Minivans are useful family haulers, taking families from point A to B with ease and comfort. When I’ve driven the vans on the market, they aren’t small or very thrifty when it comes to fuel economy.
Enter the 2020 Pacifica Hybrid, which changes the way you see the humble minivan.
A battery pack under the floor and an electric motor give you the ability to run on electric power for the first 30 miles or so. Then the gas engine kicks in to keep the party going for a long drive. The Pacifica Hybrid excels with shorter trips and stop-and-go driving where it can stay in mostly electric mode. The V6 provides plenty of power when you need it.
I drove the Pacifica Hybrid Limited, which ups the luxury in the minivan class. The materials are a higher quality than you might expect to see. The perforated leather seats provide a lot of power adjustments. With heat and ventilation, temperature control is a snap.
I wish the seats were as comfortable as they looked. After about five hours, I became fidgety.
I think taller drivers and riders will find it fine, but shorter people might find the seat bottom a bit long.
Space is why you pick a minivan, and this Pacifica doesn’t disappoint. Power-sliding doors are large, and you can easily get in and out quickly and without hassle. Second row captain’s chairs and a useable third row means the entire family will find it easy cruising for many miles. The Uconnect Theater provides two screens for back seat riders so they can do different things at the same time.
Cost: $45,845; as tested $50,230
MPG: 82 MPGe; and 30 MPG gas only. I managed 33.1 mpg on gas and 81MPGe in 790 miles of heavy highway driving.
Options: $995 advanced SafetyTec group; $1,895 tri pane panoramic sunroof.
Safety: Ready-alert braking; full speed forward collision warn plus; adaptive cruise control with stop & go; lane departure alert warning plus; automatic high beams; parallel & perpendicular park assist with stop; ParkSense front and rear with stop; advanced brake assist.
Things to know: The Pacifica Hybrid turns the minivan into an economical cruiser that’s easy on gas for shorter distances. Other big news: Chrysler will now offer AWD on certain Pacifica models.
- Plug-in and enjoy 30 miles of gas-free driving
- Spacious and luxurious interior for the entire family
- AWD is becoming available; not as much need for a crossover anymore
- The space-saving fold away seats for the second row not available with hybrid
- Doesn’t like being pushed on curvy roads
- Shorter drivers might find the seat bottom is a bit long