Before 2017, there weren't many choices if you wanted good mileage from a vehicle with three rows of seating. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid was pretty much the only game in town. However, there's not much cargo room behind the third row in any three-row crossover, and adults don't fit easily into the legroom-challenged rear seats. The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid solves both of these problems, with a spacious seven-passenger layout and a cleverly concealed battery pack.
The Pacifica Hybrid is actually a plug-in hybrid, which means you can charge the hybrid battery pack with an external power source to get up to 33 miles of all-electric driving range. In some scenarios, that's enough juice to drop kids at school, go to the office, run an errand at lunch, then return for the kids and evening soccer practice, all without dipping into the gas tank. When you do need gas, a stout V6 engine kicks in to assume duty. The EPA estimates you'll get 32 mpg in combined driving, which is still by far the best in the minivan segment.
You only give up two things when choosing the plug-in Pacifica Hybrid over the standard minivan. The gas-only Pacifica features a seat management system called Stow 'n Go for the second and third rows. With it, both rows of seating fold neatly into the floor to create a flat load space behind the front seats. The Hybrid's 16-kWh battery pack occupies the empty space below the second row that allows those seats to be folded in the normal Pacifica. Additionally, a second-row bench is not available, so you can only seat seven in the Pacifica Hybrid.
Other than these minor drawbacks, the Pacifica Hybrid is pretty much the same as the standard Pacifica. There's the hybrid powertrain, of course, but you get the same high-quality interior materials, intuitive user interface and comfortable ride. And because the base Touring Plus Hybrid matches up with a midtrim Pacifica from a features standpoint, every Hybrid is fairly well-equipped. In fact, the fully loaded Limited isn't significantly more expensive than the Touring Plus, though this says more about the Hybrid's high starting price than the top trim's comparatively low upgrade cost. If you can look past the Pacifica Hybrid's base cost and lack of second-row Stow 'n Go, you'll be rewarded with a handsome minivan that offers cargo and third-row room superior to what you'll find in any rival.
trim levels & features
The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is a three-row minivan that seats seven passengers. It's available in three well-equipped trim levels: Touring Plus, Touring L and Limited.
Under the hood of every Pacifica Hybrid is a 3.6-liter V6 engine augmented with dual electric motors (260 horsepower total); the system is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that drives the front wheels. It can travel about 33 miles on electric power alone. After that, the V6 and normal hybrid operation take over. A 240-volt power supply can fully recharge the 16-kWh battery pack in about two hours.
Standard exterior features on the Touring Plus include 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, LED taillights, foglights, power-sliding doors, heated mirrors and keyless entry and ignition. Inside, you'll find an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with four-way power lumbar), a driver information display, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, ambient lighting, second-row power windows and a 60/40-split folding third-row seat.
Technology features include an 8.4-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Bluetooth, voice commands, and a six-speaker audio system with HD and satellite radio, a USB port and an auxiliary jack. Standard driver aids include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. A power liftgate is available as a stand-alone option.
The Touring L adds the power liftgate, along with roof rails, remote engine start, an upgraded center console, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery, and second- and third-row window shades.
Both Touring models can be ordered with a navigation system (which also adds 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity) and a rear-seat entertainment system, which includes a DVD player and an overhead display screen.
Upgrades to the top-level Limited are numerous. On the outside, the Limited adds automatic high beam control, automatic wipers, chrome trim, and hands-free operation for the sliding doors and liftgate. Inside, you'll find an auto-dimming mirror, adaptive cruise control, upgraded leather, a power passenger seat, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, an automated parallel and perpendicular parking feature, the navigation system, a 20-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system, and second- and third-row USB ports.
Passengers in back will also appreciate the Limited's added Blu-ray player, seatback video screens, a household-style power outlet, and wireless streaming from connected Android devices. Additional driver aids are also included, with front parking sensors, lane departure warning, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and a 360-degree parking camera added to the list. A panoramic sunroof and 18-inch wheels are optional.
Standard on the Limited and optional on the other models is a secondary driver key that Chrysler calls KeySense. Intended for younger drivers and valets, this key starts the car is a mode that limits top speed and volume, keeps all driver aids activated and restricts user-defined satellite radio channels.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (3.6L V6 plug-in hybrid | CVT automatic | FWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Pacifica Hybrid has received only minor revisions. Our findings remain applicable to this year's Pacifica Hybrid.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
child safety seat accomodation
audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.