CNBC Declares Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid The Best Family Car

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid


It’s not wrong.

The question of why the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid isn’t far and away the sales leader in the minivan segment often crosses our minds here at InsideEVs. At first blush, it looks pretty close to first place as it’s beat out only by its Dodge Grand Caravan cousin. But, once you separate the hybrid out from the non-hybrid version, the chasm is seriously wide. In October, the non-hybrid sold approximately 8,654 copies in the U.S. while our Plug-In Sales Scorecard reflects only 623 units for the Hybrid. Disappointing.

Love for the Pacifica Hybrid isn’t limited to us — a site dedicated to plug-in vehicles — either. CNBC has just posted a review and its praise is notable. They call it “the best family car you can buy.” So, what do they like about it?

First up is efficiency. Of course! On a trip hundreds of miles in length, packed with people and luggage (and no charge in the battery to begin), the plug-in hybrid returned a sweet 29 miles per gallon. Had it been properly plugged in and prepared before the journey, the EPA says it may have well conducted the first 33 miles using only electricity, which would have pushed that mileage number comfortably into the 30’s.

Next on their list of good things is the space: it’s got a lot. According to CNBC (forgetting the non-hybrid version of the Pacifica, which has Chrysler’s famous “Stow ‘N Go” seats that disappear into the floor ), to get more room you’d have to move up to either the Chevy Suburban or Ford Excursion Max. Both of those internal-combustion powered monsters have a starting price north of $50,000 and EPA-rated combined fuel consumption of 19 mpg.

For that money, you could fully option out the Pacifica Hybrid and have money left over to take a small vacation. And that’s before you even consider the $7,500 tax credit this minivan qualifies for.

CNBC was also impressed with the various tech features. The Harman/Kardon stereo, the touchscreens in back to keep passengers preoccupied, the UConnect infotainment system…the list is seriously long.

Their list of things they didn’t like is seriously short. Besides the lack of “Stow ‘N Go,” they didn’t like the implementation of the gear selector, which is a dial-type device that’s all too close to the stereo volume. A single strike against an interior it calls “…the most pleasant minivan interior out there.”

Taking everything into account, it seems the biggest competitor to the Pacifica Hybrid is its non-hybrid version. Besides a little extra space, there is a significant $13,000 price gap between the two. However, if you qualify for the $7,500 tax credit and can take advantage of the $1,000 “Conquest Bonus Cash” reduction the automaker is currently offering, the difference is only $4,500. If your state has an incentive program, the numbers can get close enough to make the Hybrid the preferred choice.

Source: CNBC

Categories: Chrysler


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38 Comments on "CNBC Declares Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid The Best Family Car"

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Honestly I’ve been wondering why it’s not more popular too. I was thinking maybe Waymo is taking all their inventory so it’s hard to find? I have no idea if that’s true or not, just a random thought. But yeah, I thought for sure it would join the big boys and have at least 1000 sales every month. Disappointing.

Maddening is the recalls and issues. The first 1,700 built were recalled due to the van just depowering all by itself while driving down the road.

Sadly, Chrysler does not bake the $7500 U.S. tax credit into their lease on Pacifica Hybrid. A major mistake in my opinion. To receive the tax credit, one has to purchase the van.

A year later and again, all Pacifica Hybrids have been recalled due to a fire hazard issue.

I was nigh to leasing a Pacifica Hybrid as a holdover until the Model Y became available. Leasing, because EREV and PHEV resale prices have been dismal. Lease because Chrysler had the sad honor of having 6 vehicles in Consumer Reports’ Top 10 Least Reliable Vehicles of 2017 list.

A quick Google revealed a grand total of 7 total recalls of all Pacifica models since It’s rollout in late 2016. I also found a case of flooding in the Canadian factory that shut down the plant and a current labor dispute all which shut down production.

All this info puts me in doubt of this CNBC rave review. Truly, Fiat Chrysler the company and the Pacifica in particular are one big hot mess.

