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It’s a common trope that once you start building a family, it’s time to buy a van. It certainly makes sense. These vehicles offer plenty of room in the cargo area and a spacious cabin and cockpit, which certainly level up your family vacations. That’s why minivans like the Chrysler Pacifica are a long-standing solution to making sure you can get everyone, and everything, comfortably to your destination. 

However, minivans aren’t the most cutting-edge choice when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. With the rise in the SUV market’s popularity, vans have started to play second fiddle where family cars are concerned. This may be why we don’t hear much about the Chrysler Pacifica, but that may be a mistake. Manufacturers put safety at the forefront of a minivan’s construction, which is why some herald the Chrysler Pacifica as the best SUV for families.

The Chrysler Pacifica certainly has a lot to offer, as it’s considered by many experts to be one of the best minivans on the market. But is it safe enough to be entrusted with your family’s lives? 

Let’s take a closer look at the Chrysler Pacifica and analyze if it is a contender when it comes to protecting your family.

The Chrysler Pacifica is safer than ever before

A blue 2021 Chrysler Pacifica parked in a driveway in front of a garage
A 2021 Chrysler Pacifica on display | Photo via Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Many automotive manufacturers are making driver-assistance technologies standard on all models. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been somewhat reluctant to give in to the trend. Instead, it has passed value to its customers via upscale features and incredible performance. However, the Pacifica is an exception.

The 2021 Pacifica is one of the most expensive minivans on the market, with a starting MSRP of $35,045. However, it delivers a premium experience that few of its competitors can rival. Thankfully, it comes packed with driver-assistance systems. Although, that wasn’t always the case. Pre-2021 models had few standard offerings, limited to blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Pacifica made crucial smart safety systems, such as forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, standard. These features combine to detect and warn the driver of an impending crash. If he or she doesn’t take action, the system will automatically apply the minivan’s brakes to mitigate the damage.

Additionally, the Pacifica is equipped with several other standard driver-assistance technologies. These include lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Front parking sensors, parallel parking assist, and a surround-view camera system are also available.

What do the experts have to say?

The Chrysler Pacifica is well-decorated with accolades, including ones from outlets that specialize in safety.

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are two of the most trusted sources. At the time of this writing, neither organization has tested the 2021 Pacifica, but earlier models such as the 2020 iteration have been evaluated.

The IIHS named the 2020 Pacifica a Top Safety Pick. But that recognition only applies to models equipped with available front-crash prevention systems and specific headlights. Notably, the Pacifica is the second-safest minivan of 2020, according to the IIHS. Notably, the 2021 Honda Odyssey came in first.

Meanwhile, the NHTSA gave the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica a five-star safety rating and only recalled it once. The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica may fare even better with these organizations, given that it has even more standard safety features than in past years.

Should you buy the Chrysler Pacifica

When shopping for a family car, safety is paramount. It is often assumed that when a vehicle is popular, it must be a safe option. But how often do we really stop to examine the safety merits of any car before purchasing? You may be surprised at the results you find once you begin your research into the safety ratings of your top choices. That’s why it’s essential to do your research ahead of time.

Thankfully, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica passes the eye test and has earned the respect of the industry’s experts. Buyers would do well to consider this minivan for their families. However, if shopping for a used model, you may want to purchase a higher trim level that includes all the available front-crash prevention features.


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