2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid long-term replace: Our electrified workhorse

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Over the previous six months and 11,00zero miles I’ve spent with our long-term 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, I’ve used it for nearly all the things. This velvet purple pearl minivan has moved children, hockey tools, fur infants and lumber, however extra typically than the rest, it is hauling cameras.

This plug-in hybrid capabilities primarily because the video manufacturing car for Roadshow’s Detroit employees. Should you’ve ever been in or round a video crew, you’d know they arrive with numerous baggage (largely bodily) and might put numerous put on and tear on a automobile. After having a Restricted-trim, non-hybrid Pacifica for 12 months, I had excessive hopes for the way the plug-in model would carry out. Fortunately, it hasn’t disillusioned within the slightest.


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Environment friendly, however not excellent

Initially, we had deliberate on surviving Michigan’s remaining season of the 12 months with a set of correct winter tires. Earlier than we knew it, although, The White Hell was upon us, leaving us to courageous the snow with our 235/60R18 Michelin Premier LTX all-season tires. Fortunately, they carried out effectively, solely struggling after we reached double-digit snowfall figures. Let’s be trustworthy, although — there are only a few tires that may assist a minivan deal with a foot of snow with ease.

I had a Stage 2 EV charger put in at residence earlier than the Pacifica Hybrid arrived, and it has been nice, requiring solely about two hours to cost the 16-kilowatt-hour battery again to full. I’m diligently topping it off, and since most of my shoots happen inside 35 miles of residence, I am normally working on electrical energy alone for a single leg of the journey. In keeping with the journey laptop, I am seeing a roughly 50/50 cut up between EV miles and gas-engine miles. When it does kick in, the Pacifica Hybrid’s 3.6-liter V6 returns about 30 miles per gallon mixed. Because the chilly recedes for the 12 months, I anticipate to see extra from the electrical aspect of the van.

Moreover common upkeep, we have solely had one journey to the dealership to handle a bizarre quirk. I go away the van working throughout winter shoots in order that editors and videographers alike can heat up as needed. The fuel engine switches on and off with haste, as a result of there isn’t any technique to maintain a cost on this factor, so it bounces backwards and forwards always when the battery depletes, the V6 offering sufficient juice for about two minutes of silent operation at a time. When that engine kicks again in, it feels like a rattling rock tumbler, a far cry from our final Pentastar-packing Pacifica. But, the seller stated nothing was mistaken, so I’ve simply chalked it as much as the acute chilly for now, and I am going to reassess as spring rears its head.

A bluer shade of white

Whereas I would not have opted for our velvet purple pearl paint shade, it is rising on me, as are the polished, 17-inch aluminum wheels. The inside, nonetheless, is a wildly totally different story. Our van has the elective white Nappa leather-based, and whereas it regarded sharp to start with, it is not holding as much as our use. Stains, particularly from blue denims, stand out on white leather-based, which makes it an odd alternative for a household car. Even the steering wheel, partially clad in white leather-based, is getting darker by the day.

The inside proves versatile in any other case, however not excellent. The PHEV battery occupies the house the place Chrysler’s intelligent Stow-N-Go seats would usually tuck away, and the second-row captain’s chairs are an enormous ache within the butt to take away and substitute between video and familial duties. As an alternative, I stow solely the third row, giving me 87.5 cubic ft of house to work with, which is loads for the piles of Pelican circumstances required for every shoot. Though it is a ache, eradicating the second row offers me 140.5 cubic ft of house, which is sufficient to match a number of 4-by-8-inch drywall sheets or a bunch of handled lumber for the occasional residence enchancment.

Strong tech

The Pacifica Hybrid has an 8.4-inch touchscreen working Fiat-Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system, similar as our earlier long-termer. It is simple sufficient to navigate with none prior expertise, however now that it seems like residence, I’ve no downside undertaking on-screen duties with out a lot distraction. The newer model of Uconnect’s UI additionally vastly improves inputs for turn-by-turn instructions, however I nonetheless discover myself utilizing Apple CarPlay extra typically than the embedded navigation.

Our Pacifica’s white leather-based seats are beginning to put on, however its onboard tech by no means ceases to impress.


Nick Miotke/Roadshow

This van additionally sports activities a pair of screens for the second row. I am a fan of them as a result of my son is a fan of them; as a substitute of asking me if we’re there but, he watches films or performs checkers towards buddies on the best way to baseball follow. Silence is golden. The 20-speaker Harman Kardon sound system gives a well-balanced sound for nearly each type of music I take pleasure in, with clear, crisp highs and loads of bottom-end.

Prepared for extra

The one factor the Pacifica Hybrid leaves me really wishing for is a better tow score — or any tow score. The fuel variant can tow as much as 3,600 kilos, however pulling trailers is not really helpful for the PHEV. That is a no-go for me and my 19-foot open-bow runabout.

I am solely midway by way of my time with our long-term minivan, and the ultimate six months look to be a repeat of the primary six, albeit with much less snow. If it stays as steadfast because it has to this point, it needs to be a nice, drama-free finish to this workhorse’s time with me.

Examine in with Roadshow’s different long-term testers:

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