Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Bests Estimates, Now 33 Miles Range, 84 MPGe City

7 months ago by Jay Cole 77

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (seen here from the LA Auto Show in November) gets surprise all-electric range bump - now 33 miles (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (seen here from the LA Auto Show in November) gets surprise all-electric range bump – now 33 miles (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

The highly anticipated (and poorly named) plug-in minivan from Chrysler – the Pacifica Hybrid, has bested its own estimated performance numbers with today’s EPA ratings announcement.

2017 Chryaler Pacifica Hybrid Interior

2017 Chryaler Pacifica Hybrid Interior

Recently priced from $41,995 (+DST), the extended range van was expected to achieve a MPGe rating of 80 in the city, as well as a 30 mile range via its 16 kWh battery.

But as it turns out, Chrysler’s numbers for the Pacifica Hybrid were (refreshingly) a touch low, as the final EPA ratings give the van an extra 10% worth of range – now 33 miles, and a 84 MPGe city rating…impressive for a vehicle of this size.

“At 84 MPGe, the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid surpasses our initially stated performance.  These EPA test results paint a clear picture of the benefits our customers can expect from driving the most fuel-efficient minivan ever.” – ,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands at FCA

The total range of the Pacifica plug-in has also increased from 530 miles to 566.

The value in electrifying a vehicle of this size and class is obvious (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

The value in electrifying a vehicle of this size and class is obvious (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid enjoys the beach

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid enjoys the beach

These factors also lead to the EPA giving the van a rating of 10 on its Green Vehicle Guide, a sliding scale that was established to judge a vehicle’s “combined performance on fuel economy and greenhouse-gas emissions”.  Chrysler notes that this is the first time a minivan has been rated as a 10.

“(The rating) marks the first time a minivan has achieved a 10 – the highest possible rating – in this category. Such performance firmly establishes the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as the most fuel-efficient minivan of all time.”

More press via Chrysler is available on the achievement below, after an early first drive video on the Pacifica Hybrid by Alex on Autos.  Also check out our own Tom Moloughney’s review of the Pacifica Hybrid from the LA Auto Show here.

More via Chrysler:

Most Fuel-efficient Minivan Ever: All-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Exceeds Target Performance, Achieves 84 MPGe Rating

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid arrives in early 2017

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid arrives in early 2017

…“A large share of credit goes to the vehicle’s eFlite dual-motor electrically variable transmission (EVT),” said Bob Lee, Head of Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion, and Systems Engineering, FCA – North America.

eFlite, the Pacifica Hybrid’s distinguishing technology, is an in-house FCA US innovation. It was developed by a team of engineers assigned exclusively to the task of delivering powertrain efficiency within the functionality envelope customers expect from minivans.

“It is exceptionally well-suited to deliver the primary attributes we sought to infuse in the Pacifica Hybrid’s propulsion system – class-leading efficiency and superior refinement,” added Lee, who also oversees the Company’s global powertrain operations.

Conventional electrification schemes dedicate one motor to serve as a generator and a second motor – usually much larger – to deliver torque to the wheels. But the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid uses a one-way clutch that allows the motor typically used only as a generator to deliver torque to the wheels, depending on driving conditions.

The result is increased efficiency, refinement and improved component packaging.

Chrysler Pacifica's 16 kWh battery

Chrysler Pacifica’s 16 kWh battery

The Pacifica Hybrid’s 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located under the second-row floor, keeping the rear cargo area as roomy as ever and preserving the third-row Stow ‘n Go seating and storage, plus room for seven passengers. Recharging can take as little as two hours using a 240-volt (Level 2) charger, available from Mopar through dealers.

With a 120-volt (Level 1) charger, which comes standard with the vehicle, the Pacifica Hybrid can be fully recharged in approximately 14 hours. The vehicle also benefits from regenerative braking.

