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Any thoughts on the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica?

I see Chrysler is coming out with a brand new 2021
Pacifica Mini Van – would anyone buy one of these?

Well , I guess FCA thinks someone will . Only time will tell if they sell .

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I would not.
I would avoid the first year of any ‘all new’ vehicles.
Doubly so for FCA.


@Purebred’s comment is exactly my thoughts as well.

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I sure wouldn’t buy anything from Chrysler as long as they’re part of Fiat.

In a recent issue, Consumer Reports detailed how several previously-reliable models took a drastic downturn in reliability when they were redesigned. For your own sanity, I strongly suggest that you not buy a “new” design vehicle from any mfr during its first year of production.

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What would happen if everybody followed that suggestion? Would new car sales completely dry up at some point?

It would never happen that “everybody” would follow that suggestion. The smart/well-informed people would follow it, but not that many people fall into that category when it comes to cars.

Think about this:
For a couple of decades, GM used first and second year car owners to–in effect–be their reliability/durability testing staff while they consistently brought vehicles to market that hadn’t been adequately tested.
When GM introduced new models, they were usually pretty good in year 3 or 4, and they tended to be very good by year 5. In year 1 or year 2, they were almost always a disaster in terms of reliability and/or durability.

And yet, there were always enough uninformed people who bought their first-year designs so that the company was able to be profitable.

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The Pacifica minivan that was supposed to replace the town and country and Dodge Grand Caravan was by all reports great to drive and use but the kept making the old one and consumer reports said the reliability of the old one was much better.

Mechanically it’s mostly the same as the 2017+ model, with the exception of AWD being available now. The 2021 model is just a mid-cycle facelift. I probably would not buy one, partially because of the suspect FCA quality, but mostly because I’m single and have no need for a minivan.

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There were problems in 2017 and 2018, especially with the hybrid. I almost bought one in 2019. Mrs JT wanted an Odyssey, and that’s what we bought. The Chrysler is a really nice van. The hybrid has more comfortable middle seats, but they don’t fold into the floor. Check on to see complaints for the 2020 and 2019 model years.

Why would you buy the “brand new” 2021 Pacifica, when you can still buy a new 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan? The Caravan is a lot cheaper, and a tried-and-true design. You will probably be a lot happier with the Caravan.

There are always people that want the newest vehicle on the street.

I used to be like that, until buying a 1981 Chevy citation.


I remember hearing about that car. The car that turned an entire generation into Honda and Toyota buyers for life.

The first year of an engine from GM had some teething problems back in the 1950s. The Buick nailhead V-8, introduced in the Super and Roadmaster in 1953 had a long break-in period before the rings would seat. This led to oil consumption problems until the rings seated. Buick switched to a different piston ring later in the model year. The 265 V-8 which was a new engine in the 1955 Chevrolet had some problems initially, particularly with the rocker arms. The 287 V-8 which replaced.the flathead 6 and V-8 engines in the 1955 Pontiac had problems as I found out the hard way.
I had a colleague who bought one of the first Chevrolet Citations with the four cylinder engine and a 4 speed manual transmission. He had all kinds of problems with clutches and the transmission and the CV joints. The engine seemed to be trouble free, however. He managed to drive his Citation 100,000 miles. The university where I was employed had several Citations in its fleet. I used it a couple.of times to pick up guest speakers at an airport 55 miles away and take the speakers back to catch their flights. I thought they drove reasonably well for the time period. There were Plymouth and Dodge K-cars in the university fleet that I liked better.
I thought about shopping around for a Chrysler Pacifica hybrid when I bought the 2017 Toyota Sienna I now have. However, I have never been able to get a good price on a car from my local Chrysler product dealer and I have had good service from the Toyota dealer on my previous 2011 Toyota Sienna, that I stayed with the Sienna. The hybrid minivan idea appealed to me, but even in retirement, or especially in retirement, I have so much going on that I don’t want to mess with having to take a car to the shop all the time. In fact, I am looking for a job to retire from retirement.

The Grand Caravan is a lot less expensive because it is a 12 year old design. 2020 is the last year of production. It will be replaced by the Chrysler Voyager, which is really the low trim levels of the Pacifica. I test drove the Grand Caravan and the Pacifica in 2009, and the Pacifica is well worth the difference in price IMO.

I remember the Car and driver road test of the then new Citation The author absolutely loved it.

The same author flew some place and rented one and said it was a POS. Upon investigation C & D said the Citations supplied for road tests had fully welded body seams while the production cars were spot welded.

Of course GM also supplied Pontiac GTOs for road thests with either 421 or 428 engines modified by Royal Pontiac of Detroit in place of the stock 389.

When I mentioned the “396” Chevelles in another thread, the first ones actually came with 366 cube GMC truck engines because the 402 cube engine were not ready. They all had 396 badges because GM had said they would not put anything larger than 400 in an intermediate.

The 2020 Grand Caravan isn’t being sold in every state due to emissions standards. Other than a low price for the Caravan the Pacifica is a much better van.

If you’re hoping to get your hands on one of the final 2020 Grand Caravans new from a dealer’s lot, the deck is stacked against you. Dodge says that the new van won’t be available in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington for the remainder of its production run due to emissions regulations.

As other’s have said the main change is the AWD option. Could be a good alternative to buying a Suv. My dad drove the plug in version awhile back at one of those shopping mall parking lot events promoting plug in hybrids and it was very nice but another minivan was not on his shopping list.