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With more and more Americans flocking to buy SUVs as the ideal family mobile, you might assume the minivan has become a thing of the past. But there are a few contenders left in this vehicle segment. Two of the most popular are the Chrysler Pacifica and the Toyota Sienna.

For 2021, both of these vans bring awesome features and amenities. Designed for families ready to haul people and things, the Chrysler Pacifica has always proven to be the top choice in this class. But can the 2021 Toyota Sienna dethrone the versatile Pacifica this year?

Back when minivans were the ultimate family vehicles

A Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid on display at an auto show
A Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid on display | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Before the sport utility vehicles took over as the family vehicle of choice, there was only one true family vehicle. The minivan was a must-have for American families, with its sliding doors, tons of cargo space, and reasonable fuel efficiency.

For almost two decades, the minivan was the ultimate soccer-mom, grocery-getting, and family vacation vehicle of choice.

The Chrysler Pacifica’s reputation for being the best

Despite the surge in SUV popularity, minivans are still very popular family choices. Honda, Kia, Toyota, and Chrysler all continue to produce safe, fuel-efficient, and family-friendly contenders.

But among the critics, like Motor Trend, and minivan-buying families, the Chrysler Pacifica has always seemed to lead the pack. Jam-packed with comfort and convenience amenities and now offering a hybrid variation, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is demonstrating that it plans to stay the head of the class.

But the 2021 Toyota Sienna, not to be outdone, is the only other minivan with a hybrid configuration. And it appears the Sienna is ready to challenge the Pacifica for the throne as the best minivan.

The 2021 Toyota Sienna is closing the gap

In a head-to-head comparison, the 2021 Toyota Sienna might be closing the gap on the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica. The Sienna makes occupants feel more like they’re sitting in their family living room than a vehicle, with its roster of lavish extras. And the 2021 Toyota Sienna is the only hybrid minivan option that offers an all-wheel drive selection.

Safety is an essential priority for Toyota, and the Sienna has a class-leading ten standard airbags and tons of driver assistance features. The Sienna makes folding seats to leverage the cargo space much easier, as well, by reducing the overall weight of the third-row seats.

Ergonomic design is evident most up front, with unique trays and storage areas, perfect for mom purses, kids’ tablets, and extra road snacks. This smart use of layout and space, according to Motor Trend, is far better than the design layout of the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica.

Why the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica might deserve to keep its crown

Despite the steep competition on its heels from the 2021 Toyota Sienna, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica might prove it still deserves to keep the crown.

Reviews point out an unrivaled peaceful ride, amazing fuel economy, and family-friendly technology keeps the Pacifica on the gold podium. It’s the little things, too, like the super-quiet cabin due to the extensive soundproofing materials and smart use of acoustic glass. And the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica’s upgraded infotainment platform outshines the seemingly outdated tech in the Toyota Sienna.

If your busy family has been considering a minivan upgrade, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica will provide everything, no really everything, you need in a family vehicle. You’ll have a smooth and quiet ride, amazing fuel efficiency with the hybrid, all the latest tech and driver aids, and a super-convenient use of seating and cargo.

The 2021 Toyota Sienna certainly stepped up its game this year. But it isn’t enough to ultimately dethrone the king of the minivans – the mighty Chrysler Pacifica.


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