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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
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Expert's Rating

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Contributing Editor -

As the 2017 model year emerged, Chrysler unveiled a fresh take on minivans, borrowing a name from the company’s recent past. Produced from 2004-2008, the original Pacifica was a large crossover model that never quite caught on with buyers. Three decades earlier, in contrast, Chrysler had launched the first minivans, setting off a long-lasting trend.

Arrival of this new Pacifica was accompanied by abandonment of the Town & Country – last of the original-type Chrysler minivans. In addition to a conventional gasoline engine, the Pacifica now comes with a plug-in hybrid powerplant.

What's New for 2017

The Pacifica Hybrid is a new addition to the existing Pacifica line.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Choosing Your Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

A modified version of Chrysler’s 3.6-liter gasoline V6 engine works in accord with two electric motors and a 16-kWh battery pack, which sits in the floor of the second row. Total system output is estimated at 260 horsepower. An electrically variable transmission (EVT) sends power to the front wheels. Unlike in most hybrid systems, both electric motors are capable of propelling the vehicle at the time, depending on conditions.

The Pacifica Hybrid has a plug-in feature that allows the battery to charge on an outlet when the vehicle is parked. With a fully charged battery, you can travel up to 30 miles using electricity alone, before the gasoline engine kicks in. Total driving range is about 530 miles, and the EPA gives the Pacifica Hybrid an equivalent fuel-economy rating of 80 MPGe in city driving. The battery pack can be recharged in as little as two hours using a 240-volt charging station.

A smartphone app provides relevant vehicle information, such as charge status and the location of nearby charging stations. A KeySense programmable key fob can place limits on vehicle speed and audio volume when certain people will be driving. With the rear seats folded, the Pacifica is capable of holding up to 64 4x8-foot sheets of quarter-inch plywood.

Two trim levels are offered:

Premium

Starting at $43,090 (destination charge included), the basic Pacifica Hybrid certainly doesn’t come across as basic at all. In addition to perforated leather seats (heated in front) and a rearview camera, the Premium buyer gets three-zone automatic temperature control, projector headlights, foglamps, a power liftgate, remote start with cabin pre-conditioning, and chrome body trim. Active noise cancellation is standard, as are six-speaker audio, satellite radio, a 7-inch driver information display, Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen, passive entry, and signature LED lighting. The standard SafetyTec group includes parking assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Navigation is an option.

Platinum

An additional $3,000 lets you drive home a Platinum edition of the Pacifica, which adds Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a heated two-tone steering wheel, and 18-inch wheels. Alpine 13-speaker audio is standard, as are 3-D navigation, hands-free power sliding doors, rain-sensing wipers, and rear-seat entertainment with two 10-inch touchscreens. Standard safety features include lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic high beams, and a surround-view camera system. Parallel/perpendicular parking assist also is included, along with front/rear parking assist. A panoramic sunroof is optional.

CarsDirect Tip

Because the Premium trim level is so well-equipped, stepping up to Platinum isn’t so essential. Still, the extra safety technology alone might be worth the additional $3,000. Despite Chrysler’s claim that the Pacifica is a new breed of minivan, basic driving qualities and passenger comforts are quite similar to those of the familiar, traditional minivans that have been disappearing. The Pacifica Hybrid currently qualifies for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, and may also qualify for incentives from state and local agencies.

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