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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited

      Revisiting the hybrid minivan

    It has been a year since I first drove the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and came away very impressed. For a seven-passenger vehicle, getting 33 miles on electric power only and an average fuel economy of over 30 mpg was quite the shock. Would I still feel that way a year on?

    • Chrysler made some minor changes for 2018 Pacifica Hybrid, including revamping the trim lineup and adding more standard features. In the case of our Limited tester, it gains a 20-speaker Harman Kardon sound system as standard.
    • Can I just say how good the Pacifica Hybrid looks in this rich blue. The color helps Pacifica’s shape pop out wherever it is parked.
    • No changes concerning the interior of the Pacifica Hybrid. That’s a good thing as the model is towards the top of the minivan hierarchy with a handsome design, impressive materials, and comfortable seating in all of the rows.
    • One downside to going with the Pacifica Hybrid is the loss of the Stow n’ Go seats for the second-row. That space is taken up by the massive battery pack.
    • An 8.4-inch touchscreen with UConnect is standard on all Pacifica Hybrids. This version of UConnect has a special section that provides key information on the hybrid system, including a power output screen and a place to set up the timeframe for when you want the van to charge up.
    • The hybrid powertrain is comprised a 3.6L V6 running on the Atkinson cycle; two electric motors, and a 16-kW lithium-ion battery pack Total output is rated at 260 horsepower.
    • Despite the added heft of the hybrid system, the Pacifica Hybrid is no slouch. The two electric motors provide instantaneous torque to help move the van at a surprising rate. The V6 will come on when more power is needed such as driving on the highway. One nice touch I like is how seamless the transition between electric and hybrid power is. The only sign aside from having the status screen up is the V6 turning on and off.
    • One item I wish Chrysler would reconsider is offering the driver the ability to change between electric hybrid models that other plug-in hybrid offer. I understand why Chrysler decided not to do this as it might not be used by most drivers. But for a small group, including myself, it would nice to choose when the electric powertrain was in use to help conserve range.
    • EPA says the 2018 Pacifica Hybrid will return 84 MPGe on electric power and 32 MPG when running on hybrid power. Overall electric range is rated at 33 miles. My averages for the week mirrored what I saw in the 2017 model - about 32 miles on electric range and an average fuel economy figure of 32.
    • Having the Pacifica Hybrid for a week reminded me of one of the key issues that will face many, charging times. On a 120V outlet, it takes 16 hours for the battery to fully recharge. If you have a 240V charger, that drops to a reasonable 2 hours. 
    • Handling is possibly one of the biggest surprises in the Pacifica Hybrid. The added heft of hybrid system allows the Pacifica to feel poised in the corners and have minimal body roll. Ride quality is the same as the standard Pacifica - almost all bumps are smoothed over. Road and wind noise are kept to almost silent levels.
    • Pricing for the Pacifica Hybrid begins at $39,995 for the base Touring Plus and climbs to $44,995 for the Limited. My tester came to $49,825 with a few options, including the Advanced SafetyTec group that adds adaptive cruise control, surround view camera system, and blind spot monitoring. Sadly, this package isn’t available on lower trims. 
    • There is the $7,500 federal tax credit and various state incentives that will be swayed around to draw some people in, but be forewarned those only come into effect when it is time to do taxes, not when you purchase the vehicle.

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

    Gallery: Quick Drive: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited

    Year: 2018
    Make: Chrysler
    Model: Pacifica Hybrid
    Trim: Limited
    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: $49,825 (Includes $1,345 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Tri-Pane Panoramic Sunroof - $1,595.00
    Advanced SafetyTec - $995.00
    18-inch x 7.5-inch Polished Aluminum wheels - $895.00

    Edited by William Maley

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    Been seeing these lately all over the Greater Seattle area. Seems to be a very popular family hauler. 

    I wonder if this is due to the following for Washington Resident purchases. Fully Loaded Hybrid Limited is $48,825 here

    • $7,500 fed tax break
    • $1000 Chrysler incentive
    • Washington State no Sales tax on EV's / specific Hybrids such as this model. Save $4,883 in sales tax.

