Quick Take: 2023 Chrysler Pacifica

The minivan may be a dwindling sight on our roads, but there are still some out there that seek to keep the segment alive.

And it’s not a boxy family hauler that most consumers would avoid. In this instance, we tested the 2023 Chrysler Pacifica, a plug-in hybrid version of the seven-seater.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L Hybrid Road Tripper

The model is available in three trims: Touring-L we tested, Limited and Pinnacle.

We tested the base Touring-L Hybrid Road Tripper, which has a starting price of $59,995. The additional of three optional packages push the final bill to $68,975.

The extras on our ride for the week were the Safety Sphere ($995), Road Tripper Package ($1,995) and the Uconnect theatre family group ($3,795).

Powertrain: The Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L plug-in hybrid can travel up to 51 kilometres of electric-only driving thanks to the 16-kWh battery on board. That is a decent range that could be useful for daily commutes to work, but the cold weather during my test week really cut down on the range I found.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L Hybrid Road Tripper

When the battery is not in use, the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 will do the job just fine. It delivers 260 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, good numbers for the minivan. It is paired with an eFlite Electrically Variable Transmission, which does an excellent job.

I also found that the transition between EV-only driving, and the gasoline engine is almost imperceptible behind the wheel.

The estimated combined fuel economy of for the Pacifica hybrid is 8.0 litres per 100 kilometres, but I was off the mark by a wide margin, returning 12.8 L/100 km.

Exterior: As far as minivans go, the Pacifica is pretty nicely styled. Get over the stigma of what type of vehicle this is, and one can appreciate that it features a stylish front-end design and just looks good overall.

It features some nice accent lines and at the rear, the lightbar across the hatch is a nice touch.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L Hybrid Road Tripper

The two side doors are power activated sliders, making access to the second and third row of seats a breeze.

The tester featured optional 18-inch luster grey wheels, part of the Road Tripper Package, which also includes exterior features like air deflectors in the fascia, a Stow ‘n Place roof rack, and a host of Granite Crystal accents, including the door handles, bodyside mouldings, mirror caps and more.

Interior: Like the exterior, the Pacifica’s cabin environment is excellent, and very comfortable and welcoming for occupants.

Even though the Touring-L is the base trim of the minivan, the cabin is well appointed and has features like a heated steering wheel and heated seats.

There’s a good mix of analog and digital controls for the Pacifica features, something I appreciate rather than many all-touchscreen options on the market these days.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L Hybrid Road Tripper

With second row Captain’s chairs, access to the third row is made a little easier as you can slip back there between the chairs if you want. The tester was equipped with the optional seat-back entertainment system, always a hit with the kids on road trips.

Overall, the Pacifica offers up a quiet and relaxed atmosphere in the cabin, with limited road nose intrusion, comfortable seating and plenty of space for everyone.

When not in use, the third row can be easily stored in the floor to open up a larger storage area should you need it. If not, the sunken floor behind the bench does provide a good amount of room for everyday usage.

Infotainment: The Pacifica we tested features a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, which has a few extra tricks up its sleeve thanks to the optional Uconnect theatre family group.

In addition to the second row 10-inch screens it adds, the group includes a 13-speaker Alpine audio system, Amazon Fire TV comes built-in, the FamCam interior camera, compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, integrated navigation system and much more.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L Hybrid Road Tripper

And the entertainment system on the second row allows users to connect their own devices via HDMI ports and a video USB connection.

The main infotainment system is powered by the Uconnect software, and it’s a setup I have always found quite easy to use and understand, and the Pacifica was no exception.

Drive: After several previous tests of the Pacifica, I went into the week with it knowing what to expect and it delivered exactly that. While the minivan is not the most dynamic drive on the market, it was far from dull or unenjoyable.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L Hybrid Road Tripper

The power is good, handling is on point and the overall ride feel and comfort is very good. Not to mention the smooth transition between the two power sources on the Pacifica, something that is definitely not the case with all PHEVs on the market.

Conclusion: Offering the best of two worlds, the PHEV Pacifica provides quality transportation for you and your family. Even in the base form of our tester (before options were added), it is packed with all the necessities you could require for up to seven passengers.

A smooth ride, comfortable interior and a stylish design, the Pacifica does its best to shed the preconceived notion that minivans are boring boxes.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L Hybrid Road Tripper
Price as tested: $68,975.00
Freight: $2,095.00
Configuration: Front engine/Front-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 Hybrid/ eFlite Electrically Variable Transmission
Power/torque: 260 horsepower/ 262 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Regular (62L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 8.0 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 12.8 L/100 km
Warranties: 5-years/100,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Honda Odyssey, Kia Carnival, Toyota Sienna
Website: Chrysler Canada

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