Minivans transformed the family car market when they arrived in 1984. They offered plenty of passenger and cargo space like a wagon but retained the smooth handling of a sedan. This year, Chrysler is raising the bar on the typical minivans with the all new Chrysler Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid. It’s stable and steady like the minivans of the past, but the New Chrysler Pacifica is not your mom’s minivan – it has more comfort features, better safety technology, and best of all, superb efficiency.
This plug-in hybrid holds plenty of power with a 248-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine and has been updated with new pistons, camshafts, and valves, as well as taking on the Atkinson combustion cycle for improved fuel efficiency. Beneath the second row of seats is a 16.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that Chrysler estimates will earn 30 miles of pure electric driving before the gasoline engine kicks in. Not bad for needing only two hours to reach full charge on a 240-volt connection.
But the new tech that really sets this vehicle apart is the dual-motor electronically variable transmission. The transmission has two electric motors that are paired to the engine with a planetary gear set, which allows the generator-only motor to switch into electric mode or back to a generator quickly and efficiently.
You’ll be able to choose from two trim levels – the Premium and Platinum levels. The Premium, which starts at an estimated $43,090, pampers drivers with heated leather front seats, remote start, three-zone automatic climate control, second-row captain’s chairs, and a power liftgate. If you bump it up to the Platinum model, which starts at an estimated $46,090, you’ll find a heated steering wheel, in-dash navigation, and hands-free sliding doors. There are plenty of added goodies you can purchase individually, like a panoramic sunroof or overhead DVD player, however, in either trim you’ll discover a smooth ride and comfortable handling just like the standard Pacifica.
All Images are Courtesy of Chrysler Media.