Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Minivan Goes into Production

By · December 07, 2016

The first battery-powered minivan available to US consumers rolled off the production line last week at Fiat-Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, a plug-in model, will start arriving at some dealerships this month, with wider availability across the nation expected in the first couple months of 2017.

The Pacifica Hybrid breaks new ground on efficiency for a minivan. The leading models—such as the Toyota Sienna, Nissan Quest and conventional Pacifica—were in a three-way tie for efficiency each with a combined city/highway rating of 22 mpg. Meanwhile, the seven-passenger 2017 Pacific Hybrid bumps that rating way up to 32 miles per gallon, according to the EPA rating it received in late November.

Moreover, the Pacifica Hybrid can travel 33 miles purely on electricity from its 16 kilowatt-hour battery pack. As a result, most families will be able to complete local errands without using a drop of gasoline. In those first 33 or so miles, the official efficiency rating of the Pacifica Hybrid minivan is an extraordinary 84 MPGe. Total range from batteries plus gasoline is 570 miles.

The price tag for the Pacifica Hybrid starts at $43,090. When the federal tax credit of $7,500 is calculated, the cost matches the upper-trim versions of the conventional Pacifica. In some states, additional perks and rebates will essentially eliminate the so-called hybrid or plug-in premium.

The Pacifica Hybrid is getting great press, with reviewers praising the smooth and quiet electric drive during those first miles (with active noise cancellation also employed as a standard feature). After those first electric miles, the overall ride is considered to be competent from the Pacifica’s V6 gasoline engine and electrically variable transmission. Total output is 260 horsepower.

The interior is widely viewed as stylish and well-equipped—yet, placement of the battery pack under the cabin floor eliminates the highly-regarded second-row Stow ‘n Go feature. Otherwise, cargo space and third-row seating is not affected.

In addition to its unprecedented efficiency numbers, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica scores a number of industry firsts: the first hybrid minivan in the US; Fiat-Chrysler’s first 50-state plug-in vehicle; and the first minivan to receive a top rating of 10 in the EPA’s Green Vehicle list. After more than a decade of cries from green-leaning families for a gas-electric family hauler, Chrysler has finally delivered. Plug-in fans will be paying close attention to Pacifica Hybrid sales numbers, which hopefully will encourage other automakers to offer electrified versions of minivans, pickups and other vehicle segments currently lacking in plug-in options.

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