The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica facelift has debuted at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show.
Rumors of an all-wheel-drive Chrysler Pacifica have been brewing for a long time now. The AWD version of Chrysler's popular minivan was expected to arrive as part of a mid-cycle refresh last year, but Chrysler has kept silent - until now. As the snow falls outside the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica facelift has arrived with some big changes including the long-awaited all-wheel-drive system.
Chrysler claims the 2021 Pacifica has the most advanced and most capable all-wheel-drive system in its class, providing extra traction in a wide range of driving and road conditions, from dry pavement to snow-covered roads and non-paved surfaces. It also engages seamlessly without requiring driver activation. This is the first time an AWD system has been available in a Chrysler minivan since 2004. To make sure it lives up to expectations, Chrysler tested the system with more than one million customer-driven equivalent miles.
According to Chrysler, the Pacifica's AWD system is the only one in the segment capable of transferring all available engine torque to the rear wheels, or whichever wheels have more available traction. It can also sense and stop the drive shaft from spinning when AWD is not required to improve efficiency and reduce emissions.
The AWD system also has a brake-lock differential system to help enhance traction, with fully automatic torque distribution between each wheel. If one wheel on an axle loses traction, the system applies the brake to the low-traction wheel and redirects torque through the differential to the wheel with more traction. Chrysler's AWD system will be available across all four gas-powered Chrysler Pacifica trims, including Touring, Touring L, Limited and Pinnacle.
In addition to the new AWD system, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica's styling has been refreshed thanks to a new 3D diamond-style grille with gloss black upper grille accents and a new bright chrome grille surround. Other exterior updates include new standard LED headlights and LED taillights that run the entire width of the minivan. A choice of 17-inch, 18-inch, and 20-inch wheels are available in a range of finishes and a new Fathom Blue finish has been added to the exterior color options.
Inside, the cabin has been upgraded with a new 10.1-inch touchscreen featuring a Uconnect 5 infotainment system, which is the largest standard touchscreen in its class and nearly 20 percent larger than the screen it replaces with processing speeds up to five times faster than the previous generation. Among the connected services it includes are Amazon Alexa support, Tom-Tom navigation, SiriusXM with 360L, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also new for the 2021 Pacifica is a FamCAM interior camera positioned above the cabin allowing drivers to monitor what's happening in the back.
As before, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is available with two powertrains: a Pentastar V6 gasoline engine with 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque and a hybrid version with an all-electric range of more than 30 miles and a total range of more than 500 miles.
Topping the range is a new luxurious Pinnacle trim, which adds a new Ultra center console with 13.65 liters of overall storage, an increase of 4.55 liters and a third more than the current model, along with Nappa seats and second-row captain's chairs. The Ultra center console seamlessly blends into the instrument panel and allows for the armrest to be relocated from the seats to the console.
A total of 97 safety features come as standard, including pedestrian automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, rear park assist, adaptive cruise control with full stop, electronic stability control, forward collision warning with full stop, lane departure warning, eight airbags and more. Pricing hasn't been confirmed yet, but sales of the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica will start in Q3 2020 before first deliveries begin in Q4 2020.