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A black 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is parked in a driveway with children playing near it.

Decoding the Tech in the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica

The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica minivan provides the essential vehicle experience for a family that needs a safe, reliable, and fun vehicle to take you to all the places you need to go. It’s a feature-packed van with a lot to offer, but something that rarely does get talked about is exactly what all the tech does and how one can use it. The infotainment center, in particular, has become an intensely competitive space in passenger vehicles. The Pacifica is no slouch and offers an incredible system that drivers are sure to love, once it’s set up properly, of course.

Vans, SUVs, and even some trucks now carry incredibly high-tech touchscreens, wireless connectivity, navigation, and more, and it can be confusing to know even how to begin using it all. It carries an expensive price tag with it, too, so you’re wise for wanting to look further into capitalizing on everything being offered. From the infotainment center to the instrument cluster that sits on the other side of the wheel, we will break down what you need to know in order to take full advantage of the tech features packed into your 2021 Chrysler Pacifica.

Setting up the Pacifica’s in Vehicle Technology

First thing’s first, you’re going to have to get some of this set up. Fortunately for you, your dealership will be able to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you with this. The clock in most modern vehicles is tied to the satellite navigation system and automatically adjusts itself, so you don’t need to worry about being an hour late to work come daylight savings ever again.

Some of the stuff you will have to set up includes the all-new Amazon Alexa integration. If you have an Alexa in your home or installed on your phone, you can lock/unlock your Pacifica’s doors, set off your Pacifica’s alarms, and more. To set this up, all you have to do is open your Alexa app on your phone, open “Menu,” and then go to “Skills.” Under “Skills” search for Uconnect/Chrysler, and then select “Enable.” Once you have done this, log on with your Chrysler Vehicle Owner Account ID and password. After that, you can use Alexa with your Chrysler Pacifica.

A woman is looking at the camera system in a 2021 Chrysler Pacifica.

Driver Information Center/ Instrument Cluster

Front and center, you have your driver info center or instrument cluster. These are pretty standard in all vehicles, and here you will find the typical odometer and speedometer. What makes the instrument display on the Pacifica so cool is between your gauges is a display screen. This can be controlled via the buttons located on the steering wheel. Push the up and down arrows to scroll through your options, the right arrow to select, and the left arrow to get back to the previous screen. You can select different views such as a digital speed readout, vehicle information, tire pressure (ratings for each individual tire), and change the settings for driver assistance features.

You should be able to control everything you need to from the slight adjustment of your thumbs so you can keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Even more, all of it can be customized to your specifications.

Infotainment System

The onboard infotainment system is the all-in-one Uconnect 5. It can be one of the most intimidating pieces of hardware on the whole dashboard console. Luckily learning how to use it is pretty easy, and once you’ve got a handle on the basics of the system, the rest is pretty straightforward.

But first, you need to connect your phone. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. On your smartphone, go to your “Settings” to open “Bluetooth.” Turn your Bluetooth on
  2. On your Uconnect system, press “Phone,” then select “Settings,” followed by “Paired Phones.” Here you will click “Add Device.”
  3. Now, on your smartphone, select your Uconnect system from the device list.
  4. One of two things will happen now; you might simply have to confirm that the passkey on the Uconnect screen matches the one on your smartphone, or you will need to enter a PIN displayed on your Uconnect. If you have to enter a PIN, type it in on your smartphone.
  5. Finally, set your phone a “Favorite” by pressing the “Yes” button when prompted.

The main Uconnect display is a touchscreen, just like your smartphone. When you are manipulating the tools such as scroll bars, be sure to apply gentle but even pressure with the tip of your forefinger and move steadily but smoothly to bring the scrolling icon where you need it to be.

Luckily the 10.1-inch screen is incredibly responsive, so you won’t have to wait through lagging menus as you press a button and have to wait three seconds for an input response. Your home screen will give you a basic overview of essential functions like what music is playing, your favorite contacts, with room for extra widgets and apps which you can customize.

At the top of your screen, you have your notification center and stats (things like the time and internal/external temperatures). By pressing any of these top icons, you can access a more detailed display. Along the bottom of the screen, you have your major functionalities that you’ll be using more often. From left to right, you have home, music, climate control, navigation, wireless connections (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), vehicle information display, and additional apps. Clicking on any of these will open up an entirely new menu of options to customize your driving experience.

A close up shows the infotainment screen on a 2021 Chrysler Pacifica.

Uconnect Theater

Using the Uconnect Theater in the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is easy if you’ve already mastered navigating your infotainment center. The Uconnect Theater system is comprehensive and allows you to connect compatible smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, and more. These let your second-row passengers watch movies, play games, or search the net on 10.1-inch screens on the back of the driver and front passenger seat.

To watch movies or access personal devices, you will need to connect your device to the USB port in the front row. There are also two HDMI ports available to let you connect to laptops or other devices, as well as an available disc player so you can watch movies. If noise is a concern, users can connect headphones through an auxiliary jack. To play audio for the entire cabin, choose the “Listen In” feature. Even better, parents can put the content on “time-out” mode by locking touchscreens and remote controls.

Some features can only be utilized if you have in-vehicle WiFi. A 4G LTE WiFi hotspot for your vehicle can cost between $10 and $25 a month, with annual plans available as well. All of which can be invaluable if you have children and do a lot of traveling.

Best In Class Tech

It is no wonder the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica has the best family entertainment system in its class. The advanced features are many, but the tools and methods of using them are universal. Once you’ve learned where menus are, you won’t even need to take your eyes from the road to be the master DJ, climate controller, and child care provider behind the wheel.