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For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Chrysler Pacifica are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Lincoln MKT doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.
The Pacifica (except Hybrid Touring) offers optional Forward Collision Warning Plus, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The MKT offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Pacifica has standard Rear Park Assist with Stop that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The MKT doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Chrysler Pacifica has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The MKT doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.
The Pacifica (except Hybrid Touring) offers an optional Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The MKT only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
Both the Pacifica and the MKT have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available lane departure warning systems.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Pacifica the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The MKT was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.
There are almost 3 times as many Chrysler dealers as there are Lincoln dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pacifica’s warranty.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Pacifica has a standard 730-amp battery. The MKT’s 650-amp battery isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chrysler vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chrysler 16th in reliability. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.
On the EPA test cycle the Pacifica Hybrid running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the MKT (87 city/76 hwy MPGe vs. 15 city/21 hwy).
On the EPA test cycle the Pacifica Hybrid running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the MKT (29 city/30 hwy vs. 15 city/21 hwy).
On the EPA test cycle the Pacifica gets better fuel mileage than the MKT (19 city/28 hwy vs. 15 city/21 hwy).
The Pacifica Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 32 miles. The MKT must run its internal combustion engine to move.
Regenerative brakes improve the Pacifica Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The MKT doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Pacifica’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The MKT doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chrysler Pacifica uses regular unleaded gasoline. The MKT requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Chrysler Pacifica higher (7 out of 10) than the Lincoln MKT (3). This means the Pacifica produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the MKT every 15,000 miles.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chrysler Pacifica, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the MKT.
The Pacifica Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The MKT doesn’t offer a CVT.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Pacifica’s wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer than on the MKT (121.6 inches vs. 117.9 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Pacifica is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the MKT.
For better maneuverability, the Pacifica’s turning circle is 1.8 feet tighter than the MKT AWD’s (39.7 feet vs. 41.5 feet).
The Chrysler Pacifica may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 600 pounds less than the Lincoln MKT.
The Pacifica is 3.8 inches shorter than the MKT, making the Pacifica easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The front grille of the Pacifica uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The MKT doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Pacifica uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The MKT doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Pacifica offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the MKT can only carry 7.
The Pacifica has 22.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKT (165.1 vs. 142.3).
The Pacifica has 3.3 inches more front hip room, 5.2 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 8.9 inches more rear hip room, 4.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 5.2 inches more third row headroom, 3.5 inches more third row legroom, 8.9 inches more third row hip room and 12.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the MKT.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pacifica’s middle and third row seats recline. The MKT’s third row seats don’t recline.
The Pacifica’s cargo area provides more volume than the MKT.
Behind Third Seat
32.3 cubic feet
17.9 cubic feet
Third Seat Folded
87.5 cubic feet
39.6 cubic feet
Second Seat Folded
140.5 cubic feet
75.9 cubic feet
The Pacifica has standard Stow ‘n Go™ second and third row seats (except second row on Hybrid), which fold flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The MKT only has a third row seat which folds into the floor. The MKT’s second row seat doesn’t fold into the floor and eats up cargo room.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Pacifica’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The MKT doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The Pacifica’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the MKT’s (3600 vs. 2000 pounds).
The Pacifica’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The MKT does not have an oil pressure gauge.
The Pacifica’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The MKT’s parking brake has to released manually.
The Pacifica’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The MKT’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
The Pacifica Hybrid has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The MKT doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Pacifica’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the MKT’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”
When the Pacifica Limited is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The MKT’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Pacifica (except Hybrid Touring)’s optional ParkSense Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, steering and operating the brakes. The MKT Reserve’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chrysler Pacifica will be $9973 to $20131 less than for the Lincoln MKT.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Pacifica second among minivans in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The MKT isn’t in the top three.
The Pacifica was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 3 years. The MKT has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.
The Chrysler Pacifica outsold the Lincoln MKT by almost 51 to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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