June 22, 2024

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Road Test: 2022 Chrysler Pacifica Limited Plug-in Hybrid

Road Test: 2022 Chrysler Pacifica Limited Plug-in Hybrid

Impressive Efficiency for Seven

2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
One of the last vans standing

Chrysler has the market locked-up for anyone needing a seven passenger vehicle that can go a very long way on a tank of fuel. How about more than 520 miles? Or how about 32 miles on no gasoline at all as you chauffeur around the kids and do in-town errands? If this is appealing, then the 2022 Pacifica plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is what you are looking for. Chrysler calls it a “multipurpose vehicle,” but we will stick with modern minivan.

How It Works

The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has a gasoline-powered 3.6-liter V6 and two electric motors mated to an electrically variable transmission driving the front wheels. Using 87 octane, there is 260 total system horsepower. The EPA rates fuel economy, when using the hybrid gasoline-only engine at 30 miles per gallon. When combining gasoline and electricity that number jumps to 84 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). MPGe is a measurement of how far a car can travel, electrically, on the same amount of energy as is contained in one gallon of gasoline. In 464 miles driving through Southern California, Clean Fleet Report achieved a combined 38.8 mpg, with a breakdown of 174 all-electric and 290 hybrid miles. This is excellent fuel economy for a 5,010-pound nicely styled shoe box.

2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
What’s going on under the skin

Getting The Most From the Plug-In Hybrid System

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has two main ways the battery is charged–plugging in or through regenerative braking when slowing or stopping. If plugging in your car seems daunting, it’s no more than what you do every night for your mobile phone. There is no mystery to having a full charge and the 32 miles of all-electric driving range every morning when you get into the Pacifica.

2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
The only minivan with a plug

Plug-in charging can be done at your home (and can be scheduled for off-peak hours to save on electricity costs) or a public charging station. The 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger will replenish an empty battery to the maximum 32 miles driving range in about two hours using a 240-volt Level 2 charger. Expect about 14 hours with a regular, 120-volt household outlet. The Pacifica Hybrid does not have a Level 3/DC fast charging capability.

The regenerative braking system, which recharges the 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, converts kinetic energy into electricity when braking or coasting. So driving around town, being stuck in stop-and-go rush hour highway traffic or coasting down hills recharges the battery. The battery recharge and electric mile range are metered instantly by dash gauges.

Pedal feel on hybrids can be grabby at times, requiring a learning period to get it right. Not so on the Pacifica, where the regenerative braking, a combination of braking and the motors do the slowing smoothly. The regenerative braking works in the transmission “D” setting, but is enhanced when turning the shift wheel to the “L” position.

Stopping was straight, with the 4-wheel power-assisted disc anti-lock brakes, which were easy to modulate. Completing the stopping suite were brake assist, traction control and electronic stability control.

All-Electric Driving Range

2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
An engine for the long haul

With a fully charged battery, the Pacifica Hybrid is rated to get a 32- mile range on pure electricity, producing zero emissions. Clean Fleet Report, on an all in-town test loop, never exceeding 45 mph, and encountering many stop lights, achieved 46.2 miles of all-electric driving. What this demonstrates is if the Pacifica Hybrid is plugged in every night and the battery is charged to 100%, that most, if not all, daily driving will be using only electricity.

Once the battery is depleted, the Pacifica Hybrid is then powered by the gasoline hybrid system. Clean Fleet Report would like to see an EV on/off button, so the battery charge can be saved and used when needed, such as in the city where running on electricity is far more efficient than using gasoline. Conversely, when on the highway, having the option to turn off the EV mode and run the gasoline hybrid motor will return the most efficient driving. Chrysler says its customers don’t want to be bothered with switching between electric and gasoline drive modes as it is too complicated. We would like to meet and talk with those people!

The bottom line is the Pacifica Hybrid, with a full 16.5-gallon fuel tank and a fully charged battery, has an estimated 520 mile total driving range. San Diego to San Francisco? Charlotte to Orlando? New York City to Toledo? Yep, all on one tank and a charged battery.

