- The ChryslerPacifica Hybrid is the only plug-in hybrid minivan currently on the market.
- I tested a $US50,000 Limited version, crammed with tech and outfitted with an “S” appearance package.
- The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is our reigning minivan champ, beating out the popular Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna.
- After my latest test, I can say that the Pacifica is still the king.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Believe it or not, all minivans are not created equal.
The Honda Odyssey is an engineering masterpiece, while the Toyota Sienna could get you through a zombie apocalypse. Both can haul lots of kids, pets, and gear.
But the Chrysler Pacifica is special. It’s the spiritual descendant of the original minivan, rolled out decades ago. And it continues to lead with a combination of comfort, versatility, technology, and style – even though the Odyssey and Sienna provide stiff competition.
Of course, if you want a plug-in hybrid minivan, the Pacifica is your only choice. I recently re-tested a $US50,000, well-equipped 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Read on to find out if the champ continued to impress.
Behold! The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, in Limited trim with a “Velvet Red Pearl-Coat” paint job. This test car was $US45,395 before being optioned up to $US50,375.
The last time I tested the Pacifica, I concluded that “the key selling feature for the Pacifica is that it’s simply a damn pleasant place to spend time.” I didn’t just favour it over the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna due to its hybrid-ness.
This is essentially the same minivan I tested a few years back. The Pacifica nameplate replaced the Town & Country, and the hybrid version arrived in 2017.
I think the Pacifica is the best-looking minivan on the road, with a nice, shapely design. Our tester got the aggressive “S” package treatment, hence the blacked-grille, trim, and wheels.
Obviously, you can’t do that much with the rear end of what’s basically a small bus with a huge liftgate.
See what I mean. The contrast between the front view of the Pacifica and the rear is nothing new, however.
Deploy doors! The Pacifica’s dual automated sliders can be operated from the front seat, back seats, or by using the key fob.
Minivans absolutely kill it on cargo capacity, and the Pacifica is no exception. You have 32 cubic feet with all the seats up …
… And about 90 cubic feet with the third row dropped. With all seats except the fronts out of the picture, you’re working with a cavernous 140 cubic feet.
Our tester came with a black interior, dressed up with piping. The second row had captain’s-style seats.
And they were kid approved!
Overall, seating comfort was exceptional.
The front seats are heated and cooled and would be a joy on a long journey.
The dual-pane moonroof floods the cabin with natural light.
The bucket seats with “S” logos are crafted from Nappa leather.
The leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel is downright lovely, and the instrumentation is tech-y without being off-putting.
Again, what we have here is a minivan, and that’s mean maxi-storage and lots of cupholders.
The sliding side doors can be controlled or locked using these buttons.
Push-button ignition is the industry standard and …
The Pacifica’s fob has remote start as well as sliding-door control and liftgate activation.
The Pacifica makes use of Chrysler’s quite good Uconnect infotainment system. It covers all bases, from Bluetooth pairing to GPS navigation to USB/AUX connectivity.
The system runs off a seven-inch touchscreen that’s responsive and easy to use.
Throughout the vehicle, there are places to plug in devices.
Our Pacifica also tester included a pair of rear-seat entertain screens …
… as well as wireless headphones and a remote. Passengers can access their own entertainment while the driver can continue to listen to music.
The Harman/Kardon audio system is a wonderful 20-speaker setup with a 760-watt amplifier.
Let’s check out that hybrid powertrain!
The Pacifica’s eHybrid system has a 3.6-litre V6 yoked to a hybrid electric system whose two electric motors provide 260 total horsepower. It’s hooked up to a continuously variable transmission or CVT.
Here’s the hatch for the plug-in charger.
It’s very straightforward.
A charging cable is supplied. It will take over 12 hours to replenish the 16 kWh battery from a wall outlet with 120-volts. Level 2 charging at 240 volts will get the job done in around two hours.
The hybrid powertrain can run on electricity only for about 33 miles. On gas alone, the Pacifica’s combined city/highway number is 30 mpg, while “MPGe” is 82. Those are good numbers for a minivan.
And remember, there’s no range anxiety if you have a gas motor!
So what’s the verdict?
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is still my favourite minivan. I’d like it even if it weren’t in hybrid trim – but the bump up in MPGs with the plug-in tech is certainly a selling point. The $US50,000 price tag is also justified by the Pacifica’s near-luxury interior and graceful exterior styling.
When I last reviewed the vehicle, I wrote:
I’m not going to say that the Pacifica is exhilarating to drive; it isn’t. The 0-60 mph run consumes about 8 seconds, which is actually respectable considering the Pacifica weighs almost 5,000 pounds. Take that bulk into a corner with any spiritedness and you can feel the suspension protesting.
Guess what? That hasn’t changed! To be honest, the Odyssey still drives better. But the Pacifica is simply nicer. Will it outlive the tank-like Sienna? Probably not.
But if you’d like your minivan to have just a bit extra, to be the highest expression of the genre, the Pacifica should be your choice. The hybrid adds frosting on the cake, in the form of better fuel economy and lower emissions. And the “S” package adds a menacing flavour to the Chrysler.
The Pacifica is our reigning minivan-comparison champion, and now that I’ve once again checked in with this dandy vehicle, I can safely say that the king remains at the top of the hill.
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