although the latter’s price is nudging $55,000, it feels worth the money.

Plenty of toys. Having ticked the style and substance boxes, it’s time to consider the equipment Chrysler loads into its Pacifica. Truth be told, there’s a two-tier hierarchy to the trims. Lower models have a different center console to the higher trims whose additional practicality would be our preference. Thoughtful touches include pillows for middle-seat occupants, with a heated steering wheel on all trims, while the 10-inch infotainment system is fully smartphone compatible. You can also add options packs to introduce rear-seat entertainment and improve the stock audio system.

Standard safety can be enhanced as well, courtesy of automatic parking systems and surround-view cameras, though it’s not really necessary. Every model has automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and active lane control. The Pacifica has earned a five-star NHTSA rating and a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS.

Fuel for thought. In its standard gas-powered guise, Pacifica’s fuel economy won’t impress the hard of spending. Its 3.6-liter V6 manages 22 mpg combined in front-wheel-drive models and a disappointing 20 mpg with optional all-wheel drive. Hybrids boost this to 30 mpg combined, thanks in part to a detuned V6. Economy is still underwhelming, though it is possible to drive for over 30 miles on electric power alone – ideal for school drop-offs or urban commutes.

Final thoughts. It’s normally quite easy to find points of criticism with cars, but the Pacifica is a thoroughly likable vehicle. It’s not pretending to be anything other than a roomy and well-equipped people carrier, and it executes those duties very impressively. It has a smooth ride, a comfortable interior packed with toys, exceptional practicality, and decent driving manners. Tweaks for 2022 have improved the standard specification with better air filtration and heating elements in the front seats and steering wheel. It’s a worthy rival to the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey.

Our complaints are few and far between. The higher trims make sense for their additional specifications. Still, you can’t get a flat floor on either the flagship Pinnacle or the Hybrid – which is the only model that returns decent fuel economy. Prices also rise quite quickly as you move up the range, and it’s doubtful people would look at a fully-loaded Pinnacle model and believe it cost the best part of $60,000. We’d also recommend avoiding the 20-inch wheels, which are the best way to ruin an otherwise compliant ride.

Check prices for the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica »