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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

    You got minivan in my hybrid! You got hybrid in my minivan!

    Chrysler isn’t the first, let alone the tenth automaker you would think of building a hybrid vehicle. Yet, they stunned the world last year as they introduced a plug-in hybrid version of the new Pacifica minivan. It currently holds the title of being the only full-size hybrid minivan sold in the world. On paper, the Pacifica Hybrid makes a good case for itself. Being able to travel up to 33 miles on electric power alone and returning a combined fuel economy figure of 83 MPGe. But how does it fare in the real world?

    • The Pacifica Hybrid’s powertrain is comprised of a modified version of the 3.6L V6 that runs on the Atkinson cycle for improved efficiency; two electric motors and a 16-kW lithium-ion battery pack. Total output stands at 260 horsepower.
    • Even though the Pacifica Hybrid is about 600 pounds more than the standard model, it doesn’t feel like it. The instant torque from the electric motors moves the van at a very brisk rate when leaving a stop. The gas engine will kick on when the battery is depleted or when more power is needed such as merging onto a highway. The transition between electric and hybrid power is barely noticeable. When the gas engine is on, it has more than enough power to get you moving on your way.
    • An odd omission from the Pacifica Hybrid is being able to switch between electric and hybrid modes like you can do in other PHEVs. The van will automatically do it. This is a bit disappointing as some drivers would like to conserve battery when driving on a highway for example.
    • The key numbers to be aware of are 33 miles and 84 MPGe on electric power, and 32 MPG when running on hybrid power. During my week, I was able to go about 34 miles on electric power alone and saw an average of 32 MPG for the week. Considering how big and heavy this van is, these numbers are quite impressive.
    • Recharging times for the Pacifica Hybrid are 2 hours when plugged into a 240V outlet, or 16 hours for a 120V outlet. FCA is right on the money for the 120V time as it took around 16 hours for the van to be fully recharged. 
    • There isn’t any difference between how the Pacifica Hybrid rides and handles to the standard Pacifica. Both exhibit a smooth ride, no matter the road surface. Going around a corner is not a big deal as body roll is kept very much in check.
    • There are only a few things that separate the Pacifica Hybrid from the standard model. Aside from the charging door, the hybrid gets a different grille and wheel design.
    • While the Pacifica Hybrid is designed to carry families, you would think differently after sitting inside. Our Platinum tester was kitted out with leather on the seats, contrasting stitching, and an abundance of soft-touch materials. This interior gives certain luxury cars a run for their money.
    • No matter where you’re sitting in the Pacifica Hybrid, there is plenty of head and legroom on offer. Comfort is also a major plus point as all of the seats provide excellent support for long trips.
    • One downside to the hybrid powertrain is the loss of the Stow n’ Go seats for the second row. That space is taken up by the large battery pack. At least you can remove the second-row seats, but be prepared to have another person help you as they are heavy. At least the third-row seats do fold into the floor.
    • There isn’t anything different with the 8.4-inch UConnect system aside from the usual screens you would expect on hybrid such as a power diagram. This system is very simple to operate, but the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto leaves us slightly disappointed. Thankfully, this will be addressed with the 2018 model year as both become standard across the Pacifica lineup.
    • We also had the chance to try out UConnect Access. This smartphone application allows you to check on how much charge is left on the battery, set up a charging schedule, trip information, remote lock and start, and vehicle location. While it is nice to have a key information within easy reach, it takes a long time for the application to pull it. We found on average that it took a good minute or two before updated information would arrive.
    • For all of this tech, it comes at a price. The base Pacifica Hybrid Premium rings up at $41,995. Our Platinum tester came to $47,885 with an optional panoramic sunroof. That’s a lot of cash for a minivan, even one with a hybrid powertrain. But with the Platinum, you’re getting everything - navigation, rear-seat entertainment system, heated and ventilated front seats, and a ton of safety equipment. There is also the $7,500 federal tax credit and other incentives from various states that might sway some folks. But those only come into play when it comes time to do taxes.

    Disclaimer: Chrysler Provided the Pacifica Hybrid, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2017
    Make: Chrysler
    Model: Pacifica Hybrid
    Trim: Platinum
    Engine: 3.6L V6 eHybrid System
    Driveline: eFlite EVT,  Front-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 260 @ N/A (Combined)
    Torque @ RPM: N/A
    Fuel Economy: Gas + Electric Combined, Gas Combined - 84 MPGe, 32 MPG
    Curb Weight: 4,987 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Windsor, Ontario
    Base Price: $44,995
    As Tested Price: $47,885 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Tri-Pane Panaromic Sunroof - $1,795

    Edited by William Maley


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    I've seen some video reviews of this, and they are all very positive.  Would be nice if it could go more than 33 miles on pure electric but for such a big vehicle its overall economy numbers and road manners are excellent.  Pretty expensive for what people expect a Chrysler minivan product to cost though, that might be its biggest hurdle.

     

     

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    The electric range and fuel economy numbers are really impressive, but $47k for a Chrysler minivan is a lot, especially when after 2 years these will probably sell for $20k or less on the used market.  Chrysler's depreciate like crazy.

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    nice writeup.

    I have been tracking many things Pacifica as our T&C lease is ending soon, and its been darn close to default that we may get into a Pacifica lease.  The hybrid is attractive to me for same reasons as it would be to many.

    The main downsides to me are the loss of Sto N Go (which even if you only use a time here or there can be a big loss).  The increased weight to me is a concern, although William does speak to that here.  At least heavier equates to better winter traction.  And there are other little things where the hybrid is disadvantaged to the gas version.

    Wishes come true with Apple CarPlay and 4g wifi for 2018.  The Uconnect and touchscreen updates are huge for 2018 as well.  Carplay is 75% of the time buggy and frustrating in my Malibu, but you still get used to using it.  I would not want another car without 4g wifi in car.  We use it a lot, my kid especially loves it and it helps save on the phone data.  The Uconnect in 2017 has been quite problematic and so the updates promise to make things better with that.

    Probably the most frustrated of Pacifica customers have been the hybrid intenders and (few) owners.  Many have ordered them for a year ago or so, and still have never been delivered.  There were stops and starts on the sale, and for long periods you could not buy one.  The technical problems that caused this likely seem to be identified.  But whether you can still can the one your ordered is still a problem.  Many have tried to cancel their orders and that has been an issue too.  Many have sat at a dealership waiting LONG periods of time to get fixed.  I think when we actually see 2018 hybrids it will be a telling moment.  those who have or have driven the hybrid love it...apart from the big teething issues.

    The gas version has had its share of teething problems too.  So the choice is not easy.  pacifica forums has great resources to learn what's up.

    Despite that, i think if you were thinking about getting a 2018, i would not hesitate, and i would get in line to find out when you can get one.  We'll probably go for the gas version; the only other alternatives I am considering are the Traverse or Enclave for 2018 (but those are more $$$$).

    Edited by regfootball

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    4 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    The electric range and fuel economy numbers are really impressive, but $47k for a Chrysler minivan is a lot, especially when after 2 years these will probably sell for $20k or less on the used market.  Chrysler's depreciate like crazy.

    Really? A two year old plug in hybrid that is $47K will sell for $20K? Are you high? I want you to look here at what finished just below the Toyota and above the Honda minivan. 

     

    82847A49-4603-4BDC-8149-797F3EA5872F.png

    Edited by surreal1272
    • Upvote 1

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    21 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

    Really? A two year old plug in hybrid that is $47K will sell for $20K? Are you high? I want you to look here at what finished just below the Toyota and above the Honda minivan. 

     

    82847A49-4603-4BDC-8149-797F3EA5872F.png

    Regardless of what reviews say, a 5 year old Odyssey or Sienna will still sell for $20k, because it says Honda or Toyota on the front, and people know it will be reliable.  Maybe not 2 years, but give the Pacifica 3 years and they will be under $20k.  Chrysler resale value is abysmal.  There are currently 2015 Town and Country Touring's for $20k on auto trader, those both had a base of $32k.

     

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    toyota reliability is a fallacy-the brand has been recalled so frequently in the last decade they installed revolving service department doors on their dealers. Too many other choices to risk getting burned.

     

    VIa autotrader & my zip, the cheapest Sienna from '14-15 is $18K, and the cheapest T&C is $20K.

    Edited by balthazar
    • Upvote 1

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    10 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Regardless of what reviews say, a 5 year old Odyssey or Sienna will still sell for $20k, because it says Honda or Toyota on the front, and people know it will be reliable.  Maybe not 2 years, but give the Pacifica 3 years and they will be under $20k.  Chrysler resale value is abysmal.  There are currently 2015 Town and Country Touring's for $20k on auto trader, those both had a base of $32k.

     

    “Regardless of what the reviews say”. Do you hear yourself? You said two years at $20K and you were wrong. Even at three years, you are wrong. Kelly Blue Book has it above the Honda at 36 and 60 months and not being too far behind the Sienna. You are also attempting to compare an older model T&C, which isn’t made anymore, with a much newer and far better Pacifica, so your argument holds no water there either. The Pacifica is night and day better and the value shows for once. This is just another domestic slam by you. The funny thing here is that the Odyssey has a pretty shoddy history in the reliability department so you’re even in the loop on that either. Feel free to reference the many power train issues of the older models that have only recently been addressed.

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    9 hours ago, balthazar said:

    toyota reliability is a fallacy-the brand has been recalled so frequently in the last decade they installed revolving service department doors on their dealers. Too many other choices to risk getting burned.

     

    VIa autotrader & my zip, the cheapest Sienna from '14-15 is $18K, and the cheapest T&C is $20K.

    Like I said, it’s just more domestic slamming bull$h! by him and he cant even admit he was wrong on all fronts.

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    1 hour ago, surreal1272 said:

    “Regardless of what the reviews say”. Do you hear yourself? You said two years at $20K and you were wrong. Even at three years, you are wrong. Kelly Blue Book has it above the Honda at 36 and 60 months and not being too far behind the Sienna. You are also attempting to compare an older model T&C, which isn’t made anymore, with a much newer and far better Pacifica, so your argument holds no water there either. The Pacifica is night and day better and the value shows for once. This is just another domestic slam by you. The funny thing here is that the Odyssey has a pretty shoddy history in the reliability department so you’re even in the loop on that either. Feel free to reference the many power train issues of the older models that have only recently been addressed.

    My dad had a 2001 Odyssey that he put 224,000 miles on, and had fewer repairs and less money spent on that than he did on his 07 Hyundai Entourage or his 2011 Dodge Caravan that he has now.  The Caravan has by far been the least reliable and it only has 70,000 miles on it.  The Odessy had less repairs over 7 years than he has spent in just the past 1 year on the Caravan actually.

    And a trip to auto trader or any car dealership shows Toyotas and Hondas with high resale value, and FCA products on deep discounts.  Even if the Pacifica is a much better vehicle, it is style a Chrysler which in the minds of most people = unreliable.

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    Hondas tend to be decent, but your example is still only anecdotal.

    My buddy's family has a Honda CR-V, I think it's a '16- they all hate driving it. Visibility & servicing are nightmarish. They have a circa '02 Ford-Mazda Tribute, which they are reluctantly parting with come next inspection because of an exhaust manifold leak not worth the cost of the repair. Looking at a CX-5 for a replacement there- not Honda.

    Anecdotal.

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    @smk4565

    Did his automatic transmission fail in his Odyssey?

    Did he have ball joint problems? (that could be only a Quebec thing or any other place where pot holes are a problem)

     

    Because if you say yes to either of those things, especially the first one...and then it becomes hard for me to believe these words from you:

    44 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    My dad had a 2001 Odyssey that he put 224,000 miles on, and had fewer repairs and less money spent on that than he did on his 07 Hyundai Entourage or his 2011 Dodge Caravan that he has now.  The Caravan has by far been the least reliable and it only has 70,000 miles on it.  The Odessy had less repairs over 7 years than he has spent in just the past 1 year on the Caravan actually.

    Anecdotal:

    Ive had many acquaintances that had automatic transmissions fail in their Odysseys, Accords, TLs and CLs of that time period. Many of those people changed that transmission twice.

    Also...those same autos also had ball joint problems...but so does other makes...pot holes in Quebec resemble mini Yucatan craters in the Spring time.

     

    • Upvote 1

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    38 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

    @smk4565

    Did his automatic transmission fail in his Odyssey?

    Did he have ball joint problems? (that could be only a Quebec thing or any other place where pot holes are a problem)

     

    Because if you say yes to either of those things, especially the first one...and then it becomes hard for me to believe these words from you:

    Anecdotal:

    Ive had many acquaintances that had automatic transmissions fail in their Odysseys, Accords, TLs and CLs of that time period. Many of those people changed that transmission twice.

    Also...those same autos also had ball joint problems...but so does other makes...pot holes in Quebec resemble mini Yucatan craters in the Spring time.

     

    The transmission started slipping around 200k miles, I don't think he ever really had it fixed because at that point, why bother.  He is a painter so he commonly carries 1,000 lbs of weight in his van, and does a lot of city driving too, so they are hard miles that he puts on.  I don't think he ever had a ball joint problem, I did replace 2 ball joints on my Mercedes, but that was $480, not the end of the world for a 95,000 mile car, and that is the only suspension related repair as of yet.

    Yes it is one situation and anecdotal, but look at the used car market, and there are a lot of 200,000 mile Hondas and Toyotas selling with some value.  I know 2 people that had an Acura CL, they got about 150-70k miles out of them before the transmission and mechanical issues really started to surface and then they dumped the car.

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    So...all this anecdotal evidence...including a Jalopnik article...

    Who do we believe?

    Who do we believe?

    Who. Do. We. Believe.

    To try to win an internet discussion in trying to outsmart one another to try to convince one another that Honda's transmissions of this era dont self destruct...

