By on October 19, 2021

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited Fast Facts

3.6-liter V6 combined with dual electric motors (260 total system horsepower; torque N/A)

Electrically-variable automatic transmission, front-wheel drive

30 combined (EPA Rating, MPG); 82 combined (MPGe)

8.0 city, 7.9 highway, 8.0 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km); 2.9 Le/100km

Base Price: $45,845 (U.S) / $53,571 (Canada)

As Tested: $49,835 (U.S.) / $59,105(Canada)

Prices include $1,495 destination charge in the United States and $1,995 to $2,895 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Minivans are rarely sexy, but that won’t stop companies from trying to make them attractive, with varying degrees of success.

The gang in Auburn Hills decided that eye-pleasing design might help the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid capture sales. With that whole “hybrid” thing thrown in for a good measure of green cred.

The approach mostly worked, at least within the limitations that the van shape imposes on creativity. The Pacifica Hybrid is, dare I say, stylish.

It’s also quite competent, overall.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain combines a 3.6-liter V6 with dual electric motors and what Chrysler calls an electrically variable automatic transmission for 260 total horsepower. The van is front-wheel drive.

The system operates smoothly and seamlessly, but don’t expect this van to be a burner – it’s on the slower side when it comes to acceleration. It’s not quite a driver’s van, either – the handling is competent enough for suburban motoring, and it’s not completely devoid of personality, but it’s not as dialed in as a Honda Odyssey.

The ride, though, is another matter, walking the fine line between being comfortable and being too soft. Chrysler manages to avoid the latter – the ride is smooth while just firm enough. It’s a pleasant highway cruiser.

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Which, really, is all a minivan really needs to be. We “car people” love so-called “driver’s vans” because we like to believe we won’t have to completely give up driving fun in the face of utility, but most minivan buyers don’t care a whit about that. A comfortable, compliant ride and enough steering feel to remind them that they aren’t dead inside just because they drive a minivan is all they really need.

The Pacifica delivers that. And it does so while looking good inside and out and offering up controls that are easy to read and use. Not to mention that in a very un-FCA/Stellantis move, most materials feel nice or at least class/price appropriate. Everything here just works easily.

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

I didn’t get a chance to plug in – charging where I live is difficult, to say the least, so I tend to rely on dead dino juice when testing a PHEV. For those who are curious – which is to say, probably all of you – the van gets an 82 MPGe combined city/highway rating and a 30 mpg combined city/highway rating when run on gas only. A 240-volt Level II charger will recharge the battery in as little as two hours. Regenerative braking is part of the system, and Chrysler promises a range of over 500 miles between fuel-tank fill-ups. The electric-only range is up to 30 miles.

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Standard features included adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and rear cross-path detection, parking sensors, lane-departure warning plus, full-speed forward-collision warning plus, pedestrian/cyclist detection, rearview camera, brake assist, rain-sensing wipers, sliding second-row bucket seats, heated and cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, wireless device charging, navigation, 10.1-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot, panoramic sunroof, satellite radio, 18-inch wheels, LED head- and taillamps, power-folding mirrors, hands-free sliding side doors, a hands-free power liftgate, and a roof rack.

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Options were limited to the $2,495 Theater Family Group (in-car camera, BluRay/DVD player with USB port, seatback video screens, wireless headphones, 115-volt outlet, and more). With destination ($1,495) the $45,845 base price became $49,835.

That’s not money to sneeze at, and one can get a family hauler, either minivan or crossover, with three rows for less. But you get what you pay for, and a well-thought-out/well-executed package is what you get here.

Now, if that could be said for certain other models in the Stellantis family…

[Images © 2021 Tim Healey/TTAC]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

32 Comments on “2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited Review – Comfort Cruising...”


  • avatar
    WaddyWelder07

    Gosh, I wonder what this thing would deliver real-world? We have a 2017 Pacifica. My wife drives it 95% of the time and averages 25.5 MPG. This one being a hybrid and being rated for 30 combined, I wonder what another frugal driver could squeeze out of it?

    • 0 avatar
      lostboy

      Just an idea – and I’m not crapping on Chrysler for this BUT…

      You have a minivan with both a conventional engine and a electrical motor with all it’s supporting bits… and i drive and keep my cars over the long haul (2005 Subaru forester x with 350K on the odo) and i was wondering what sort of maintenance hell are you setting yourself up with with these hybrids?

      As in, if your going to keep it forever don’t buy one because your got MORE complexity to deal with and therefor LESS reliability?

      Perhaps it would be wise to say say this is a short term keeper and saving some gas during the first few years is possible but over a ten year period, this would be a Sh!tSh0w no doubt!

