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William Maley

Quick Drive: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

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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


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Very cool info, nice job on the writeup, learned some new stuff. Families who like their mini vans should love this.

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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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The higher trim level Siennas are in the same price range, so it's not out unusual for minivans to be pushing $50k...

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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
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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
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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.

 

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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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      Stop & Go enables the ACC system to bring the vehicle to a complete halt in stop-start traffic, and automatically pull away if the stopping duration is less than 3 seconds. For stopping durations greater than 3 seconds, the driver can push a steering wheel button or gently apply the accelerator pull away.
      Lane-Centring technology monitors road markings and can apply gentle but discernible torque to the steering system to help drivers stay centred in their lane whenever the ACC system is activated. Designed to support drivers at speeds up to 200 km/h (125 mph), the technology will deliver visual and audible warnings if it detects a lack of steering wheel input from the driver.
      Further technologies to help drivers avoid or mitigate the effects of accidents include Ford’s Lane-Keeping System, and Evasive Steering Assist that provides steering support to help avoid a collision. Post-Impact Braking provides braking after a collision to lessen injury and damage caused by a secondary crash event.
      “It’s not about filling the vehicle with technology for technology’s sake,” said Torsten Wey, manager, Driver Assistance and Safety Technology, Ford of Europe. “It’s about improving the experience, making driving less stressful, and helping the driver to feel more confident behind the wheel.”
      Capable and comfortable
      Standing more than 5 metres long, 2 metres wide and almost 2 metres high, the all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid delivers the luxury of space for up to seven occupants in three rows of seats.
      First and second row passengers benefit from more than 1 metre of headroom and legroom, and more than 1.5 metres of shoulder room. Offering 96 centimetres headroom, more than 1 metre of shoulder room and more than 83 centimetres legroom, the third row of seats can also easily accommodate adults in comfort.
      Standard Easy Fold Seats with Power Raise for the third row and Easy Fold Seats for the second row fold flat to create a cargo area that offers 2,274 litres of load space. The interior offers 123 litres of stowage space throughout the cabin, giving passengers in all three rows no shortage of places to stow personal items – alongside no less than 12 cupholders.
      A rotary gear shift dial for the 10-speed automatic transmission; heated and cooled 10-way power adjustable front seats; heated second row seats; wireless charging pad for compatible devices; heated steering wheel; retractable second row sunshades; and second and third row privacy glass are among the comfort enhancing features delivered as standard. Platinum models also feature a 14-speaker, 1000-watt premium B&O Sound System as standard, with a 12-speaker, 800-watt premium B&O Sound System for ST-Line variants.
      FordPass Connect embedded modem technology turns the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid into a mobile WiFi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices. In addition to helping drivers plan faster, less stressful journeys with Live Traffic updates for the navigation system and enabling occupants to stream entertainment on the move, FordPass Connect allows a range of convenient features via the FordPass mobile app, including:
      Vehicle Locator, helping owners find their SUV in sprawling shopping mall car parks Vehicle Status, for checking fuel levels, alarm status, oil life and more Door Lock Unlock, to remotely allow access to your vehicle Remote Start** The 10.1-inch portrait mounted touchscreen – standard for the Platinum variant – enables navigation maps to fill the entire screen for easy viewing, or split the space with audio information. The screen uses capacitive glass comparable to that used in smartphones and tablets, providing a quicker, more responsive interaction with the SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, which also allows drivers to control audio, navigation and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple voice commands.
      The touch screen shares information with the available 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster, configured to support drivers in getting the most from their Explorer Plug-In Hybrid powertrain with dedicated screens including power flow, charging and energy-efficiency coaching. An 8‑inch central touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster are standard for the ST-Line variant.
      Stylish, modern design
      A number of consistent design qualities have helped define Explorer during 29 years of success in the U.S., and the design team strived to hold on to these important pieces of heritage when designing the all-new generation. Longtime traits include Explorer’s blacked-out front and rear window pillars. A sporty, stylish appearance is achieved using a sloping roofline and short front overhang.
      The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid comes standard with bold 20-inch alloy wheels with black machined finish for ST-Line models and tarnished dark machined finish for Platinum models.
      ST-Line models feature a gloss black finish one-piece grille, and high gloss black for the roof rails tailgate applique and door claddings. The interior also features red accent stitching for seats, floor mats and sporty flat-bottom steering wheel, as well as carbon fibre-effect appliques for the instrument panel.
