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Used Chrysler Pacifica vs Toyota Sienna

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The reasons why a pre-owned 2018 Chrysler Pacifica minivan offers better value in a head-to-head comparison with the popular 2018 Toyota Sienna minivan.

Minivan Mavens

With 2021 models in showrooms, bargain buyers are looking to lease returns for their best deal on pre-owned vehicles.

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Plus - media.fcanorthamerica.com

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Plus – media.fcanorthamerica.com |  Shop Chrysler Pacifica on Carsforsale.com

Dealers delivered nearly one-third of all new cars sold in 2019 under lease agreements which frequently run for a three-year (or 36 month) term. When the lease ends, the now three-year-old vehicles hit dealers’ lots. The best of these lease return vehicles are available under each manufacturer’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) programs, which include extended warranties.

The depreciation rate varies among different manufacturers and models though it’s safe to say that the value of that once-new car can drop by 30% or more over three years. In other words, a new vehicle that sold for $45,000 in 2018 might be worth around $32,000 in 2021.

2018 Toyota Sienna LE - carsforsale.com

2018 Toyota Sienna LE – carsforsale.com |  Shop Toyota Sienna on Carsforsale.com

As you’re reading this, you’re likely considering either a Chrysler Pacifica or a Toyota Sienna that’s a few years old. As established above, the greatest choices now will be in 2018 model year vehicles, which is why we’ve chosen that year for our comparison.

Specs – Only One Has AWD

The Chrysler Pacifica is slightly larger than the Toyota Sienna in virtually every exterior dimension, but only slightly so. Track (the distance between wheels on the axle), length, and wheelbase are all somewhat larger on the Pacifica.

2018 Chrysler Pacifica 3.6L V6 - carsforsale.com
2018 Chrysler Pacifica 3.6L V6 - carsforsale.com

The Pacifica and the Sienna are both powered by V6 engines, the Pacifica a 3.6 L that develops 287 horsepower. The 3.5 L Sienna V6 produces slightly more power (296), though the difference in 0-60 times is a scant 0.3 seconds.

Fuel economy is about equal between the two, the Sienna 19/22/27 mpg city, highway, and combined while the Pacifica registers 19/28/22 mpg in EPA testing.

2018 Toyota Sienna 3.5L V6 - carsforsale.com
2018 Toyota Sienna 3.5L V6 - carsforsale.com

At the time, the Toyota Sienna was the only minivan offered with all-wheel drive, a consideration for buyers who live in colder environs.

Driving – Just a Slight Edge

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited - media.fcanorthamerica.com
2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited - media.fcanorthamerica.com

Expect a smooth, comfortable ride quality from both the Chrysler Pacifica and Toyota Sienna. However, the Pacifica corners with much less body lean due to its independent rear suspension. The Pacifica also tracks better on highways, remaining steady in its lane without much correction required.

2018 Toyota Sienna SE - pressroom.toyota.com
2018 Toyota Sienna SE - pressroom.toyota.com

Comfort and Interior – They Both Excel

The Chrysler Pacifica and Toyota Sienna both offer comfortable seats and generous head-, shoulder- and legroom for first and second-row passengers. In both vehicles, third-row seating is rather tight is probably best suited to children.

The first impression upon entering both minivans is that the Pacifica is the most premium of the two. The Sienna, on the other hand, seems more Corolla than Lexus on the inside.

The Pacifica is equipped with a power-adjustable driver’s seat and cloth upholstery. Look for models that feature heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, leather upholstery, a power-folding third row, and Stow n’ Go in-floor cargo cubbies for the second-and third-row seats.

The Sienna also comes standard with cloth upholstery. There’s a Split & Stow in-floor cargo cubby for the third row. Leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, and reclining second-row lounge chairs with footrests are available.

