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  • 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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    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.

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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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    smk4565

    Posted (edited)

    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.

    Edited by smk4565

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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
      I’ll admit that I have an unabashed love for the Mazda MX-5 Miata. This plucky roadster proves you don’t need gobs of power to provide a big grin when driving. A combination of well-sorted chassis, steering, and slick gearbox does the trick. But Mazda has decided to add a bit more power for the 2019 model, along with including a more powerful four-cylinder and a hardtop option. I’m curious to see if these changes can make the Miata better or worse.
      The model seen here is the RF - short for retractable fastback. Press the switch and the roof panels begin an origami folding exercise into the trunk. The result is a targa that provides the open-air feeling, minus a large amount of wind noise. It doesn’t hurt that roof pillars are styled in such a way that gives off a rakish look, no matter whether the top is up or down. Under the hood lies a revised 2.0L Skyactiv four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque - up 26 and 3 respectively. A six-speed manual is standard, while an automatic is optional. The small bump makes for a huge improvement in overall acceleration. Just leaving a stop, I was surprised how much pull the engine had as it got to 45 about a half-second quicker than the last Miata.   A key change is Mazda bumping the redline to 7,500 rpm, which allows the engine to fully flex its muscle. This became apparent when I needed to pass a vehicle and found that I didn’t need to drop down a gear to get the power needed.  The six-speed manual is still a joy to work with short and precise throws and a direct feeling clutch pedal. Even when stuck in traffic, doing the motions didn’t feel like a hassle. Average fuel economy for the week landed around 32 mpg, even though I was winding the engine out and playing through the gears just because it is so much fun. My tester was the Club model that adds a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers, and a front shock tower brace. This firms up the suspension and provides improve handling on the limit. But out on the backroads, I couldn’t tell there was any real difference in handling between this and the 2016 MX-5 Grand Touring I drove a few years back. Maybe there was slightly less body roll in the RF, but both vehicles had similar characteristics when going into a turn. If I drove both of them on a track, then I think the differences would become more apparent. There is a downside to the Club’s suspension, a very harsh ride. Just making a quick trip to the store was a bit much as the suspension would transmit every little bump and imperfection to the backside of those sitting inside. Another item fitted to my tester was a set of Recaro bucket seats. They come as part of an option package that also adds Brembo Brakes and some cool-looking BBS wheels finished in black. The seats have increased bolstering to hold you in during an enthusiastic drive. But the lack of padding makes them uncomfortable for longer trips. On paper, the RF is an expensive proposition when put against the soft-top: $32,345 vs. $25,730. That massive difference is due to Mazda not offering the base Sport model on the RF. But put the soft-top Club against the RF and the difference shrinks to just over $2,000. Be forewarned that the RF can get expensive. That package I mentioned earlier with the Recaro seats? That will set you back $4,670, bringing the as-tested price to just over $38,000. Mazda’s improvements for the 2019 MX-5 Miata for the most part help, allowing it to become more fun to drive and somewhat easier to live with. That said, the additional cost of the hardtop will depend on whether or not you think it is worth the benefits of possibly being an all-seasons car. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the MX-5 Miata RF, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Mazda
      Model: MX-5 Miata RF
      Trim: Club
      Engine: 2.0L SkyActiv-G DOHC 16-Valve with VVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 181 @ 7,000
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/34/29
      Curb Weight: 2,453 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $32,345
      As Tested Price: $38,335 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Brembo with Black Roof - $4,670.00
      Interior Package for M/T - $425.00

      View full article
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