Leave it to Chrysler to come up with a first. A pioneer of the minivan segment more than four decades ago with the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country, the automaker debuted in 2017 with the Chrysler Pacifica – world’s first gasoline plug-in hybrid minivan. The result has been a big-seller from day one!  

A 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar gas engine is coupled to two electric motors, one of which serves as a generator and the other delivers torque. The rechargeable 16-kWh lithium-ion battery in the second-row floor enables the Pacifica to go about 32 miles on pure electric. Pumping up the battery via a 240-volt charger takes just two hours. On a full battery and gas tank, you can go well over 500 miles. All in all, total horsepower is 260, plenty to cruise the highway or speed up in rush-hour traffic. The electrically variable transmission in the front-wheel drive minivan is up to the job.

Our high-end Pinnacle model showed off a black front 3D diamond-styled grille with platinum chrome-surround, flanked by bi-functional LED projector headlights, daytime running lights and fog lamps. But it is for interior amenities that people will buy this minivan. Forget Stow ’n Go for the second row (though the Captain’s chairs easily slide) but the third-row bench does power fold into the floor. For extra gas savings, keep a close eye on the digital information display of battery charge, engine power, fuel gauge readings. Laudable are convenient driver and passenger side power-sliding doors for easy ingress/egress. And, of course, storage compartments thrive in the Pacifica, offering 140.5 cubic feet with both rear rows folded and 32.3 cubic feet behind the last row. During long family trips, tiny tots in the rear seat can be entertained via two 10.1-inch touch screens (plus a FamCam offers a bird’s eye view too!) Other goodies include tri-zone auto a/c, eight-way power front heated/cooled seats, power lift gate, quilted caramel Nappa leather seats, 10.1-inch UConnect for infotainment, suede headliner, dual panoramic sun roof, integrated and flowing floor console and a tilt/telescopic leather steering column.  

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for all three rows, front knee airbags and active head restraints, lane departure/forward collision warnings, electronic stability/traction control with brake assist, four-wheel antilock brakes, blind spot monitor with rear cross detection, 360-degree camera, front/rear and hill start assists, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian emergency brakes, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system are standard.

By no means a bargain at a steep $60,345, the Pacifica plug-in hybrid should attract families looking for a safe and solid ride, people- and cargo-hauling capability, and mainly substantial fuel savings at the pump.


Tires: P235/60R18

Wheelbase: 121.6 inches

Length: 204.3 inches

Width: 79.6 inches

Height: 69.9 inches

Suspension: MacPherson strut front, twist-blade rear

Steering: electric rack and pinion

Weight: 5,010 pounds

Fuel capacity: 16.5 gallons

Gas only: 30 mpg combined

Gas and electricity: 82 MPGe combo

Price as tested: $62,435

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