The Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid is just another example of how Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is doing its part to keep the minivan relevant. For a while there, it looked like SUVs were going to steal all the thunder from Sedans, coupes and minivans. It seems that lately, SUVs are all we test at Napleton.news anymore! But the new Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid just proved all the naysayers wrong.
The Pacifica Hybrid doesn’t compete in what you would consider a crowded field, but it does have some very worthy competitors. Whether it’s the Odyssey, the Sienna or Sedona, the Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid needs to bring it. In this case, it does.
Just what is the Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid?
Offering the convenience of an SUV with the form-factor of a van, the Pacifica is the latest version of a vehicle that is the legacy of the original Chrysler Minivan. Previously, the Pacifica was a station wagon-like vehicle. This new Chrysler Pacifica is a renaming of what used to be the Chrysler Town & Country minivan. Here, it features an all-new modern shape and design.
In the case of the Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid, it features the same body as the anything-but-standard Chrysler Pacifica. This time, though, it stands in a class of one, being the only minivan in the segment with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Normally propelled by a 3.6-liter V6, our Plug-in Hybrid version included a specialized 3.6-liter V6 engine with dual-electric motors and a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack for a total of 260 horsepower and a battery-only range of 32 miles per charge.
The Pacifica Hybrid is powered by a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for smooth shifts. As with any battery-assisted vehicle, your mileage may vary. Speaking of mileage, the EPA gives the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid a combined fuel economy rating of 30 mpg from the gas engine alone and an electric equivalent of 82 MPGe.
What about the Exterior?
Sensuously curvy, with a wedge-shaped profile, the handsome new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid will tick all the boxes of those who have had enough of the squarish-shaped competition. There’s plenty of glass throughout, including a double-paned panoramic sunroof.
Differences between the regular Pacifica and the Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid are more subtle. The main clue this isn’t like the standard model is the new honeycomb grille and the plug-in “gas cap” in the left front fender and some “hybrid” badging at other points on the vehicle. Just remember to avoid putting a gas hose in the plug-in socket!
The interior of our charge was, as we have seen in other Chrysler Pacifica models, well-designed and sorted using a nice array of high-quality materials. It was awash in Nappa leather throughout, with the S package logos stitched into the seatbacks. At the front was the award-winning Uconnect 4 Nav with an 8.4-inch display screen, Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay technology, and a 4G LTE Wi-fi hotspot. The Pacifica’s Active Noise Control (ANC) system helped keep most of the road noise outside the vehicle.
Sounds were provided courtesy of Harman Kardon’s 20-speaker 760-watt audio system that was over the top as far as what we would expect in any minivan.
Easy-Slide second-row bucket seats helped keep the customers happy in the middle row while they watched the Uconnect Theater with streaming and Blu-Ray/DVD player in two individual seatback screens. Once occupants removed themselves from the third-row seating, it was easy to get rid of the Stow n’Go bench seats. This allowed for a smooth floor cargo hold once they folded out of the way.
Extras? We’ve got extras!
There are plenty of ways to load up your Pacifica Hybrid, and this one was! Our example was equipped with the Advanced SafetyTec Group that included the 360 Surround-view camera with its bird’s eye view of everything around the vehicle. There was also full-speed forward collision warning plus, which would slow you down if needed. Adaptive cruise control performed a similar task on the highways, bringing the Pacifica to a complete stop in heavy traffic. Lane departure warning plus helped to steer us back between the lines, while parallel and perpendicular park assist with stop helped to halt the vehicle if it senses a car approaching from outside your field of view. Advanced brake assist, automatic wipers and auto high-beam assist all help to round out the package.
Behind the wheel.
Our Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid offered a smooth, quiet and satisfying ride throughout South Florida. Acceleration was brisk and relatively quiet thanks to the CVT transmission and the engine performed flawlessly as we quietly worked our way through the neighborhood in electric hybrid mode. It was only when we had to accelerate into fast-moving traffic did we notice the drive meter start to use up some of our battery reserves.
But not to worry, as the Chrysler Pacifica offered energy regeneration as we stepped on the brakes, to help recharge the lithium-ion battery system. Some buyers may even come to prefer the hybrid version of the Chrysler Pacifica over the standard drive model, thanks to its control and smoothness. That’s why we suggest you stop by for a test drive today to see if it fits your needs.
2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Specifications
|Type||Seven-passenger gasoline-hybrid minivan|
|Power||3.6-liter Gasoline V6 with electric motor generators and lithium-ion batteries|
|Torque||262 lb-ft of torque|
|Transmission||TourqueFlite EVT continuously variable transmission|
|Electric Range||32 miles|
|Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Curb Weight||4987 pounds|
|Overall length||203.8 inches|
|Payload Capacity||1200 pounds|
|Cargo Capacity||140.5 cubic feet|
|Towing Capacity||Not recommended|
|Fuel Capacity||16.5 gallons|
|Mileage||30 mpg gas / 82 mpg-e (Miles-per-gallon-equivalent)|