When the battery’s energy is depleted to a certain threshold, the Pacifica Hybrid becomes a part-time electric vehicle, like a conventional hybrid, to maximize energy and efficiency. Power to the wheels is supplied by the electric drive system or supplemented by a specially adapted new version of the award-winning gasoline-powered Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6.

An upgraded version of the original 3.6-liter Pentastar – named one of Wards 10 Best Engines on three occasions – the new V-6 uses the Atkinson combustion-cycle system. This helps reduce pumping losses to further improve efficiency.

The EPA estimates the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid’s annual fuel cost, gas and electricity combined, at $900. The vehicle pricing starts at $34,495 with available U.S. federal tax credit, not including state and local incentives.

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77 responses to "Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Bests Estimates, Now 33 Miles Range, 84 MPGe City"

  1. Mark V says:

    They are sooooo close to making the ultimate family vehicle here. Bump up that battery to 35kwh and achieve 100km electric range and you have an amazing machine. Still pretty impressive anyway at 50km.

    1. fotomoto says:

      33mi x 365=12,000 miles/year EV. That will greatly reduce a family’s petrol use and that’s with only one charge per day.

        1. Pjwood1 says:

          ..and the 6.6kw charging should mean a lot to newbies who can plug in during the day. 2.5hrs and 33 all over again. GM did wrong what Chrysler got right here.

      1. Andrew S says:

        I’ve never seen range multiplied out like that… but that’s genius. That really puts things into perspective.

        1. fotomoto says:

          And I think that’s why you see so many knee-jerk reactions to lower range PHEV’s. Even a 20 mile car charged twice a day (home & work) still nets 10K EV miles/year (less two weeks vacation) on level I charging and that doesn’t included weekend driving.

      2. Lou Grinzo says:

        Not meaning to rain on anyone’s parade, but I seriously wonder about how often people will plug in this vehicle after, say, the first couple of months of ownership. I know, Volt owners are notoriously diligent about maximizing the portion of their driving done on electrons. And I sincerely thank them for that.

        But how prevalent is that pattern among PHEV owners, including the Volt? This is the main reason I get much more excited when I see a BEV on the road instead of a PHEV. I don’t have the luxury of running my Leaf on gasoline if I’m lazy and don’t feel like plugging it in. But I do know people who are telling me they like the idea of a PHEV but would only remember to plug it in about once a week.

        1. MikeG says:

          Sounds like a good use case for wireless charging.

        2. ArkansasVolt soon-to-be ArkansasPacificaHybrid says:

          As a Volt Owner, I have never skipped plugging it in due to laziness. I have only forgotten to plug it in 1 or 2 times in my 5+ years of ownership (and over 100k miles too).

        3. Ziv says:

          Lou, I hear you, but after owning a Volt for 3.5 years, I hate to smell the gasser kick in at the end of the day. After a couple days of silent torque’y power, Pacifica owners will learn to be pretty diligent about plugging in. Wait and watch.

        4. Raymond J Ramirez says:

          The plugging in practice depends on many factors, including availability and cost. But true EV owners, when properly educated, will always plan to recharge overnight, and later use opportunity charging at EVSe equipped sites. Only the very few who never want to be “educated” would buy such a vehicle and not use its benefits. These don’t deserve this Van because they will start complaining and degrade its rating, especially on CR. It is the responsibility of the dealer to evalaute the buyer and decide if that buyer will indeed charge up the EV as it was designed to.

    2. SparkEV says:

      Problems are cost and weight. That much bigger battery could make the car cost close to $50K post subsidy as well as adding hundreds of pounds extra, reducing carry-weight capacity by as much.

    3. no comment says:

      what “33 miles” means is that there are (generally seasonal) conditions under which you will probably get more than 33 miles and other conditions under which you will get less than 33 miles. i have a gen1 Chevrolet Volt and most of my gasoline usage is during the winter months.

      1. Ziv says:

        no comment is right. My 2013 Volt gets 43-45 AER miles pretty easily 9 months of the year, with AER days over 50 miles happening at least 2 or 3 times a month.
        3 months out of the year though, aren’t as nice. I range between 28 and 34 miles of AER during the winter, and I have had days of just 26 miles, albeit infrequently. And the dreaded ERDTT when the temp is below 15 degrees is a gas day no matter what.

  2. KUD says:

    33 Miles electric range, makes you wonder about the other PHEV out there. With the exception of the Volt of course.

    1. WARREN says:

      With the Volt being the highest range PHEV at 50 miles EV range, it truly makes you realize the i3 rex range of 100 miles on EV range is pretty remarkable. All it needs is 1.5 gallons more gas capacity to have a more than adequate total range capacity.

  3. David Murray says:

    Wow.. That’s only 2 miles away from the original 2011 Volt’s EPA range of 35 miles. So that is definitely a good range for a PHEV, and beats the Prius Prime by 8 miles!

    1. SparkEV says:

      Yup. This is the only hybrid I might consider and I hate hybrids. You know the world is turning upside down when GM and Chrysler are among the top of my list, and none of the Asian/European brands.

    2. no comment says:

      i suspect that the pacifica phev has a greater DoD than does the gen1 volt as GM was very conservative in how they managed the battery.

  4. ClarksonCote says:

    “But the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid uses a one-way clutch that allows the motor typically used only as a generator to deliver torque to the wheels, depending on driving conditions.”

    The Volt does this too with its generator motor under appropriate conditions, regardless of being in battery mode or range-extended/gas mode. Glad that other companies have similar approaches to increase efficiency!

    1. Brian says:

      From the marketing description of all of these cars, they all sound very similar to Toyota’s HSD. It seems like everyone is taking the idea and building on it to make their PHEVs.

      I’m sure that in the weeds, each manufacturer has put their own flavor on the design.

      1. MT says:

        Toyota’s HSD method uses planetary gear sets with no clutch whatsoever; the different modes and speeds are all controlled electronically by how much torque is input on each electric motor. It’s an ingenious system that has proven incredibly reliable. Ford uses the same system.

        GM uses multiple clutches in their hybrid system, which has also been very reliable in use.

        Chrysler’s is probably different from both, but I haven’t researched it yet.

        I expect Chrysler’s to be more similar to the GM solution, as it has been rumored that the Toyota system is harder to scale up to larger, heavier vehicles. I hope this is not true, as HSD is a really elegant system, once you get to know and understand how it works.

        I hope to find details of the Chrysler hybrid transmission tonight.

        1. Brian says:

          Interesting. Thanks for the clarification.

        2. Raymond J Ramirez says:

          I saw a video that contained reviews of the different EDUs (electric drive units) that hybrids use. The reviewer commented that the Pacifica Hybrid uses a similar verison of the Ford’s HF35 EDU that has few clutches (unlike GM’s Volt EDU). So maybe Chrysler is using a Ford design, and not a GM design.

        3. Raymond J Ramirez says:

          Ford doesn’t use the Toyota’s HSD system at all! The first Ford hybrids in 2009 had a similar design to Toyota, and Ford discovered this so they made a “patent agreemmnet” with Toyota. Now the new HF35 system is a Ford design, used in all the Fusion and C-Max (and Lincoln MKZ) hybrids since 2012. As I posted before, Ford NEVER copied Toyota! I know this because I have the details while investigating the Ford hybrids for myself. All of this is available at the Ford websites. Please stop speading those Toyota lies!

  5. philip d says:

    This would’ve be a home run if they would have set it up to be able to lock it in EV mode without the engine coming on under heavy acceleration.

    Obviously to do that they would have needed to give it a more powerful electric motor. It has the same battery pack capacity as the first generation Volt so there is no reason they couldn’t have given it a 150 hp motor.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      My understanding is that it defaults to an “EV Only” mode, which essentially prevents the engine from coming on unless the pedal is floored. Is that not true?