    🤔

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    It is built on the only new transverse platform that FCA has, everything else is still based off of an older Fiat one.

     

    It's so weird, you'd think that FCA would be clamoring to build more vehicles off of this, if it makes a very competitive minivan it can make for a very good 2/3 row midsize crossover.

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    1 hour ago, Suaviloquent said:

     

    It's so weird, you'd think that FCA would be clamoring to build more vehicles off of this, if it makes a very competitive minivan it can make for a very good 2/3 row midsize crossover.

    I'd think they would do a Journey replacement on this platform...and maybe a Chrysler-branded CUV also.

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    2 hours ago, Suaviloquent said:

    It is built on the only new transverse platform that FCA has, everything else is still based off of an older Fiat one.

     

    It's so weird, you'd think that FCA would be clamoring to build more vehicles off of this, if it makes a very competitive minivan it can make for a very good 2/3 row midsize crossover.

    Would also probably be a good replacement for a new 300! 🤔

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    yes, this is a great platform for all the products mentioned above, but i guess FCA doesn't want to make any of them!  Just starve Dodge and Chrysler and spend more on Fiat and AR. Chrysler really needs an Enclave type vehicle, and also a Ford Edge type vehicle.  Dodge could use a Journey replacement.  Chrysler certainly could do a 300 replacement off this.  They could always continue to noodle the Charger on the platform it is on for those that like that.  

    Edited by regfootball
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    I wonder if the Pacifica Hybrid qualifies for a business tax deduction?  The tax law changed for 2018 that you can write off $25,000 in one year for a purchase of a vehicle over 6,000 lbs GVWR and if this thing is 4987 lbs, the GVWR is probably over 6,000.

    On a side note, maybe this platform will be used for an Aspen SUV or a new 300/Charger sedan if they drop the current platform.

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    14 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I wonder if the Pacifica Hybrid qualifies for a business tax deduction?  The tax law changed for 2018 that you can write off $25,000 in one year for a purchase of a vehicle over 6,000 lbs GVWR and if this thing is 4987 lbs, the GVWR is probably over 6,000.

    On a side note, maybe this platform will be used for an Aspen SUV or a new 300/Charger sedan if they drop the current platform.

    Any vehicles used for business can qualify for the business tax deduction, you just have to clearly document it or have the business buy it and have your accountant properly apply the deductions against the business asset usually. I strongly suggest you talk to your accountant to learn specifically how to apply the business deductions against the auto cost.

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    46 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I wonder if the Pacifica Hybrid qualifies for a business tax deduction?  The tax law changed for 2018 that you can write off $25,000 in one year for a purchase of a vehicle over 6,000 lbs GVWR and if this thing is 4987 lbs, the GVWR is probably over 6,000.

    On a side note, maybe this platform will be used for an Aspen SUV or a new 300/Charger sedan if they drop the current platform.

    GVWR is 6300.

    30 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Any vehicles used for business can qualify for the business tax deduction, you just have to clearly document it or have the business buy it and have your accountant properly apply the deductions against the business asset usually. I strongly suggest you talk to your accountant to learn specifically how to apply the business deductions against the auto cost.

    He's referring to a specific part of the tax code that lets businesses depreciate a business vehicle faster if they are over the 6,000 lbs requirement.

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    5 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    GVWR is 6300.

    He's referring to a specific part of the tax code that lets businesses depreciate a business vehicle faster if they are over the 6,000 lbs requirement.

    Correct, Section 179 in the tax code, some car companies were actually advertising it on their sites because if you bought a work van or truck you can write that off and get over $5,000 tax savings.  I don't plan on buying a 6,000+ lb GVWR vehicle nor do I own a business.  But there could be a commercial application to the Pacifica hybrid, more so for airport shuttle or taxi or Uber I would think vs cargo or anything like that.

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    1 hour ago, Suaviloquent said:

    So that’s why Waymo bought so many Pacificas! Of course!

     

    A guy from Argo told me the reason they use PHEVs for self driving vehicles is because they're the only ones that have the battery and voltage capacity to run all of the electronics.