      Platinum models feature a satin finish one-piece grille, and satin finish for the roof rails tailgate applique and door claddings. The interior also adds real wood appliques for the instrument panel.
      “Massive charisma and unprecedented road presence come as standard with our all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid,” Matthias Tonn said. “With distinctive ST-Line and Platinum variants available, customers can find the right option to suit their personality.”
      # # #

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Back in January, during the Detroit Auto Show, we found a sign that Ford was preparing a plug-in hybrid Ford Explorer even though it hadn't been officially announced.   A few days ago, Ford did officially unveil it as a Europe only model.
      The Ford Explorer Plug-in looks to be using the same running gear as the Lincoln Aviator GT, a 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6 plus electric motor that produces around 444 horsepower and 620 lb-ft of torque running through its specialized 10-speed transmission. All-wheel drive is standard.  It is able to run for about 25 miles in EV-only mode.
      Under the cargo floor is a 13.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, slightly smaller than the battery in the now canceled Chevrolet Volt. 
      The plug-in version will only be available on the S-Line and Platinum trim lines. 
      Read more about the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator below.
       
      Ford of Europe Press Release on Page 2
      FORD UNVEILS ALL-NEW EXPLORER PLUG-IN HYBRID SUV WITH 40 KM (25 MILES) ZERO-EMISSION CITY DRIVING RANGE
      All-new Ford Explorer Plug-In Hybrid seven-seat sports utility vehicle to go on sale in Europe later this year Electrified powertrain combines 3.0‑litre EcoBoost petrol engine, electric motor and battery for 450 PS, 840 Nm of torque, and 40 km (25 miles) pure-electric city driving range Vehicle is all-new to Europe and features as standard new Reverse Brake Assist as well as Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring Luxurious interior offers 10.1-inch touchscreen for SYNC 3 connectivity and features as standard FordPass Connect modem, B&O Sound System, easy-to-operate flexible seating Versatility, capability and refinement optimised with 10-speed automatic transmission, Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, and Terrain Management System with selectable Drive Modes AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, April. 2, 2019 – The all-new Ford Explorer SUV today made its European debut at a special “Go Further” event in Amsterdam, Netherlands, as Ford announced a unique plug-in hybrid version of America’s all-time best selling SUV will go on sale in Europe later this year.
      The all-new Ford Explorer Plug-In Hybrid will be offered in two distinctive, high-specification, left-hand drive variants – the sporty, Ford Performance-inspired Explorer ST-Line and the luxurious Explorer Platinum. Both are powered by a combination of Ford’s 3.0‑litre EcoBoost V6 petrol engine, electric motor and generator to deliver 450 PS and 840 Nm of torque, alongside pure-electric driving capability.
      Standard Ford Intelligent All-Wheel drive technology supported by seven Drive Modes and Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission optimises performance in scenarios from urban driving to off-road. A refined and confidence-inspiring driving experience is enhanced with sophisticated driver assistance technologies as standard, including Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring functionalities.
      The exceptionally spacious, luxurious, comfort-focussed interior offers advanced features including a 10.1‑inch central portrait-mounted touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster display. Families can get the most from road trips with versatile load and seating configurations and family-friendly innovations such as easy entrance and exit to the third row seats using just one hand.
      “I am very excited about the iconic Ford Explorer coming to Europe. The all-new Explorer comes with unstoppable design and phenomenal specification. The most versatile SUV we have ever offered for customers in the region is able to carry seven adults in comfort, tow a 2,500 kg trailer with ease, and still deliver 40 km (25 miles) zero-emissions city driving range,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “Technologies like our 10.1-inch touchscreen and Reverse Brake Assist debut in Europe to make the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid supremely rewarding and easy to drive.”
      New from the ground-up the all-new sixth generation Ford Explorer was unveiled for customers in the U.S. earlier this year. First introduced in 1991, Explorer kick-started in the U.S. the rapid growth of the SUV segment that has now become immensely successful worldwide.
      Zero-emission driving
      The all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid delivers the energy-efficiency, refinement and performance benefits of an electrified powertrain in many driving scenarios, while maintaining the driving range of a traditional combustion engine. An electric-only urban cycle driving range of 40 km (25 miles) qualifies for tax breaks in some markets.
      Ford’s 350 PS 3.0-litre EcoBoost engine is supported by a 100 PS electric motor. The 13.1 kWh lithium-ion battery can be charged using a charging port located on the front left-hand side fender between the door and wheel arch. In addition, the battery is automatically replenished on the move using regenerative charging technology that captures kinetic energy normally lost during braking.
      The electric motor enables the Explorer to deliver zero-emission, pure-electric driving capability, and drivers can choose when and how to deploy battery power using EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge modes. When the battery reaches its lowest state-of-charge, the Explorer automatically reverts to EV Auto mode – supplementing petrol engine power with electric motor assistance using recaptured energy for optimised fuel-efficiency. The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid will deliver anticipated 78 g/km CO2 emissions and 3.4 l/100 km fuel efficiency.*
      The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid’s parallel hybrid architecture also enables the full combined power and torque of both petrol engine and electric motor to be deployed simultaneously for enhanced performance on- and off-road, and 2,500 kg towing capability. Ford’s sophisticated 10-speed automatic transmission further optimises fuel-efficiency and refinement.
      “The Explorer is a true SUV – designed for families with a real sense of adventure – so it was essential that the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid featured a powertrain that could haul anything from boats to horseboxes,” said Matthias Tonn, Explorer chief programme engineer for Europe. “We specifically chose a parallel hybrid architecture that lets drivers use all 450 PS and 840 Nm of torque. We’ve even added a more advanced version of our Blind Spot Information System, that covers a 10 metre trailer.”
      Advanced Intelligent All-Wheel Drive technology every 10 milliseconds analyses inputs from dozens of sensors, including vehicle speed and yaw, ambient air temperature, wheel slip and towing status to determine whether additional traction is needed. An all-new single speed transfer case featuring an electro-mechanical torque clutch can seamlessly adjust torque delivery between the front and rear wheels within 100 milliseconds for a more secure footing on the road. Like the 10-speed automatic transmission, the system uses adaptive learning algorithms to continually adjust responses for optimised refinement.
      The Terrain Management System uses selectable Drive Modes to enable customers to tailor their drive experience to road, weather and terrain conditions on demand, including Normal, Sport, Trail, Slippery, Tow/Haul, Eco, and Deep Snow and Sand modes – with each Drive Mode featuring a unique graphical display in the 12.3-inch instrument cluster. Hill Descent Control also helps make light work of off-road terrain.
      Stress-free journeys in town and country
      Sophisticated driver assistance technologies contribute to a refined and intuitive driving experience for Explorer Plug-In Hybrid customers, including features designed to make it easier to drive a large vehicle in urban environments.
      Available Active Park Assist 2 enables fully-automated manoeuvres into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces at the push of a button. The system identifies suitable parking spaces and the driver can control vehicle motion by simply selecting neutral and holding down a single centre console-mounted button. The vehicle then fully controls forward and reverse gear selection, throttle and braking, as well as steering to manoeuvre into spaces before engaging park. The technology can also help drivers exit parallel parking spaces using fully automated Park-out Assist.
      Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them, and can apply the brakes to avoid or mitigate the effects of collisions if drivers do not respond to warnings. In addition, Reverse Brake Assist uses radar and ultrasonic sensors to detect an object in the vehicle’s path, and can apply the brakes automatically to avoid an imminent collision when the vehicle is backing up at a low speed – such as when exiting a driveway. Also helping drivers negotiate awkward scenarios, rear-view and front-view cameras with built-in lens cleaners combine with additional cameras mounted beneath the door mirrors to provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle projected on to the central display.
      Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology can detect people and cyclists in or near the road ahead, or who may cross the vehicle’s path, and automatically apply the brakes if it detects a potential collision and the driver does not respond to warnings.
      Stop-start traffic, highway driving and long distance road trips are made less stressful using Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring. The technology helps the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid maintain a comfortable driving distance from vehicles ahead and can help keep the vehicle centred in its lane. In addition, the technology can adjust the vehicle speed to within legal limits by monitoring the roadside and overhead gantries for speed signs in addition to using information from the on-board navigation system.
      Stop & Go enables the ACC system to bring the vehicle to a complete halt in stop-start traffic, and automatically pull away if the stopping duration is less than 3 seconds. For stopping durations greater than 3 seconds, the driver can push a steering wheel button or gently apply the accelerator pull away.
      Lane-Centring technology monitors road markings and can apply gentle but discernible torque to the steering system to help drivers stay centred in their lane whenever the ACC system is activated. Designed to support drivers at speeds up to 200 km/h (125 mph), the technology will deliver visual and audible warnings if it detects a lack of steering wheel input from the driver.
      Further technologies to help drivers avoid or mitigate the effects of accidents include Ford’s Lane-Keeping System, and Evasive Steering Assist that provides steering support to help avoid a collision. Post-Impact Braking provides braking after a collision to lessen injury and damage caused by a secondary crash event.
      “It’s not about filling the vehicle with technology for technology’s sake,” said Torsten Wey, manager, Driver Assistance and Safety Technology, Ford of Europe. “It’s about improving the experience, making driving less stressful, and helping the driver to feel more confident behind the wheel.”
      Capable and comfortable
      Standing more than 5 metres long, 2 metres wide and almost 2 metres high, the all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid delivers the luxury of space for up to seven occupants in three rows of seats.
      First and second row passengers benefit from more than 1 metre of headroom and legroom, and more than 1.5 metres of shoulder room. Offering 96 centimetres headroom, more than 1 metre of shoulder room and more than 83 centimetres legroom, the third row of seats can also easily accommodate adults in comfort.
      Standard Easy Fold Seats with Power Raise for the third row and Easy Fold Seats for the second row fold flat to create a cargo area that offers 2,274 litres of load space. The interior offers 123 litres of stowage space throughout the cabin, giving passengers in all three rows no shortage of places to stow personal items – alongside no less than 12 cupholders.
      A rotary gear shift dial for the 10-speed automatic transmission; heated and cooled 10-way power adjustable front seats; heated second row seats; wireless charging pad for compatible devices; heated steering wheel; retractable second row sunshades; and second and third row privacy glass are among the comfort enhancing features delivered as standard. Platinum models also feature a 14-speaker, 1000-watt premium B&O Sound System as standard, with a 12-speaker, 800-watt premium B&O Sound System for ST-Line variants.
      FordPass Connect embedded modem technology turns the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid into a mobile WiFi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices. In addition to helping drivers plan faster, less stressful journeys with Live Traffic updates for the navigation system and enabling occupants to stream entertainment on the move, FordPass Connect allows a range of convenient features via the FordPass mobile app, including:
      Vehicle Locator, helping owners find their SUV in sprawling shopping mall car parks Vehicle Status, for checking fuel levels, alarm status, oil life and more Door Lock Unlock, to remotely allow access to your vehicle Remote Start** The 10.1-inch portrait mounted touchscreen – standard for the Platinum variant – enables navigation maps to fill the entire screen for easy viewing, or split the space with audio information. The screen uses capacitive glass comparable to that used in smartphones and tablets, providing a quicker, more responsive interaction with the SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, which also allows drivers to control audio, navigation and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple voice commands.
      The touch screen shares information with the available 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster, configured to support drivers in getting the most from their Explorer Plug-In Hybrid powertrain with dedicated screens including power flow, charging and energy-efficiency coaching. An 8‑inch central touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster are standard for the ST-Line variant.
      Stylish, modern design
      A number of consistent design qualities have helped define Explorer during 29 years of success in the U.S., and the design team strived to hold on to these important pieces of heritage when designing the all-new generation. Longtime traits include Explorer’s blacked-out front and rear window pillars. A sporty, stylish appearance is achieved using a sloping roofline and short front overhang.
      The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid comes standard with bold 20-inch alloy wheels with black machined finish for ST-Line models and tarnished dark machined finish for Platinum models.
      ST-Line models feature a gloss black finish one-piece grille, and high gloss black for the roof rails tailgate applique and door claddings. The interior also features red accent stitching for seats, floor mats and sporty flat-bottom steering wheel, as well as carbon fibre-effect appliques for the instrument panel.
      Platinum models feature a satin finish one-piece grille, and satin finish for the roof rails tailgate applique and door claddings. The interior also adds real wood appliques for the instrument panel.
      “Massive charisma and unprecedented road presence come as standard with our all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid,” Matthias Tonn said. “With distinctive ST-Line and Platinum variants available, customers can find the right option to suit their personality.”
      # # #
    • By William Maley
      I was a bit surprised when I got word that I would be spending a few days with a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross only a few weeks after doing a brief first drive. As I noted in my report, I came away pretty impressed with certain aspects of this latest contender in the compact crossover class. But there were some items that I needed more time to mess around with such as the infotainment system and powertrain. With a bit more time behind the wheel, how would Mitsubishi’s newest model fare? 
      As I talked about in my quick first drive, Mitsubishi’s design staff went crazy with the Eclipse Cross. Sharp angles, a split shape for the tailgate, and aggressive front end treatment will draw a lot of comment. But credit should be given to the design team as they have created something that does stand out in a very crowded class. The polarizing design can be toned down a lot if you choose a different color than the red as seen on my tester. 
