Cars.com Takes Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (Plug-in) For A Spin

7 months ago by Steven Loveday 20

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Cars.com had its first opportunity to take the all-new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (plug-in) for a spin.

The reviewer says:

“It’s an idea that we’re kind of surprised hasn’t happened sooner — a hybrid minivan.”

Inside the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Inside the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Yes, it really is the first of its kind, and it’s pretty surprising that there have been no other entrants to the segment … yet.

According to the EPA, the Pacifica gets 84 MPGe and up to 570 miles of range with a fully-charged battery, and a topped-off fuel tank. These are outstanding stats for family road trips.

The Pacific Hybrid has a 3.6-liter V6 and a 16 kWh 360 Volt lithium-ion battery pack. The pack is good for about 33 miles of electric-only driving. Again, a decent number for families tooling around on errands or dropping off and picking up kids. Heck, it should even handle a majority of people’s commute … at least one way.

Chrysler says that once the battery is depleted, that minivan still achieves a combined 32 mpg. This ousts the 22 mpg combined rating of the ICE Pacifica. Let’s get to Cars.com’s official test drive observations.

The Drive

Not your typical plug-in interior.

Ann Arbor, Michigan to Chicago, IL – 241 miles

  • 30 miles battery only
  • 27.6 mpg (75 mph/cruise control/highway only)

Around town – 150 miles 

  • 33+ miles battery only
  • 45 mpg (speeds less than 50 mph, stop-and-go traffic, maximized regenerative braking)

Cars.com observed that the highway stats were almost exactly the same as that of the ICE Pacifica. The traditional Pacifica has an EPA rating of 28 mpg on the highway. Also, at times, the battery was almost fully depleted after just 26 miles of highway driving. In the city, on the other hand, the returns were outstanding. Battery-only range exceeded the 33 miles, and the efficiency for a seven-passenger vehicle of this size is unparalleled.

Other Notable Takeaways

You can’t choose if you want electric-only power or not. The Pacifica Hybrid will turn to the ICE engine whenever the needs arises (cranking up the heat or AC, pushing it hard on the freeway while passing). Having a heavy foot means that the gas is going to kick in.

However, like a traditional hybrid, the car uses the electric motors almost always, even with a dead battery. At a slow clip, the electric motors still move the car. The V6 kicks in later, charges the battery a bit, and readies the Pacifica’s electric motors for the next task.

According to Cars.com, with access to a “new” 240 volt charger, you can charge the Pacifica Hybrid’s battery pack in two hours. However, the reviewer said it actually took him four hours (hence the “new” charger reference).

The battery pack takes the place of Chrysler’s signature Stow ‘n Go seating and storage area. This is one of the biggest draws for many Chrysler/Dodge minivan owners. Not only do you lose the convenient, hidden storage compartments, but you will also have to physically remove the second-row captain’s chairs to expand the cargo area. While this is definitely possible, it is by no means an easy task. If you plan to just always use the second row for passengers, and stow stuff out back, you should have no problem.

Source: Cars

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20 responses to "Cars.com Takes Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (Plug-in) For A Spin"

  1. Brian says:

    Probably not a 60 kWh pack, as you state. 16 maybe?

    1. Steven Loveday says:

      Fixed. Thank you.

      1. Tom says:

        Having owned a van for 15 years and known literally dozens of large families with them, I have never ever met a single person that uses the stow and go in any form of regularity and it is not a major draw.

        1. Chris says:

          My family has owned Chrysler minivans since 1984. I currently have a 2001 with 190,000 miles that runs like new and my father has a 2006 that has 130,000 miles with Stow and Go. He uses it all the time and I wish mine had it every day. No other minivan has a flat load floor without removing the seats. Until you own one with the feature you’ll never understand how great the feature is to have in the van. Especially is you own a business and carry tools and supplies.

          1. Steven Loveday says:

            We currently own a Town and Country, and have had a new one every three years for a long time. I plan on replacing it soon with a Pacifica hybrid. However, not having the Stow n’ Go is a hard sell for the wife and kids. It’s loaded full now and always is, and we often put the seats down. We travel regularly with 3 kids in tow and sometimes 3 dogs. Bikes on a rack on back, and essentials in the compartment. Without the Stow n’ Go, we are looking at a cargo topper or a small trailer to put our gear. Although neither will be good for efficiency.

          2. John Kues says:

            Have a 2011 and use stow and go a lot, usually with 2 greyhounds. Prior I had Honda Ody, & taking out the 65 lb. seats was a pain. The hybrid seats are 66 lbs!

