2018 Chrysler Pacific Hybrid: Video Review and Road Test


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2018 Chrysler Pacific Hybrid: Video Review and Road Test
by Micah Muzio | May 1, 2018 4:00 PM

Minivans aren’t the first vehicles that pop to mind when thinking of cutting edge technology, but the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid can make the case that it is a leader with its fuel-saving powertrain. Equipped with a battery pack, the Pacifica Hybrid has a pure electric range of over 30 miles, delivers some pretty impressive fuel economy and is eligible for a federal tax credit to boot, something rivals like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna can’t claim. Micah Muzio explains in this Video Review and Road Test.


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Video Transcript

We've already reviewed and enjoyed the Chrysler Pacifica minivan, but did you know they make a Pacifica Hybrid? Well, they do. It might be one of the smartest ways to spend your minivan dollars. Why? Well, it's eligible for a federal tax incentive of $7,500, a number that essentially nullifies the Hybrid Touring Plus trims $7,400 premium over the equivalent non-hybrid. That kind of makes the hybrid seem like a real no-brainer, but, are there any downsides? Yes.

For one the Pacifica's awesome stow and go seats are not available on the hybrid because the underfloor storage area is filled with batteries. So, you got to do this, and that's pretty much it. Oh, you can do that too. Oh, no. The hybrid also tops out at seven seats while the non-hybrid can be equipped with eight seats. I leave it up to you to figure out who to leave behind. Tim, I'm looking in your direction.

As you might expect, the Pacifica Hybrid has its own unique driving character. When you leave from a stop there's just a little electric whirring until eventually the Atkinson-cycle V6 kicks in. That is unless you remembered to plug the thing in. Do so and the EPA says you'll cover 33 miles without combusting a drop of gasoline. With its dual-motor EV drive system and 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, the Pacifica Hybrid weighs a hearty 657 pounds more than the gasoline version. That sounds like a lot but for minivan driving it's not an issue.

Countering its extra heft and a slight horsepower deficit, the Pacifica Hybrid is aided by the wonders of electric torque. Whether peeling away from a stop, overtaking slower traffic on the freeway, or just lugging around dead weight, the Pacifica Hybrid accelerates assertively. Slow down and your foot is greeted by a touchy unnatural feeling brake pedal, like virtually every hybrid I've ever driven. How have we not solved that by this point? Ignore the pedal and some of the other weird noises and the Pacifica Hybrid could pass as a completely normal minivan until you scrutinize your fuel budget.

Even if you've never plugged it in the hybrid would be a much more efficient ride, but harness its electric range and according to the EPA you'll spend a lot less money driving the Pacifica Hybrid. In our case we averaged 25.6 mpg over nearly 1,000 miles traversing California at let's say spirited speeds. Moderate driving will yield better results. Oh, and if the federal mpg-e number means anything to you, the Pacifica is rated at 84.

Unlike a lot of hybrids there's no price premium, again assuming you can make use of that $7,500 federal tax credit. With the Pacifica Hybrid you buy it and then immediately start saving money. Ignore the mechanisms that make it so efficient, and the Pacifica Hybrid is just a minivan. It's got tons of storage cubbies, excellent passenger and cargo accommodations, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, and you know what, just watch our original Pacifica review if you're curious.

You might think of hybrids as small goofy environmental statement pieces, but the Pacifica Hybrid is different. In most regards it's just a Pacifica minivan except way more efficient. Evidently, hybridizing a minivan was a brilliant idea.


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