      1. Neromanceres says:

        My understanding is there is a gauge with green and orange sections. If you push the accelerator hard enough (more than ~50% throttle input). The gas engine will come on when the gauge moves into the orange section. But the gauge will show you how close you are to pushing it to start the engine.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Interesting, thanks for the insight.

          Well, I guess that’s not horrible given an electric drive that can’t accelerate the vehicle quickly at all speeds.

          At least the gauge lets the driver know when the engine will come on…

          1. Raymond J Ramirez says:

            That is because the main traction motor is not big enough to handle 100% of the propulsion needs, unlike the Chevy Volt which can reach 99 MPH under pure EV power. The Ford HF35 can reach 85 MPH in EV only mode, so it is close enough. As I posted above, a reviewer posted that the Pacifica Hybrid may be indeed using a Ford design.

    2. Sopfu says:

      I’m certain this will be replacing my TDI, but I also wish it had selectable driving modes. EV mode is also only up to 70mph. My commute to work in Chicago often requires more than 70mph. On the other hand, one way to put the van in charge maintenance mode on long trips is to cruise faster than 70mph.

      @Clarkson – no, it will kick on the engine if the accelerator is floored. The electric motors are only good for around 100hp, which would deliver anemic acceleration after ~30mph without a little petrol boost.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        The caveat you noted for the engine coming on is also what I said above.

        But I thought you could select modes, and that it just defaults to an “EV Only” mode (with the whole flooring it exception).

        I’m anxious to see more reviews and details about how it works. This thing has the potential to offset a lot of gas usage per vehicle sold, far more than a Prius Prime.

        1. Raymond J Ramirez says:

          If we evaluate how the Minivans are used every day, the lower EV only speed is good enough for all practical needs. Using gas when traveling at higher speeds is expected, and only the Volt and the pure BEVs prevent using gas if the battery has sufficient charge.

  6. Pjwood1 says:

    OPPEC wishes the Pacifica and Inside EVS a happy holidays.

  7. Jake Brake says:

    Your move GM, wheres the plug in suburban with 30+ miles of range?

    1. WARREN says:

      Now that would net the biggest fuel savings in the overall scheme of things. Probably not profitable enough for GM to do that yet. They will sell their low volume EVS so they can sell their high volume, high profit gas guzzlers. Why ruin a good thing for them?

      1. pjwood1 says:

        Think Equinox diesel. Less expensive to build, picking up share abandoned by VW, competing with Pacifica Hybrid.

        GM is doing well, with November sales punching up the stock, today.

      2. SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD says:

        More like — Hey Honda/Toyota — wake up already. Odyssey is getting old and want to stay with reliability, but Pacifica is making a strong case here if the Bolt doesn’t fly with enough cargo space.

    2. SJC says:

      GM had a Tahoe hybrid, it had a 6 litre engine.

    3. JeremyK says:

      I’ve be happy with an AWD Equinox PHEV.

      1. SJC says:

        That would be good, Equinox is based on Malibu and they have a REAL Malibu hybrid now. GM does not get it.

    4. Raymond J Ramirez says:

      No, I expect to see Cadillac move first with hybrid Escalades and XT5s, as they have done with the CT6.

  8. Paul says:

    I think the problem is more Chrysler’s reputation for poor reliability.

    1. MikeG says:

      Aren’t transmissions normal wear items like brake pads in Chrysler minivans?

      1. G2 says:

        Having owned two, and having replaced two transmissions I’d have to agree with you.

      2. Raymond J Ramirez says:

        The Pacifica Hybrid doesn’t even have a “transmission” in the mechanical sense. It uses an EDU (electric drive unit), similar to the Chevy Volt, and the Ford hybrids. The EDU may be a Ford rebranding!

  9. Brian says:

    This is a minivan I wouldn’t be ashamed to drive! My father has been pestering me to “upgrade” my ride to a minivan for my growing family. If he gets wind of this one, I’ll never hear the end of it!

