Road Test: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Road Test: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Story and photos by Dan Heyman


Base Price: $51,445 before provincial rebates (Que, ON, BC)

Price as Tested: $59,085

Engine: 3.6L DOHC 24-valve V6, 63 kW motor, 85 kW motor

Trans: Electronically-variable automatic

Total System Power: Est. 260 hp

Torque: 236 lb-ft

Curb Weight: 4,987 lbs./2,262 kg

Max EV range: 53 km

Combined EV usage: 2.6 Le/100 km


New for 2018: Even though the Pacifica Hybrid was all-new for 2017, Chrysler has completely re-vamped the Hybrid trim offerings for ’18. There are now three trims as opposed to two: Touring Plus, Touring-L, and Limited. 20-speaker Harman-Kardon sound can now be had as a standalone option, and there’s also UConnect 4 infotainment which provides a larger display and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a 4G LTE hotspot. Two new exterior colours have been added: Copper Pearl and Ocean Blue Metallic. Base Touring Plus models get the optional SafetyTec Package (blind-spot warning, park sense rear park assist with full stop auto brake), which comes as standard on Touring-L and Limited. On Limited models, meanwhile, you can spec Advanced SafetyTec, which adds adaptive cruise, auto high beam control, lane departure warning with active lane keep assist, forward collision warning with active braking, parallel and perpendicular park assist, 360-degree surround view camera and auto wipers.

Segment Competitors: Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Toyota Sienna

The Skinny: Chrysler deserves much of the credit for starting the minivan craze way back in ‘80s. With the Pacifica Hybrid, they’re looking to rejuvenate the minivan after the SUV and crossover onslaught by offering a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version. On a full charge, you can get up to 53 km of all-EV driving, a boon for minivans which have historically been known for being heavy and thirsty. We didn’t see quite that much during out week-long test in Montreal, but when it’s that frigid outside and the steering wheel heater, seat heater and climate system are going full chat, I’ll take the 20 km on a single charge we did see. If your drives are short and you’re able to plug in every day, you’ll still see the benefits even in the dead of winter.

Pros: EV mode is great to have, but maintains classic Chrysler/Dodge minivan bonuses like comfortable seating, Stow ‘n Go third row and an immaculate ride.

Cons: It’s heavy, and even shod with snow tires, has problems finding traction in places we never would have expected it to. Front seats could use a little more padding and support.

The Verdict: I grew up in minivans and learned to drive in one, but none of that made them cool in the end. They were for hockey moms and dads, and that was the long and short of it, really. The Pacifica PHEV, though, has forced me to re-calibrate my opinions a little. The fact that I could drive through snow-covered and pockmarked Montreal streets in the dead of winter was a real revelation; I can’t count how many times I hit broken tarmac and clenched my teeth in preparation for having them rattled, only to feel little more than the wheels bouncing up and down. Add the power sliding doors, easy to operate Stow n’ Go seating and throne-like seating position, and you can see why the Pacifica is being lauded all over the place these days.

Categories: Driver Plus, Road Tests