Minivans are usually far from the sexiest choices when it comes to family haulers these days. I say usually because those who rule out the segment before beginning their shopping have not met the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.
In my humble opinion, the Pacifica is the best-looking minivan on the market, and it might even give some of its 7-seat SUV cousins a run for their money.
Speaking of that, the Pacifica can get rather pricey, especially in the Limited trim we tested. With some options added, the final bill totals $64,325.
However, depending on where you live, you will pay less than that.
Various jurisdictions across Canada offer rebates on the purchase of plug-in hybrid vehicles, so be sure to check out the provincial and, now, federal rebates available to you.
That will help reduce the bill, and the Pacifica Hybrid also does its part in reducing your overall fuel costs.
That’s thanks to the plug-in nature of the Pacifica Hybrid, which can travel about 50 kilometres on electricity only. (The maximum range that showed for me on a full charge was 54 km, but also went as low as 46 km depending on weather.)
Once that battery is drained, the Pacific reverts to a more traditional hybrid form, and is equipped with a powerful 3.6-litre Pentastar VVT V6 hybrid engine paired to an eFlite Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT). That transmission is activated through a rotary dial on the centre stack rather than a traditional shifter. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it works just fine.
The powertrain is seamless and the Pacifica returns an excellent combined fuel economy rating of 8.0 litres per 100 kilometres. My average with it after a week came pretty darn close to matching that figure: 8.3L/100 km.
The combined power rating of the hybrid system is 287 horsepower, which get the Pacifica moving in no time at all.
But this is a minivan you want to see linger because of its curb appeal.
The Pacifica has a very attractive exterior design and looks good from several angles, but is perhaps best viewed from the front.
There you will find a bold look with the wide and curvaceous front grille, and large headlight assemblies that give the Pacifica a significant presence.
The rest of the exterior design has some nice accent creases on the body panels, a steeply raked windshield and a nice set of 17-inch dark alloy wheels.
Inside, the Pacifica is a pleasant place to travel in. The interior is modern, spacious, comfortable and offers plenty of storage spaces for all the family’s things.
And the DVD system in the backs of the front seats was a definite crowd pleaser with the young one.
Materials throughout the cabin are excellent, with soft-touch finishes and leather seating.
Cargo space is exceptional and the back row folds down and out of the way in a hurry to open up a large flat area for trips where more gear is needed.
The centre stack is topped by a large screen that serves multiple purposes, including climate controls, navigation and, of course, the UConnect infotainment system.
With easy to understand controls that make it easy to navigate the various functions and settings, it is a user-friendly setup.
About the only thing that takes some getting used to is the steering-wheel mounted radio controls, which are located on the back of the steering wheel. I kept changing the channels instead of turning up the volume. Missed some good tunes because of that! (kidding).
Out on the road, the Pacifica Hybrid is smooth, has lots of power on offer and the cabin is a quiet, peaceful place to be even on the open road – even more so when the children aren’t asking are we there yet since they are busy watching movies or playing games.
It’s not overly nimble, but that really doesn’t matter.
It gets the job done and offers the family that travels together an excellent package that combines style, fuel-efficiency, room for seven in comfort and lots of creature comforts for all.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Pacifica Hybrid the first time I drove it, and the 2019 test reinforces my belief that this may be the best minivan money can buy.
2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited
Price as tested: $64,325.00
Configuration: Front engine/Front-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.6L Pentastar VVT V6 hybrid engine / eFlite Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT)
Power/torque: 287 horsepower
Fuel (capacity): Regular (62.5 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 8.0 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 8.3 L/100 km
Warranties: 3-years/60,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona