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How Chrysler Is Trying to Keep the Minivan Alive and Well

With the rise of SUVs and trucks, other car body types have been put on notice. For some automakers, like Honda, that means cutting back on sedans and focusing on SUVs. For other automakers, it means ignoring minivans entirely. However, Fiat Chrysler is making a big bet on minivans. Here’s how.

The new 2021 Chrysler Pacifica

As Trucks.com reported, Fiat Chrysler showed off its new 2021 Pacifica minivan at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show. This 2021 Pacifica has a lot of changes that Fiat Chrysler hopes will reinvigorate the minivan segment that has been largely beaten by the booming SUV and pickup truck segments. 

One of the most significant changes to the Pacifica is visual. Fiat Chrysler knows and understands the stereotypes about minivans. Minivans simply aren’t cool for most Americans, but with this new design, Fiat Chrysler hopes that the 2021 Pacifica will be a cool minivan for once. 

Of course, your mileage may vary in terms of how cool you think it looks, but Trucks.com says that Fiat Chrysler is intentionally giving the 2021 Pacifica an “SUV look.” Additionally, Fiat Chrysler is going all-in on making minivans cool by adding a premium trim level to the 2021 Pacifica. Trucks.com says that this trim is called the Pinnacle trim, and it’s designed to compete with the premium trims of luxury SUVs. Some of the changes include leather front seats as well as leather pillows for its rear seats.

Other new changes

Chrysler shows off the 2021 Pacifica at the Chicago Auto Show on February 06, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Some of the other new changes, according to Consumer Reports, are purely technological. For instance, the 2021 Pacifica will come standard with a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, which Trucks.com says is the largest touchscreen that’s available in minivans. But, in addition to that, Fiat Chrysler is giving the 2021 Pacifica its brand-new Uconnect 5 infotainment system. 

Uconnect 5 boasts a ton of new features, according to Consumer Reports. For example, not only will it have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, but it’ll also have the Amazon Alexa digital assistant as standard. Consumer Reports says that Alexa will allow drivers to do many things with just their voice, including locking, unlocking, and starting their car while they’re at home.

On top of that, Uconnect 5 comes standard with a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot that also gives the 2021 Pacifica over-the-air update capability. Over-the-air updates are something that very few cars can do right now, and Tesla’s cars are some of the few cars that have that capability. 

Other smart features that the 2021 Pacifica has includes an interior camera system that allows the people in the front seats to watch and monitor the people in the backseats. This feature is particularly great for families as parents won’t have to look over their shoulders to watch their kids. 

The 2021 Pacifica will also have all-wheel drive

And, as both Consumer Reports and Trucks.com reported, the 2021 Pacifica will finally have all-wheel drive. This is a very important upgrade, as it not only makes the Pacifica a sporty minivan, but it also allows many people in states that have harsh winters to consider buying the 2021 Pacifica. 

All-wheel drive is a necessity in many places of the country, and SUVs and pickup trucks that either offer all-wheel drive or have it as standard simply beat any minivan. But now, as Trucks.com reported, Fiat Chrysler is finally offering all-wheel drive on a minivan for the first time in over 15 years. 

This change will not only make the 2021 Pacifica cool in an SUV sense, but it’ll also make it a very capable minivan. For most Americans, practicality and capability are what matter the most, and this upgrade will make the 2021 Pacifica a very strong competitor for America’s wallets.