The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica joins the Toyota Sienna as the only two minivans that are hybrids. The Pacifica is a plug-in hybrid while the Sienna is a traditional hybrid. The Pacifica can go up to 32 miles on all-electric power. In addition to getting great fuel economy, the Pacifica is a comfortable and practical family hauler with a smooth ride and lots of standard features.
Base Price: $45,845
As Tested: $49,835
Mileage: 82 MPGe electricity + gas / 33 mpg combined gasoline only
The Pacifica Hybrid gets some major changes for 2021 including some exterior and interior styling tweaks, an updated infotainment system with bigger 10.1-inch screen, and more standard driver assistance tech. The Pacifica Hybrid accommodates seven passengers with its standard captain’s chairs in the second row. Other minivans can hold up to eight passengers.
Starting prices range from $39,995 to $50,845 compared to $35,045 to $53,390 for the gas-powered Pacifica. Buyers may be eligible for a federal tax credit of $7,500. The Pacifica Hybrid is only available with front-wheel-drive. If you want all-wheel-drive, you have to get the gas-powered version.
The Pacifica Hybrid is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 and two electric motors with a continuously variable transmission. Total output is 260 horsepower. The electric motors provide snappy acceleration from a stop and the Pacifica excels at highway cruising with its super smooth ride. The brakes have that squishy feel common among hybrids but have plenty of stopping power. The transition from electric- to gas-power is smooth, but you will notice some noise from the gas engine if you floor the accelerator.
Fuel economy is great for the class. EPA ratings for my tester are 82 MPGe for electricity and gas, and a combined rating of 30 mpg for gas only. I got 80 MPGe/34 mpg combined during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. As mentioned above, you can drive up to 32 miles on all-electric power.
The interior is pleasant with a modern design but there are some hard plastics. Controls are logically laid out and easy for the driver to reach. Passengers in the first and second rows have good leg- and headroom. The second-row captain’s chairs slide forward and back and also recline so adults can find the perfect position. The third row is roomy enough for adults on short trips, and it’s easy to get in and out.
Standard features include remote start, rearview camera, tri-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, Uconnect 5 infotainment system with 10.1-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, USB port, HD Radio, satellite radio, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, second-row captain’s chairs, and third-row Stow ‘n Go bench seat.
Available features include a surround-view camera system, leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, heated steering wheel, navigation, 13-speaker Alpine audio system, 20-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, Wi-Fi hot spot, more USB ports, wireless device charging, rear-seat entertainment system with two 10.1-inch touch screens, DVD player, FamCam interior camera that shows the rear seats through the touchscreen (so you can keep an eye on the kiddos), tri-pane panoramic sunroof, retractable sunshades for the second and third rows, and hands-free power-sliding doors.
Standard driver assistance technologies include lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and KeySense, which lets you set speed and volume limits for your teen drivers.
Available driver assistance technologies include front parking sensors and a park assist system.
The new Uconnect 5 infotainment system has a big 10.1-in touchscreen and is user-friendly. Graphics look great and menus are sensibly organized. The home screen can be personalized to fit up to six different user profiles with each person’s preferences for music, comfort, seat settings, and vehicle operation.
The Pacifica Hybrid has 32.3 cubic feet of space with all three rows in place, 87.5 cubes with the third row folded and 140.5 cubes with both rows down. The handy third row Stow ‘n Go seats fold flat into the floor so you can create extra space without having to remove the third row. However, the second-row seats don’t fold into the floor; you do need to remove them if you need room to haul stuff. There are numerous bins and cubbies throughout the cabin, including an umbrella holder. A power liftgate is standard and a hands-free power liftgate is available.
Smooth, comfortable ride
Excellent fuel efficiency
Lots of standard features and tech
Intuitive infotainment system
Standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Second-row seats don’t fold flat
My tester starts at $45,845. The Uconnect Theater Family Group package is $2,495 and includes the FamCam interior camera, Blu-Ray/DVD player with USB port, seatback video screens, media hubs with HDMI/USB/headphone ports, video USB port, 115-volt auxiliary power outlet, video remote controls, wireless headphones and Keysense. Destination charge is $1,495 bringing the grand total to $49,835.
It’s great to see minivans that are hybrids, and now the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is the first offered as a plug-in hybrid. Besides getting excellent fuel economy, it does everything that you want a family hauler to do, and even boasts peppy performance and comes loaded with lots of standard features and tech.