    1. SJC says:

      In California 16 kWh gets you $2500 tax credits and $7500 from the feds. That brings the price down to $32,000.

      1. dgalvan123 says:

        Correction: The California rebate is $2,500 for a fully-electric BEV, $1,500 for a PHEV.

        So the Pacifica Hybrid will get $1,500 of CA rebate.
        https://cleanvehiclerebate.org/eng

      2. dgalvan123 says:

        Also, according to Chrysler’s website, the lower-end hybrid is the Pacifica Hybrid Premium, which has base price of $41,995 plus a destination charge of $1,095. Yields a total sale price of MSRP+destination charge of $43,090.

        If you are in California (let’s say Los Angeles) you pay ~9% in sales tax. That brings the total out of pocket to (1.09 x $43,090 = ) $46,968.10.

        After the $1,500 California rebate (arrives as a check a couple months later), and the $7,500 in federal tax credit (arrives when you do your taxes in 2018), the net out of pocket cost for owning this vehicle would be:

        $37,968.10

  10. Alan says:

    Great Electric only range, it won’t sell great outside of the US though with that 3.6L V6 engine providing 18-20mpg and the price range.

    My Outlander PHEV copes very well with a 2.0L engine so it’s a shame they couldn’t have put something slightly more economical in it to supplement the Battery.

    Good effort though and every little helps.

    1. Brian says:

      The Outlander PHEV is a great vehicle but I wonder if/when it will ever compete with the Pacifica PHEV (i.e. both available in the same market).

      Both would sell well side-by-side in the US. The small SUV factor (yes, that’s small here) is very popular. But the Pacifica offers third row seating with fold-and-go seats. That offers much greater flexibility. The third row could eventually become a requirement for me (i.e. more than 5 seats), so it’s good to have the option available.

      1. Alan says:

        Certainly great to have flexibility in seating, especially if you need 7 seats.

        Why Mitsu haven’t released this in the US is beyond me, I average nearly 90mpg albeit only doing 8K a year and after Electricity cost I am getting about 70 mpg. It works out at the equivalent of 103mpg in EV only mode (due to the cost of a gallon here in the UK).

    2. Cwuwlaw says:

      Where do you get the mpg from? I read elsewhere the combined non EV (depleted battery) mpg would be 32 for the hybrid? Isn’t that pretty close to the Outlander?

      1. Alan says:

        http://www.hybridcars.com/chrysler-announces-2017-pacifica-hybrid-fuel-economy-range-ratings/

        It was actually 22 miles combined, 18 + 28 (City & Highway).

        Anyone in Europe would class this as a gas guzzler at $7 a gallon here !

        1. pjwood1 says:

          From your link: “That same V6 powers the rest of the non-hybrid Chrysler Pacificas in which it is rated at 18 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.”

          This van has regenerative braking, and other features like an Atkinson tuned 3.6. You can’t assume it won’t beat “22 mpg combined”, for these reasons alone.

          The engine-only numbers should’ve come out with EPA data. Jay?

          1. Jay Cole says:

            We’ll for sure run down all the advanced EPA specs (extended MPG, city EV range, highway EV range, etc)

            …not sure on the ETA for that, first of the month news-cycle and sales day is a bit of a logistical nightmare for us

            1. David S. says:

              It can be estimated by calculation from the total range minus AER divided by the gas tank capacity. Result is 32 MPG combined.

              1. SJC says:

                Paciica PHEV is about 30 mpg combined.
                No MPGe funny business.

        2. =j says:

          The engine is retuned to an Atkinson cycle, which is more thermally efficient. Even without the batteries, I would expect to gain at least an mpg. (566-33)/17=31 Not too shabby.

          1. Alan says:

            I guess having had a Citreon Grand Picasso 7 seater which returned nearly 60mpg over 3 years (Diesel BTW) makes us Europeans think that anything under 50mpg isn’t great and anything under 40mpg is awful.

