The updated 2021 Chrysler Pacifica entered production in Windsor, Ontario, this week, bringing with it the option of all-wheel drive to a Chrysler-branded minivan for the first time since 2004.
While Chrysler, or whatever corporate name it was going by at the time, has offered all-wheel drive on minivans in the intervening years, the 2021 Pacifica offers it in combinations not previously available, most notably pairing it with the company’s coveted Stow n’ Go folding second-row seats. Offering both of these on the same model required re-engineering the Pacifica’s exhaust and fuel system to allow room for the Stow ‘n’ Go seats to fold away into the floor.
The 2021 Pacifica’s interior has some other noteworthy additions, such as a now-standard 10.1-inch infotainment display powered by the fifth generation of the company’s Uconnect operating system. The latest infotainment suite includes upgrades to Amazon Alexa integration along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The optional FamCam helps you keep an eye on passengers in the rear seats (joining the Honda Odyssey in offering such a feature).
“FCA invented the minivan segment, and the new-for-2021 Chrysler Pacifica continues to drive our leadership and innovation,” said FCA’s Tim Kuniskis. “Whether it’s all-weather driving capability with Stow ‘n Go seating or more than 80 MPGe and no range anxiety with the only plug-in hybrid minivan in the segment, the new Chrysler Pacifica gives families what they want and options that best fit their busy lives.”
New for 2021, all-wheel drive is a long-awaited $2,995 option that brings the Touring’s price up to $39,535, while selecting the hybrid model bumps that figure to $41,490. Interestingly, the Touring and Touring L models are the only front-wheel drive, non-electrified variants of the Pacifica. Called Limited and Pinnacle, respectively, the next two are only available with one or the other, and they’re priced accordingly. The top-of-the-line all-wheel drive Pinnacle is priced in luxury car territory at $54,885, while the hybrid starts at $52,340.
It’s worth mentioning the positioning of the all-wheel drive and hybrid models is reversed as buyers move up in the trim hierarchy. Shop for a Touring L, and you’ll pay $1,155 more for a hybrid van than for one equipped with all-wheel drive. Step up to the Pinnacle model, and all-wheel drive costs $2,545 more than the hybrid system.
Those who preferred the simplicity (and lower price point) of the now-discontinued Dodge Caravan can still opt for the stripped-down Chrysler Voyager, which is effectively a Pacifica without all the fancy bits.