Chrysler’s hybrid minivan is game changer

on Mar31
by | Comments Off on Chrysler’s hybrid minivan is game changer |

2019-03-30 12:28:27

The Pacifica Hybrid takes this revolutionary vehicle a step further with its class-exclusive, innovative hybrid powertrain. The Pacifica is the first electrified vehicle in the minivan segment and achieves 84 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in electric-only mode and 33 miles of all-electric range.

How about fuel economy of 34 miles to the gallon in all traffic conditions? Consider chasing back and forth between supermarkets and shopping, or between local schools, without using any gasoline at all. That’s the advantage of a plug-in hybrid that can travel up to 33 miles on electric power alone.

Plug-In Power

Plug it into any 120-volt socket in the garage or outside the house and it will recharge the battery in about 12 hours, or overnight. If you have access to a 240-volt charger, the charging time is two hours. These upgrade chargers are available through your dealerships.

If you travel less than 33 miles a day, you would hardly ever have to gas up the Pacifica Hybrid. For that, the Pacifica’s engineers have included sensors that detect when gasoline in the tank is more than 90 days old, in which case the gasoline engine runs automatically to use up any possibly tainted fuel.

The EPA rates this Hybrid at 84 miles to the gallon equivalent on gasoline-electric operation, with an overall range of 566 miles. After the battery is depleted the gasoline engine starts seamlessly.

Minivan Convenience

If only four of you go, there’s 99 cubic feet of stash space behind the second row and, if just two, a whopping 141 cubic feet behind the front seats. You can practically bring your own bed and rocking chair.

The Pacifica Hybrid is an offshoot of the critically acclaimed Pacifica from the manufacturer that invented the minivan back in the mid-1980s. It used to be called the Town and Country but Chrysler resurrected the Pacifica name for the 2017 all-new model, which came in standard and hybrid versions.

Limited Tester

The tested 2019 Limited Hybrid featured upgrades including a premium Harman Kardon audio system, revised center console, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and universal garage-door opener.

There wasn’t much to add because the Limited already was loaded with just about every safety, convenience, and comfort feature available on a modern automobile. That includes Chrysler’s KeySense fob, which allows parents to set limits on top speed, radio channels and volume, and emergency thresholds for their younger drivers.

Other equipment, some standard and others optional: front collision mitigation, parallel and perpendicular parking assist, tri-zone automatic climate control, one-touch power side doors and tailgate, panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, lane departure assist, blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, Uconnect streaming connectivity and entertainment system, SXM satellite radio, and 360-degree surround-view camera.

About the only other feature not found in the Hybrid Pacifica is the gasoline model’s Stow ‘n Go second-row seats, which fold into the floor to expand the cargo capacity. On the Hybrid, the 350-pound battery takes up that space.

Cabin Comfort

To make up for the loss, the Hybrid comes with plush captain’s chairs that have more padding than the thin Stow ‘n Go seats. But they must be physically wrestled out of the minivan if there’s a need to maximize the cargo area. Also, the Hybrid is not available as an eight-passenger minivan with a second-row bench seat.

Gas Power

The gasoline-electric system delivers a total of 260 horsepower, enough for a vehicle that weighs nearly 5,000 pounds. Because electric motors produce maximum torque instantly when the throttle is pressed, the Pacifica Hybrid has robust acceleration off the line.

Except for instrumentation needed to communicate what’s going on with the hybrid system, the 2019 Pacifica Hybrid has all of the same features that made the original in 2017 the new benchmark for minivans.

Look for hands-free power sliding side doors. Simply touch a button on the outside door handle and the door slides open. Touch it again and the door closes. No jerking of handles. The side doors are made of aluminum, also used in the hood and tailgate for reduced weight and better fuel economy.

Other minivan “firsts” included an electric parking brake, rotary shift knob (eliminates shift levers), 10-inch touch screens for second-row passengers, and wireless connectivity for devices.

The Pacifica Hybrid takes this revolutionary vehicle a step further with its class-exclusive, innovative hybrid powertrain. The Pacifica is the first electrified vehicle in the minivan segment and achieves 84 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in electric-only mode and 33 miles of all-electric range.

This auto review was researched and written by SteinPro Content Services and provided to the Sun-Times for publication



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