At its launch, Chrysler’s Pacifica Hybrid immediately raised the bar for minivans by offering the highest fuel economy ever for this class of family-friendly vehicles, along with 33 miles of all-electric driving on battery power and an overall range of 570 miles. At the time its 3.6-liter Pentastar eHybrid made the 2017 Wards 10 Best Engines list. Now this plug-in hybrid powerplant has earned the distinction again as one of Ward’s 2018 10 Best Engines.
Apparently, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid owners are also pretty impressed with this vehicle. In a group of 100 customers participating in a series of monthly ownership experience surveys, 90 percent said they would recommend the Pacifica Hybrid to others. Some 47 percent reported more all-electric driving range than expected with 22 percent saying they’re getting ‘much more’ range. Fully 97 percent of these owners shared they had decided on their Pacifica Hybrid purchase before visiting a dealership.
“Receiving this award, especially for the second time, validates our early conviction – as do reports from our customers," said Bob Lee, head of Engine Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion Systems Engineering at FCA North America. "We knew this was a special project when we were asked to develop the most fuel-efficient minivan ever."
Altogether, the Chrysler Pacifica lineup has earned an impressive of 72 industry awards related to quality, styling performance, and safety. Plus, the model has earned the EPA's best possible environmental rating 0f 10, which quantifies a vehicle's greenhouse gas emissions and impact on climate change. And here's more perspective: Compared to the Chrysler Town & Country minivan it replaced, FCA says that over its lifetime a Pacifica Hybrid will result in lessening emissions equivalent to driving an average U.S. passenger vehicle more than 50,000 miles.
The Pacifica Hybrid is powered by an electric motor coupled to an eFlite electrically variable transmission. Power is supplied by a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack positioned beneath the minivan's second-row floor, which means interior volume is not impacted. Charging the battery pack requires about two hours with an optional 240-volt charger, although charging via a standard 120 volt outlet is also possible over a longer duration. The Pacifica Hybrid operates in efficient gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle mode once battery power is depleted. With its 33 mile all-electric capability, typical families running daily errands may find they rarely need the minivan's conventional hybrid power except on long drives.
Those seeking the functionality of a minivan that also delivers exceptional environmental performance will find the Pacifica Hybrid a pretty big deal. It is, in fact, a game-changer. At the time of its launch, all Monroneys (window stickers) on minivans identified the range of competitors in this class achieving 19-28 mpg. The emergence of the Pacifica Hybrid and its efficient Pentastar eHybrid engine prompted a change, with that statement now reading 19-52 MPGe, a nod to the Pacifica Hybrid's impressive efficiency.