Between 2003 and 2007, there was this round, cozy, kind of luxurious and family-friendly mid-size crossover called the Chrysler Pacifica, that had the distinction of being the first joint effort after the merger Chrysler-DaimlerBenz, back in 1998.
It had a Mercedes-like interior and some of MB’s technologies, and wanted to encompass a lot: The company wanted it to offer “the convenience of a minivan, the elevated position of an SUV and the handling of a sedan”, according to its -I must say- well-documented Wikipedia article.
They wanted it to have it all. To be luxurious but approachable, to be classy but an everyday, nice family vehicle.
And… it failed. Not dramatically, but failed, nonetheless. DaimlerChrysler had forecasted sales of 100,000 units per year, something that was not met.
The critics were delighted, though. It rode and handled like a car, its suspension ‘eliminated’ the bumps and the steering was impeccable. However, it was a gas-guzzler. Final nail in the coffin.
The final Pacifica was produced in 2007 and that was it… OR WAS IT?
‘She’ came back
In 2016, the Pacifica came back with a vengeance… or sort of.
Chrysler wanted to produce a new Town & Country minivan, but, in the end, they brought back the Pacifica nameplate for the new vehicle. Director of Chrysler brand product marketing Bruce Velisek explained that the Pacifica was meant to “change the entire paradigm of what people know about minivans in the segment”. Therefore, they did.
A (planet friendly) force to be reckoned with
I had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Yes. Hybrid. A plug-in hybrid.
A modernization of its ‘foremother’, this is a force to be reckoned with -equipment, design and mechanics-wise.
It is available in three trims: Touring Plus, Touring L and Limited. Under its hood, lies a V6, 3.6 liter engine, accompanied by two electric motors. The trio blasts off 260 horses of power.
You can make this beauty go for 33 miles with just the electric power, no gas involved.
The whole powertrain gives us an astounding economy of 82 mpg equivalent. And well, just to mention it, regular gas engine reaches 30 mpg by itself. Not bad, I say. Not bad at all.
It has what it takes
Regarding equipment, the base trim, the Touring Plus, includes accessories such as keyless entry and ignition, 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, fog lights, power-sliding doors, heated mirrors, a driver information display, tri-zone automatic climate control, ambient lighting, cloth upholstery, and a lot more.
We can also find an 8.4-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Bluetooth, voice commands, and a six-speaker audio system with HD and satellite radio, and much more.
If you choose to get the L version, you will receive roof rails, remote ignition, leather upholstery and other technology amenities.
Finally, if you get the Limited version, the one that i drove… there is one big lie at the trim’s name -is everything but. Automatic high-beam control, power-folding mirrors, automatic wipers, chrome trim, hands-free operation for the sliding doors and lift gate, adaptive cruise control, upgraded leather, driver-seat memory settings, ventilated front seats and navigation system, are just some examples of the plethora of amenities this trim has to offer.
There is also a wide array of optional equipment and packages that add a Blu-ray player, a couple of video screens for the back seat, a panoramic sunroof and much more.
Behind the wheel
It may feel bulky, but it behaves pretty well on the highway, especially in long-straight road segments.
If this beauty becomes your choice for urban commute -going to the office, to do errands, picking up the kids from school- you will rarely visit a gas station. Just plug it in, recharge it and behold: Your wallet will be thankful.
Its seats are comfortable -even more comfortable than regular Pacifica’s seats- and you will find all the high-tech you need here, don’t worry about it.
The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid more than honors the original Pacifica’s memory.
Aggressively equipped, owning an astonishing hybrid efficiency and providing anything one could hope for in the inside, it learned from the past and embarked into a bright present -and future.