Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
Since its remastering a few years ago the Chrysler Pacifica has been on an impressive journey of family love, respect and honor within its domain. Even with the introduction of the new Honda Odyssey the Pacifica is still number one in the minivan category for team Automotive Rhythms and Fit Fathers. Its design is a sign of the times, the interior is smart, cavernous and comfortable, and the technologies bestowed upon the Pacifica are perfect for parents and kids on the go. Now that a plug-in hybrid powertrain has been added to the popular model you can also include efficiency to the long list of accolades.
For our test week Chrysler delivered a 2018 Pacifica Hybrid Limited in a Granite Crystal Metallic clear coat exterior and Black/Diesel Nappa Leather interior with all the amenities you could possibly think of. Convenience features such as Apple CarPlay, 20-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a 4G LTE WiFi network, 3-D Navigation for the 8.4” flush-mounted Uconnect touchscreen, and SiriusXM came in handy during an impromptu drive from Dulles, VA to Mt. Laurel, NJ. More importantly, proud owners and potential purchasers of this American gem will be happy to know that the minivan has received Good Housekeeping’s 2018 Best New Car Award in the hybrid category; an honor from the Active Lifestyle Vehicle Competition; One of Wards 10 Best Engines for the 3.6-liter Pentastar eHybrid engine; and the 2018 Green Car Reports Best Car to Buy.
In fact, with the Pentastar eHybrid engine and a 16.5-gallon tank I didn’t have to refuel until another 40 miles after the roundtrip journey was completed. Moreover, you can extract up to 33 miles of all electric cruising depending on your driving habits. Simply plug in the charge port for energy restoration. It was a chilly ride up but heated seats and a heated steering wheel took care of that. The kids tapped into the network so they wouldn’t zap their cellular data and connected their iPhones to Uconnect Theater’s 10” screens (rotate up from the seatback) through HDMI to watch movies and play games. The Pacifica even has an app for destination arrival therefore you will never be asked “are we there yet?” I stayed to myself and got lost in the Harman system while vibing to my culture reggae playlists. No one had to worry about dying batteries since USB connections are omnipresent in the Pacifica including the far rear.
Our vehicle was loaded like a baked potato and came with a power third row seat, tri-pane panoramic sunroof, Stow ‘n Go seats that can be easily flipped within the floor and an integrated Stow ‘n Vac so the kids could clean up their messes. Our oldest chose the titling third row and had me stow one of the middle chairs for optimal comfort. The automatic sliding doors can be operated either by the key fob, directly from the door or from the overhead panel while the windows roll down as they do in cars. Accordingly, you will never feel claustrophobic like in passenger vans. Since we were in and out the vehicle often the Remote Start System and Keyless Enter-N-Go was right on point. In crowded lots situating a minivan can be a daunting task which made ParkSense Rear Park Assist very helpful. And I can’t forget the Super Console which was superb with holding and hiding our travel snacks and electronics.
My ride had upsized 235/60R18 all-season tires that were pretty grippy during the snowy drive. However, the polished aluminum wheels looked like Frisbees and offered no design appeal. I similarly felt confident knowing the Pacifica was emboldened with the 360-Degree Surround View Camera, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Full Speed Forward-Collision Warning Plus, Lane Departure Warning Plus, Advanced Brake Assist and much more. The thick steering wheel was taught and felt like a European SUV which increased my driving confidence.
The base price for the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited is $44,995 while our model retailed for $48,580 with the upgrades. Expect 32 combined city/highway mpg. It’s a minivan for both the city and suburbs for busy individuals who refuse to rest on their laurels.