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2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Road Test and Review

Brady Holt
by Brady Holt
June 29, 2024
2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Electric vehicles are booming. Americans bought more than a million EVs last year, and they have more makes and models to choose from than ever. But the EV trend also has a side effect: more interest in alternative ways to save on fuel. For folks who don’t see a fully electric car as viable for their lives, gas-electric hybrids are also getting fresh attention. 

That’s great news for the 2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which is priced from $50,765 before federal tax incentives. It was the first hybrid minivan when it debuted way back in 2017, and it’s still the only plug-in hybrid in its class. Has age caught up with the Pacifica Hybrid, or is it still a standout choice for families looking to cut their fuel bills? We just spent a week with this gas-electric van to find out.  

How It Works

The Pacifica Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid, or PHEV. That means it has a bigger battery than a conventional hybrid like the classic Toyota Prius (or its rival hybrid minivans: the Toyota Sienna and Kia Carnival Hybrid), and you can charge it up using electricity from the grid to get some all-electric range. If you need extra power or run out of juice, a V6 gasoline engine fires up to keep you moving.

In the Pacifica Hybrid’s case, the EPA estimates that a fully charged battery can handle up to 32 gas-free miles. After that, it projects 30 mpg in mixed driving. Electricity rates and gas prices vary by location, but the EPA estimates that the average driver would spend $1.54 to travel 25 miles on electricity and nearly twice that ($2.98) after the range is used up. And a gas-only Pacifica would cost $4.07. Recharging the Pacifica Hybrid takes about 12 hours using a regular three-prong 120-volt household outlet – enough to get many folks a full battery by plugging in overnight – or two hours if you install a 240-volt car charger. However, if you can’t charge at home and must rely on public charging stations, you’d lose the Pacifica Hybrid’s advantages of convenience and cost savings. 

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・ Photo by Brady Holt

The Results

The best use case if someone who can commute or run errands using electricity but also wants the flexibility to take a longer trip without worrying about plugging in. That’s just what we did during our week with the Pacifica Hybrid. 

On a 36-mile round-trip commute from the Baltimore suburbs into the city, the Pacifica traveled almost the whole way (32 miles on average, matching the EPA estimate) without using gasoline. Next, we took the van on a 950-mile road trip from Maryland to Massachusetts and back without worrying about charging stations along the way. The battery got some charge from the running engine, turning wheels, and friction from the brakes – especially on extended downhill stretches in the mountains. In total, a third of trip (306 miles) was done on self-generated electric power. That helped the Pacific Hybrid average 32 mpg over the course of the trip, better than the EPA estimate. But note that even a gas-only Pacifica manages an estimated 28 mpg on the highway. The Pacifica Hybrid is an economical road-trip buddy, but its advantage is the greatest when it’s fully charged. 

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・ Photo by Brady Holt

A Van With Grace

We’ve loved the Pacifica’s styling ever since its debut, and it remains the most graceful van on the market. Chrysler doesn’t pretend the Pacifica is an aggressive sporty vehicle or SUV, and its lines are clean and elegant. Our favorite angle is the rear, where the rear windows, rear windshield, and rear lightbar meet harmoniously. 

The Pacifica also has an elegant interior, with a gently curved dashboard that smoothly incorporates a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen. And Chrysler didn’t sacrifice functionality for style, making room for large storage areas and big cupholders. Clever family-friendly features include an in-car camera system called the FamCam for checking on kids in the rear rows of seats. A few ergonomic niggles proved frustrating at times. To adjust the heated and ventilated seats, you need to tap a tiny corner of the touchscreen, summoning a menu that requires its own careful selections. And some screen views – including the FamCam, which we kept open to monitor on-the-road naptime – block these controls (and the clock). But overall, the Pacifica is a good-looking minivan inside and out, and it doesn’t forget how to be a minivan. 

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Lots of Room, But No Stow ’n Go

With low floors, boxy bodies, and short noses, minivans provide incredible amounts of space for their size. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is no exception. It has three rows of adult-friendly, comfortable seating for up to seven passengers; even the far back isn’t pinched like in almost any SUV. This van also provides 32.2 cubic feet behind its third-row seat, 87.5 cubic feet behind its second-row seats, and 140.5 cubic feet behind its front seats. For perspective, that means the Pacifica can fit more behind its third row than a Jeep Compass small SUV can fit behind its second row of seats. A three-row Dodge Durango mid-size SUV has less room behind its front seats than the Pacifica manages behind its second row. And total cargo room beats an extended-length full-size Jeep Wagoneer L.

The Pacifica Hybrid does have two drawbacks over the gas-only Pacifica on this front. First, the hybrid isn’t available with the gas model’s center seat in the second row. That means that only gas Pacificas can seat eight passengers instead of seven like the hybrid. Second, the gas Pacifica’s “Stow ’n Go” second-row seats fold into cargo wells in the floor – a boon for quick swaps between carrying passengers and lots of cargo. In the Pacifica Hybrid, the electric battery fills that space. So to get maximum cargo space, you have to dismount, drag out, and store the second-row seats. The hybrid’s third row does fold into the floor like in the gas Pacifica and other modern minivans. 

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Easy to Drive

The 2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid drives much like other modern Pacificas, only quieter when operating in electric mode. The van decides for itself when the gas engine is needed – it’ll also fire up when you’re fully charged if you accelerate harder – and switches seamlessly between gas and electric operation. 