Cargo Capacity – Room for Groceries & Furniture

2018 Chrysler Pacifica - media.fcanorthamerica.com
2018 Chrysler Pacifica - media.fcanorthamerica.com

Cargo space is a toss-up. With the third row down, the Pacifica offers 87.5 cubic feet of storage, and the Sienna comes in at 87.1 cubic feet. However, the Sienna provides more generous space with the second row down, though it’s harder to access. The Sienna requires the physical removal of the second-row seats from the minivan. In the Pacifica, its second-row seats fold into the floor.

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2018 Toyota Sienna - carsforsale.com
2018 Toyota Sienna - carsforsale.com

Trims and Features – Plenty of Options

Chrysler Pacifica

2018 Chrysler Pacifica LX - carsforsale.com
2018 Chrysler Pacifica LX - carsforsale.com

The 2018 Pacifica was offered in six trim levels: L, LX, Touring Plus, Touring L, Touring L Plus, and Limited.

Check out the Touring Plus (and above) trim should be interested in the minivan’s one-touch power sliding doors and liftgate.

2018 Chyrsler Pacifica Touring Plus - carsforsale.com
2018 Chyrsler Pacifica Touring Plus - carsforsale.com

If electronics are a priority, the Touring L Plus (and above) is a strong choice. Included are second and third-row USBs and the addition of a 115-watt outlet for the second row.

One of the 2018 Pacifica’s best features is Chrysler’s user-friendly Uconnect infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen and Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio compatibility.

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited - carsforsale.com
2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited - carsforsale.com

Navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, two 10-inch seatback touch screens, and a 13-speaker Alpine or 20-speaker Harmon Kardon stereo system were available as optional extras.

For those expecting a mess, a built-in vacuum cleaner was available.

Toyota Sienna

2018 Toyota Sienna L - carsforsale.com
2018 Toyota Sienna L - carsforsale.com

The 2018 Toyota Sienna came in five trims: L, LE, SE, XLE, and Limited.

The SE, XLE, and Limited trims came with two great features for families: a rear-seat entertainment system with a 16.4-inch screen and Driver Easy Speak, which allows the driver to address the young hooligans in the back rows through the rear speakers of the audio system.

2018 Toyota Sienna XLE - carsforsale.com
2018 Toyota Sienna XLE - carsforsale.com

The Sienna comes equipped with Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and Toyota’s Entune infotainment system with a seven-inch touch screen. Navigation, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a 10-speaker JBL sound system are available in upper trims.

2018 Toyota Sienna Limited - carsforsale.com
2018 Toyota Sienna Limited - carsforsale.com

All-wheel drive (AWD) was available only with the LE, XLE, and Limited trims, with seating for seven. If you want eight seats, you’ll have to stick with FWD versions of the LE, SE, or XLE models. The standard Sienna L is only a front-wheel-drive seven-seater.

Conclusions – Chrysler Gives You More

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L - media.fcanorthamerica.com

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Plus – media.fcanorthamerica.com |  Shop Chrysler Pacifica on Carsforsale.com

In conclusion, the Chrysler Pacifica stands out for its premium interior, family-friendly entertainment features, versatile cargo configurations, comfortable seating, and its smooth, quiet ride.

There’s really just one reason why someone would purchase a minivan, and that’s to haul around your family and their stuff. With so many factors similar between the Pacifica and Sienna, it comes down to what’s best for a family.

2018 Toyoyta Sienna SE - pressroom.toyotal.com

2018 Toyota Sienna LE – carsforsale.com |  Shop Toyota Sienna on Carsforsale.com

Safety is typically a top reason to select one minivan over another. The Pacifica received strong safety scores in crash and rollover tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). The Sienna trails the Pacifica in NHTSA ratings.

The Pacifica is also more feature-laden at each trim level. To get similar features in the Sienna as the base Pacifica, you have to move up to one of the higher (and more expensive) Sienna trim levels.

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Art Michalik

Art Michalik brings a career full of experience in the automotive industry to his writing. He has guided marketing at two major tire companies, represented some of the biggest names in the automotive aftermarket at an ad agency, built the enthusiast social media presence at a major online retailer and even managed one of the most famous racing schools in the world.

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