Same. With all the >6KW chargers out there, today, having this thing pull close to 20 miles of charge per hour would be really nice for the multi-errand duty many mini-vans typically see.

I was looking at one until I found out they’ve been lighting on fire.

Have they actually been lighting on fire? I thought the recall was just because there was a theoretical potential for a fire, not because one had actually caught on fire in the wild.

Exactly, this isn’t a catastrophic defect.

Your first link to a poster with 15 posts, claiming “70” y/o parents, “disabled daughter” all in the car.

I always take posters with few posts, or who are new to a forum, with a big grain of salt.

Seriously? Do you work for Chrysler? I’m a husband and a father. Read the recall. If a new car has even the risk of catching on fire, and yes there have been instances of customer Pacifica Hybrids igniting under the vehicle in the field…This is of MAJOR concern AND A MAJOR DEFECT! It is serious enough for a dealer hold on selling you one. All Pacifica models have experienced a total of SEVEN recalls! This is a new product! The Hybrid version’s first recall froze sales and recalled all 1,700 units delivered to that date. The issue was an electronic one the vans losing power and shutting down while in motion driving down the road. Go to to review both recalls. Go to the Pacifica Hybrid Owners Forum on fb. Read owner forums. Chrysler has offered money back and many owners lament the time they haven’t had the van! I call out this CNBC review for at minimum, misleading reporting, poor research and the omission of vital consumer safety information. On top of all this, Chrysler will not give you any of the federally-mandated $7500 tax credit if you lease one from them. Educate yourself on this vehicle. Don’t… Read more »

That $4,500 price gap explains the mystery of the low plug-in sales. In the US, most, maybe nearly all, people buying a minivan are on a tight budget. They’re almost always buying one because need the cavernous space for kids and their stuff (very expensive propositions on their own), not because they’ve single or married without kids and they think a minivan is hip and sexy.

Close that gap to $0 and they’ll sell like crazy.

Uhh, what? Minivans generally start around $30k, same as mid-size SUVs… and the only real difference between the two demographics is whether you prefer (pretending to need) off-road capability, or a frumpy looking vehicle with sliding doors.

Families that are on the kind of shoestring budget you describe don’t have money for brand-new $30k minivans… they are buying used. The ICE Pacifica is essentially the cheapest major-brand minivan on the market already, at $27k; the PHEV Pacifica has about the same net cost as a base Odyssey or Sienna.

Is the price gap really as big as the article claims, or is this a comparison of different trim levels?

The base Pacifica starts at $26,995, while the base Pacifica Hybrid has a starting price of $39,995. You can’t tell me that it’s costing Chrysler anywhere close to $13,000. In addition, the Hybrid isn’t offered with good lease prices, and most people lease these minivans. The gas-powered Pacifica has leases in the $100s at times. If they want to sell/lease the Hybrid, which they clearly don’t, they need to offer deep discounts and appealing lease deals.

Interestingly, if you’re looking at a top trim model, the price is about the same at ~$45,000. But again, you can lease a $45,000 loaded to the max Pacifica for about $300 a month on a good day. A quick search says the Pacifica Hybrid (not necessarily the top trim) is leasing between $770 and $884 per month.

So, while it may be a great family car, it is not a good value proposition whatsoever.

Exactly. If Chrysler wants to sell more hybrids all they have to do is pass the tax credit to the leasing customers instead of hogging it. I think all other manufacturers do it

My wife and I are in the market for Pacifica Hybrid right now and I too have wondered why this vehicle is not waaay more popular than it is. I can only assume it is due to people not being fully informed either by their own research or the salesman’s “help”. I put our Mercedes Benz B class electric up for sale last week on and as soon as we sell that I will be purchasing the PacHy. The B Class has been our family’s favorite car to date. We call it our Tardis as it is blue and seemingly has more room on the inside than the outside. Test drove the PacHy last week though and although it makes me die a little inside to get a minivan it was really an incredible vehicle on balance. Tons of room, decent handling, and a luxurious interior.

It really is a fantastically comfortable car.

Please read my post above.

