Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Research

The Car Connection Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Overview

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is a minivan with a plan—it's a plug-in hybrid and among the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the road today.

If the Pacifica name sounds familiar but the shape doesn't, you're not alone. The name used to apply to a crossover made by Chrysler more than 10 years ago, but times are changing, we here.

With a new electrified powertrain that pairs a 3.6-liter V-6 with a 16-kwh battery pack, the Pacifica Hybrid followed the new Pacifica (which we cover separately) after it was launched in 2016. For 2018, the plug-in van is offered in Touring Plus, Touring L, and Limited trims; other changes are limited to the addition of blind-spot monitors and rear parking sensors as standard safety features, joining a rearview camera.

The Pacifica Hybrid competes against the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona, and Nissan Quest, although none of those vans have hybrid powertrains—at least not yet. It may also compete with plug-in hybrid versions of the Volvo XC90 and Mitsubishi Outlander SUVs.

MORE: Read our 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid review

With seating for up to seven and more interior technology than previous Town & Country models, the Pacifica Hybrid is situated for families that prioritize fuel economy and comfort and are willing to pay up to $7,000 more than a comparably equipped Pacifica Touring L model—although the hybrid version qualifies for up to $7,500 back from the federal government and any applicable state hybrid incentives.

The Pacifica Hybrid has only a few styling cues that separate it from the gas-powered version. A unique front grille, exterior badges, and blue interior accents are visual indicators that the Pacifica Hybrid is the "green" version, as well as a dash-mounted indicator that indicates battery charge when the van is plugged in.

The Pacifica Hybrid marries the company's 3.6-liter V-6 (modified to run on an Atkinson cycle) with a 16-kwh lithium-ion battery that can power the van up to 30 miles on a charge before starting the engine. The EPA rates the van at 84 mpge, which is the combined equivalent of how far an electrified powertrain can travel on the equivalent of one gallon of gas. Without the batteries, the Pacifica Hybrid is rated at 32 mpg combined by the EPA.

The Pacifica Hybrid's transmission uses a pair of electric motors paired to an automatic gearbox to simulate a continuously variable transmission.

The batteries are stored underneath the second row of seating in the Pacifica Hybrid, which means those vans aren't equipped with Chrysler's useful Stow 'n Go seating arrangement. Otherwise, interior space for passengers between the Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid is identical. The Pacifica Hybrid can be fitted with updated infotainment systems including the latest version of Fiat Chrysler Automobile's Uconnect system and rear-seat entertainment systems. A convenient in-car vacuum system is also available.

Although federal testers and the IIHS haven't specifically rated the Pacifica Hybrid separately from the Pacifica, the gas-powered van was an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2017 and federal testers gave the van a five-star overall score, including a four-star rating for rollover protection.

Production of the van halted in summer 2017 for a battery diode recall and related fix.

The Pacifica Hybrid is built alongside the Pacifica at FCA's minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

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