The first hybrid electric minivan comes in the form of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and it’s every bit as good as it’s conventional counterpart, if not better when you look at the total 566 mile range capability or the 33-mile electric-only range. The 3.6-liter Atkinson-cycle V6 and two permanent magnet synchronous electric motors combine to produce 260 hp that’s sent to the front wheels through an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission to provide a smooth ride for up to 8 people. The base Hybrid Premium trim starts at $41,995 while the Hybrid Platinum trim comes in at $44,995, both being packed with great tech and convenience features.
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is an 8-seater people carrier that claims the title of America’s first ever hybrid minivan, and it’s not only capable of a total drive range of 566 miles with a highway consumption rating of up to 84 mpg, it looks quite good too. The minivan can cover up to 33 miles on electric power alone helping to drastically reduce your carbon footprint. For the modern generation, the Pacifica also makes use of an app to monitor drive data and locate charge stations. There are also some great convenience features available to enhance the drive and to make the Pacifica a pleasure to live with.
The interior of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is as spacious as you expect, and it looks as food as the exterior. You can have the multifunction steering wheel and rounded dash in a two-tone finish to match the door cards and seat piping, and thanks to the almost sporty power adjusting front seats a great diving position with good visibility can be set. The second seating row tilts easy for passenger access and the Stow & Go seating system allows for various configurations for cargo and goods a family would use. A great feature for a family car like the Pacifica is the built-in vacuum cleaner under the Stow n Vac option; those inevitable messes will be quickly taken care of. The 8.4-inch infotainment screen is good enough for the front passengers while an optional Uconnect Theater adds in dual 10.1-inch screens with a Blu-ray player.
With a powerful combined 260 hp available from the V6 and electric motors, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid offers up an effortless drive even with a full compliment of passengers on board. To make things less complicated for the driver, the Pacifica has no settings for drive modes but instead automatically switches between the gas and electric as the programming on the control modules dictates – you can drive and help the environment without having to think about what to do and when to do it. The drive feels the same as the regular non-hybrid version with good steering, solid suspension and a good and easy brake action, which is unusual for a regenerative system. The continuously variable planetary gear transmission feels and works just like a conventional continuously variable transmission.
The conventional gas-powered 3.6-liter V6 was reconfigured for Atkinson-cycle operation and manages to produce a pretty decent power output of 220 hp with 235 lb-ft of torque, added to this is a pair of permanent-magnet synchronous AC electric motors make up the balance to get it to a combined total output of 260 hp. Electric charge is stored in a 16.0 kWh liquid cooled lithium-ion battery. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid can hit 60 mph in under 8-seconds, and has a top speed limited to 107 mph. The total range is claimed at a very good 566 miles.
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is full of tech goodness. Safety and convenience systems include features like a 360° surround view camera, a full-speed forward collision warning with active braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, ParkSense rear park assist with stop function and even parallel and perpendicular park assist systems. The available 8.4-inch touchscreen features Siri Eyes for iPhone users while the dual 10.1-inch available rear screens come with built-in apps and games to keep kiddies entertained. A good feature to option is the 20-speaker Harman Kardon Premium surround sound system top turn the minivan into a concert hall.
While everyone seems to be turning to small SUVs and crossovers, there are still enough fans of the original minivan to warrant production by Chrysler. Some of those fans also want to help the environment, and so the Pacifica Hybrid came to be. It’s a minivan in every way with great space for passengers and cargo, and a long list of standard and available equipment along with very good mileage. The 8-seater is just one of those cars that will tick all the boxes for a modern family.