            Can’t wait to go all electric, something like the Bolt returning around 250 miles for 60kWh’s would equate to around the equivalent of 220 mpg due to our high fuel cost.

            1. SJC says:

              With over 30 miles electric, you can go 12,000 per year with NO gasoline at all.

      2. Alan says:

        Getting about 40-42 mpg in Petrol (gas) only with careful driving BTW

        1. =j says:

          Imperial or US?

          1. Alan says:

            Imperial !

  11. David S. says:

    What are the EPA ratings in ICE mode (charge-sustaining)? Are they out yet?

  12. Juice13 says:

    Wonder if we will start seeing hour meters on the ICE engines in the future. Buying one of these used you wouldn’t know how many of those miles travelled on the odometer the V6 was driving the wheels, or, likely inversely, how many charge/discharge cycles the battery received.
    This looks like a great product! Would be a perfect fit next to a bolt/model3 in the garage.

  13. Ziv says:

    33 miles of city AER is very nice for a vehicle of this size! And the 6.6 kW charge rate means that you can pick up 20-22 additional miles of AER during a one hour lunch break. That is very nice as well!
    Here is hoping that Chrysler has a hit on their hands!

  14. Anderlan says:

    Still no hybrid mode MPG numbers?!? Fueleconomy.gov still just shows the vanilla drivetrain numbers (18/28).

    1. David S. says:

      Total range is now 566 miles minus 33 miles AER that means 533 miles in hybrid mode. The hybrid supposedly has a 16.5 gallon gas tank.
      533/16.5 = 32 MPG. Combined or highway? It depends how Chrysler got the total range number…

    2. David S. says:

      Since that 32 MPG seemed really good to me, I checked the gas model. According to fueleconomy.gov, the range is 418 miles with a 19 gallon gas tank, which is exactly equal to the 22 MPG combined fuel economy.

      That makes me confident that 32 MPG is the combined hybrid mode rating.

    3. WadeTyhon says:

      They may have calculated it themselves and it is not the official number, but Autoblog’s First Drive stated that the Hybrid MPG was 32.

      http://www.autoblog.com/2016/12/02/2017-chrysler-pacifica-hybrid-first-drive-review/

      “When working as a hybrid and not in EV mode, the Pacifica Hybrid nets a combined rating of 32 mpg. On a full tank and a full charge, it has a range of 566 miles.”

  15. Jay D. says:

    SUVs can’t match the utility of a minivan, and these ratings have knocked the Outlander PHEV off my list, even if it was already on Mitsu dealer lots. Only a quantum leap in minivan features would convince my thrifty wife to dump her Odyssey of 220 kilomiles, and this is that leap. Hey Honda- suck that up your built-in vacuum cleaner!

  16. Rouss says:

    The combined mpg for hybrid mode (once EV range is used up) is 32 mpg. This combined rating is based on 55% city and 45% highway. My cmax energi is rated at 38 mpg in hybrid only. Considering the size difference, that is pretty darn good. Also, they said annual fuel costs for 15,000 miles a year is $900 (gas and electric costs combined). My c max energi is $800 a year. Pretty similar costs.

  17. Paul Schlueter says:

    I hope it is also FlexFuel capable so it can run on E85 when you need to go longer distances. That would be the ideal vehicle for me. I don’t want to buy any more petroleum only ICE’s, even if it is in a PHEV. My wife and I will only buy electric or FlexFuel vehicles from now on. Currently have 2 Nissan Leafs and 1 Buick which is FlexFuel and is run exclusively on E85.

  18. bws says:

    When is this car actually going to be in the showroom (lets say in California)? I have not been able to get any definitive info (originally they said late 2016, but that now looks unlikely).

    I think this might be a good fit for my mom, but they want to get a car in the next month or two.

    1. Raymond J Ramirez says:

      If you REALLY wnat this Hyrbrid minivan, then wait for it.