Pacifica vs. Sienna

We are looking for 4WD Minivan to be safe in Colorado Winter. Our options are Sienna or Pacifica. They look both appealing to us based on Youtube videos. We like to test drive them next week or the following week. I wonder anybody has any strong opinion on one of them. Also How do you compare the maintenance cost of a Toyota Sienna and a Chrysler Pacifica?

Thank you all in advance!

I owned a 2011 Sienna and now own a 2017 Sienna. Neither have 4WD. My son now has the 2011 Sienna and it has logged about 130,000 miles. The two repairs have been a water pump at 90,000 and an alternator at am125,000 miles. At 34,000 miles, I have had no repairs on the 2011 Sienna. I have had no experience with Chrysler minivans.

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I have a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan and I have spent many hours at the dealer. I have 42000 miles.

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I like the Chrysler vans for their versatility and I find they fit me better, but the Toyota Vans definitely average less frequent repairs. If you are buying new the Toyota traditionally depreciates slower, if you are buying used, the faster depreciation of the Chrysler is to your benefit. If you ever want it to haul things, the stow and go seats in the Pacifica are wonderful.

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FWIW motortrend ranked the Pacifica as the number one minivan and then the Sienna as second. They don’t care much about reliability though.
As mentioned, if it was me, I would try and get a good deal on a used Pacifica, that is if you liked it during the test drive.

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Pacifica is renowned for cheap used prices in want ads. For a reason.
A Pacifica is comparable to a Venza. Look at that too.

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I doubt there is much difference if buying new . Of course you did not say new or used . If used then there is not a way to tell because not all used vehicle of any brand have the same problems all the time.

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The New Venza (2021) is considered a Luxury Rav4. Same platform (engine and drivetrain)…but it only comes as a hybrid and more like a Lexus.

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You get the quality and piece of mind for years when buying a Toyota vehicule.The Chrysler will depreciate so much in the first 3 years that you will get little when its time to trade it in.

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I think @Cavell is thinking about the old Pacifica, not the newer minivan that uses the same name.

Edmunds estimates the maintenance for the 2020 Pacifica at $3849 for the first five years. They estimate the 2020 Sienna costs at $5083 for the same period. Pacifica repairs are expected to be $994 and Sienna repairs could be $797. You can read about how they calculate their estimates at, True Cost to Own. The repair costs are skewed low because they have the full factory warranty included. You could use the ratio of the two to estimate repairs for later years. You might also look at repair costs for older, out of warrant Siennas and Pacificas to get a better idea, but 2020 is the first year for the Pacifica AWD minivan. Again, a ratio of 2WD vans could tell you how much more repairs might be on a Pacifica.

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On, the Pacifica/Town and Country is worse than the Sienna:

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Wife has a 2014 Grand caravan which uses the same engine as the Pacifica and the only issues in 105000 miles has been a cracked oil cooler which was under warranty and now it has a check engine light on and it is a P0128 code which is going to be a thermostat . I think the Pacifica uses a 9 speed auto versus the 6 speed in the wifes car which has less than stellar shift characteristics but it has not had any issues so far . Myself I run the same engine in my 20 Durango behind a 8 speed auto and it is one of the best engine transmissions setups I have driven . Have about 11000 miles on that , no issues . Quality wise I have not seen any major issues with FCA’s products . Most makers have reasonable quality if you take care of them . If 2020 is the first year for AWD on Chryslers mini then I would give them a year or two to get the bugs out .

I haven’t really paid attention to Motor Trend as a serious source of independent automotive journalism since it became obvious that Car of the Year was most likely based on how much money a company gave the magazine. I mean, the Caprice Classic got it in the 90’s, and the freaking Citation got it in 1980.

Some Motor Trend’s most famous cars of the year.

1971 Vega: The Vega is listed as one the top 2 most unreliable vehicles ever built.

1983 Renault Alliance: Another extremely poorly built and designed vehicle.

Motor Trends car of the car goes to the highest bidder. Sometimes it matches with a reliable vehicle.

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I wouldn’t worry much about maintenance costs on a new vehicle. And repair costs are covered by warranty. But I see nothing in the post asking about new/used.

I think the ‘stow and go’ option isn’t available with AWD on the Pacifica.

It has to be new. This is the first year for the AWD Pacifica.

When we were looking for my wife’s minivan, I drove a Pacifica hybrid and she drove the non-hybrid Pacifica. They are quiet, comfortable, have good power, and good handling for a minivan. We liked the storable second row captain’s chairs too. We ended up with the Odyssey because she felt better about a Honda vs. a FCA product, and the second row had to stow or come out. The Pacifica was new in 2017 and hasn’t been around long enough to work the first model year kinks out and show long term reliability.

There are 63 complaints for the 2019 Pacifica at and 17 for the Sienna. The 2019 Sienna is the 9th year of the third generation. This is the first year for the fourth generation Sienna and there are 3 complaints at while the 2020 Pacifica has six. It’s still early in the model year and the gap could grow or shrink.

@shadowfax; I get the the motor trend for free from a friend. You are right about their ratings. The part that is helpful is fine print. When they report something like harsh shifting, you gotta know the transmission is a disaster. Also, the long term review could be revealing. Like the car of the year being back to the dealership 6 times for a leaking sunroof.

@COROLLAGUY1; I had a rental RAV4, 2019. The transmission shifting was horrible, radio screen resolution dismal, engine noise galore. And I am used to Hyundai cars. Had a 2018 RAV for a while too. The torque converter was very whiny and the dealer didn’t want to do anything. The acknowledged the problem, but said Toyota says to keep driving it for now. It was a CPO and I had them buy it back from me. I lost the tax and registration fees, but I might live longer.

Having said that, when in doubt, if you buy a Toyota, at least you know if you don’t like it, someone will buy it from you for a decent price.

So, I am reading one issue of the motor trend. There is the long term review of the 2018 Pacifica. They say it is a good car, BUT had been in the shop for one month because they had a no start situation and the dealer couldn’t figure it out. Then the heater stopped working along with some other problem. The 2018 has the Stow and go, but the 2021 with AWD would not have this.
I am not sure the Sienna is better, but OP might also want to look at the Kia Minivan.