The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid were among 27 vehicles earning a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in its first batch of awards for 2019 models. The minivan missed being among 30 vehicles getting the higher Top Safety Pick Plus award because of second-tier acceptable scores in one crash test and for its best available, acceptable-rated headlights.
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The Pacific continued to merit a Top Safety Pick award even as IIHS tightened requirements for the 2019 awards. The Pacifica, we should note, also was Cars.com’s Best of 2017 award winner in its debut year.
The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica got the top score of good in five of six crash tests and an acceptable score in the new passenger-side small overlap front crash test. The minivan’s optional front crash prevention system earned the top superior rating. The best of five available headlight systems was rated acceptable, while two others were marginal and two more (the standard lights on most trim levels) rated poor for inadequate low-beam visibility.
What You Have to Buy for the Best Scores
Getting the superior front crash prevention system requires the optional $995 Advance SafetyTec package, which also includes other features. It’s only available on the top four of six Pacifica trim levels and the top Limited trim level of the Pacifica Hybrid. It is not standard on any model and is not available on the lower two trim levels of either Pacifica version. The top-rated headlights only are available on the conventional Pacifica’s top Limited trim with the optional Advance SafetyTec package.
Versus Previous Model Years
The 2019 model matches the Top Safety Pick designation the Pacifica had for the 2018 model. The 2017 was a Top Safety Pick Plus, but IIHS has tightened the requirements since them. Compare model years here.
Among minivans, the 2019 Honda Odyssey also is a Top Safety Pick with optional front crash prevention and headlights. The 2019 Toyota Sienna, 2019 Kia Sedona and 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan came up short of the award, giving Chrysler and Honda a decisive edge among family haulers for which safety is a primary concern among buyers. Compare the minivan scores here.
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How IIHS Tests
In its testing, the safety group rates vehicles as good, acceptable, marginal or poor for how well they protect occupants in six crash tests: driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats. It also tests technology, if available, that can prevent or mitigate a frontal crash and rates it superior, advanced or basic. In addition, it tests headlights for high- and low-beam reach on straightaways and curves, as well as for low-beam glare, rating them good, acceptable, marginal or poor.
What It Takes to Get an Award
For 2019, a Top Safety Pick award requires good ratings in five crash tests: the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints. It requires acceptable or good in the passenger-side small overlap front crash test. It also must have a front-crash prevention system rated advanced or superior and an acceptable or good rating for its best available headlights. The higher Top Safety Pick Plus designation tightens this to require the top score of good in the passenger-side small overlap front crash test and for the best available headlights.
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