Monday, July 22, 2019


Though there were other stabs at it in the past, including one as far back as 1935, Chrysler generally is credited with creating the family minivan that we know today when it introduced the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager in 1984.

Thus it is fitting that Chrysler is the first — and so far only — manufacturer to offer a gas-electric hybrid minivan on the market with the Pacifica Hybrid.

The 2019 model actually marks the third year for the plug-in model that can go up  to 30 miles on a full electric charge and offer a combined range of 530 miles under V6 power.

Frankly, the surprising thing about this is that nobody has come out with such a vehicle before. A minivan that offers mileage figures of 82 MPGe and 30 mpg combined electric-gasoline while still delivering decent acceleration with its 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque would seem to be a win-win situation with growing families.

No doubt, others will soon catch up.

With the exception of the powertrain and the lack of  Stow N’ Go seating, the Pacifica Hybrid and the Pacific share mostly the same characteristics. The Pacifica Hybrid sacrifices the storage space under the second row seats to house the battery pack, and that is about it.

Getting in an out of the Pacifica Hybrid is a snap (no need for a running board), it rides comfortably, and it offers good storage space. Cargo volume behind the third row (which, by the way, with its 36.5 inches of legroom is not as cramped as some critics have said), is a generous 32.3 cubic feet. It’s 87.5 cubic feet behind the second-row after folding the third-row seats with the push of a button.

It comes in three trims.

The Touring Plus carries a base MSRP of $41,490, the Touring L is listed at $43,690, and the top-of-the-line Limited carries a tab of $47,040, which is a big step up from the gasoline-powered Pacific that starts at under $30,000.

This review is based on the 2019 Pacifica Hybrid Limited. Adding in optional equipment ran the total price tag to $50,800.

Say this: Even before adding in extras, the Pacific Hybrid is well-equipped.

Standard features on the Limited include Chrysler’s UConnect 4C infotainment system with navigation and an 8.4-inch screen, Bluetooth hands-free communication, 1-year of SiriusXM radio with Traffic Plus, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, remote start, blind-spot and cross-traffic alert, rear-park assist, and remote start.

A new S Assistance Package ($595) that adds among other things Nappa leather bucket seats and special black trim and an Advanced Safety Tec Group ($995) that includes Full-Speed Collision Warning-Plus, a 360-surround view camera system, lane-departure warning and other advanced safety features are well-worth the extra cost.

A tri-panel, panoramic sunroof, which I personally can do without, is an extra $1,795.

All told the total MSRP for my test vehicle was $50,800. (If you do the math, you’ll see eliminating the sunroof will keep you under $50,000.

That doesn’t take into account any of the tax credits you may get from the federal or state government, which can make the Pacific Hybrid a bit more competitive price-wise. As it is, it is pretty much at the top of the segment.

What I liked about the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited: Throttle response is quite robust for a minivan, and fuel efficiency is at the top of its class. Rear doors open on both sides, which may not be new to the segment but are still appreciated. They also power open with either a punch on the appropriate spot on the key fob or a gentle tug on the door handle. They close the same way. Tech features are very user-friendly.

What I didn’t like about the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited: I don’t get the allure of plugin hybrids. Yes, you can get some miles on electric power only, but unless you have a special charging outlet, getting the battery up to full charge is a drawn-out process. That said, the hybrid operation still makes sense here.

Would I buy the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited? Yes. It’s an ideal vehicle for family transportation, especially families with three or more children. Unfortunately, it’s about 35 years too late for me!

No comments:

Post a Comment