If you lose your left arm, only your right is left, right? You may be wondering why all the talk about left and right. Well, it's because they are similar, just like the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica and 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Look-alike they might, but they are substantially different in terms of component, and the differences are quite compelling. With the exclusion of a few low-production compliance vehicles, hybrids have conspicuously missed the party for a while. That was until Chrysler introduced the Pacifica Hybrid as the first of its category to be sold in the mainstream market. The sheer amount of battery storage space that is provided by a minivan should have been a heads up for most car manufacturers, but not everyone takes a hint anyway so, here we are. Both the electric and gasoline versions of the Pacifica were released in 2017 and had received minor updates for 2018. Let's take a look at what sets them apart.
What's under the hood?
The Pacifica Hybrid is driven by the eHybrid system which combines a 3.6-liter V6 engine mated with an eFlite single-electrically variable transmission (si-EVT) containing two electric motors that are powered by a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery. This gets the minivan to drive for up to 33 miles on electric power alone and 84 MPG-e on the combined city and highway driving. When using both the V6 and electric motors, the duo churns out 287 hp and 32 mpg combined which is very rare to come by in a 3-row vehicle, leave alone the 566 miles of combined range. Compare this with Pacifica's 3.6 liter V6 that gets 18 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined and see which one is worth writing home about.
What about the trim Levels?
One outstanding quality about the Pacifica Hybrid is that it is a first in its segment. The downside to this is that you only get three trims (Limited, Touring L, and Touring Plus) as compared to its gasoline counterpart which offers a set of six trims to choose from for 2018; the L, LX, Touring Plus, Touring L, Touring L Plus and Limited.
How good is the tech?
Compared to the non-Hybrid Pacifica, the Hybrid brings the trophy home in terms of technology. The Hybrid's base model has Uconnect 4 with an 8.4-Inch Touchscreen, HD Radio, SiriusXM Guardian, Hybrid Electric Pages, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay Support, Integrated Uconnect Voice Command, Bluetooth Streaming Audio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. They are available on the Pacifica, but it would require you to purchase a higher trim for them to be added on to it as optional packages.
How's the interior?
The hybrid doesn't give up much of its interior from what the non-Hybrid has. The only difference is that the second-row Stow 'n Go storage has been replaced with the battery housing. This actually makes the seats more contoured and comfortable than they have originally been. The hybrid's seats are also removable as opposed to folding, which is a great option for most of us.
Chrysler performed very well with their minivan in 2017 but wanted to stay right on top in 2018, so they decided to sweeten the deal where it matters most; the "money, money, moooney." They introduced new more affordable trims for both the Hybrid and the gasoline Pacificas for 2018.The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica L starts at $26,995, making it $1,600 less than the starting price of the most affordable 2017 Pacifica model. The new Pacifica Hybrid Touring L provides consumers with a wider range of choices concerning the features they would like to have on their PHEV minivan. The Hybrid is a bit more expensive, but that is for a good reason, it starts at $39,995.