The Pacifica Hybrid makes 260 horsepower between its V6 engine and two electric motors. Competing hybrid minivans from Toyota and Kia use four-cylinder engines that lack the Chrysler’s hearty roar. The Pacifica Hybrid is also agile for a minivan. It’s a big car, and its wide 40-foot turning circle means you'll feel that in tight quarters. But the Pacifica Hybrid doesn’t feel clumsy on a winding road, with confidence-inspring steering and handling limits far beyond where we'd push a van laden with kids. We wished for a smoother ride, though; we spent our road trip worried that sharply felt bumps would wake the kids. (They didn’t.) Note that unlike the gas Pacifica, every Pacifica Hybrid is front-wheel drive with no all-wheel drive option. 

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Lots of Features and a Federal Tax Credit

The 2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid starts at $50,765, which makes it the most expensive minivan on the market. But two key points justify that price tag. 

First, the Pacifica Hybrid is offered only in two well-equipped trim levels: the Select (equivalent to the gas Pacifica’s $41,560 Touring L trim) and the $59,495 Pinnacle (up from $53,995 on the gas Pinnacle). Secondly, the Pacifica Hybrid qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit for most households earning up to $300,000 per year. That cash for U.S.-made plug-in vehicles turns the Pacifica Hybrid into less of a splurge. We’ll discuss its cost savings shortly, but let’s first cover the amenities you get for all this money. The Select comes standard with heated, power-adjustable synthetic leather seating; a heated steering wheel; second-row sunshades; a power liftgate and sliding doors; adaptive cruise control; and blind-spot monitoring. The Pinnacle adds genuine leather, ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, two rear entertainment screens with built-in Amazon Fire TV, a surround-view parking camera, the in-car FamCam pictured here, and a 20-speaker Harman Kardon stereo. 

Most of these features are optional on the Select, too; these, other add-ons, and the $1,595 destination charge swelled our Select test vehicle to $64,205. You can’t get a built-in vacuum cleaner like in the gas Pacifica, though. 

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Dollars and Cents

In fully electric mode, our test car’s trip computer said it achieved the energy equivalent of 80 mpg. For another way to look at that, we paid an estimated $2.24 to charge the Pacifica Hybrid’s 16 kWh battery at our home’s electricity rate of 14 cents per kWh. Based on our observed 32 miles of range, 32 mpg average, and local gas prices, we’d have needed to pay $3.56 to cover the same distance with a gallon of gasoline. That would mean spending $1,113 on gasoline every 10,000 miles versus $700 on electricity – a $413 savings. And based on the gas Pacifica’s estimated 22 mpg in mixed driving, that savings would balloon to $918 every 10,000 miles ($5.17 versus $2.24 per 32-mile charge). 

Your own calculations will depend on the number of miles you drive, how many of those miles could be electric, and your local gasoline and electricity rates. Your driving habits are also a factor. If you spend a lot of time commuting in stop-and-go traffic or idling in school-pickup lines, a charged Pacifica Hybrid would widen the gap even further. Those are the least efficient conditions for a gas-powered vehicle, but they take a much smaller bite out of your electric range. Meanwhile, if you’re mostly on the open freeway and frequently drive much more than 32 miles at a time, a gas Pacifica recovers some of its efficiency. 

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Competitors to Consider

As we mentioned, the Pacifica Hybrid is one of three gas-electric minivans. The others are the Toyota Sienna, now sold exclusively as a hybrid, and the newly introduced Kia Carnival Hybrid. These vans both use four-cylinder engines instead of V6s, and they aren’t plug-in hybrids. You never get any all-electric range beyond the short bursts they can generate on their own. However, they have smaller, lighter, and less expensive battery packs, so they’d have cost less and likely burned less gas during our charging-free road trip. 

Each of these rival vans has some other advantages as well. The Sienna and Carnival second-row seats slide forward out of the way to maximize cargo space without removing them like in the Chrysler. They seat up to eight passengers rather than capping out at seven. The Carnival’s interior is the flashiest and highest-tech. The Sienna has developed the strongest reliability reputation. But neither of them can go 30 miles without burning any gasoline. For that, you’d need to give up the spaciousness of a minivan to get an SUV like the Mazda CX-90 PHEV. The CX-90 is a delight to drive for a three-row vehicle, but it doesn’t have nearly as much cargo room or third-row space as the Pacifica or another minivan. Finally, you could consider a fully electric SUV like the Kia EV9. It’s also not as roomy as the Chrysler, but if you don’t frequently take long road trips or don’t mind recharging on the go, it eliminates gasoline entirely. The EV9 starts at $54,900 and goes up to 304 miles between charges. 

2022 Toyota Sienna XSE ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2022 Toyota Sienna XSE ・ Photo by Brady Holt

An Eco-Friendly Errand Runner

If you have a place to plug it in and take lots of short drives, the 2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid provides the benefits of an electric vehicle without the stress of needing to plug it in. Between the fuel savings and the federal tax credit, it’s a natural fit for many families. 

Be aware of the Pacifica Hybrid’s missing features versus the gas model: AWD, eight-passenger seating, fold-flat second-row seats, and the vacuum cleaner. Be aware that gas mileage will be good but not incredible during the stretches when you aren’t charging it up. And be aware of a few foibles like the bumpy ride and a few annoying dashboard controls. But even after all these years, the Pacifica Hybrid still stands alone among minivans for its 32-mile bursts of eliminating gas with minimal effort. 

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid ・ Photo by Brady Holt


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