Dude, I Love My New Car: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Should you buy it or forget about it?

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Dude, I Love My Ride!
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: Great family hauler, or purchase to avoid?

How does the only hybrid van on sale stack up?

Right after Christmas, we asked you to send in your new cars and trucks for our “Dude, I Love My Ride” segment. You all responded fantastically, sending in a huge range of cars, trucks and SUVs that you’ve lived with these past several months. Take Kevin, for instance. He recently bought a 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited as a family hauler. What does he think of his new purchase?

37.1 MPG? Not too bad.

He bought the Pacifica Hybrid for $44,650 before rebates. When he submitted why he bought it, he said, “[I have a] new family, with twin girls and needed something with space, but also wanted the smooth electric car ride.” The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid offers 33 miles of all-electric range from its 16-kWh battery pack, according to EPA ratings. The punch isn’t bad either, — Fiat Chrysler rates the Pacifica Hybrid at 260 horsepower on 87 octane fuel. Fuel economy stands at 84 MPGe, or 32 MPG when just running on gasoline.

According to ChargePoint, drivers should be able to charge their Pacifica Hybrids in about 14 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet. On a Level 2 charger (220V), it will only take about 2 hours.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid seats seven, in a 2-2-3 configuration. [Photo: Chrysler]

What To Like (And Dislike) About the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Kevin noted that he loves the ride, fuel economy and comfort in his Pacifica Hybrid. “It’s like driving a spaceship — smooth — at least in the electric range.” However, he notes it could be smoother when driving in hybrid mode, assisted by the gas engine. As far as actually buying the car is concerned, the process was “as good as it gets for buying a car?”

On the down side, however, Kevin expected memory seats with profiles tied to the key fob for the price. That way, when he gets in, the seats adjust to his preferences. Recent recalls and parts of the dealer experience post-purchase were also in the negative column. While he doesn’t plan on towing, the Pacifica Hybrid’s lack of a tow hitch makes it impossible to mount a bike rack to the back.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse
The Chevy Traverse was also on the shopping list. [Photo: Chevrolet]

What other cars did you consider?

In his purchasing process, Kevin considered the Chevy Traverse as an alternative to the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Like the Pacifica, Chevy’s Traverse also seats seven people, although it’s not available in hybrid configuration. To that end, the Traverse manages anywhere from 20 – 22 combined MPG, according to the EPA. The Traverse can also be substantially more expensive, with the top-spec High Country model starting at $54,395.

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid takes about 14 hours to charge on a standard 120-volt socket. 220V Level 2 chargers will charge it in about 2 hours.

In the test drive for the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Kevin noted “it was good.” He asked the dealer if he could take a drive, and they handed him the keys. The dealer let him borrow the car for a couple hours so he could show his wife at home prior to making the purchase. The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited model also had Apple CarPlay. That was another important feature, in addition to buying a plug-in hybrid.

So, would Kevin buy the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited again, if he had the chance? “Yes, absolutely I would trade this if there was an all-wheel drive version.” That would make it a good alternative to the Toyota Sienna — are you listening, FCA?