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Chrysler Pacifica 2021 wants to be more like an SUV


Is the solution to boosting minivan sales making the auto industry’s ultimate people mover more like a utility vehicle?

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is taking this route with its latest iteration of the Chrysler Pacifica.

The 2021 Pacifica offers a new Pinnacle model, a “premium people mover that offers a modern living room on wheels loaded with luxury features and content,” but also all-wheel drive.

FCA will show the updated Pacifica at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, which opens to the public Saturday.

FCA hopes its new-look minivan will give a jolt to Pacifica sales, which fell 17% to 97,705 in 2019 compared with the previous year.

Tim Kuniskis, global head of Alfa Romeo and FCA’s passenger car brands in North America, highlighted what FCA understands about the minivan segment, which Chrysler pioneered 37 years ago.

“We have a pretty good idea what those customers are looking for,” he said last month at FCA’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. “We have a nice tool chest of all kinds of content to help make their lives easier.”

The interiorÊof theÊ2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle model includes a new integrated Ultra console, the all-new Uconnect 5 systemÊwith a 10.1-inch touchscreen thatÊdelivers the largest standard touchscreen in its classÊand new accent points, including Caramel Nappa leather seats and aÊMid-century Timber Hydro bezel.

FCA hopes to redirect customers considering a utility vehicle to a Chrysler minivan instead.

All-wheel drive is key.

“Capability is one thing (customers have) been asking us for forever, so we’re going to give them that,” Kuniskis said.

FCA notes that the 2021 Pacifica will be the only vehicle with all-wheel drive and Stow ‘n Go seating together. All-wheel drive will be available only in gas, not hybrid, versions, but it will also be available on the 2020 Pacifica Launch Edition, which will be out this year.



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