2021 Chrysler Pacifica AWD
2021 Chrysler Pacifica AWD

Chrysler’s popular Pacifica minivan is set to get even more popular with the addition of new features introduced at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show.

Although not the only significant change, certainly the most notable is the availability of AWD — making Pacifica only the second current minivan offering it, joining the Toyota Sienna. While it “officially” comes in on the 2021 models to be introduced in the fourth quarter of this year, Chrysler says it will be available a few months earlier on special 2020 model-year Pacifica AWD Launch Editions.

2021 Chrysler Pacifica AWD

Chrysler notes that the AWD system is designed to primarily be front-wheel drive for better fuel economy, but will automatically send power to the rear wheels not only when the front wheels slip, but preemptively when temperatures are low, the wipers are activated, or the throttle is given the boot. AWD will be available on all trim levels for 2021, and it comes with standard self-sealing 18-inch tires, with self-sealing 20-inchers being optional. Also notable is that AWD can be paired with Pacifica’s unique Stow ‘n Go seating, which allows the second-row seats to be folded into the floor.

Shown in Chicago were 2021 Pacifica models featuring several new features along with a new top-line Pinnacle trim level. Newly standard on Pacificas will be LED lighting, 10.1-inch touchscreen with Alexa compatibility, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, along with a revised grille, headlamps, and taillamps.

Pinnacle joins Touring, Touring L, and Limited models for 2021. Pinnacle will offer quilted caramel-colored Nappa leather upholstery in all three rows along with a special Ultra console that flows into the instrument panel, providing what Chrysler says is the most-functional console in its class. Meanwhile, Limited models will get a Premium console with dual-level storage. Also for 2021, the Hybrid will now be a powertrain option, meaning equipment levels will mirror those of comparable front-drive gas models.

Newly available for 2021 will be wireless Apple CarPlay (joining wireless Android Auto), USB-C ports (joining “regular” USB ports for a total of up to 12), and FamCam interior camera, which allows front-seaters to view the rear-seat area, including rear-facing child seats.

CG Says:

Already a winner — and a Consumer Guide® Best Buy — the Pacifica significantly ups its game for 2021. While those in the northern states may feel the availability of AWD to be the headline news, everyone should appreciate the new standard features, and those with small children may be drawn to the FamCam. It’s rather like slathering frosting on an already-tasty cake.

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