A vehicle’s safety is important, especially to families. And two vehicles popular with families are the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica. Both minivans have a reputation for safety, comfort, and convenience.
But is one safer than the other? Which safety features does each offer? And how did each perform in safety tests?
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica
You get a choice of a 3.6-liter V6 engine making 287 hp or a hybrid with a 3.6-liter V6 that gets only 260 hp. The hybrid powertrain has two electric motors and a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery for backup. You can fold down the second and third rows of seats to convert the Pacifica into a cargo van for hauling larger items when needed.
When it comes to safety, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica isn’t an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+. It passed all the crash tests but scored an “Acceptable” instead of a “Good” rating for its structure and safety cage. However, it earned the highest five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
As for safety features, the Pacifica has just about every driver assist. It comes standard with automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic warning, and adaptive cruise control with lane-departure alert. You also get lane-keep assist and full-speed forward collision warning with active braking function, standard along with LED fog lamps, headlights, and taillights.
The 2021 Honda Odyssey
The 2021 Honda Odyssey is also an ideal vehicle for families. Like the Pacifica, it’s spacious and capable. Whether you’re going on an open-road adventure or taking the kids to school, this minivan is versatile with a comfortable, spirited drive.
Packing a smooth-shifting V6 engine, the Odyssey has enough power for what you need to do, Car and Driver reports. The interior is roomy, with plenty of space for everyone and their gear or for hauling and moving jobs.
The 2021 Honda Odyssey is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. It earned top marks on all its tests but got an “Acceptable” rating for headlights. Car and Driver noted the 2022 model wasn’t a Top Safety Pick. The 2021 Odyssey also garnered a five-star rating from the NHTSA.
And like the Pacifica, it’s loaded with advanced safety features. In 2021, the Odyssey got a backseat reminder system that prompts the driver to check it before leaving the vehicle. Bonus: The alerts are audible and visual. And the upper Touring and Elite trims come with a camera to show the back rows.
The Honda Sensing suite now comes standard on all Odyssey trims instead of just the EX and higher. Active safety features include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with lane-keep assist, traffic sign recognition, and more.
Which minivan is safer?
Both minivans offer the convenience, comfort, and safety that families need. But a slight edge goes to the Honda Odyssey for a few reasons.
Yes, the 2021 Honda Odyssey is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. Examining the IIHS tests for the Odyssey and Pacifica, remember that the Pacifica got an Acceptable rating for its structure and safety cage, whereas the Odyssey earned the top rating.
Both minivans offer a plethora of advanced safety features. But the 2021 Odyssey has an advantage by offering the Honda Sensing suite standard on all trim levels. The backseat reminder system is also an important advantage for active families.
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica starts at $36,690. It’s undeniably an excellent minivan with the style and refinement the Odyssey lacks. But with a starting price of $32,965, the 2021 Honda Odyssey offers great value and does safety a bit better.