Model tested: 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Limited plug-in hybrid
Engine: 3.6-liter hybrid V6
Transmission: EFlite Si-EV
EPA rating: 82 MPGe/EV only, 30/combined EV & gas
Base price: $45,845
As tested: $49,835
Overview: The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica checks every luxury — and utilitarian minivan — box. Few vehicles are this outright useful. The Pacifica boasts four trim levels: Touring; Touring L; Limited; and Pinnacle, which is new for 2021. There’s also a separate Chrysler minivan, the Voyager — basically a stripped-down Pacifica. Our test driver was the plug-in hybrid version, which has an EV range of 32 miles, and this review focuses on that vehicle only.
Walkaround: The 2021 profile is basically unchanged — long, 204-inch body and short hood — and the stylish new grille offers a hint of Jaguar. LED headlights add a dash of elegance, as do the red LED taillights. While an all-wheel-drive option is offered, it’s not available on the hybrid version, unfortunately. Although our test driver had 18.5-inch, polished-aluminum wheels, 20-inch, alloy rims come with a Pacifica S appearance package.
Interior: The interior is where the Pacifica outshines all the rest. The interior is well-thought-out, with exceptional storage — including bins, cupholders and pockets for coins, pens, keys, kid’s toys and, of course, drinks. There’s also up to 12 USB (type A and C) ports available throughout the cabin. The new, 10.1-inch touchscreen governs the dash, turning it into a user-friendly infotainment center that’s bright, sharp, intuitive and easy to navigate. It also controls the optional rear-seat entertainment center, with separate screens embedded in the front seatbacks and headphones for each. In addition to the audio and climate controls, it features Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility. There’s a wide variety of interior colors usurping the usual boring grays and browns. Our test driver was tastefully appointed, with nappa leather covering the seats — which are firm and comfortable, with adjustable center armrests. Second-row buckets are standard, offering good legroom. The Pinnacle model and the hybrids feature plusher second-row captain’s chairs. The cabin feels enormous. The short hood dictates lots of space inside, with 32.3 cubic feet of cargo space with all the seats up, and 140.5 when folded.
Behind the Wheel: The Pacifica delivers ample power from its detuned, 260-horse, 3.6-liter V-6. While it’s heavier due to the batteries, acceleration is still acceptable — and don’t forget that 32 miles of all-electric range. Underneath, the Pacifica uses a car-like, independent suspension to deliver a ride that could be considered plush. The lower center of gravity enables good handling.
Bottom Line: Going down the checklist of desirable qualities of a family minivan, you won’t find any empty boxes with the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica. It sets the standard.