Facts about the Pacifica are troubling. My belief is that we consumers should arm ourselves with as much knowledge as possible before voting with our wallets.

The first 1,700+ Pacifica Hybrids made were all recalled due to a very serious issue of shutting down while moving down the road. A year later, all Pacifica Hybrids again are under dealer freeze and a major recall due to a fire hazard.

Pacifica owner forums and Facebook groups are filled with owner discontent.

In all, the Pacifica vans (all models) have had a total of 7 major recalls since It’s introduction in late 2016!

Do your Googling. Be aware and be safe. If leased, FIAT Chrysler does NOT bake the $7500 tax credit into the lease.

You’ll also find such gems as the Canadian plant that produces the Pacifica experienced a shutdown due to flooding and is currently deeply involved in a major labor dispute.

CNBC’s rave review of Pacifica Hybrid is questionable at best and an example of poor reporting. May the consumer beware.

James I appreciate your concern. I really do. There are genuine reasons for reticence regarding the PacHy. I have done a ton of research on these though, scouring the forums looking at the issues. I guess I’m an optimist. I kind of feel that the early teething problems are not going to be long term issues. But I may be very wrong. After all they just issued another recall. Part of the problem is there are absolutely no alternatives to this vehicle unless you can afford the Model X which I can’t. Oh how I wish I could though.

Therein lies the issue. Consumers beg GM and Ford, Toyota and Nissan to build a utility vehicle for families that has a plug. These companies in turn, reply that we the public do not want affordable electrics.

Toyota ran a TV commercial for the Hydrogen Marai during the prime time NFL game I was watching on Sunday! What does that tell you?

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a very weak option at 20-ish miles EV range if you can order one. The Pacifica looks good for seating, practicality and versatility except Chrysler seems inept at adding the tax credit to leases and actually building an EREV/PHEV with reliability and safety up to acceptable standards. Resale value of that van in 5-10 years will be pathetic, sad to say.

One silver lining may be the heavy vehicle business tax credit. If you have a business, the same wonderful federal government (USA) that allows you to depreciate an Escalade or Sprinter also includes the Model X due to It’s weight. This may be an option. Not a bad idea to ask your tax professional about.

James, Thanks for putting together those issues. But do early issues still persist (in 2019 model?). I mean wouldn’t most of them be resolved eventually. As you rightly said unfortunately there is no alternative 🙁

Also is possible to include $7500 credit in leases as that credit is dependent on the individual’s tax situation. Curious in general how does the credit work when baked in to the lease? (I believe that could change if many folks asked Chrysler directly for it)

Saabluster, Maybe can you add the some insights into what prompts your optimism? Would like to learn more about the only 7/8 seater PHEV on the market (was hoping to get used but the flaws in the early models dont make that sound a good deal)

Tax credit goes to the owner, which is the leasing company. Tax situation of the individual lessee does not matter.

“Including the tax credit in the lease” is a bit of a myth. Some carmakers apply huge discounts to leases because it’s the only way to move their EVs. Others apply smaller discounts, or none at all. Nobody covers depreciation and other costs PLUS pockets the $7500 tax credit.

My wife won’t even consider it, if it doesn’t have a AWD option.

I think the issue comes down to the reputation of Chrysler with reliability. The Pacifica Hybrid is an extremely tempting car for us, but given Chryslers reputation, I am also cautious to invest more money upfront on something that has even more components that can fail vs the regular (non-hybrid) version.

Otherwise I find it the perfect family car to have (at least on paper). Wish Toyota or Nissan had such.

Similar here. I’d be real worried about the reliability of this thing long-term.

In other news Mitsubishi is running TV commercials on the Outlander PHEV. Could the automakers be finally competing with plugins?

Unfortunately, no.

Outlander PHEV is still special order or nonexistent in many markets. Plus, at 20 miles electric range, is it worth the money?

Watching the NFL on TV this weekend, I saw a Toyota commercial for the Hydrogen Marai! 😮 Anybody else catch that? Hard to miss the elaborate, slick expensive ads on ESPN by the American Petroleum Institute. The ads ask you to text, “POWER” to a number provided onscreen. I texted them : “TESLA” 😀!

