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We lost a great deal when we, as a society, decided to shun the minivan. There was once a time when minivans came in all shapes and sizes with various bizarro performance features. We used to have off-road minivans a plenty and even mid-engined JDM examples that were far too cool for most of us to handle today. Thankfully, some still exist who understand the importance of the minivan performance spectrum. A Toyota Sienna was recently pitted against a Chrysler Pacifica in a drag race showdown consisting of a quarter-mile drag race, a braking test, and a 30-mph rolling test. 

Which minivan is faster, the Toyota Sienna or the Chrysler Pacifica? 

Before we get into TFL’s test, we should look at how the Sienna and Pacifica stack up against one another. While both minivans get an all-wheel drive (AWD) system, the Pacifica makes more power with its 3.6-liter V6 engine paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. This engine makes 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. On the other hand, the Toyota Sienna uses a 2.5-liter hybrid to make 245 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. 

Although the Toyota minivan makes less power, its hybrid system gives it an advantage over the Chrysler minivan. The Sienna whooped the Pacifica easily on both the drag and 30 mph rolling races. The snap from the hybrid system allows the Toyota Sienna to accelerate quicker than the more powerful Chrysler. 

The brake test was a different story, though. The Chrysler might have been slower off the line, but it could screech to a halt in less time than the Toyota. The Chrysler Pacifica managed to stop in 105 feet from 60 mph. The Toyota did it in 106 feet. It isn’t much of a victory, but a W is a W. 

Does performance matter for minivans? 

Some common Chrysler Pacifica problems this minivan is known for
A Chrysler Pacifica minivan | Chrysler

Like we said, it used to. However, performance doesn’t seem to matter these days for folks buying minivans. While cracking off a drag race in a minivan is nothing but good times, people don’t consider this when buying a family hauler to load in the kids. 

As such, TFL threw a bone to the Chrysler and did a more appropriate minivan test. The team looked to the interior to see which was the better van. The Chrysler won this competition easily thanks to its fold-flat second-row seating. This feature offers more interior room and allows passengers to get in and out faster than with the Toyota. 

The only reason the Chrysler Pacifica is so popular is because of its interior. The American minivan is dripping in interior features. It has more tech, more room, and more comfort features, and the Pacifica also wears much nicer interior materials. 

Is the Chrysler Pacifica more expensive than the Toyota Sienna? 

The 2023 Chrysler Pacifica starts at a fairly modest $37,620 but runs up to nearly $60,000 for the Pinnacle trim. The 2023 Toyota Sienna starts at $35,385 with the base model, but the top trim starts at just over $50,000. Granted, with both models options can make things a bit pricier quickly. However, the Chrysler Pacifica is the more expensive minivan from top to bottom. 

It’s actually really nice that these two minivans are perfectly suited for different drivers and are priced accordingly. The Chrysler Pacifica is nicer, more refined, and slower. Meanwhile, the Toyota Sienna is faster, cheaper, and more basic, so buyers can choose which aspect of minivan life is more appropriate for them and decide accordingly.