CHRYSLER LEADS THE WAY IN HYBRID MINIVANS WITH PACIFICA
Chrysler was the first automaker to offer a gas-electric hybrid drivetrain in a minivan when it revived the Pacifica for the 2017 model year, and it remains the only manufacturer with a plugin version with the 2022 Pacifica Hybrid.
But then, minivans are a very small segment of the overall market and less than a half-dozen manufacturers even include one in their fleet. Only two — Honda with the Odyssey and Chrysler — reached five figures in sales for the third quarter this year, according to numbers from goodcarbadcar.net and.Odyssey sales were just over half of what they were for the third quarter of 2021. Pacifica’s were up almost a third.
The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid comes in three trims starting with the Touring L The Touring trim in the standard Pacifica portfolio is not included, but Limited and Pinnacle trims are offered with the hybrid drivetrain.
This review is based on the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle at the top of the portfolio.
Chrysler gave the Pacifica several updates last year after reintroducing the nameplate in 2017, but several new standard features were added for 2022. Chrysler notes that the Pacifica has more than 100 standard safety features, which, considering the minivan is likely destined for family use, is a big plus in its favor.
The spec sheet (Monroney label) for my test Pacifica Pinnacle included a 360-degree surround view camera system, parallel and perpendicular park assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, pedestrian emergency braking, full-speed forward collision warning, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert, rain sensitive windshield wipers, advanced brake assist, and a full collection of seatbelts and airbags.
Standard interior features included 8-way power heated and ventilated front seats, a suede headliner, a wireless charging pad, built-in Amazon Fire TV, Harmon Kardon speakers, a wi-fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and AndroidAuto, and Chrysler’s UConnect5 with a 10.1-inch touchscreen for infotainment features.
Hands-free sliding doors, LED headlights, roof rack, and 18-inch wheels also are standard.
The powertrain for all three trims features a 3.6-liter V6 engine working with two electric motors that provide just over 30 miles of electric-only driving range. Its combined 260 horsepower (less than the 287 in the V6 in non-hybrid Pacificas) gets to the front wheels via a Continuously Variable Transmission.
EPA ratings are 82 MPGe (combined rating) and 30 mpg for gas only with a range of 500 miles before fill-ups with 87 octane fuel and charging.
Depending on your driving habits, you could go a long time between stops at a gas station by keeping it charged to take advantage of that all-electric drive capability.
What I didn’t like about the 2022 Chrysler Pacific Pinnacle: Pacifica’s popular stow-n-go feature that allows you to fold second-row seats flat is not available because the battery pack uses that space. Chrysler does not recommend using the Pacifica Hybrid for towing. I don’t mind turning a knob to change gears, but the dial for the gear selector is very close to the volume knob for the radio and it could be confusing if it is dark and you aren’t playing close attention.
Would I buy the 2022 Chrysler Pacific Pinnacle? Wish I would have had this when my kids were growing up. No need for it now though! If you are leaning toward a three-row SUV to handle family duties, keep in mind the Pacifica has the advantage of being able to handle not only seven passengers but also their stuff on longer on trips.