I attended the Houston Auto Show this week for GearBoxTV and had the opportunity to preview the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. As an environmentally conscious parent of two young children, I was impressed. Not only is this minivan stylish, environmentally friendly, and affordable, but it’s also easy on the ‘ol fuel budget!
My youngest, and my “assistant” for the day, especially loved the U-Connect Entertainment System with 10.1-inch HD touchscreens that allows for each passenger to play the same game from their own screens mounted on the back of each of the front seat headrests. We
pretended to play played a game of Chess. The entertainment system comes with games and apps already installed and it allows for passengers to sync up to their own devices for even more fun for any road trip. I also found several USB ports from the front to the back allowing for everyone to charge mobile devices no matter where they are sitting.
Speaking of road trips, Chrysler did a lot of research to really perfect the Hybrid features and take the Pacifica to a whole new level from the gas model. Because this minivan was already Best in Class for aero dynamics, Chrysler had the perfect canvas to work with when they decided to transform it into a Hybrid. After losing 240 pounds on the gas version of the Pacifica compared to the previous generation of the Town & Country, Chrysler engineers had some weight capacity to work with to add the battery and the Hybrid technology while still keeping things light.
On a full tank of gas and a fully charged battery, you can get over 560 miles. That’s right, you can get from Houston to Lubbock, an 8 hour drive, without stopping to refuel or charging the battery! Now the only necessary stops will be bathroom breaks for the little ones. What does that mean for the fuel budget? It means 33 miles on the all-electric mode, coupled with the 3.6L engine, you’re up to 84 MPGe! The 7” Driver Information Digital Cluster Display helps the driver stay in the most efficient mode. As you look at the driver display, look for the signature teal color in the graphs to maintain maximum fuel efficiency.
The battery is in the stow-and-go area under the 2nd row seats and can be charged in just 2 hours with an available 240-volt Level II charger. The Pacifica Hybrid comes with the 120-Volt cable that plugs into a wall outlet. The battery also self-charges during regenerative braking. The battery comes with a 10-Year/100,000-Mile Limited Warranty.
The Pacifica didn’t lose its versatility with the addition of the Hybrid battery. You can still take out the 2nd row seats, fold the 3rd row seats down flat, and haul 8’ x 4’ plywood or move furniture when neeed. It has a maximum towing capacity of 3,600 pounds so you can even tow a small trailer or a jet ski.
Some other features my assistant and I especially loved were:
- McKinley Leather-Trimmed Seats with Perforated Inserts and Heated Front Row
- Power Sliding Doors and Liftgate
- Hands-Free Sliding Doors that open with a little kick below the sensors.
- Easy Tilt of the 2nd row seats for easy access to the 3rd row seats.
- A Stow ‘n Vac™ installed inside to keep the cabin clean from little messes.
- Tri-Pane Panoramic Sunroof that go all the way back to the 3rd row seats.
- Seating for up to 7 passengers.
- Uconnect® 8.4 NAV gives you access to GPS Navigation as well as SiriusXM® Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link, both with a five-year trial included. With these services you’ll get access to real-time traffic, weather updates, sports scores, fuel prices and more.
- 360° Surround View Camera that uses 4 cameras positioned around the vehicle.
- Forward Collision Warning system with Active Braking that detects if your vehicle is approaching another vehicle too rapidly.
- Parking Assistance with sensors in the front and rear.
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop And Go technology.
This vehicle has over 100 safety and security features making it the perfect vehicle for our busy family. The Pacifica Hybrid arrives in dealerships this month. It’s available in a Premium and a Platinum package with the Premium starting at $41,995, and Platinum starting at $44,995. Be sure to apply for the $7,500 government tax incentive and check into your state’s tax “green” credits to maximize its affordability.
I can’t wait to get my hands on this ’17 Pacifica Hybrid and introduce it to both my girls. I can see us taking this on a road trip to visit family, camping trips, and chauffeuring for our Girl Scout trips. Two words …. Road Trip!