If there's such a thing as an attractive, cutting-edge minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is it.
Granted, minivans have been evolving at a rapid rate, with new models sprouting clever features such as built-in vacuum cleaners and camera systems that let parents keep an eye on backseat shenanigans. And while the Pacifica Hybrid has its share of slick bells and whistles (we particularly like the large, easy-to-use 8.4-inch central touchscreen and dual rear-seat video monitors with built-in games), what really sets this Chrysler apart from the competition is what you don't see.
We're talking about the Pacifica Hybrid's gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain, a setup that uses a larger than average battery bank below the second-row seats to give this people-hauler a very respectable all-electric operating range of roughly 30 miles. A full recharge from a 240-volt Level 2 charger happens in just about two hours (charging it from a regular household-style outlet takes about 14 hours). Should you deplete that charge in the course of your everyday running about, the 3.6-liter gasoline engine kicks in seamlessly to give you a total range of up to 530 miles between gas station visits. Taken together, this setup earns the Pacifica Hybrid an EPA combined rating that puts it at the top of the minivan heap in terms of fuel economy.
Among its downsides are the fact that the hybrid system's under-floor battery pack does away with the brand's trademark Stow 'n Go second-row seating. (And though the seats no longer fold into the floor, they can still be removed for maximum cargo space.) Price is another potential negative, but depending on where you live, there are available tax incentives that bring the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid's bottom-line number down to the point where it compares favorably with non-hybrid minivan models.
Current Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is offered in two trim levels.
The entry-level Premium is well-equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, foglights, power-sliding doors, powered liftgate, power-folding and heated side mirrors, and keyless entry and ignition. Inside you'll find tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver seat, removable second-row seats, a 60/40-split folding third-row seat and second-row power windows. There's also a center-mounted 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system display, Bluetooth connectivity, voice commands, a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio, multiple USB ports and auxiliary audio input jacks. Other handy technology includes a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and an automated parallel and perpendicular parking system.
Moving up to the top-of-the-line Platinum model gets you 18-inch alloy wheels, hands-free sliding side doors, a hands-free liftgate, upgraded leather upholstery, a power front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system, which includes a 13-speaker audio system, DVD/Blu-ray player, seatback video screens, a household-style power outlet and several USB ports. There are additional safety features as well, including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and a surround-view camera. Options include a wireless device charging pad on the Premium trim and a panoramic sunroof available on the Platinum models.
Under the hood, both models get a 3.6-liter V6 that's mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and a pair of electric motors that can provide up to 33 miles of all-electric operation. The combined output of the V6 and the electric motors is 260 horsepower. According to EPA estimates, the setup should return combined fuel economy numbers of just north of 30 mpg, an excellent result.
While the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid looks good on paper, the view improves from the driver's seat. In our reviews, we found this fuel-efficient people mover a pleasure to drive, with solid acceleration thanks to the electric motors' instantaneous torque. Braking effort has a nice linear feel to it, something not all hybrid models equipped with regenerative braking can claim. The handling and steering provide an extra measure of confidence behind the wheel, and ride quality is noticeably smooth.
Used Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid models
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is an all-new model for 2017.
Read the most recent 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid page.