2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited Fast Facts
3.6-liter V6 combined with dual electric motors (260 total system horsepower; torque N/A)
Electrically-variable automatic transmission, front-wheel drive
30 combined (EPA Rating, MPG); 82 combined (MPGe)
8.0 city, 7.9 highway, 8.0 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km); 2.9 Le/100km
Base Price: $45,845 (U.S) / $53,571 (Canada)
As Tested: $49,835 (U.S.) / $59,105(Canada)
Prices include $1,495 destination charge in the United States and $1,995 to $2,895 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.
Minivans are rarely sexy, but that won’t stop companies from trying to make them attractive, with varying degrees of success.
The gang in Auburn Hills decided that eye-pleasing design might help the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid capture sales. With that whole “hybrid” thing thrown in for a good measure of green cred.
The approach mostly worked, at least within the limitations that the van shape imposes on creativity. The Pacifica Hybrid is, dare I say, stylish.
It’s also quite competent, overall.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain combines a 3.6-liter V6 with dual electric motors and what Chrysler calls an electrically variable automatic transmission for 260 total horsepower. The van is front-wheel drive.
The system operates smoothly and seamlessly, but don’t expect this van to be a burner – it’s on the slower side when it comes to acceleration. It’s not quite a driver’s van, either – the handling is competent enough for suburban motoring, and it’s not completely devoid of personality, but it’s not as dialed in as a Honda Odyssey.
The ride, though, is another matter, walking the fine line between being comfortable and being too soft. Chrysler manages to avoid the latter – the ride is smooth while just firm enough. It’s a pleasant highway cruiser.
Which, really, is all a minivan really needs to be. We “car people” love so-called “driver’s vans” because we like to believe we won’t have to completely give up driving fun in the face of utility, but most minivan buyers don’t care a whit about that. A comfortable, compliant ride and enough steering feel to remind them that they aren’t dead inside just because they drive a minivan is all they really need.
The Pacifica delivers that. And it does so while looking good inside and out and offering up controls that are easy to read and use. Not to mention that in a very un-FCA/Stellantis move, most materials feel nice or at least class/price appropriate. Everything here just works easily.
I didn’t get a chance to plug in – charging where I live is difficult, to say the least, so I tend to rely on dead dino juice when testing a PHEV. For those who are curious – which is to say, probably all of you – the van gets an 82 MPGe combined city/highway rating and a 30 mpg combined city/highway rating when run on gas only. A 240-volt Level II charger will recharge the battery in as little as two hours. Regenerative braking is part of the system, and Chrysler promises a range of over 500 miles between fuel-tank fill-ups. The electric-only range is up to 30 miles.
Standard features included adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and rear cross-path detection, parking sensors, lane-departure warning plus, full-speed forward-collision warning plus, pedestrian/cyclist detection, rearview camera, brake assist, rain-sensing wipers, sliding second-row bucket seats, heated and cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, wireless device charging, navigation, 10.1-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot, panoramic sunroof, satellite radio, 18-inch wheels, LED head- and taillamps, power-folding mirrors, hands-free sliding side doors, a hands-free power liftgate, and a roof rack.
Options were limited to the $2,495 Theater Family Group (in-car camera, BluRay/DVD player with USB port, seatback video screens, wireless headphones, 115-volt outlet, and more). With destination ($1,495) the $45,845 base price became $49,835.
That’s not money to sneeze at, and one can get a family hauler, either minivan or crossover, with three rows for less. But you get what you pay for, and a well-thought-out/well-executed package is what you get here.
Now, if that could be said for certain other models in the Stellantis family…
[Images © 2021 Tim Healey/TTAC]
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