    And we even have an admittance of a failed transmission...but at the time of when a car dies of old age anyway...

    Jalopnik's article goes a step further in admitting there was transmission problems...but NOT WITH THIS van...

    Wink Wink...

     

    Un.

    Belieeeee.

    Vaaaa-bull!

     

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    Well there is an example of an Odyssey with 246k miles and still running strong.  I am not a Honda fan, but there are a lot of high milage Hondas out there, so they must do something right.

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    5 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Well there is an example of an Odyssey with 246k miles and still running strong.  I am not a Honda fan, but there are a lot of high milage Hondas out there, so they must do something right.

    Yeah...I own a Honda product...they are pretty effing reliable...

    Problem is...The MAJORITY of V6 AUTOMATIC transmissioned Honda products in that era that existed in 1999, 2001, 2002 all the way to what? 2005-2006? erhad HUUUGE deficiencies. CATASTROPHIC failures of the expensive kind...

    I really dont care for the few and far between outliers...

     

    Edited by oldshurst442

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    5 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

    Yeah...I own a Honda product...they are pretty effing reliable...

    Problem is...The MAJORITY of V6 AUTOMATIC transmissioned Honda products in that era that existed in 1999, 2001, 2002 all the way to what? 2005-2006? erhad HUUUGE deficiencies. CATASTROPHIC failures of the expensive kind...

    I really dont care for the few and far between outliers...

     

    So don't buy a Honda from that era. 

    Regardless, Odyessy's have good resale value, while Chrysler products do not. 

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    Regardless, resale value is for sheeple...

    I dont buy cars in hopes when my car is 10 years old Ill possibly get 100 bucks more.

    Admittedly that Honda V6 automatics of that era is shyte...what resale do YOU wanna talk about?

    You said it yourself....

    12 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    So don't buy a Honda from that era. 

    I wont!

    So...that  makes that era of Hondas...with me at least...less than ZERO!!!

    So...where does Chrysler fit in on this then when on agreement, Honda aint perfect and their cars are prone to failure too?

     

    Edited by oldshurst442

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    The issue I had was when you mentioned a 2001 Honda Odyssey trying to use THAT as a reliable Honda product trying to dismiss Chrysler...

    WRONG Honda product is alls Im sayin' to prove that point!

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    Either way, the Pacifica will probably tank in value just like every other FCA product.  So pay $47k now, and in 3 years time, over half that will be gone.   There are 2017 Pacifica Touring-L's on Auto trader right now for $24-25,000 and the MSRP new without options is $34,495.   That is $10,000 lost in 1 year, so I don't think it crazy for me to think a Hybrid will drop down to $20k in 3 years.

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    Jeeps certainly don't "tank" in value and they're FCA products. Challengers also look pretty solid in value.

    But everything drops alarmingly in value, generally speaking, in the first few years. Some high-end luxury sedans end up losing their buyers $60K in 3 years on depreciation alone. Buying anything, automotively, brand new is a losing race.

    Buy what you need/like, or whatever split there pleases you, and that's about the best one can do.

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    16 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Jeeps certainly don't "tank" in value and they're FCA products. Challengers also look pretty solid in value.

    But everything drops alarmingly in value, generally speaking, in the first few years. Some high-end luxury sedans end up losing their buyers $60K in 3 years on depreciation alone. Buying anything, automotively, brand new is a losing race.

    Buy what you need/like, or whatever split there pleases you, and that's about the best one can do.

    Wranglers hold value, maybe Grand Cherokees, I think Compasses and Renegages will drop faster, but the Jeep brand has appeal so it keeps resale doing fairly well.

    Any expensive car drops in value, unless it is a collectable, because the super rich get a new one every 2 years and the other 99% can't afford those cars.  But I think cost of car ownership is a big reason why these  flying drones and self driving cars will replace about half the cars on the road in 15 years.  People will just quit buying cars because there will be a cheaper, faster way to get around.

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    6 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    My dad had a 2001 Odyssey that he put 224,000 miles on, and had fewer repairs and less money spent on that than he did on his 07 Hyundai Entourage or his 2011 Dodge Caravan that he has now.  The Caravan has by far been the least reliable and it only has 70,000 miles on it.  The Odessy had less repairs over 7 years than he has spent in just the past 1 year on the Caravan actually.

    And a trip to auto trader or any car dealership shows Toyotas and Hondas with high resale value, and FCA products on deep discounts.  Even if the Pacifica is a much better vehicle, it is style a Chrysler which in the minds of most people = unreliable.

    And? Those year Odyssey’s are what I’m mainly referring to. Those years are on every used car avoid list out there so if your dad’s did great, then he is in the minority. Feel free look up the many issues with those. 

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