Chrysler changed the minivan industry in the 1980s with the Dodge Caravan, and it re-established itself again in 2017 with the newer Chrysler Pacifica. Despite producing this elegant new modern minivan, Dodge continues to sell just a limited amount of the Grand Caravans and is very popular among used vehicle buyers. When it comes to the Chrysler Pacifica vs. Dodge Caravan, which is best?
The Chrysler Dodge Caravan was a minivan that was produced by Chrysler from 1984 until 2020 and was marketed as both a passenger van and a freight van as the Dodge version of Chrysler minivans. The Dodge Grand Caravan was retired after the 2020 model year, with manufacturing concluding on August 21, 2020.
The Chrysler Pacifica is the more modern minivan manufactured by the parent brand and eventually replaced the Chrysler Town & Country for the 2017 model year. It’s positioned above the Dodge Grand Caravan as the higher-end minivan option for the Chrysler family of brands. When it comes to having multiple minivan options for the same brand, which makes more sense for consumers? It depends on what you’re looking for in a vehicle of course, but since many of the design elements are from the same company, it makes narrowing it down a bit easier.
Chrysler Pacifica vs. Dodge Caravan: Exterior
Despite sharing a parent corporation, the 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan and the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica are fairly different when it comes to visual design. The Grand Caravan’s design was last updated in 2011, giving it a fairly dated look that couldn’t compete with the Pacifica’s contemporary take on the minivan form.
The last version of the Dodge Grand Caravan was the 2019 model year and is very similar to the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica in size. They are nearly identical in length, width, height, and wheelbase size, with the Pacifica just slightly bigger. The Grand Caravan has a length of 203.7 inches, a width of 78.7 inches, and a height of 69 inches. The 2019 Pacifica is 0.1 inches longer, 0.9 inches wider, and 0.9 inches higher. Their wheelbases are very comparable, with the Grand Caravan having a 121.2-inch wheelbase and the Pacifica having a 121.6-inch wheelbase.
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Overall size winner: Chrysler Pacifica
Chrysler Pacifica vs. Dodge Caravan: Interior
Both minivans are designed for large families and provide three rows of seating as well as lots of cargo space. Because the Caravan has a 24-inch liftover height and the Pacifica has a 24.3-inch liftover height, none of these vans has a significant edge in cargo space, but still provide ample room. The Grand Caravan has 39.8 inches of headroom in the front, 40.7 inches of legroom in the back, 63.7 inches of shoulder space, and 58.4 inches of hip room in the back.
The dimensions of the Grand Caravan in the back depending on whether it has a second-row bench or a set of captain’s chairs. The second row features 37 inches of headroom, 37.1 inches of legroom, 64.7 inches of shoulder room, and 64.8 inches of hip room when using the bench. It has 39.3 inches of headroom, 36.5 inches of legroom, 64.1 inches of shoulder space, and 65 inches of hip room in the captain’s chairs.
The Pacifica has 38.7 inches of headroom, 36.5 inches of legroom, 61.2 inches of shoulder space, and 49.5 inches of hip room in the third row. The second row of the Pacifica has 0.3 to 2.6 inches more headroom and 1.9 to 2.5 inches more legroom depending on the specific model, but it has 1.1 to 1.7 inches less shoulder space and up to 0.2 inches less hip room.
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Overall interior space winner: Dodge Caravan
Chrysler Pacifica vs. Dodge Caravan: performance
Despite its age, the Dodge Grand Caravan’s 3.6-liter V-6 engine produces 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, making it one of the most powerful minivans on the market, regardless of age. Its family competition, the Pacifica, is slightly better than the Caravan like most other categories. Chrysler also has a 3.6-liter V-6, but it produces 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Both vehicles have a towing capacity of 3,600 pounds.
The Grand Caravan has an older six-speed automatic transmission, whereas the Pacifica has a newer nine-speed automatic transmission. Compared to the Grand Caravan’s 17 mpg city, 25 highway, and 20 combined, the Pacifica offers up to 19 mpg city, 28 highway, and 22 combined. They’re nearly identical, but if you want the ultimate option, the Pacifica is the winner here.
Chrysler Pacifica vs. Dodge Caravan: Overall
The Chrysler Pacifica is without a doubt one of the best minivan options and vehicles for a large family. When compared to the family rival Grand Caravan, it’s better in almost every category. Although the Pacifica is the overall winner when comparing the two, it’s important to consider other things when shopping between the two. Is your family in need of something more upscale or entry-level?
The Grand Caravan’s hard plastics interior may be better than the Pacifica’s soft materials for young families and for companies looking for a travel vehicle with a lower sticker price on top of it. If you want something more modern and can risk interior damage, the Pacifica is a good option for a higher sticker price.
Both models have a wide range of options, but the Chrysler Pacifica is likely to be better fitted to manage the challenges of families. It has similar interior and cargo space, slightly better power, more up-to-date technology features, and overall design.
It has a built-in vacuum that makes it easier to clean the tough-to-reach places. Both models also have a rear-seat entertainment system, but the Pacifica comes with two separate screens versus one for the Dodge Grand Caravan, so there are more options for your passengers traveling and just one other reason it’s a top option for consumers.
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