2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle AWD gives plenty to Canadian drivers

Chrysler added many exterior stylistic touches to the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle AWD that give this minivan a sense of luxury without being ostentatious.

When I told several people I was going to be testing a minivan, the question inevitably amongst those I spoke to was, “Do people still drive minivans?” The short answer is yes. Even in this age of the ever-ubiquitous SUV and the now fast emerging market for ultra-luxury SUVs, minivans still fill an important market segment here in Canada and in the United States.

In Canada, some 42,7000 minivans were sold last year, and in the United States, some 272,000 were sold during the same time. Not bad for a type of vehicle that some consider to be going out of style.

The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle that I got a chance to drive is a mid-cycle refresh that might at first blush look a bit tame when compared to other similarly priced vehicles on the road. But don’t be fooled. Here you get a quality and luxury that should make those who bought some of those ultra-luxury and ultra-expensive SUVs envious.

At first glance, you will notice that Chrysler has added some nice external touches that add a sense of sharpness and style to the much-lauded Pacifica. For instance, the front now features what the automaker calls a ‘heroic 3D grille’ with the iconic Chrysler wing badge front-and-centre. The grille is framed by new cats-eye LED headlamps and LED fog lamps that give this Pacifica Pinnacle a solid look without coming across as overly aggressive. The rear sports new LED taillamps as standard and give the Pacifica a distinct appearance. And to round out the package, this AWD version that I drove came with 20-inch polished aluminum wheels that add to the firm stance of this Pacifica. Oh, and I got the Velvet Red Pearl exterior colour, which in my opinion is one of the nicest colours I’ve seen in a while.

Underneath the hood, this 2021 Pacifica Pinnacle comes with a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine wedded to a 9-speed transmission that can put out 287 horsepower and some 262 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration was smooth and the shifts between the gears unobtrusive, and even with the long gearbox, the steering was spot-on and accurate. What pleasantly surprised me was the handling. I’ve often found vehicles this big difficult to manoeuvre. That was not the case here. It took corners accurately and the suspension kept the vehicle firmly planted to the road while providing one of the smoothest rides I’ve had in a long time. The all-wheel-drive also is also intelligent, capable of transferring all the available torque to the rear wheels if needed. And the range of safety features it comes with – pedestrian and cyclist emergency braking, land departure warning, forward collision warning with emergency braking, etc. – adds to the driving comfort.

When it comes to the interior, Chrysler has taken a page from the ultra-luxury SUV market. There is nothing about this interior that would suggest you are sitting in a traditional minivan. You get heated and cooled front seats that come in nice Nappa Caramel leather and perforated inserts and two-mode ventilation for heating and cooling. The quality stitching just adds to the comfort when sitting in them. The leather-covered and heated steering wheel with the same stitching, suede headliner and the premium door trim panel all add to the overall luxury feel. A nice touch is when the vehicle starts on a cold day, it will note what you set for your interior temperature and begin warming up the interior, seats and steering wheel.

The interior is also incredibly quiet. I drove for some time on the highway and even with the aggressive winter tires I had on the road and tire noise was kept to a minimum.

There is plenty of legroom for both the front passenger and driver and because the Pacifica Pinnacle foregoes a traditional shifter and replaces it with a large dial to the right of the driver – more on that in a little while – you get a centre console that provides quite a bit of storage. There is a very deep cubby under the armrest as well so there should be no complaints about not having enough storage. And the cup holders are large enough that you can put two full-sized water bottles in them.

Below the climate controls is a nicely concealed spot for your phone, a wireless charger, USB charger and even a Blu-ray player, so you can pop a film in for the kids sitting in the back two captain’s chairs that come with their own screens when sitting in them.

Those two screens can be flipped down when not in use. A nice touch is the range of standard games such as checkers and chess that the kids can play. As well, a FamCam camera allows parents to keep an eye on the little ones, great for the parents but not, I suppose, for the kids who now can’t get up to mischief because Mom and Dad will catch them. Sorry kids.

I should also mention that the third-row 60/40 split seats stow away with ease by a simple push of a button. I’ve only seen this in more luxury and higher-end SUVs, so kudos to Chrysler for adding that feature. There is plenty of legroom in the back so I doubt you will hear complaints about people feeling cramped.

The central console’s 10.1-inch infotainment touch screen is powered by the new Uconnect 5 operating system and offers a range of customizations and comes with support for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM. While the Uconnect 5 can support Amazon Alexa, I never got a chance to use it as I don’t use Amazon’s assistant. Now, being the audiophile that I am, I very much appreciated the Harman Kardon audio system with its subwoofer and 760-watt amplifier.

