Chrysler Pacifica k,

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Well-known member
May 10, 2013
Chicago North Side

Was in LA this week. We rented a Pacifica PHEV. I haven't driven too many PHEVs (pretty much this and the Outlander), so my comparison points are minimal.

Overall, it drove like a normal minivan, except ground clearance was very low. Even in and out of garages often caused some scraping. That said, the size of the minivan works well with 7 and a full set of luggage, so it was nice to have some electric miles, instead of only Dino juice.

The ev drive worked fine while you were above 50% SoC. Below 50% it became increasingly difficult to keep the car in ev only driving as the engine would jump on at different moments for 20 seconds. Range showed between 30 and 37 miles whe fully charged, and that seemed about accurate. The top 20% SoC goes much slower than the bottom 80, with the first mile done with meter at 100%. Car was no speed demon, but good enough for a minivan. There was some clicking noise as the vam moved between power and regen. You have to put a little pressure in the break to get more then minimal regen.

I am not a fan of the big analog dials for power usage and the fuel gauge. If you were new to evs, It might be fine. No easy see ev efficiency on the fly, but there was a day by day read out. There did not seem to be any sort of save mode like many other phevs the car decided how to bleed down the battery.

Otherwise experience was ok, but not soo good I want to put it on my next car list.

The number of evs in LA is impressive. So many 3s Ys and Bolts. Also an impressive number of other evs, though in smaller numbers.
The Pacifica Hybrid has a combined fuel economy rating of 84 MPGe and an electric range of up to 33 miles. We matched the EPA's 33-mile prediction within the city. The Pacifica Hybrid was able to travel 23.4 miles on the highway only on electricity before the gasoline engine started.

elastic man
glennmoreno said:
The Pacifica Hybrid has a combined fuel economy rating of 84 MPGe and an electric range of up to 33 miles. We matched the EPA's 33-mile prediction within the city. The Pacifica Hybrid was able to travel 23.4 miles on the highway only on electricity before the gasoline engine started.

elastic man

I agree with you
I have a PacHy and I LOVE it to death! I bought it used CPO with 32,000 miles on it. I gas it pretty much never--just on long trips. Without road trips, I would probably gas it twice a year at most. It goes about 500 miles when fully fueled and charged. It’s so comfortable that nobody wants to stop until you’ve burned through 450 miles of that range.

The battery reads 29 miles of range fully charged from a level-1 trickle charger at home. It will read 32 miles when charged at a level-2 charger. I’ve gotten it to go 40 miles on battery only after a trickle charge in mixed freeway and surface streets driving at speeds from 35 to 65 mph.

It only takes about 9-10kWh (guessing at losses/inefficiency) to recharge from zero, which roughly corresponds to 60% of the listed battery capacity of 16kWh. Chrysler obviously built in big battery protection buffers only allowing the battery to operate in the 20%-80% range. My best estimate is that I can get about 4 mi/kWh if I drive very gently. I think it probably averages more like 3 or less if you drive it like a normal car.

It does better than my Gen1 leaf did at freeway speeds. The PacHy probably does 3.2 mi/Kwh at 75mph while the leaf gulped power and maybe got 2.5 or less at high speeds. The Leaf far outperforms on surface streets, with ~5 mi/kWh while the PacHy stays in the 3.5-4.0 range no matter how hard you try to hyper-mile it.

It gets almost exactly 31 miles per gallon in hybrid mode with the battery exhausted. I’ve confirmed this multiple times. Type of driving doesn’t matter; surface streets, freeway at 80 mph, freeway in stop-and-go traffic with the climate control blasting. 31 freaking miles per gallon. It must tap into void energy or dump gasoline or something, because that number NEVER changes!

It’s not a bad drive for a 7-passenger battleship. It is HUGE and HEAVY. I can fit 4 bicycles INSIDE with just the back row folded down and people sitting in the 2nd row capatin’s chairs. It feels like driving an ocean liner; very comfortable, but also terrifyingly large with a LOT of momentum. On the freeway I am tempted to put on the lane-following and adaptive cruise control, unbuckle and walk around the enormous cabin like an airline pilot. Except that the ACC has bipolar acceleration disorder and lane-following auto-steer bounces you from side-to-side like a drunken sailor. It also yells at you if you take your hands off the wheel for too long.

That scraping sound the OP reported are the front air dams hitting the pavement. They are plastic and replaceable, but you don’t need to; they are expected to hit the ground a lot.

I can confirm that there is no EV only mode, nor is there any good info on your efficiency. The MPGe is BS and the van will lie about how much driving on battery you did when you exhaust the battery and operate in hybrid mode. You have to own it for a while and do stupid human tricks to find out the real efficiencies.

I have to really leadfoot the accelerator to break it out of EV mode with ANY charge in the battery, or try to climb a steep hill at freeway speeds. I don’t notice any earlier gas engine kick-in between 100% and 5% charge remaining. It’s guess-o-meter is slightly better than my previous Gen-1 leaf’s but still pretty bad. It is more conservative than the Leaf was. If you drive hard, it will quickly deduct penalty miles, and it is stingy to reward conservative driving. I feel like the battery % gauge is pretty accurate, but that’s hard to really measure.

Though I love it, I don’t know if I can recommend it in good conscience, unless--like me--you MUST have a 7-passenger PHEV with 30 miles of EV range.

I think the previous owner was VERY frustrated with it. I discovered repair paperwork in a hidden compartment, and it looks like the previous owner went through the wringer of fixing ticky-tacky crap. They didn’t even do some repairs because “customer states they do not want to wait. Even after inspection and CPO certification, the techs missed some problems--like a glitchy computer--that took a few weeks and thousands of dollars (not mine--the dealer’s) to fix. It’s been problem-free since. The good/bad thing about most of the problems; they are so minor you might not notice, and you can ignore them. I only discovered the computer was dying because the onboard GPS was about 600 miles off and the onboard charge scheduler was unreliable. The paperwork on the previous owner’s problems indicated same: The bells and whistles are glitchy and prone to breaking.

If you want one,I would recommend buying pre-2021 model years, and only those with 30K+ miles on them that have been “broken in” and had their teething repairs done by some other sucker. The Covid-era chip shortages led to a lot of deletions of stuff, and I expect some corners were cut that shouldn’t have been. You might consider buying the 2024’s new as I think they’ve gone back to normal operations, but I’d steer clear of the 2021-2023’s. The 2017’s were also extra-buggy, being the very first model year.

If you’ve read this far, here’s the golden rule: Get one with “safety sphere” --the lookdown GTA2 view and approaching pedestrian/car warning. Besides hiring spartans to stand sentry at all four corners of the monster, it’s the only way to safely dock with a parking space, parallel or otherwise.
Thanks, nice review!
I was kind of thinking of getting one several years back but I had read about the glitchy electronics and like you I thought it was kind of big and I didn't need all that space. I thought the EV range, while better than quite a few PHEVs, still didn't meet my self-imposed minimum of 40 miles. In the end we ended up with a Toyota Rav4 Prime with a 50-mile EV range in summer and around 40 in the winter and couldn't be happier. Very comfortable, capable in the snow, 40-50 mile EV range and close to 40 MPG on gas only. On our recent 1000 mile 6 day road trip where we could frequently at night plug in to 120v and have a near full charge by morning, we averaged 65 MPG overall for the trip. Heck on a full charge and tank of gas it has over a 600-mile range, we only filled up twice and neither time it wasn't anywhere near empty so we were able to not fill in CA at their $5+/gallon gas :D
And at almost a year, we haven't had any issues, electronic or otherwise, Toyota has been making HEVs for several decades and seem to know what they are going.