The new Chrysler Pacifica gets very good gas mileage. It's not the class leader, but a promising new version will easily outpace today's rival vans.
The EPA rates the Pacifica at 18 mpg city, 28 highway, 22 combined. That's neck-and-neck with the Honda Odyssey, which rates 22 mpg combined, and better than the Toyota Sienna (21 mpg) and the outgoing Chrysler Town & Country (20 mpg). The Nissan Quest manages marginally better ratings at 20/27/23 mpg.
It's that rating that earns it a 6 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The Pacifica has improved efficiency over the outgoing Town & Country. The substantial progress comes via a lighter-weight body, active aerodynamic grille shutters, and the new 9-speed automatic. Later in the model year, the Pacifica also adds stop-start, which should net some mileage gains.
The big news is the addition of a plug-in hybrid model. With a 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, the Pacifica Hybrid is capable of going about 33 miles only on electric power before it switches to hybrid mode. The hybrid system uses two electric motors, both of which drive the van’s wheels, with a new “electrically variable transmission.” All told, the setup is rated at 83 mpge by the EPA. We cover it separately.