I should give top-marks to Chrysler for making many vehicle functions accessible through simple and large buttons. But my favourite feature was the large shifter wheel that sits just above the parking brake button. When I first saw it my reaction was, ‘That’s unusual.’ But after a few moments, I came to see it as brilliant. Since we are moving to more drive-by-wire systems, a knob makes perfect sense. Simply turn the knob to Drive, Reverse, Park Neutral etc. and away one goes. It is simple and elegant . . . and really should be much more common in today’s modern vehicles.

So yes, while SUVs have come to dominate the roads in Canada, Chrysler with its 2021 Pacifica Pinnacle shows that a well-appointed minivan can give plenty to Canadian drivers.

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle AWD

Body style: Minivan, seven-passenger, four-door

Drive method: Front-engine, AWD, 9-speed automatic transmission

Engine:3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine with Stop/Start (287 hp@6,400 r.p.m./ 262 lb-ft torque @4,000 r.pm.)

Fuel economy:14.1/8.0/9.4/12.0L/100 km (city/highway/combined)

Cargo volume:140.5 cu-ft

Tow rating: 3,600 lb (1,632 kg)

Source: Toronto Star

Ram 1500 named 2021 ‘Best Full-size Pickup’ by Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Ram

The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) has named Ram 1500 as “Best Full-size Pickup Truck in Canada for 2021,” which adds even more accolades to the most awarded light-duty truck in North America.

“This honour validates the hard work of our Ram design, engineering and manufacturing teams who aim to build the best trucks available. This award further solidifies Ram 1500 as the segment leader in durability, technology, efficiency, performance and convenience with features never before offered in a pickup,” said Dave Buckingham, President and CEO of FCA Canada. “Having our Ram 1500 recognized by the judicious group of AJAC members, as the best full-size pickup truck gives Canadians the reassurance that Ram delivers benchmark-quality vehicles that get the hard work done and take families where they need to go.”

“Despite the challenges created by COVID-19, more than 250 vehicles were eligible for the 2021 Canadian Car of the Year awards, including every full-size pickup truck on the Canadian market,” said Stephanie Wallcraft, AJAC President. “This award is the result of many hours of hands-on assessment by AJAC journalists from coast to coast, conducted on real Canadian roads and in real Canadian conditions. To emerge victorious from this rigorous process is a remarkable achievement.”

For the 2021 program, vehicles that are newly redesigned, refreshed or carried over from previous model years were considered, provided a minimum number of ballots were submitted by AJAC journalists, who test entries on the same roads and in the same conditions experienced by Canadian drivers across the country.

Ram 1500
For 2021, the Ram 1500 lineup is led by the new 2021 Ram 1500 TRX – the apex predator of the truck world and cements Ram Truck as North America’s off-road truck leader. The Ram 1500 TRX has been tested to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme durability. Class-leading, uncompromising performance in the harshest environments is achieved in part through the 702-horsepower supercharged 6.2-litre HEMI® V-8 engine. Stratospheric power delivers a new level of performance: 0-97 kilometres in 4.5 seconds, the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds at 174 km/h and a top speed of 190 km/h.

The Ram 1500 features up to 5,783 kilograms (12,750 pounds) of towing capability and 1,043 kilograms (2,300 pounds) of payload. The eTorque mild hybrid system delivers improved fuel efficiency in both V-6 (standard) and V-8 configurations. The Ram 1500 is North America’s most powerful half-ton diesel pickup with 480 lb.-ft. of torque and most capable light-duty diesel with towing capability up to 5,697 kilograms (12,560 pounds).

As a segment disrupter, the Uconnect 4C with a massive 12-inch touchscreen leads the segment in technology, featuring split-screen capability, 360-degree camera views, and exclusive content from SiriusXM with 360L and Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora. Active safety and security systems include adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Warning, Blind-spot Monitoring and Ready Alert Braking. Class-leading ride and handling are accomplished via a segment-exclusive link-coil rear suspension system with optional Active-level four-corner air suspension.

Ram Truck Brand
In 2009, the Ram Truck brand launched as a stand-alone division focused on meeting the demands of truck buyers and delivering benchmark-quality vehicles. With a full lineup of trucks, the Ram 1500, 2500/3500 Heavy Duty, 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cab, ProMaster and ProMaster City, the Ram brand builds trucks that get the hard work done and families where theey need to go.

