Are you considering buying the Chrysler Pacifica for your family? And wondering if you should get the gas model or Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid? Read our review now.
If you’re interested in a green car choice but aren’t ready to go to an electric vehicle, a hybrid is a good way to go. Even though they use some gas, hybrids cut down on emissions. For every 100 miles driven, a hybrid will emit only 51.6 pounds of carbon dioxide, which is 23.3 fewer pounds than a conventional car.
For a family vehicle, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is a good choice, with lots of storage and seating. It also stacks up well when you compare Chrysler Pacifica models, but there are some differences. Here’s what you need to know.
To compare Pacifica models, the engine is the best place to start.
The Chrysler Pacifica is powered by an internal combustion engine, with a fuel-efficient 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The hybrid has a modified version of the engine, and since it’s a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), it also has two electric motors with a variable transmission. One of the electric motors is used to charge the 16-kWh lithium-ion battery and provide technology assistance, and the other motor powers the wheels.
To recharge the battery, if you have access to a 220-volt source, you can charge in under 2 hours. You also have the option of using a regular 110-volt outlet, although this will take longer. Whichever outlet you have, you can also schedule the charge to happen when electricity rates are lower.
Fuel Efficiency and Range
The Pacifica gas mileage and efficiency are the biggest differences between the two models.
The Pacifica is fuel-efficient for a minivan, getting 19mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway. With a 19-gallon fuel tank, this gives you a range of 418 miles on a full tank of gas.
The Pacific Hybrid, on the other hand, get 84 mpge (miles per gallon equivalent). If the 16.5-gallon tank is full, and the battery is charged, you can travel up to 570 miles. If you’re only using the battery, you can travel 33 miles before needing to recharge, although this range drops slightly in cold weather.
Driving and Handling
The Pacifica isn’t going to win any races, but with 287-horsepower, you can get from zero to sixty in 7.3 seconds. It handles well, although it’s a little heavy going around corners. The main drawback is the noise at higher speeds and during acceleration, but overall it provides a smooth and comfortable ride.
The Pacifica Hybrid has a little less power, pushing out 260-horsepower in gas mode. When using the battery, acceleration is quick, but it will also drain the battery faster.
From a handling perspective, the hybrid is a little more sluggish due to the extra weight of the battery. As long as you’re not trying to speed down winding roads, though, you should be fine.
The other point about the hybrid is that it automatically switches between using the gas or the battery. This lets you focus on driving without needing to worry about which fuel system to use.
Storage is another key point in the Chrysler Pacifica model comparison since the hybrid is slightly different.
In either model, you’ll get 140.5 cubic feet of storage space behind the front row, and the trunks are the same, with 32.3 cubic feet.
The difference comes due to the seating arrangement. With the Pacifica, you have Stow ‘n Go seating for both the second and third rows, allowing you to fold the seats down to maximize cargo space. The Limited trim also offers seating for up to 8 passengers.
With the Pacifica Hybrid, you only have the Stow ‘n Go option for the third row. The middle row can’t fold down because the battery is stored under the seats. The hybrid also has one less seat, so you can bring up to 7 passengers.
The battery space needed for the hybrid also means it doesn’t have room for the vacuum cleaner that comes with the Pacifica Limited trim. If you want to clean out the car, you’ll need to use another option.
The Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid are both comfortable, but the hybrid has a difference in the middle seats.
Since the second row of the hybrid doesn’t need to fold down for Stow ‘n Go, the seats are more comfortable than other Pacifica seats. They have more cushioning, and they can also recline and slide. You may decide that the everyday comfort is an improvement over the extra storage.
Price is the other major factor when looking at Pacifica vs. Pacifica Hybrid.
The L trim for the Pacifica costs $26,995, although, with that option, you won’t get many extra features. If you go for all the bells and whistles with the Limited trim, this goes up to a starting cost of $44,445.
The lowest cost trim available for the Pacifica Hybrid is the Touring Plus, starting at $39,995. That’s a big price difference over the base model for the Pacifica, but if you go up to the Limited trim for the Pacifica Hybrid, the price evens out at $45,545 to start. You can shop this dealership to learn more about the different options.
The listed price isn’t the only factor, though. As a PHEV, the hybrid is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit, which helps with the up-front cost.
Additionally, the fuel economy will save a lot down the road. The average yearly fuel cost of the Chrysler Pacifica is $1,700, but for the Pacifica Hybrid, it’s only $950 per year. The hybrid cost might go down even further depending on how much gas you use vs. powering up with electricity.
All told, while the initial cost of the hybrid is a bit higher, if you keep it for a few years, you’ll end up saving.
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid a Great Green Choice
The Chrysler Pacifica is a great minivan, but if you want to make a green choice, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is the way to go. You’ll have a family-friendly vehicle with excellent gas mileage and that’s good for the environment.
Interested in learning more about environmentally-friendly vehicles? Check out our posts under the Alternative Energy category.