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Autotrader: This popular family car has earned top-notch safety ratings

The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica, a popular family-hauler, is a Top Safety Pick+, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Shoppers will need to look closely to find top-rated Pacifica variants, however.

Last week, the insurance industry-funded non-profit said headlight and pedestrian-detection system improvements made during the 2021 model year elevated the van to its top tier.

Still, all redesigned-for-2021 Pacifica vans scored the highest possible ratings in nearly every instrumented crash test performed by the IIHS. Overall, the vans have top-notch crash-avoidance tech, including automatic emergency braking, at least when detecting and braking for other vehicles. A few tweaks made during October 2021 production improved the automatic emergency braking system’s ability to detect and apply the brakes for pedestrians and cyclists.

Read: Why is this modest car such a magnet for thieves?

Additionally, the IIHS says the standard LED headlights were improved beginning in April 2021, which saw a reduction in headlight glare and resulted in a shift from “Poor” to “Acceptable” ratings.

The Pacifica was revamped for 2021, though its predecessor was also rated a Top Safety Pick. That model missed out on the “+” rating due to its “Poor”-rated standard halogen headlights. The closely related 2021 Chrysler Voyager, sold only to fleet buyers, is equipped with those “Poor” headlights.

Also see: These are the cars that cost the most and least to insure

The IIHS has not said whether the Top Safety Pick+ rating will carry over into 2022, though the Pacifica sees only minor updates for the new model year. 

This story originally ran on Autotrader.com.

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