Ram continues to outperform the competition and sets the benchmarks for:

• 1,075 lb.-ft. of torque with Cummins Turbo Diesel
• Towing capacity of 16,828 kilograms (37,100 lbs.) with Ram 3500
• Segment first 1,000 lb.-ft of torque with Cummins Turbo Diesel
• Payload of 3,484 kilograms (7,680 lbs.) with Ram 3500
• Most luxurious: Ram Limited with real wood, real leather and 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen
• Best ride and handling with exclusive link coil rear and auto-level air suspensions
• Most interior space with Ram Mega Cab
• Most awarded light-duty truck in North America
• Highest owner loyalty of any half-ton pickup
• Over the last 30 years, Ram has the highest percentage of pickups still on the road

Source: AutomotiveWorld.ca

Do the Wave: Jeep loyalty program comes to Canada on Grand Cherokee L

Source: Driving.ca

Jeep is finally bringing its all-in Jeep Wave premium owner loyalty program to the Great White North — but you’ll have to spring for a Grand Cherokee L to get it.

At least at first. To coincide with the new three-row Jeep launch party, the company will unveil this three-year loyalty program which includes a yaffle of services owners would otherwise usually pay for after they’ve taken delivery of their shiny new Jeep.

Up to six oil changes are part of the deal, for example, as are trip interruption coverages (a portion of hotel, meals, or return transportation cost) and first-day rental guarantees. There is also mention of ‘VIP treatment’ at select Jeep events, though those are in short supply during this socially-distant pandemic.

“Jeep owners are some the most loyal and passionate customers anywhere,” said Dave Buckingham, President and CEO, FCA Canada. “We want to reward that fidelity by giving back to our owners with a suite of benefits that enriches their ownership experience of the exciting, all-new, 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L.”

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

We left that last bit of marketing fluff in the quote because it underscores the point that, for now, the Jeep Wave loyalty program will only be offered to customers of the big-daddy Grand Cherokee L. This could be a value-add play to help break into the cutthroat three-row SUV segment, or it could be a way to offset costs since such a machine generally packs fat profits to the company bottom line.

This is part of a larger push by Jeep to expand this program. South of the border, Jeep Wave – they’ve had it there since 2015 – has been freshly extended from 24 to 36 months and is now included on every single 2021 vehicle in Jeep showrooms. In 2020, only specific trims were eligible on certain models; the Cherokee Trailhawk got it, for example, while lesser Cherokees did not. Now they all do.

Back here in Canada, owners of the Grand Cherokee L will be automatically enrolled into Jeep Wave. Members can go to any Canadian authorized FCA Canada dealer to redeem their oil change and tire rotation during the first 36 months of ownership.

2021 Ram 3500 Boasts 1,075 lb-ft Torque Boost

Source: AutoTrader

In what seems to have become an annual tradition, Ram has once again one-upped its heavy-duty pickup truck competitors in the torque department with 1,075 lb-ft from its 3500 model, which the company claims is the highest-ever torque rating for a diesel pickup.

Ram was the first truck maker to break the 1,000-lb-ft barrier in 2019 when it introduced its current lineup of heavy-duty trucks at that year’s Detroit auto show. Ford answered early in 2020 with a new Super Duty lineup with as much as 1,050 lb-ft, only to be leapfrogged by Ram’s over-the-top offering for the 2021 model year.

Ram says it coaxed the extra 75 lb-ft from the 3500’s 6.7L Cummins straight-six turbodiesel by raising the engine’s fuel flow rate and the turbocharger’s boost level.

Chrysler Pacifica, Ram 1500 Honored as 2021 Consumer Guide® Automotive Best Buy Award Winners

Source: Street Insider

Chrysler Pacifica and Ram 1500 are adding to their long-running streaks of Consumer Guide® Automotive Best Buy Awards, with Pacifica taking home honors in the Minivan category for the fifth consecutive year, while Ram 1500 extended its dominance in the Large Pickup segment with a 13th consecutive award.
  • Award is fifth straight for Chrysler Pacifica in Consumer Guide® Automotive Best Buy Minivan category
  • Ram 1500 racks up 13th consecutive award in Large Pickup category
  • 2021 Chrysler Pacifica recognized for its ride quality, family-friendly features and stylish design
  • 2021 Ram 1500 acknowledged for its ride and handling, as well as high level of refinement and unique features
  • Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy winners chosen by editors after analyzing, comparing, evaluating and extensively testing all major models available in the United States

Chrysler Pacifica and Ram 1500 are adding to their long-running streaks of Consumer Guide® Automotive Best Buy Awards, with Pacifica taking home honours in the Minivan category for the fifth consecutive year, while Ram 1500 extended its dominance in the Large Pickup segment with a 13th consecutive award. Consumer Guide editors select 2021 Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy Award Winners after analyzing, comparing, evaluating and extensively testing all major models available in the United States.”The Ram 1500 continues to impress for its class-leading ride and handling and upscale cabin experience. The Chrysler Pacifica impresses with its passenger-friendly features and long-trip comfort. The addition of all-wheel drive adds to the Pacifica’s appeal,” said Tom Appel, publisher of Consumer Guide Automotive.

The redesigned 2021 Chrysler Pacifica, now offering all-wheel drive, a new top-of-the-line Pinnacle model and the most standard safety features of any vehicle in the industry, was recognized by Consumer Guide editors for its “… class-leading horsepower, excellent road manners and ride quality, and an unmatched array of family-friendly features … all wrapped up in a stylish package.”Ram 1500, the most awarded light-duty truck in America, garnered accolades for its “… unbeatable ride/handling combination along with a high level of refinement, classy interiors and some unique features. Furthermore, the V-6 engine is no slouch and has very respectable EPA fuel-economy ratings too.”Consumer Guide Automotive editors analyze, compare and evaluate numerous vehicles by extensively testing all major models available in the United States. According to Consumer Guide Automotive, a vehicle does not become a Best Buy based solely on objective ratings; Best Buys also distinguish themselves as good values compared to other vehicles in their class.

The Chrysler brand has delighted customers with distinctive designs, craftsmanship, intuitive innovation and technology since the company was founded in 1925. The Chrysler Pacifica continues to reinvent the minivan, a segment Chrysler invented, with an unprecedented level of functionality, versatility, technology and bold styling. The Pacifica Hybrid takes this revolutionary vehicle a step further with its innovative plug-in hybrid powertrain. It’s the first electrified vehicle in the minivan segment and achieves more than 80 MPGe in electric-only mode, has an all-electric range of more than 30 miles and a total range of more than 500 miles. Chrysler Voyager offers families a budget-friendly option while delivering an exceptional driving experience. The Chrysler 300 lineup delivers on the brand’s promise of iconic and elegant design executed with world-class performance, efficiency and quality – all at an attainable value. Chrysler is part of the portfolio of brands offered by global automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Ram Truck Brand

In 2009, the Ram Truck brand launched as a stand-alone division focused on meeting the demands of truck buyers and delivering benchmark-quality vehicles. With a full lineup of trucks, the Ram 1500, 2500/3500 Heavy Duty, 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cab, ProMaster and ProMaster City, the Ram brand builds trucks that get the hard work done and families where they need to go.Ram continues to outperform the competition and sets the benchmarks for:

  • 1,075 lb.-ft. of torque with Cummins Turbo Diesel 
  • Towing capacity of 37,100 lbs. with Ram 3500
  • Segment first 1,000 lb.-ft of torque with Cummins Turbo Diesel
  • Payload of 7,680 lbs. with Ram 3500
  • Most luxurious: Ram Limited with real wood, real leather and 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen
  • Best ride and handling with exclusive link coil rear and auto-level air suspensions
  • Most interior space with Ram Mega Cab
  • Most capable full-size off-road pickup – Ram Power Wagon
  • Most awarded light-duty truck in America
  • Highest owner loyalty of any half-ton pickup
  • Over the last 30 years, Ram has the highest percentage of pickups still on the road

Dodge Viper Rally Fighter Looks Like Off-roading Genius

Source: Auto Evolution

While the retirement of the Dodge Viper (production for the Gen V model ended in 2017, remember?) means the V10 beast is rarer than it should be, this won’t prevent eccentric enthusiasts from coming up with wild Viper-based builds. However, there’s a long way from this idea to a snake that can tackle rugged terrain and this rendering is here to offer a shortcut.

For starters, we’re not talking about Dodge Viper owners that take their supercars off the beaten path for the fun of it, as this guy did back in 2018.

As for the wicked real-life projects mentioned in the intro, here’s an example as good as any: dubbed Highway Star, this build, which was supposed to debut at the now-cancelled 2020 SEMA show, sees a second-gen Viper chassis (think: 1996-2002) animated by a Hellcat motor and wrapped in the body of a 1970 Dodge Challenger.

Returning to the rendering sitting before us, the work mixes the Gen V Viper (here’s our review, by the way) with the Local Motors Rally Fighter. Come to think about it, the melange isn’t all that strange. After all, Arizona-based Local Motors was open to any possibility when coming up with the Rally Fighter back in 2009.

First of all, the styling was selected via crowdsourcing (the winner was Sangho Kim of Pasadena, California, whose design was inspired by a P-51 Mustang fighter plane).

Secondly, the front-mid mounted 6.2-litre GM LS3 V8, which delivers 430 hp, works with a four-speed GM tranny and a four-link Ford 9-inch rear axle.

And, until we get to see a Viper actually taken down the off-roading path, this shenanigan, which comes from digital label Car Front Swaps, will have to suffice. For the record, we’re talking about an Instagram page that pixel-builds such toys while accepting proposals from users. So, if the idea floats your boat, feel free to drop a suggestion.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Will Be Unveiled On September 3

Source: MotorIllustrated

  • Most luxurious Jeep ever coming on September 3
  • Jeep Grand Wagoneer will be joined by new Wagoneer and go on sale next year
  • New grille will keep include retro touches as a reference to the first Grand Wagoneer

The new Jeep Grand Wagoneer will be unveiled on September 3. Jeep made the announcement by once again teasing its new flagship SUV.

The latest Grand Wagoneer teaser pics show a retro chrome grille that has a clear resemblance with the first-generation Grand Wagoneer. It is complemented by an illuminated “Grand Wagoneer” emblem. The second pic shows what appears to be a rotary dial for the gearbox with quite a bit of detailing around the edge.

The new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be Jeep’s answer to the Ford Expedition and recent Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon duo. It has often been described as a luxury SUV and rumours suggest the top-level trim could top $100k in Canada. Both will offer three rows of seats.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer teaser
Jeep Grand Wagoneer teaser | FCA

Last week, Jeep teased the emblem and the interior push-start button, both once again showing quite a bit of detail. The emblem is complemented by an engraved American flag while the start/stop button looks to protrude from somewhere on the dashboard.

Jeep has big plans for the upcoming year with a redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee coming in 2021 as well.

Stay tuned on September 3 for the reveal of the 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Wagoneer models.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer teaser
All-New Jeep Grand Wagoneer Teaser | Photo: Jeep
Jeep Grand Wagoneer teaser
All-New Jeep Grand Wagoneer Teaser | Photo: Jeep

Chrysler Pacifica | Features

Experience the premium features Chrysler Pacifica & Pacifica Hybrid offer.

Since the company was founded in 1925, the Chrysler brand has continued to delight customers with its distinctive designs, craftsmanship and intuitively innovative technology – all at an extraordinary value. If you have questions about our products please use the “Contact Us” option from our website.

FCA Canada Introduces A New Ram 1500 “Built To Serve” Limited Edition Truck

Source: MotorIllustrated

2020 Ram 1500 “Built To Serve” | Photo: Ram

Stylish and ready to serve, the limited edition “Built To Serve” Ram 1500 enters its second phase


  • This is the second installment of the “Built To Serve” truck series.
  • The trucks will be offered in a variety of limited exterior colours.
  • All of them will include the 4×4 Off-Road Group.

The folks at FCA and Ram have announced that the production of the second installment of their “Built To Serve” limited edition truck is underway. These specific pickups will be available with Technical Grey 20-inch wheels, body-colour fender flares, an all-black grille, bumpers and light bezels, dual 4-inch black tailpipes, and more.

As Mike Koval, Head of Ram Brand, FCA – North America, puts it: “Ram truck owners, whether civilian or military, are familiar with the ‘Built to Serve’ adage as it’s something we strive to build into every truck and van we produce. Ram honours those who serve or have served with distinction.

These limited-run trucks are more than simply an appearance package. Each truck will feature the 4×4 Off-Road Group which includes: All-terrain tires, an electronic-locking rear differential, skid plates for the front suspension, fuel tank and transfer case, tow hooks, and heavy-duty off-road-calibrated front and rear shock absorbers.

Each Ram 1500 will also be available with low-volume paint options, including Ceramic Grey and Patriot Blue exterior colours along with a black interior with Light Ambassador Blue accent stitching. Other cabin enhancements will include a “Built to Serve” instrument panel badge, a lockable console storage, deeply bolstered cloth and vinyl Sport seats, and more.

2020 Ram 1500 “Built To Serve” | Photo: Ram

The Ram “Built to Serve” edition packages can be fitted on all body styles and with all powertrains. As well, a new “Built to Serve Edition” model will launch approximately every three months.

2020 Ram 1500 “Built To Serve” | Photo: Ram