      (and think about the resale value.. of a Chrysler!?)

      Frugal initially in warranty, dangerous afterwards no doubt – I’d try a new Toyota Sienna for the hybrid angle (if it were me, and by George, the wife isn’t buying it) and i planned to keep it, but maybe this will surprise us in the future?

      YMMV

      (and just so you know, I’ve had this idea ever since i heard about these hybrids myself but hey, the Prius has been pretty damn solid for some folks so who knows?)

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The added complexity from the motors and high-voltage battery is offset by the reduced complexity of the transmission, and also the fact that the gas engine doesn’t rev as high (it never has to go beyond the power peak) and is subject to more consistent and less sudden loading.

  • avatar
    AmsterCub

    Where has it snowed so much?? I’m so confused.

  • avatar
    ollicat

    I have this car as a 2020 model. It is a very nice to drive car and gets the 30 as advertised once battery runs out. Just one stupid creaking in the sunroof we can’t figure out but other than that, great car.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Yes, the +30 miles covers most daily driving and no need to fire up the gas engine. We have a 2018 CT6 2.0E plug-in but usually see +40 miles on battery. Sometimes see 2,000 miles per tank of gas and over 150 mpg! I plug in at home at .05 cents kW and at work for free.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Wife issued a hard veto of a minivan (“like sweatpants”) or I would own one of these, likely a 2019 Limited since that’s when I was in the market. We ended up with a used non-plug-in Highlander Hybrid instead, which she does not find nearly as frumpy for some unknown reason. Now we are moving and I really would appreciate the van’s extra space…

    • 0 avatar
      teddyc73

      I can’t believe how many times I have heard this same story. It is always the wives who vehemently oppose the purchase of a minivan. Are women that vain that they must put their image ahead of what could be a good vehicle for her and her family? Minivans are such an ideal family car. In most cases they beat SUVS. I guess men predominately have the eye for practicality. I personally find the Highlander to be on the cutting edge of frumpy.

    • 0 avatar
      wolfwagen

      That was the edict from my wife too when we went to replace our 2005 Honda Odyssey which she would have kept driving if it wasn’t for the peeling paint and an unfound water leak. I tried talking her into the KIA Sedona (I didn’t like the shape the Honda O has), It was a NO GO. Replaced the Honda with a 2019 VW Atlas SEL. Which so far has been good, short of a head gasket issue which was a manufacturing defect (improper torque).

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        My wife absolutely did not want a wagon or minivan. Then we borrowed mom and dad’s to take another two couples out. We ended up with a 2018 Pacifica Limited with the tow package. We did not get the hybrid because we wanted the stow-n-go.

        I can honestly say that van should have no issues going 500+ miles on a tank. On a road trip you can get closer to 600 miles cruising down the highway. They aren’t quick, but the acceleration is more than adequate.

        Coming back from CA with a 3500# U-Haul the only issue with the trailer is it killed the mileage. It handled the additional weight and it trailered just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The space and PHEV range would be prefect for DINKS and two big dogs for us. No minivan either but the fact that owners on PacHy FB group were trading in one or two year old PacHy and taking advantage of US$7,500 tax credit again and sometimes making money on the deal!

      We ended up with a Hummer H2 to accompany my 2018 CT6 2.0E plug-in.

  • avatar
    bradfa

    When do we get a Hellcat version of the Pacifica? I guess they’d need it to be under the Dodge brand, but they brought back the Voyager name, mind as well dig up the Dodge Caravan name from the grave, it’s probably still warm!

  • avatar
    teddyc73

    “Not to mention that in a very un-FCA/Stellantis move, most materials feel nice or at least class/price appropriate.” I guess you haven’t been in the Ram 1500, Durango or up coming new Jeeps.

    “Now, if that could be said for certain other models in the Stellantis family…” See above.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I have, and those vehicles are nice. But they are still the minority of Stellantis vehicles. Things are trending in the right direction, though, so that’s good.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I guess the not quite overly soft ride is why I’ve seen so few if these in the wild. A ride that’s almost too soft on the plains does not work well in parts of the country where most roads curve and go up and down. I see more Odysseys than other vans combined.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    eh…still a Chrysler. I’ll take the 2021 Sienna.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Both are ranked similarly in Consumer Reports testing. There is no advantage from Toyota today just suckered paying “Toyota Tax”.

      • 0 avatar
        3800FAN

        The key to reading CRs reliability ratings is to see how the circles change over time, not the current model year. You can see chryslers will be all green dots current year and last year and by year 5 theyll be red. Its not that the older models had problems that got fixed in the newer ones, its that the newer ones havent had problems yet. Meanwhile toyotas will stay green. They are worth it if youre like me and plan to drive your vehicle into the ground.