2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
More quiet than sport

Cushy, Quiet Cruiser

The Pacifica Hybrid smartly uses its weight to produce a smooth and cushy ride, partially because of the low center of gravity from the under-floor batteries. Not much can knock around the Pacifica, including wind gusts and passing big rigs, all of which had a minimal effect on the stability and sure-footed feel. The steering was heavy, which we liked, and the electric power steering was tuned to give sufficient road feedback. The 235/60/18 Nexen NPriz all-season tires provided good grip, a quiet ride, and tracked well through corners–to a point.

The Pacifica Hybrid is not designed to be sporty nor meant to be driven hard on mountain road or country lane curves, as the body roll at times is an “oh, boy!” moment. The weight and heft can be felt, but the overall drivability and behind-the-wheel time in the Pacifica Hybrid was a pleasant experience.

New Design

The Pacifica Hybrid, redesigned for 2021, comes in three trim levels–Touring L, Pinnacle and Limited, the last of which Clean Fleet Report drove with the S Appearance package. The new design is sleeker than its predecessor. With the S Appearance package, the gloss black paint accents and no chrome looked great against the Granite Crystal Metallic paint. Other exterior colors are Fathom Blue, Ceramic Grey, Silver Mist, Bright White, Brilliant Black, and Velvet Red.

2022 Chrysler Pacifica
The “S” look

The Pacifica Hybrid’s wide and low stance (5.1-inches of ground clearance) cuts a sleek silhouette. If Chrysler had their way, you will see it more as a multi-purpose vehicle than a minivan. The minivan stigma is exactly that, as the Pacifica Hybrid is as modern and versatile as anything on the road.

The smooth exterior begins with bi-function LED headlights that wrap onto the fenders and frame the diamond-style grille. The S Appearance package gives the Pacifica Hybrid a bit of mystery with the body color door handles and power folding exterior mirrors, gloss black grille, anodized ink badging, dark tinted windows and Foreshadow aluminum wheels.

The roof has a body color-keyed shark fin antenna, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and a built-in spoiler over the rear hatch. The C-shaped horizontal LED tail lights are connected by a light strip that runs the full width of the rear and sits above the rear fascia with black accents. The hands-free power lift gate has a low lift-over, meaning loading items is an easy task.

Seating Comfort for Seven

The interior on our Pacifica Hybrid Limited, with the S Appearance package, was done-up in a Black-on-Black color scheme. Top stitching and piping in white on the Nappa leather seats and doors offered a nice contrast. The front seats were heated and ventilated, with 8-way power adjustments, including lumbar. The driver seat comfort was aided by the tilt and telescoping steering column, and the heated, leather-covered multi-function steering wheel had cruise, radio, telephone controls.

2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Room for the whole team

The cockpit layout is simple and clean, with soft touch materials on the dash and armrests. The Piano Black interior accents looked good against the restrained use of brushed aluminum trim. The center console is voluminous with hidden and open storage areas.

Clean Fleet Report is a big fan of radio volume and channel knobs, as well as the Pacifica climate control wheel, which was the same size as the radio knobs, but separated so as to eliminate confusion. The simplicity of the dash layout made for easy-reading of the configurable gauges and the full-color driver information display.

Chrysler says the Pacifica Hybrid is “the most technologically advanced minivan in its class.” The UConnect Theater Family Group, a $2,395 option, included Amazon Fire built-in television, seatback video screens with remote controls, the very helpful FamCam that has cameras positioned to show what is happening in the second and third rows, and second- and third-row window shades.

The 10.1-inch touch screen is home for the 3D GPS navigation and the surround view camera which provides a 360-degree bird’s-eye view on the screen, as if looking down at your car’s positioning. This is extremely useful when parking.

2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Entertainment abounds

The good-sounding Harmon Kardon audio system with a 10-inch rear subwoofer and 20 amplified speakers, controls the AM/FM/HD, and (with a six-month introductory subscription) SiriusXM. You also get wireless phone charging, wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto, Aux-in jacks, multiple USB ports, a115-volt power outlet and Bluetooth streaming audio and hands-free telephone. The 4G LTE Wi-Fi is a must for keeping those second-row passengers occupied (and quiet) on long family road trips.

