2018 Chrysler Pacifica vs Kia Sedona

April 4th, 2018 by

Except for a few unique situations, minivans are family vehicles. For buyers, that means the focus is on flexibility, practicality, comfort, features, and passenger and cargo capacity. Two of the best of the current crop are the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica and the Kia Sedona, so let’s see which one is best.

2018 Chrysler Pacifica vs Kia Sedona

Features and Equipment: Chrysler Pacifica

The new Pacifica L base model comes with a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a rearview camera, air conditioning, 17-inch wheels, blind-spot monitors, and rear parking sensors. The second-row seats don’t fold fully away, but that’s the only problem you could reasonably have with the entry point to the Pacifica family.

You’ll find quite similar basic features in base versions of the Kia Sedona, but the infotainment touchscreen is only five inches and there’s no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Those are small distinctions, but they will matter to many buyers.

Interior Comfort and Quality: Chrysler Pacifica

While some manufacturers are abandoning the minivan format, Chrysler has invested in the Pacifica in order to make it the best minivan it could possibly be for the money. That investment has certainly paid off. Though this is an admittedly large vehicle, the Pacifica makes the most of every inch of available space. There’s a total of 197.3 cu.-ft. inside the Chrysler, and 165 cu.-ft. is passenger space. With the Pacifica’s flexible seating, this is a minivan that can be a people carrier, a cargo van and just about any combination in between. None of that speaks to the quality of the design, fit and materials, which is excellent throughout.

If the Pacifica sets the standard for a non-luxury interior, which it does, the Kia isn’t far behind. The only thing that really lets the Sedona down is a cramped third-row, which is one of the smallest in the segment. That would probably be allowable in a crossover, but here in a people-hauling minivan it hands a sizeable victory to the Chrysler.

Looks: Chrysler Pacifica

How minivans look is probably not the top of the list for many buyers, but in a crossover world, it matters. It’s hard to make the utilitarian dimensions of a minivan look good, but Chrysler has done it as well as possible. The Pacifica is no sports coupe by any means, but it’s as sleek, modern, and stylish.

The Sedona was one of the best-looking minivans in the market–until the Pacifica debuted. You won’t consider the Kia frumpy or traditional with its unique grille and athletic stance, but it doesn’t have the posh finish the the Pacifica does.

Power and Performance: Chrysler Pacifica

A minivan full of people and cargo is a heavy vehicle to move, so big powerful engines are a necessity. The Pacifica has the latest version of Chrysler’s 3.6-liter V-6 under its hood, which puts a healthy 287 horsepower to the front wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission.

The Kia Sedona isn’t far behind with its 3.3-liter V-6, but its 276 horsepower and aging six-speed automatic is, again, no match for the Chrysler.

Learn More about the Chrysler Pacifica

If the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica wasn’t on the market, the Kia Sedona would be an easy recommendation to make. In fact, it would still be easy if the Kia was significantly cheaper than the Chrysler. But as there’s just $5 difference at the entry level, and especially since the Pacifica is better equipped at that price, it’s impossible to look beyond the Chrysler.