  • avatar
    kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh

    How in the hell do you only get 260hp out of a pentastar V6? oh wait V6 PLUS a electric motor???

    ….

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      It is Otto cycle.

      • 0 avatar
        revjasper

        (Pushes glasses up further, index finger to tape on bridge…)

        Well actually…

        They’re running the Pentastar as a modified Atkinson cycle, much like what Toyota does for a Prius. The compression ratio of the hybrid V6 is at 12.5:1 instead of the regular gas 11.3:1. However, the intake valves are held open a little longer, which pushes some of the intake air back out at the beginning of the compression stroke.

        This gives a higher thermal efficiency, which I don’t understand fully. But it magically loses some power and torque, but gives a decent mileage boost. The electric motors mostly make up for the power loss.

        I test drove a Pacifica Hybrid and it was very nice. The fear of FCA’s long term reliability got me into a 2019 Chevrolet Bolt with a Korean built battery. That’ll show me!

  • avatar
    kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh

    How in the hell do you only get 260hp out of a pentastar V6? oh wait V6 PLUS a electric motor???

    ….

  • avatar
    Syke

    Thank you for the review, as this is probably going to be my next vehicular purchase. With both the wife’s and my cars under five years old, the only vehicle I haver to look for is a replacement for my 14 year old Sedona. And a plug-in range of 30 miles is quite fine for daily running around, ensuring that this van would get a lot more use than the current van, as that range covers pretty much all my day to day runnings around.

    Effectively, we’ll be down to one gasoline powered car, which is going to be replaced with an EV next time around.

    Don’t mind losing the Stow-n-Go because I’d never use it. The middle row of seats on the Sedona came out the day we brought the van home, and they’ll go back in the day it leaves home for the last time. Realistically, a Ram Caravan C/V would probably suit me best of all, but I really want the plug-in hybrid function. 30mpg? That’s a 50 percent increase over what I’m getting now.

    Only complaint is that you can’t get the hybrid system in anything other than the top of the line, leather and whatever, version. My van is used for two things: Long haul trips where I’m carrying a ton of gear, and as a local replacement for a pickup truck. And I really hate to think what 4×8 sheets of plywood will do to that fancy interior. I’d really be happier with an SXT level interior on the van.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    This review was lacking in a little depth; it consisted of “[spec sheet][spec sheet]The handling’s okay, if soft; the interior’s nice.[spec sheet][spec sheet]”

    Seems more like a First Drive than spending any real time with the van.

    • 0 avatar
      markd

      True it is a comfortable, handsome and well built car.

      As an’18 Hybrid owner I have a few things to say here. I know we are in a world of fast cars.

      C/D clocked the Pacifica Hybrid v gas car and the passing time, 50-70 was a full second quicker. What the author may not realize is that that advantage continues right up to 105.

      Don’t give me any slow car BS here. 260 hp seems minimal but I understand why Chrysler doesn’t publsh torque figures for the car.

      Off the line yeah, it weighs as much as a 1/2 ton pickup. Meet me on a mountain pass friend.

  • avatar
    tobiasfunkemd

    We own this exact model and trim level. We previously owned a 2014 Sienna LE AWD – we averaged about 19 mpg in the Toyota, while this gets easily 30 mpg without a charge. My wife uses battery only during the week, and with our level 2 charger it takes about 90 minutes to get to 100%. The interior is head and shoulders above Toyota – feels more luxurious and more refined.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Just spent a weekend driving a rental gas-only 2020 Limited all around the Raleigh-Durham, NC area, much of the time with 5 or 7 people aboard.

    Positives: Airy space and great upscale atmosphere for passengers in all three rows, incredible level of feature content, nice styling for a van, comfy front seats, quiet and smooth ride.

    Negatives: 9-speed transmission likes to add unnecessary roughness to driving, Stow-N-Go second-row seats aren’t comfortable for adults, handling has a lot in common with a ’75 Mark IV, materials weren’t holding up all that great after 43k miles of rental-car use.

    The hybrid would address the first two complaints, but would worsen handling (more weight) and wouldn’t change material durability. By comparison to this van, my 2016 Highlander with 62k miles of kid abuse looked significantly newer inside.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Arthur Dailey: I know that it is dangerous and downright moronic but one finger steering was one of my favourite...
  • Inside Looking Out: “Why would the British join the French Revolution? ” To replace unelected King with...
  • ToolGuy: With the caveat that I know nothing about this, the first drawing doesn’t suggest...
  • Jeff S: And steer that battleship with your Pinky.
  • RHD: Top illustration: (Guy in white, on the left:) “Good thing they parked the Imperial next to an ocean...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber