I’ve always said, that if I had to own one vehicle that does it all, that a minivan would be at the top of my list. You see, today’s minivans are a far cry from the ones that were released just 10 years ago. With hybrid technology, stowable seats, along with sound and entertainment systems that will rival most homes, the minivan of today comes to us as a venerable living room on wheels. Simply put, they are fantastic — like the Swiss Army knives of the automotive world. So let’s take a look at one of the best ones on the market —the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited.
2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited Exterior
When released at the beginning of 2017, the Pacifica instantly redefined what a minivan should be. The boxy slab-sided lines of the old Town & Country were now replaced with an organic shape that was free of sharp edges and rough surfaces. Smooth cascading panels deliver a soft elegance to an otherwise boxy automotive segment. With sliding doors that are hidden from view and a high-opening rear hatch that employs just the right amount of blacked-out trim, the Pacifica appears smaller than its overall length of 203.8 inches would dictate. Our Limited tester came shod with 17-inch alloy wheels wearing 235/65-series Yokohama tires that fit perfectly under the wheel arches, and when seen in Chrysler’s Velvet Red Pearl-Coast paint, the Pacifica is quite handsome.
Unlike other manufacturers, Chrysler has not slathered the Pacifica with hybrid badges so as to make a statement. Instead, they’ve utilized good taste with a small teal leaf on the front charge port, a HYBRID badge on the lower portion of the rear tailgate, along with teal Chrysler logos both front and rear. One of the nicest design elements incorporated into the Pacifica (aside from the wave-pattern grille) is the use of an oversized windshield and a low beltline that when combined, supply great outward visibility. The front end is smooth, with integrated auxiliary driving lights, brushed trim and projector-beam headlamps. Up top, there are nicely incorporated roof rails and a small lip spoiler. We were also treated to the optional ($1,795.00) Tri-Pane Panoramic sunroof that kept the cabin light and airy. Chrysler should be commended as they’ve done an outstanding job with Pacifica’s design and overall curb appeal.
2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited Interior
With seating for up to seven adults, Stow n’ Go third-row fold-flat seats and a versatility factor families will love, the Pacifica Hybrid can be configured to suit almost any need. As a vehicle of convenience, the Pacifica Hybrid is here to make your life easier and more comfortable. Enter the cabin and you’re treated to a variety of leather-covered surfaces, soft-touch plastics, and touches of brushed and high gloss finishes. The 12-way adjustable front seats offer heat and ventilation along with all-day comfort and support. As this is the hybrid, the second row loses the Stow n’ Go capability (the batteries have to go somewhere) but can be removed altogether if the need arises. Thankfully the third-row seats fold flat allowing for up to 87.5 cubic-feet of cargo space (140.5 cubic feet is available with the second row removed).
Our test Pacifica was equipped with the optional UConnect 4C Theater and Sound group. That meant the inclusion of a standard 115v AC outlet, a Harman Kardon 20-speaker stereo with 760-watt amplifier, a Blu-ray/DVD player, as well as seatback touchscreens for second-row passengers. And with access through Chrysler’s UConnect 8.4-inch touchscreen display, staying connected is a piece of cake. This is where, aside from a standard backup camera, you’ll find access to your music and entertainment options, vehicle settings, a three-zone climate control system, available 4g Wi-Fi and the UConnect Hybrid pages. Second and third-row passengers are also treated to manual window shades that recess into the interior panels to shade them from direct sunlight if necessary.
As you’d expect, the hybrid dash is laid out differently from standard models. Set dead center is a large digital screen that has configurable readouts. Items such as speed, range, fuel economy, battery life, and EV range can all be accessed via steering wheel-mounted controls. There is also an analog fuel gauge, as well as a hybrid coach that lets one know how much power and or regenerative braking forced is being utilized.
2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited Performance
When you actually stop and breakdown how you drive on a daily basis, the case for the purchase of a hybrid begins to make sense. Most of our time is spent driving around town, with the occasional road trip thrown in for good measure. In my week with this Pacifica, I logged over 500 miles, with 461 of those coming from a single overnight charge, one tank of fuel, and with me driving like my usual lead-footed self. We are so used to getting sub-par fuel economy in real-world conditions that we’ve become used to it. The Pacifica hybrid, even when loaded with passengers with the air conditioning on kill, was a complete game-changer as it makes you rethink what “normal” should be.
Utilizing a 3.6-liter eHybrid Engine, and a 16kWh battery to generate 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, the Pacifica Hybrid is actually much more fun to drive than it should be. Power is put down to the front wheels through what may be the best CVT transmission I’ve come across. This helps allow for EPA-rated mileage figures of 33 mpg highway, 32 mpg city, and 32 mpg in combined driving (or 84-mpge overall).* As this is also a plug-in, up to 33 miles of electric range is also available on a full charge, thus boosting overall range to a whopping 566 miles between fill-ups
Put your foot down and the Pacifica Hybrid will reach 60-mph in just under 7.5-seconds. It accelerates with authority and handles beautifully, thanks to its low center of gravity. Hit the brakes, and it stops confidently, without a hint of drama. Charging is as simple as plugging into either a standard 110v home outlet or 240v Level 2 charge station. Keep in mind though that it can take up to 14 hours to charge on a 110v, whereby a 240v will take just over two hours.
Once on the road, the Pacifica is a joy, thanks to great outward visibility and a very quiet cabin. If there is one downside however, it’s the rotary shift knob on the dash. It works fine, but a traditional shifter would be preferable.
2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited Safety
Chrysler was just as committed to safety as it was to producing what seems to be the nicest minivan currently on sale. Some of the safety features include electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, hill start assist, daytime running lights, advanced multistage front airbags, driver knee airbag, passenger inflatable knee-bolster air bag, front seat-mounted side airbags and side-curtain airbags in all rows.
An optional SafetyTec Group can be added to less-equipped models, and includes blind spot and cross path detection and ParkSense rear park assist with stop. For 2019, the Pacifica was also named an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick!
2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited Overall:
Make no mistake, the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and non-hybrid models are the best minivans currently on sale. They offer unmatched utility and fuel economy along with a multi-configurable interior that’s simply hard to beat. Plus, with an MSRP of $27,235.00 for a base L model, to just under $50k for a loaded Pacifica Hybrid Limited, Chrysler has made sure there are models to fit your every need and budget.
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $50,005.00, excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.