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    On 1/2/2019 at 10:55 AM, Drew Dowdell said:

    This is one of the finest products to come out of FCA in years. They really should have made plans from the start to make additional vehicles off this platform.

    Having driven them yes, I agree one hundred percent.

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    • By William Maley
      Back in the spring, I spent some time with two different Volvo 60 series models - the S60 Momentum and V60 Cross Country. I came away impressed with the work Volvo had done, picking Cross Country as my favorite. A couple months back, another 60 series model rolled up for a week long evaluation. This one is very different.
      Unlike most performance wagons that grab a bullhorn and shout for attention, the V60 Polestar goes for a more sedate approach. From afar, it looks like your standard V60. Get closer and you begin to see the small changes such as the lowered ride height, 20-inch grey wheels that cover up the massive gold brake calipers, and the two Polestar badges. Only changes for the interior are the Polestar logo embossed on the front headrests and gold seatbelts. Under the hood is Volvo's T8 powertrain. This is the 2.0L twin-charged four-cylinder paired with an electric motor on the rear axle to produce a total output of 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque. This setup also provides all-wheel drive. It is quite shocking (pardon the pun) as to how fast the V60 Polestar goes. Step on the accelerator and it feels like you have engaged warp drive as the two powertrains work together.  But there were times where the gas engine and electric motor didn't seem to be on the same page. There would be the odd delay or surging of the gas engine when driving around town in the hybrid mode. Hopefully, this is something that could be addressed with an update to the engine software. The other party trick of the V60 Polestar is the ability to run on electric power alone. This comes from an 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack underneath the cargo floor. Volvo claims a range of 22 miles on electric power alone, but I was able to stretch it out to around 23 to 25 miles throughout the week. Recharging took around eight to eleven hours if the battery was near or fully depleted.  For the week, I saw an MPGe average of 52.1. With the battery drained, I saw the average fall to around 29.1 MPG.  Volvo turned to suspension supplier Öhlins to develop something bespoke for the V60 Polestar. What was delivered is a special set of dampers that are manually adjusted by gold-colored aluminum knobs. You'll easily find the ones in the front by opening the hood - sitting on top of the shock towers. The ones in the back are slightly harder to find as they're located above the wheels in the wheel housing. This is something that feels like more of a talking point when showing off the wagon, not something you want to mess with unless you are knowledgeable on damper tuning. The V60 Polestar may be the best handling Volvo I have driven in quite some time. The Öhlins dampers do make a difference as they minimize body roll. But the dampers cannot fully hide the massive weight of the Polestar - tipping the scales at 4,522 pounds. This makes the wagon not feel as nimble. In terms of ride quality, the V60 Polestar does well on smooth roads. Take it on a road with a litany of bumps and potholes and the ride becomes very choppy. This is where I wished Volvo had gone for a computer-controlled damper system to make the ride slightly smoother. A price tag of over $68,000 is a bit much for a Volvo, but you need to take into consideration that you're getting everything as standard. That includes the premium B&O audio system, full LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, Pilot Assist, and more. The only option on our tester is the metallic paint. Despite the price tag and rough ride, I'm happy to see Volvo venturing out and doing some wild as the V60 Polestar. This vehicle is a prime example of having your cake and eating it by delivering excellent performance and efficiency in one package. The fact that this package is in a wagon shows this for someone who doesn't want to follow the Joneses and get a performance crossover. Would this be the 60 Series model I would buy? No, that honor falls to the V60 Cross Country I drove in the early spring. But the Polestar runs a close second. Disclaimer: Volvo Provided the V60 Polestar, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Volvo
      Model: V60
      Trim: T8 Polestar Engineered 
      Engine: 2.0L Twincharged DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder, Two AC Electric Motors
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 328 (gas), 46 (electric motor front), 87 (electric motor rear), 415 (combined)
      Torque @ RPM: 317 (gas), 111 (electric motor front), 177 (electric motor rear), 494 (combined)
      Fuel Economy: Combined MPGe/Gas - 69/30
      Curb Weight: 4,522 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gothenburg, Sweden
      Base Price: $67,300
      As Tested Price: $68,940 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Metallic Paint - $645.00

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