2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Review

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2018
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2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor
September 28, 2017

The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is a winner, combining our favorite minivan with a fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain and useful 33-mile electric range

The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is a one-of-a-kind vehicle: the sole seven-seat minivan with a plug-in hybrid powertrain sold in the U.S. this year. It blends the excellent and well-received Pacifica minivan with a battery pack large enough to power the car 30 miles or more on electricity alone. It is offered in Touring Plus, Touring L, and Limited trim levels.

Though pricier than the conventional Pacifica powered by a gasoline V-6 engine alone, this mix of virtues gives the plug-in hybrid model a rating of 8.5 out of 10 on our review scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

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We like all versions of the Pacifica for their attractive design, comfortable interior and excellent infotainment systems, and their family-friendliness and generous accommodations for even seven adult-sized people. The Hybrid variant is missing only two features of the standard minivan: an eighth seating position and the Stow’n’Go second-row seats that fold into the floor. The box for the seats is now occupied by the lithium-ion battery pack that powers the electric motor and stores recaptured energy that would otherwise have been wasted.

During 2017, the Pacifica Hybrid suffered a double whammy that limited its availability. First, a recall to replace a faulty diode froze production until the new part could be provided for new version, and then a several-week shutdown of the assembly plant for retooling interrupted production again. We expect those problems to have been resolved by late in 2017, and since the hybrid minivan is sold in all 50 states, it should be in stock or available for order at any Chrysler dealer by then.  

If we have one reservation about the hybrid Pacifica, it’s that Chrysler is deliberately telling drivers they don’t need to plug it in. That’s true; it delivers vastly better fuel efficiency even when run only as a conventional hybrid. But plug it in overnight to charge the battery pack, and the Pacifica Hybrid becomes a smooth, capacious electric minivan for as much as 30 or 35 miles. That even includes highway speeds if you’re not a leadfoot driver.

It’s the most convincing rebuttal we’ve seen to the public image of electric cars as weird-looking little hatchbacks. Trust us: this one’s worth plugging in.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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8.5
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8.0
Performance 7.0
Comfort & Quality 9.0
Safety 9.0
Features 8.0
Fuel Economy 10.0
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