Chrysler's new Pacifica Hybrid is the first gasoline-electric minivan to hit the market – and it's pretty darn good, too. The van was originally expected to achieve an impressive 80 miles per gallon equivalent, but following government testing, the EPA is officially rating the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid at 84 MPGe. Hot damn.
But overall fuel economy isn't the whole story. EPA testing also confirms the Pacifica Hybrid has a total driving range of 566 miles, and its electric-only range is 33 miles. At its debut, Chrysler originally estimated a total range of 530 miles and an EV range of 30 miles.
The Hybrid is just as functional as every other version of the new Pacifica minivan, with seating for seven and over 140 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats removed. The only compromise is that the Hybrid doesn't feature the standard Pacifica's Stow 'N Go storage feature – the 16-kWh battery pack is located in the middle of the floor, instead.
There's more information in the press release below about the Pacifica Hybrid, including its powertrain that mates an electric motor to Chrysler's tried-and-true 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine. The new Pacifica Hybrid goes on sale soon, priced from $41,995, or as low as $34,495 after available U.S. government incentives.
Photos: John Beltz Snyder / Motor1.com
Gallery: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: First Drive
Most Fuel-efficient Minivan Ever: All-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Exceeds Target Performance, Achieves 84 MPGe Rating
- 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid’s 84 MPGe fuel economy rating in electric-only mode is new benchmark for minivans
- EPA ratings surpass anticipated performance numbers for fuel economy, total driving range and electric-only driving range
- All-new Pacifica Hybrid achieves best-possible rating – 10 – in EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide; first time a minivan has ever reached this plateau
- eFlite EVT technology key to efficiency of all-new minivan; distinguished by dual-motor/one-way clutch strategy
- 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid starts at $34,495 after available U.S. federal tax credit (not including state and local incentives)
November 30, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Exceeding initial program targets, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has earned a fuel economy rating of 84 miles-per-gallon-equivalent (MPGe) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
No other minivan has ever come close to this rating.
The new benchmark reflects the Pacifica Hybrid’s combined city- and highway-cycle performance in electric-only mode, as tested by the EPA. FCA US had estimated the vehicle would achieve 80 MPGe, which represents the distance a vehicle can travel using a quantity of fuel with the same energy content as a gallon of gasoline.
“At 84 MPGe, the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid surpasses our initially stated performance,” said Tim Kuniskis, FCA US LLC Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat. “These EPA test results paint a clear picture of the benefits our customers can expect from driving the most fuel-efficient minivan ever.”
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid also excelled on two other fronts. EPA testing established a total driving range rating of 566 miles, up from 530, and set the electric-only range rating at 33 miles, up from 30.
In addition, the EPA gave the all-new minivan a rating of 10 in its Green Vehicle Guide. The score relates to a vehicle’s combined performance on fuel economy and greenhouse-gas emissions.
Further, it marks the first time a minivan has achieved a 10 – the highest possible rating – in this category. Such performance firmly establishes the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as the most fuel-efficient minivan of all time.
“A large share of credit goes to the vehicle’s eFlite dual-motor electrically variable transmission (EVT),” said Bob Lee, Head of Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion, and Systems Engineering, FCA - North America.
eFlite, the Pacifica Hybrid’s distinguishing technology, is an in-house FCA US innovation. It was developed by a team of engineers assigned exclusively to the task of delivering powertrain efficiency within the functionality envelope customers expect from minivans.
“It is exceptionally well-suited to deliver the primary attributes we sought to infuse in the Pacifica Hybrid’s propulsion system – class-leading efficiency and superior refinement,” added Lee, who also oversees the Company’s global powertrain operations.
Conventional electrification schemes dedicate one motor to serve as a generator and a second motor – usually much larger – to deliver torque to the wheels. But the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid uses a one-way clutch that allows the motor typically used only as a generator to deliver torque to the wheels, depending on driving conditions.
The result is increased efficiency, refinement and improved component packaging.
The Pacifica Hybrid’s 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located under the second-row floor, keeping the rear cargo area as roomy as ever and preserving the third-row Stow 'n Go seating and storage, plus room for seven passengers. Recharging can take as little as two hours using a 240-volt (Level 2) charger, available from Mopar through dealers.
With a 120-volt (Level 1) charger, which comes standard with the vehicle, the Pacifica Hybrid can be fully recharged in approximately 14 hours. The vehicle also benefits from regenerative braking.
When the battery’s energy is depleted to a certain threshold, the Pacifica Hybrid becomes a part-time electric vehicle, like a conventional hybrid, to maximize energy and efficiency. Power to the wheels is supplied by the electric drive system or supplemented by a specially adapted new version of the award-winning gasoline-powered Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6.
An upgraded version of the original 3.6-liter Pentastar – named one of Wards 10 Best Engines on three occasions – the new V-6 uses the Atkinson combustion-cycle system. This helps reduce pumping losses to further improve efficiency.
The EPA estimates the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid’s annual fuel cost, gas and electricity combined, at $900. The vehicle pricing starts at $34,495 with available U.S. federal tax credit, not including state and local incentives.