2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Review By Larry Nutson
2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
35 years later
By Larry Nutson
Executive Producer and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
The Pacifica plug-in Hybrid has a battery-powered all-electric range of 32 miles. When it arrived for my evaluation drive the battery charge was depleted after its 45 mile trip to get to me.
No worries. A nearby Whole Foods, fifteen minutes away by foot, has two Level 2 chargers and one Level 3 charger in its parking garage. They’re free to use…technically, just for customers. I drove over, plugged in, went into the store to pick up a few things and walked home.
The onboard charging display in the Pacifica read that about two hours was needed for a full charge. As you can figure, I walked back from home to the parking garage when two hours were about up to drive off running on electricity.
As an interesting aside, a Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid was being charged on the other Level 2 charger and a Nissan Leaf EV on the level 3 charger. Popular spot this Whole Foods! The lady who was driving the Honda and I engaged in some conversation as she was interested in the Pacifica’s driving range. She was happy with her hybrid Honda, actually her husbands, and they were looking to replace an SUV with something equally as roomy since they had two children at home. I provided her some data and price information on the Pacifica.
By the way, while we were chatting the Leaf driver got into his car and drove off. With a Level 3 changer a pure EV can get up to 80-percent charge in about 30 minutes, or less. I’ve previously seen EV drivers plug-in at this Whole Foods, go into the store to enjoy a cup of coffee and come back to their car when finished with their coffee break. With any EV or plug-in hybrid it’s sometimes a matter of adding charge whenever you can. It’s like putting in a few gallons of gasoline here and there with a regular internal combustion engine vehicle.
Pacifica Hybrid lineup consists of three models: Touring Plus with a $39,995 MSRP, Touring L with a $42,195 MSRP and Limited with a $45,545 MSRP.
For my test drive I was in a Limited model that was also equipped with the $795 S-Appearance package, the $995 Advanced Safety Tech group and a $1,795 Tri-pane Panoramic Sunroof. Destination charge is $1,395 bringing the total to $50,375.
I really liked the stealthy appearance of my Pacifica with its S Appearance package. The Granite exterior finish combined with the black wheels and various black trim bits gave it a definitive look, not like your typical minivan.
Pacifica Hybrid uses Chrysler’s 3.6-L Pentastar V6 that has been modified and features an Atkinson cycle combustion system. This is paired with a dual-motor eFlite electrically variable transmission. There are two electric motors driving the vehicle’s wheels through a planetary gear set and a one-way clutch. The 16-kWh battery pack is stored under the second-row floor and can be recharged through a front fender port. The regenerative braking system provides additional driving range by recharging the battery.
There’s a total of 260 system horsepower. The all-electric range is 32 miles and the total electric plus gasoline range is 520 miles. The engine is plenty responsive and delivers good overall driving performance. When driving in all-electric, there is instant full torque for quick acceleration.
In celebration of 35 years of minivan leadership, for 2019 a 35th Anniversary edition is available on Pacifica Touring L Hybrid, Limited Hybrid models feature new badging, an all-black interior with Cranberry Wine accent stitching and upgraded content.
Since its introduction for 2017 the Pacifica has been improved upon each year. For 2019 a high level of advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features are available and highly recommended for everyone to purchase. These safety features have the potential to save you from a crash. The Advance Safety Tech group includes a 360-degree Surround View Camera, ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go and Forward Collision Warning-Plus and more.
More info and specs on the entire Pacifica line-up can be found at www.chrysler.com. The Pacifica Hybrid qualifies for the $7,500 Federal income tax credit, as well as incentives offered by various states. The typical Pacifica buyer would most likely have a total tax liability such that they would get the full $7,500 credit at the time of tax filing.
The Chrysler Pacifica has received many awards including being named the 2017 Family Vehicle of the Year by the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
It’s always good for me to get back in a minivan and have some driving time. Entry and exit is quite easy with the moderate step-in height. The power sliding side doors are a dream in a tight parking space. They along with the power rear cargo hatch can be opened from the key fob as you approach the Pacifica. The 360-view camera system and parking sensors make maneuvering a breeze and the park assist system does the steering for you.
Minivan buyers are couples with young children as well as retired, more senior but still active folk who appreciate the conveniences a minivan provides.
My octogenarian mother-in-law is still driving her 2011 Chrysler Town & Country. Pacifica is very stylish on the inside, prompting my wife to comment on how nice it was and thought that perhaps her mom would like to replace her older T&C. We’ll see.
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© 2019 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy