I drove, drove and drove around the city, even took a jaunt to the foothills of Denver in the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Platinum only to find that I could have and should have gone much farther. The fuel gauge on America’s first hybrid plug-in minivan wasn’t fazed by my little dashes here and there. With a total driving range of 566 miles using both the gasoline engine and the electric motor, this family room on wheels is begging for more memory making on the road.
This silver teal colored innovator with premium leather-trimmed bucket seats – a classy cream color – is quite the new charmer on the block, especially for the average pre-teen wanting to be swept off their feet by the latest technology. If they choose the second row, they get direct access to the rear entertainment system with built-in games, individual remotes and headphones as well as a tri-pane panoramic sunroof. They even have their own climate control station.
If they choose the third row, they get their own personal sunroof to manually slide open. With the touch of the 8.4 inch UConnect touchscreen the driver can focus the sound of the teen’s favorite station to the rear, lowering the sound in the front. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a little quiet. But when someone’s favorite song comes on they tend to sing along – off beat. Yeah. So the peace only lasts for so long.
It has been a hot summer, and those classy leather seats could have easily become the enemy in this deluxe minivan, if not for the cool air coming out of the ventilated seats. Speaking of seats, this hybrid version does not offer stow n’ go seats in the second row like the non-hybrid Pacifica. The space is needed to accommodate the battery underneath. It can be charged at home in two hours with an available 240-volt Level II charger. If you have 14 hours to spare, simply plug it into a typical wall outlet with the 120-volt cable that is included with every Pacifica Hybrid.
Safety wise, this hybrid, which pairs a dual-motor eFlite electrically variable transmission (EVT) with a specially modified version of the upgraded 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine, offers more than 100 standard and available features, including 360-degree view camera. The steering is easy. It almost feels like driving a luxury full-size sedan. It does not offer the AWD like the non-hybrid Pacifica, but it makes up in other ways, like the $7,500 tax credit as well as possible state and local incentives.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid MSRP: $44,995. Combined city/highway MPGe:84; Combined city/highway MPG: 32.