Another nice touch on the dash, which opens-up cockpit space and reduces clutter, is the gear selector, which is a large wheel, and the electronic parking brake switch, both of which are located side-by-side and next to the radio knobs. The well thought-out dash is simple in its design, as is the complete interior.

2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
The non-people-hauling set-up

Second and Third Row: The Little Things

Access to the second and third rows is easy through the hands-free side sliding doors. The second row Captain’s Chairs fold flat, slide, recline and, while heavy, are easily removable. To gain access to the third row, pressing a button on the lower A pillar powers the driver’s seat into its forward most position. This allows the second row seat to be slid forward, giving an open path to the third row. Once back there, three adults can fit, two in comfort, with even a 6-footer’s head not scraping the ceiling. Knee and leg room for third row passengers is also good and puts all but the largest SUVs to shame.

Second row passengers get individual, multimedia 10-inch horizontal, high-definition seat back video screens with HDMI ports as part of the Family Group. The three-channel, wireless headphones and Bluetooth touchpad remote controls make for an uncluttered entertainment experience. There is also a ceiling mounted digital display to control the heat, vents and air conditioning.

Third-row passengers get a USB charge port and cup holders. Those third row seats quickly and easily flip forward and down, as part of the Stow ’n Go system, hiding under the floor. When down, the storage space is impressive and very usable. The charge cord is neatly stored in a compartment in the rear cargo area.

Safety and Warranties

The 2022 Pacifica Hybrid comes with a good combination of safety technology through the Sphere Safety Group. Features include front-end side impact, knee and side curtain overhead air bags, remote keyless entry, blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, rear parking assist with auto stop, anti-theft engine immobilizer, a tire pressure monitoring system, and the 4-wheel disc anti-lock brakes (ABS) with brake assist.

Additional safety and convenience features include parallel and perpendicular parking assist, rain sensitive windshield wipers, head lights on/wipers on, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control.

2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
All the right touches

The Pacifica Hybrid received the highest safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, IIHS.

The 2022 Pacifica Hybrid comes with these warranties.

  • Battery – Eight years/100,000 miles
  • Hybrid System – Eight years/100,000 miles
  • Basic – Three years/36,000 miles
  • Powertrain – Five years/60,000 miles

Pricing and Warranties

2022 Pacifica Hybrid Hybrid comes in three trim levels, with these base prices including the mandatory $1,595 destination charge. Depending on where you live, the Pacifica Hybrid may qualify for federal and state tax credits, so your final price could be significantly lower than sticker.

Touring L              $48,573

Limited                  $55,595

Pinnacle                $59,645

Observations: 2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited

If you are one of those “I will never drive a minivan” type of persons, you haven’t been keeping up with the times. The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid offers creative seating and cargo flexibility, making it possible for up-to seven to ride in comfort and style.

2022 Chrysler Pacificia pug-in-hybrid
The most-efficient hauler

Knowing that most minivan owners are running in-town errands and hauling their kids and their kid’s friends everywhere and anywhere, the Pacifica Hybrid is engineered to go the first 32 miles on pure electricity. As long as it is plugged-in each night (just like a mobile phone), this range means all those short trips would be made without burning any gasoline.

But the Pacifica Hybrid isn’t just for around town jaunts. With a 520-mile driving range, the Pacifica Hybrid is begging to be driven long distances. It really shines on the open road. With heated seats and rear seat personal video screens, wireless remotes and headphones and storage space to carry whatever a family would want to carry, the Pacifica Hybrid will be the most versatile and efficient vehicle you have ever owned.

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Story by John Faulkner. Photos by John Faulkner and Chrysler.

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Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.

Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class, which leads us to emphasize electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We also feature those efficient gas-powered vehicles that are among the top mpg vehicles in their class. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at [email protected].