Wards On Why Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Won “2018 Wards 10 Best Engines”
2018 marks the second year in a row the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid made Wards 10 Best Engines list, and it comes as no surprise.
Name another seven-seat plug-in hybrid with a decent amount of all-electric range (33 miles to be exact). How about convenient sliding doors, practical and versatile storage solutions, a responsive 8.4-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, an available dual rear-seat entertainment system, and an optional vacuum.
Wait … there is no other plug-in hybrid minivan available. This is truly an upscale “mom (or dad) limo” at its finest. Though it’s not a luxury vehicle by definition, it offers families the ability to travel in style and comfort, while still being conscious of the environment. This is unlike many luxury PHEV SUVs that offer only a handful of miles of electric range.
If you’re a parent carting around kids and running local errands, 33 miles should be plenty. It’s actually more electric range than many significantly smaller PHEVs. When the time comes for a family road trip, you won’t have to worry if there’s a lack of charging infrastructure on your route, and you’ll enjoy nearly 600 miles of combined range.
However, the above reasons are not why Wards chose the Pacifica Hybrid, although all those features and every bit of uniqueness sure helps. WardsAuto editor Jim Irwin said:
“Five hundred-plus miles of range makes it practical and economical. Give Chrysler credit for believing the masses will warm up to hybrids.”
In fact, according to an FCA survey, nearly half of the respondents (all owners of a Pacifica Hybrid, of course) said they get more range than expected. Almost a quarter of those surveyed admitted to getting “much more” range. Wards shared:
“With most Pacifica eHybrid owners presumably using their minivans to run errands around town on battery power and occasionally the long-distance drive with the ICE to fall back on, a hybrid minivan is no head-scratcher. It’s a stroke of genius.”
Wards editor Bob Gritzinger added:
“Excellent combination of ICE and EV in a large, highly practical vehicle. Zero-compromise vehicle.”
Wards kept the Pacifica charged as much as possible during the testing process. The publication observed an average of about 35 mpg, which is excellent for a minivan, and regularly exceeded the vehicle’s EPA all-electric range. Surprisingly, Wards reporting driving 27 miles in cold temps and only using up 17 miles of the minivan’s battery range.
“The heart and soul of the minivan is a Fiat Chrysler propulsion system mating the automaker’s stellar 3.6L Pentastar V-6 with an FCA-developed dual-motor, eFlite electrically variable transmission. Unlike most electrical drive units, where one motor is dedicated solely as a generator and a second exclusively putting torque to the wheels, the eFlite system uses both to power the wheels. This permits a smaller drive motor, which smartly reduces the system package.
A 16-kWh lithium-ion battery boosts efficiency to as much as 84 mpg-e (2.8 L/100 km) and an overall range of 570 miles (918 km). The system still packs 260 hp to get the kids to school on time. The 3.6L V-6 stood alone as a Wards 10 Best Engines winner in 2011, 2012 and 2013.”