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2021 Chrysler Pacifica Interior Review

Chrysler Pacifica Full Overview

Forget Get Shorty’s dust-buster Olds Silhouette, this 2021 Chrysler Pacifica interior makes it “the Cadillac of Minivans.” That’s our assessment after recently crawling all over a pair of upper-trim Pacificas. In fact, its diamond-stitched upholstery might qualify the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle for consideration as the Bentley of minivans. Here’s our assessment of the midcycle-refreshed sixth generation of Earth’s most popular minivan. (At 15 million and counting, maybe it’s actually the Toyota Corolla of minivans.)

Color Us Impressed

Sure, you can get an all-black interior if you’re into the Dieter/Schprockets aesthetic, but in these dour times, a splash of color really heightens one’s mood, so most Pacificas get some contrast color. Our favorite hue is Rodèo Red—a Coach bag/lipstick shade applied to all the Nappa leather seating surfaces, accented with light gray piping and white stitching. This $195 option must be bundled with the $795 S appearance package on the penultimate Limited trim grade.

Touring and Touring L models all offer “Alloy” light gray doors and lower dash with a choice of black or “Cognac” cloth seats, upper dash, and door armrests. You must pay extra for an all-black interior in “premium cloth” or leather.

Stepping up to Limited adds another color scheme in addition to Rodèo Red: Deep Mocha with black. And springing for the Pinnacle model gets you the diamond quilted Caramel Nappa leather with black dash and door trim.

Grain, Gloss, Materials

Chrysler is gunning to be America’s Audi, in terms of interior style and materials—or at least materials appearance. An interesting case in point: the door upper panels on the Rodèo Red Limited S and Pinnacle models sampled look quite similar, with each featuring a row of French stitching in contrast color thread running across a low-gloss, handsomely grained material. And yet to the touch, the Limited’s panel feels like molded plastic while the Pinnacle’s feels like soft material you could sew. Neither looks shiny or cheap. That’s a miracle of modern technology. And all Pacificas get a soft-touch instrument panel with contrast stitching.

I’m not overly fond of the Pinnacle’s “Mid-century Timber” hydro-dipped wood-tone trim around the dash and door pulls, primarily because they went with a super high-gloss finish. A Danish modern matte finish would seem more appropriate. Limited and lower models get a more metallic-look hydro-dipped trim. There’s also some piano black here and there, which hopefully will resist scratches more like a lacquered Steinway and less like plastic.

Oh, and in the Pinnacle you get Berber style floor mats and gen-U-wine diamond-quilt-stitched Nappa leather on all three rows of seating, not to mention those precious lumbar pillows (the backsides of which are a suede material that matches the headliner—see what we mean about Bentley?!). Note that the lower trim series do not get this miracle stitching, and their rear compartment plastics are a touch shiny.

Comfort

You get what you pay for and paying the Pinnacle premium ($5,000 versus Limited) buys richer and more supportive padding in the front two rows. The second row feels a lot better padded and bolstered—so much so that the seats can no longer fold into the floor. (And a note about those cute lumbar pillows: I can’t sit comfortably on them, so they’re likely to get ousted from these vans.) The Pinnacle captain’s chairs gain a fore/aft sliding function that permits an equitable apportioning of legroom between rows two and three. Other slight bonuses: Since the seats don’t fold into these wells, the access lids to the storage bins are redesigned so they can be opened without moving the front seats forward. The seats also tilt and slide well forward, providing a bit more foot room when climbing in back than you get when tilting the Stow ‘n Go seats forward.

My backside finds the disappearing seat comfortable enough, though, so I’d personally be reluctant to sacrifice Stow ‘n Go and the flexibility it provides.

Another comfort enhancer is the power-reclining third-row seat, which comes standard on Limited and Pinnacle (excluding Hybrids). The seats also stow and erect themselves at the touch of a button in about 18 seconds, and control-freaky parents can disable the recline function from the info screen.

Presuming a quiet cabin enhances your comfort, improvements in body and door sealing, thicker glass, and more hush the cabin enough to improve speech intelligibility by 6-8 percent in all trim grades.

Convenience

Loading people and cargo is eased by hands-free power opening of the sliding doors and liftgate—both come standard on Limited and Pinnacle and are available in the $2,995 Uconnect Family Theater group on the Touring L trim.

Charging ports galore are provided in all trims, with USB-A and -C ports paired throughout the vehicle and a wireless charging pad integrated into the newer, bigger consoles featured on Limited and Pinnacle. Base vehicles get six, up-level trims with rear-seat entertainment get 11, and those without it get 12.

Parents can easily keep tabs on rear-compartment kiddoes using either the parabolic mirror in the overhead center console, or the FamCam—a fisheye camera that comes bundled with the rear-entertainment system and provides an overhead view of all five rear seats. There’s even an option to zoom in on one seat in particular. And don’t forget Stow ‘n Vac to suck up those Cheerios before they get ground in. It comes standard on non-Hybrid Limited and Pinnacle models or bundled with the Uconnect Theater Family Group on Touring L (and it’s reportedly more powerful than the HondaVac in the Odyssey).

Screens

An upgrade to the Uconnect 5 system on all models enlarges the infotainment screen from 8.4 to 10.1 inches and triples its resolution. Built on an Android operating system, it integrates full Amazon Alexa voice assistant functionality along with wireless CarPlay and Android Auto and available TomTom navigation with over-the-air updates of maps and firmware. It even offers a higher degree of personalization and customization than 99 percent of owners will have the patience to program. Six different user profiles can be set, memorizing preferences for music, seat settings, comfort and vehicle operation. Two phones can also now be connected simultaneously.

Meanwhile, the optional 10.1-inch screens in the back seat add four new games to the 11 previously offered, aimed at amusing adults as well as kids: Concentration, Chrysler Says, backgammon, and chess—for those budding Queen’s Gambit prodigies. These games strengthen the case for paying the premium for built-in screens, when tablets are so much cheaper.

Stowage

Two new, larger consoles on top models feature a drawer accessible by second-row passengers, a large open floor bin between the driver and passenger footwells plus a roomy bin accessed by a roll-top lid on Limited and by a wide, padded armrest on Pinnacle. Total stowage is said to be half a cubic foot—up 50 percent from before. The combined stowage bin capacity throughout the cabin totals 8 cubic feet. That’s in addition to the 32.3, 87.5, and 140.5 cubic feet of open stowage available behind the third, second, and front rows. Clearly, in a Pacifica, you CAN take it with you, or it wouldn’t be the Chrysler of minivans.

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