I have Outlander PHEV, mistake to overlook it. It works very well, provides AWD, towing, ChademO high speed charging as well as standard J1722. Also does provide switching to force EV mode, hold battery mode and charging mode. Better overall economy than Pacifica with a price that is less. Also they offer leases which provide full pass through of the FIT to reduce overall cost. The FIT amount is appx $5,600 as it is based on battery size. That is ironic because if they made the battery larger and increased the cost say $1200, they would get $7,500 FIT and the buyer would pay $700 less to get more !

I looked at the Outlander PHEV, but it only has 5 seats for the plug-in. Very disappointed. Instead, we just bought the 2018 pacifica hybrid and LOVE it.

But I question the mileage comparison. We are on-track for going about 1,000 miles on a single tank of gas (16.5 gallons). Meaning the 30 mile range on electric consumes a large portion of our daily driving and costs about $1 to fill the battery for those 30 miles.

The outlander has a MPGe rating of 74, which is less than the Pacifica’s 84MPGe. On just hybrid, it’s 32mpg combined, but only 25 combined for Outlander PHEV.

So the Pacifica is MUCH better at fuel economy compared to the Outlander, but pacifica has 7 seats, tons of storage, longer fully electric range, etc. Only thing missing is AWD which we had to give up (traded in our 2015 nissan pathfinder for the Pacifica). Wife and I discussed, and we only wanted AWD, realized we never really needed it at any point in the past few years (we live in western washington).

Chrysler=poor quality!!! Don’t get one! Consumer Reports says So Not Buy!!!

No towing

I agree that why this thing hasn’t flying off the dealer lots!

It is priced correctly, it is comfortable and safety and efficient.

The only explanation is that people are stupid and shallow. FCA just doesn’t have the same draw as Tesla. And FCA is a severely damaged brand name in terms of reliability. Also, it doesn’t have AWD.

Even with those deficiency, I would expect the Pacifica to sell at least 3x more.

There is another reason – they are happy with 600 odd sales per month and do not really want to cannibalize the 8000+ sales of ICE pacifica

If so, then why do they advertise for it at all?

Still missing the essential “hold” or “HEV” mode to save battery power for round town at the end of a long trip, like most of the other PHEVs. Also useful for camping or extended stops with A/C on.

So simple to implement, yet so hard for the Chrysler product planners to understand. Sad…

No built-in child seats.

Ever since I’ve had these in my car i’ve been wondering why the “family car” manufacturers don’t care.

My experience is that they are not stocking enough. When I was all set to buy mine last year, it was a constant cycle of “Do you have any PacHy on the lot?” “Sure, come on down.” *I show up* “No, we don’t have any actually in stock that you can buy, but we can fill out this order sheet for you.” When I bought mine, I am reasonably confident it was THE ONLY ONE in a 500 mile radius.

We finally had to buy gas for the new Pacifica. The first tank lasted a month and a half. We drove 1376 miles on 12.9 gallons, plus the electric charging. So far we really love this vehicle!

I know this a few days old now, but we also bought a 2018 Pacifica. First tank we burned through going over mountain passes (literally the day after we bought it). Easily reached the estimated 560 miles on the first tank. But on our 2nd tank, now that we are doing regular driving (i.e. no on vacation) we are looking at 1,000 miles or more in a single tank of gas. The versatility of the Pacific Hybrid is unmatched, even by Tesla. We can travel between 550 and 600 miles on a single tank of gas without doing any plug-in charging. Or we can plug in and do 90% of our driving on pure electric. We can haul 7 people total (in our case, 3 kids in car seats and 2 adults most of the time, sometimes more). We can fit a TON of stuff in the trunk, even with the 3rd row up (more than our pathfinder with 3rd row down!) and it’s more comfortable to drive both steering/performance and just seat comfort. People say “Why aren’t these selling more?” and my answer is because nobody knows these exist. I had no idea up until a week before we… Read more »