      Sadly, that polarizing design doesn’t carry into the interior. But the plain look does allow for most controls to be easy to find and reach. Only the placement of the trip computer controls (behind the steering wheel) and climate control (nestled deep in the center stack) will invoke some frustration. Mitsubishi has also made some noticeable improvements to overall interior quality. There are higher quality hard plastics and some soft-touch materials used throughout. Also, there were no glaring build quality concerns that I noticed in the Outlander Sport.
      The front seats provide decent support for short trips, but I was wishing for more padding after doing a day trip to Ohio. The sloping roofline and large sunroof will eat into rear headroom, but legroom is decent for most passengers. Cargo space is on the low side with 22.6 cubic feet with the seats up and 48.9 cubic feet when folded. The sloping tailgate design does also mean you’ll need to plan carefully as to how you plan on loading cargo.
      Mitsubishi equips all Eclipse Cross models with a seven-inch touchscreen, but only the LE and above get a free-standing version with a touchpad controller. The touchpad controller reminds a lot of the Lexus’ Remote Touch system and its issues. Both systems exhibit some slowness to respond when your finger is moving across the pad. At least the Mitsubishi system has a touchscreen as another input method, but you’ll be stretching your arm to use it. The graphics and overall performance do trail competitors, but it is a huge step forward when compared to the previous systems Mitsubishi has installed. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility are standard on LE models and above.
      A new turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder powers the Eclipse Cross. Output is rated at 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. All models come with a CVT and the choice of either front or Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel-Control (S-AWC). During my first drive, I came away mostly impressed with the turbo-four as it moved the vehicle with subtle verve around town. This still held true during my time with the vehicle. But I did find the engine runs out of steam at higher speeds, making it somewhat difficult to pass quickly when traveling on the highway. Also, the engine does sound somewhat unrefined in hard acceleration. The CVT is similar; providing excellent performance around town, but noticeably struggles on the highway. 
      EPA fuel economy on the Eclipse Cross SEL S-AWC is 25 City/26 Highway/25 Combined. My average for the five-day period I had the vehicle landed around 27.2 on a 70/30 mix of highway and city driving.
      Despite the Eclipse name on the vehicle, this is not a sporty crossover. There is pronounced body lean and the steering feels noticeably light. But for most buyers, this is not a big issue. They’re more concerned about how the Eclipse Cross rides and the news is better. The suspension does a great job of absorbing most bumps. Wind noise is kept to very acceptable levels, but there was a fair amount of road noise coming inside - especially when traveling on the highway. This makes long trips somewhat tiring.
      While many enthusiasts may bemoan the fact that Mitsubishi is using the Eclipse name on a crossover, I’ll be the first to admit this is their best vehicle in quite some time. The design and turbo engine help the model stand out in what is becoming a quite crowded class. Plus, the starting price of $23,295 for the base ES makes it quite tempting. Still, the Eclipse Cross does trail the pack in terms of comfort, cargo space, and performance at higher speeds. There is room for improvement, but Mitsubishi has most of the basics right on the money.
      Disclaimer: Mitsubishi Provided the Eclipse Cross, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mitsubishi
      Model: Eclipse Cross
      Trim: SEL S-AWC
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.5L Direct-Injected Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 152 @ 5,550
      Torque @ RPM: 184 @ 2,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/26/25
      Curb Weight: 3,516 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Japan
      Base Price: $27,895
      As Tested Price: $32,310 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Touring Package - $2,500.00
      Red Diamond Paint - $595.00
      Accessory Tonneau Cover - $190.00
      Accessory Carpeted Floormats and Portfolio - $135.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      I was a bit surprised when I got word that I would be spending a few days with a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross only a few weeks after doing a brief first drive. As I noted in my report, I came away pretty impressed with certain aspects of this latest contender in the compact crossover class. But there were some items that I needed more time to mess around with such as the infotainment system and powertrain. With a bit more time behind the wheel, how would Mitsubishi’s newest model fare? 
      As I talked about in my quick first drive, Mitsubishi’s design staff went crazy with the Eclipse Cross. Sharp angles, a split shape for the tailgate, and aggressive front end treatment will draw a lot of comment. But credit should be given to the design team as they have created something that does stand out in a very crowded class. The polarizing design can be toned down a lot if you choose a different color than the red as seen on my tester. 
      Sadly, that polarizing design doesn’t carry into the interior. But the plain look does allow for most controls to be easy to find and reach. Only the placement of the trip computer controls (behind the steering wheel) and climate control (nestled deep in the center stack) will invoke some frustration. Mitsubishi has also made some noticeable improvements to overall interior quality. There are higher quality hard plastics and some soft-touch materials used throughout. Also, there were no glaring build quality concerns that I noticed in the Outlander Sport.
      The front seats provide decent support for short trips, but I was wishing for more padding after doing a day trip to Ohio. The sloping roofline and large sunroof will eat into rear headroom, but legroom is decent for most passengers. Cargo space is on the low side with 22.6 cubic feet with the seats up and 48.9 cubic feet when folded. The sloping tailgate design does also mean you’ll need to plan carefully as to how you plan on loading cargo.
      Mitsubishi equips all Eclipse Cross models with a seven-inch touchscreen, but only the LE and above get a free-standing version with a touchpad controller. The touchpad controller reminds a lot of the Lexus’ Remote Touch system and its issues. Both systems exhibit some slowness to respond when your finger is moving across the pad. At least the Mitsubishi system has a touchscreen as another input method, but you’ll be stretching your arm to use it. The graphics and overall performance do trail competitors, but it is a huge step forward when compared to the previous systems Mitsubishi has installed. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility are standard on LE models and above.
      A new turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder powers the Eclipse Cross. Output is rated at 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. All models come with a CVT and the choice of either front or Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel-Control (S-AWC). During my first drive, I came away mostly impressed with the turbo-four as it moved the vehicle with subtle verve around town. This still held true during my time with the vehicle. But I did find the engine runs out of steam at higher speeds, making it somewhat difficult to pass quickly when traveling on the highway. Also, the engine does sound somewhat unrefined in hard acceleration. The CVT is similar; providing excellent performance around town, but noticeably struggles on the highway. 
      EPA fuel economy on the Eclipse Cross SEL S-AWC is 25 City/26 Highway/25 Combined. My average for the five-day period I had the vehicle landed around 27.2 on a 70/30 mix of highway and city driving.
      Despite the Eclipse name on the vehicle, this is not a sporty crossover. There is pronounced body lean and the steering feels noticeably light. But for most buyers, this is not a big issue. They’re more concerned about how the Eclipse Cross rides and the news is better. The suspension does a great job of absorbing most bumps. Wind noise is kept to very acceptable levels, but there was a fair amount of road noise coming inside - especially when traveling on the highway. This makes long trips somewhat tiring.
      While many enthusiasts may bemoan the fact that Mitsubishi is using the Eclipse name on a crossover, I’ll be the first to admit this is their best vehicle in quite some time. The design and turbo engine help the model stand out in what is becoming a quite crowded class. Plus, the starting price of $23,295 for the base ES makes it quite tempting. Still, the Eclipse Cross does trail the pack in terms of comfort, cargo space, and performance at higher speeds. There is room for improvement, but Mitsubishi has most of the basics right on the money.
      Disclaimer: Mitsubishi Provided the Eclipse Cross, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mitsubishi
      Model: Eclipse Cross
      Trim: SEL S-AWC
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.5L Direct-Injected Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 152 @ 5,550
      Torque @ RPM: 184 @ 2,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/26/25
      Curb Weight: 3,516 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Japan
      Base Price: $27,895
      As Tested Price: $32,310 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Touring Package - $2,500.00
      Red Diamond Paint - $595.00
      Accessory Tonneau Cover - $190.00
      Accessory Carpeted Floormats and Portfolio - $135.00
    • By Drew Dowdell
      FCA is paying Tesla hundreds of millions of dollar to pool their vehicles with Tesla to avoid EU fines over emissions. Tesla put out an invitation to other automakers to use its fleet to lower their emissions totals and FCA took them up on it.  Neither company released financial specifics of the deal, but it is estimated by the Financial Times to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  
      Similar to California which allows manufactures with a surplus of ZEV credits to sell them to manufacturers who need them, the EU Commission allows manufacturers to pool together their fleets to avoid paying fines. Tesla makes significant money selling these credits in the US, earning $103.4m in 2018 and $279.7m in 2017. Once set up, the pool in Europe is good for several years.
      Vehicles in 2018 are allowed an average CO2 emission of 120.5g per kilometer. That figure will drop to 95g per kilometer next year.  FCA's average for 2018 was 123g per kilometer, one of the largest off the mark of the 13 major manufacturers. FCA is seen to have fallen to near the back of the pack when in comes to reigning in CO2 emissions.
      FCA was forecast to be facing fines exceeding €2 billion ($2.25 billion) without pooling with Tesla. 
       

      View full article
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