        2. Vik says:

          My parents have a 2006 Chrysler Town & Country, and they use Stow & Go all the time for themselves and others. Every time a family friend moves or buys some furniture the van gets pressed into duty. I have been trying to convince them to trade in that van in and get the Pacifica hybrid (when its available) however they point out that the 11 year old van still runs great, and that they want Stow and Go. They don’t use Stow & Go everyday but its a luxury that allows for Chrysler vans to be used like pick up trucks in a pinch. Of course if you’re coming from any other company’s minivan you never had second row seats fold into the floor so you aren’t missing anything.

          1. Chris says:

            My sister has an Escalade and always borrows my Dad’s van to move tables for kids parties, buy TVs, and, furniture because it can actually carry bigger items than her giant ass SUV.

        3. Tom says:

          Let me rephrase. Stow and go as in store something under the floor in the compartment between the middle and front seats. Folding the seats flat and putting stuff there doesn’t count. Before stow and go one latch would remove the seats. So the batteries in the phev reside in the cavity mid storage which nobody ever uses. You can still fold the rear seats flat into the rear cavity. Zero utility is lost. On the very rare occasion you also need the middle seats out of the way they are still removable

  2. Rick James says:

    I know it’s a typo but a 60kwh battery would be legit!! Looking forward to test driving one in the future. Too bad the Honda isn’t building on their expansive base with an odyssey plugin before Chrysler.

    One thing that probably isn’t a deal breaker for a lot of people but I personally have and prefer the 8 seating setup with three seats available in the 2nd row; this isn’t offered on either trims on the Pacifica plugin.

  3. SparkEV says:

    87 MPGe is better than Mercedes B class 84 MPGe, and far better than 78 MPGe of Rav4EV. Pacifica PHVan is very impressive! Despite their CEO, they can produce a decent EV.

  4. Ash09 says:

    If it took 4 hours to charge, his 240v charger was probably charging at 3.3 kW. I remember reading that the Pacifica hybrid has a 6.6 kW charger onboard, so an EVSE that can go up that high will likely give you the 2 hour charge time.

    I have a feeling “EV selection mode” is going to be a highly requested item in the near future, much like how GM added “Hold” mode to 2013 and later Chevy Volts, so that people could use the gas engine on the freeway, then switch it back to electric when they got to their destination city instead of wasting all of their EV range on the highway.

    I hope it sells well, so that we’ll see more plug-in vans, along with trucks and SUV’s, the big moneymaker markets.

    1. David S. says:

      The authors explains that the four hour charge time is “likely due to the 20-amp circuit my charger is mounted on”…
      So yes it’s a 3 kW EVSE

  5. Fishhawk says:

    It sounds like the engine will be used if AC is turned on. If so, that’s a major disappointment.

    1. Doggydogworld says:

      It looks like it uses the same belt-driven compressor as the non-hybrid version, so the engine would have to run. At least when the compressor cycles on. Big problem here in Texas, where you need AC six months out of the year.

    2. pjwood1 says:

      I used to be bummed out, when the Volt’s engine would come on, but in the end those scenarios didn’t use much fuel. If you can get past the idea of more regular warm-up cycle wear, this may not be a big deal either. Here, I wonder if the compressor for the A/C only operates on a drive-belt? Not a great design, if so, but not a deal-breaker.

    3. cab says:

      That can’t be right. Heck, in Texas I would guess our A/C is on 85% of the time.

  6. voice for logic says:

    Why cannot Chrysler wake up to the fact Voyager sale were poor is due directly to them sitting on their hands and failing to invest in redesigning the Voyager which in recent years opened the door for others to capitalise on the concept.

    The Grand Voyager / Town and Country was much in demand in Europe, as it is in Australia. sales will vastly improve if they drop the term “Mini Van”. Yes it was based on the original Van, but it is no longer a “Mini Van”.

    So keep the Pacifica for those that want the better seats in the 2nd & 3rd rows. But keep the Pacific concept with the same size with Stow & Go of the Grand Voyager. It is not just a versatile family car but is also greatly used in the taxi field.

    One question, why is there only the 3.3 and no 2.8 ? A 2.8 with 9 speed box will produce a smoother ride ; be more economical and be more than adequate for any use.

    I ave a friend who has owned one from the first RHD imports.

  7. Art Collier says:

    Owned a Pacifica ICE since the January 2017 and would have gotten the hybrid had it been available then. But I find I get 22-24 mpg city and easily 33-34 mpg highway at 65ish mpg. Very pleased.

  8. Volt owner, to be Pacifica hybrid buyer says:

    Is too bad they don’t have the option of a middlerow bench seat for the hybrid. If I’m not going to stow them, I’d like to be able to seat 8.