Posted on April 2, 2017
Compare The Chrysler Pacifica and The Toyota Sienna
US News and World Report publishes an annual comparison report on mini-vans, and this year, the final battle came down to the Chrysler Pacifica and the Toyota Sienna. Although both vans are family-friendly, with comfortable seating and impressive interior features, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica was the ultimate victor in a number of categories. We thought our customers in Toronto and Mississauga, many of whom are in the market for a quality minivan, would like to learn more about the comparison.
Known as the “Swagger Wagon,” the Sienna offers plenty of new multimedia swag in the form of a bigger infotainment screen, Display Audio Entune system and a multi-information display. Add to the restyle some fresh exteriors, revised headlights and a stiffened chassis. Other minor changes have taken place between the 2016 and 2017 models. The 2017 is available in five grades: L, LE, SE, XLE, and Limited. You can opt for the all-wheel drive option on LE, XLE, and Limited trims.
If the Pacifica name sounds familiar, it’s because there once was a Pacifica SUV. Drawing on the success of the very recently de-listed Town & Country, Chrysler is heading in a new direction with the same consumer segment. Calling upon the winning features from other models, such as Stow 'n Go seats, three-pane panoramic sunroof, Stow n’ Vac, and—this should be music to your ears—Active Noise Cancellation, the Pacifica combines the best of the best. The 2017 Pacifica comes in five trim levels: LX, Touring, Touring-L, Touring-L Plus, and Limited.
The Sienna wins for starting price with the lowest starting price in the minivan segment. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica has a starting price of 36,495 CAD (not including destination and delivery charges). At 33,690 CAD the 2017 Toyota Sienna costs 2,805 CAD Less.
Complicating a completely across-the-board pricing comparison, Toyota offers a number of trims within each model above the S. And all-wheel drive add-ons will drive the starting price up by thousands.
Chrysler offers a far simpler pricing structure for the Pacifica, with straightforward offerings at each trim level and Great Incentives and Government Rebates on the Hybrid Models. Additional packages such as the Harman Kardon Sound Group, Trailer Tow and SafetyTec groups are available to buyers. Change out the wheels or add a spare tire and understandably, the price goes up.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica has yet to be reviewed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. We can tell you that the Pacifica boasts over 100 safety and security features. These include an all-speed traction control system, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Hold, Advance Brake Assist, Ready Alert Braking, Surround View camera and all-row full-length side-curtain air bags. These features help to prevent traffic accidents, and they can also help in the event of an actual collision.
US News and World Report gave the Toyota Sienna a 9 out of 10 score in their safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 2017 Sienna scored mostly Good-level ratings in all Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests. It did however receive an Acceptable grade in the small overlap front testing.
The Sienna comes with just four LATCH-ready seating locations, while the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica comes with five.
Seat Comfort and Interiors
The cool leather interiors and soft-touch fabrics blend nicely with the hard surfaces of snazzy tech features, echoing the Town and County vibe here in the Pacifica. Abundant head- and legroom are also a selling feature, and Chrysler’s Stow ‘n Go seating allows for up to 243 seating configurations. (We knew this, but we’re impressed all over again just reading it in US News!) Depending on the type of seating you choose, that includes space for seven or eight passengers. Chrysler’s Easy Tilt Seating option means that a second row seat with a car seat attached can easily be tilted forward. That allows the safe and comfortable entry or exit of a third-row passenger in the van.
The Sienna also offers the same amount of seating. Toyota gives buyers the option to add features, such as leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, "long-slide" second-row lounge seats, and a power-folding third row.
At the end of the day, US News named the Chrysler Pacifica the winner in the seat comfort category.
Minivans are all about the comfort and happiness of those rear-seat passengers, right? For consumers with kids or other long distance road trip companions, Chrysler’s UConnect infotainment system, anchored by an 8.4-inch touch screen with crisp graphics and speedy response times, is super-appealing.
In the Premium trim levels only, you can add on the Uconnect Theater+ system, which features two seat-mounted 10.1-inch screens. These high-definition screens can easily connect to a range of devices via USB, Bluetooth, and HDMI, making it compatible with smartphones, laptops, tablets and those all-important gaming devices the kids love. The system also comes with a Blu-ray player, as well as some fun preloaded classic games like Tic Tac Toe and checkers.
The Toyota Sienna features the Entune system, and Toyota allows buyers to choose from a range of system levels that do vary with trim level. The reorganized centre stack in the Sienna gives this van a tidy look. Entune systems come with Siri Eyes Free, integrated backup camera display, HD radio and HD traffic and weather reports in metropolitan areas.
Your second- and third row passengers can view either a single wide-angle image or two smaller images simultaneously from different sources with the Sienna’s Dual-View Blu-Ray Disc Entertainment Center option. RCA jacks and two 120-volt AC power outlets are included in the set-up. This could be some parent-friendly technology that might cut down on backseat arguments, but we can’t guarantee anything.
In the cargo department, the 2017 Sienna has the winner’s edge, offering 39.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row, 87.1 cubic feet behind the middle row, and 150 cubic feet when the third row is folded and the middle seats have been removed. That said, removed seats can’t just be stowed in the floor of the van as they can in the Pacifica, and for some consumers seeking on-the-road flexibility, that could be a deal-breaker.
Pacifica buyers may be somewhat disappointed by the 32.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 87.5 cubic feet when its third row is folded down. The total cubic feet of storage space in the Pacifica, with both the second- and third-row seats folded down is 140.5 cubic feet. But in spite of lost cargo space, the Stow N’ Go area can actually be used for additional storage if removed seats aren’t stowed in the handy compartment that’s flush with the floor. Hockey weekends and road trips often require access to cold drinks and chilled snacks: add liners to the storage hatch and you have a built-in cooler.
When we look at towing capacity and performance, the Chrysler Pacifica has a slight advantage over the 2017 Sienna. Minivans have a long-established reputation for somewhat clumsy handling and rougher rides. And yet, here is another key area in the segment where the Pacifica and Sienna have worked to buck the status quo. The Sienna gives a smooth, comfy ride, although if does offer power levels described as “adequate.” If you want to forget you’re driving a minivan, say critics, the Pacifica is your best bet for a quiet ride with great fuel economy and a surprisingly powerful engine.
The standard Sienna comes with a 266-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. The Pacifica standard is a 287-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine, nine-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. The Pacifica can tow loads of up to 3,600 pounds, while the Sienna hauls up to 3,500 pounds.
Ahhh, fuel costs, a major concern for many when it comes to choosing a vehicle. In terms of fuel efficiency, Chrysler’s Pacifica handily wins the contest with 28 mpg on the highway, 18 mpg in the city, and 22 in combined driving situations. The Sienna offers 23 mpg for highway drives, 16 mpg in the city, and just 18 mpg in combined driving scenarios.
Fuel economy should not vary too much by trim level; both the Pacifica and Sienna offer the same engine throughout their model line-ups.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica
The US News and World Report results show wins for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica in many categories. It’s simply the best choice for busy consumers who crave a modern-looking, tech-savvy van that does more than just transport the family from Points A to B. Now, if added towing capacity is a concern, consumers may wish to consider a full-sized SUV instead. And if cargo capacity is a major consideration, checking out the unique storage systems offered by both the Sienna and the Pacifica in person is probably a good idea.
Come see us at Ontario Chrysler so we can walk you through the winning features of the Pacifica.