Chrysler Pacifica is the Ultimate Family Vehicle

The Chrysler Pacifica is the Meryl Streep of cars — just about sweeps every awards show. Yes, the Chrysler Pacifica has won more than 140 titles and awards as the best minivan since it was introduced in 2016, including North African Utility of the Year, Best Minivan (“MotorWeek”), Best Family Car (“Good Housekeeping:) and Best Minivan to Buy in 2021 by “The Car Connection”.
   And, it may be a little far fetched — but not by much — to say that it has upheld the minivan category against a consumer swing toward SUV. But this vehicle is amazing and deserves all the honors it gets.
   The Pacifica Limited AWD has conquered the minivan competition but it’s ready to tackle the SUV with this 2021 new all-wheel-drive (AWD) that adds another dimension and appeal as the ultimate family car, especially in those areas where all-wheel drive isn’t a luxury. It offers the only fully automatic AWD system in its segment capable of transferring 100 percent of the available engine torque to the rear wheels or whatever wheels have more available traction. Families now have the space provided by a minivan with the grip and traction holding — not to mention peace of mind — that AWD brings.
    The AWD didn’t stop the pep. This minivan may be large but it can move. It goes to 60 miles per hour in about 7.3 seconds, which is impressive. It boasts 287 horsepower with a nine-speed automatic transmission. It gets 17 miles per hour in the city; 25 on the highway.
    Putting in AWD isn’t the only change to the 2021 model. A little much-needed styling was added and the technology has been upgraded as well. In terms of looks, it seems as it went on a diet as it is slimmer and cleaner looking. A new mesh grille design adds a touch of youth and, while it still says “minivan,” it no longer is screaming it. The inside is a bit more modern and with almost a futuristic look with large quilted caramel Nappa leather trimmed seats connecting the large panels. The second-row headsets are a nice touch as are the little pillows. The touchscreen grew a couple of inches — from 8.4 inches to 10.1 inches and now runs with the latest Connect 5 system, another upgrade.
    We found the navigation easy to use and the home screen a delight. Also new is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both standard, and a new FamCam feature where the driver gets a birds-eye view of the rear seats and the potentially unruly passengers.
    One of the great features of this minivan is the rear entertainment system that allows the kids to stream music and videos from a smartphone as well as add games. Another thing we loved was the plug-in capability — there are 12 USB-C and USB-A ports.
   Continuing the theme of new changes, driver-assistance features were added as standard equipment including automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.
   This is a roomy car. It seats seven with a passenger volume of 165 cubic feet and interior cargo volume of 140.5.  It’s also easy to get in and out with a second row Easy Tilt Seating feature that lets passengers access the third row with a simple lift of a lever.  It is also the only minivan in its class that offers Stow ’n Go Seating where the second and third row seats fold into the floor. It’s a straight line for cargo.The second row seats easily tilt forward even with a rear-facing child seat installed. Storage spaces are all over the minivan and the back features a vacuum cleaner. They think of everything!
   The Pacifica Limited AWD starts at $48,390 and ours, with the destination charge, tallied $49.885. There is a lot of value and standard equipment that would be add-ons in other vehicles. There’s a reason why the Pacifica has a large trophy room.

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