2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: Real-World Fuel Economy
Pretty impressive stuff, considering the sheer size of this thing. I wonder how road trips would be like, if you can even get a chance to recharge that battery. I also wonder if taxi companies would be buying a bunch of these, seeing as we have an overwhelming proportion of hybrid taxis in US cities.
CARS.COM — It's an idea that we're kind of surprised hasn't happened sooner — a hybrid minivan. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is the world's first plug-in hybrid-electric minivan. Thanks to the lithium-ion batteries into the van's floor, the Pacifica Hybrid allows up to 33 miles of gasoline-free motoring before its 3.6-liter V-6 kicks in.
The Pacifica Hybrid is EPA-rated at 84 mpg-equivalent and has a range of up to 570 miles on a single charge and a full tank of gas. When operating without a charge, Chrysler says that it averages 32 mpg combined. The gasoline-powered Pacifica with stop-start technology gets 19/28/22 mpg city/highway/combined.
Once the batteries had been depleted, the V-6 went to work — but not by itself. The Pacifica Hybrid actually prefers to use the electric motors as much as possible, even when the battery is depleted. Slow-speed cruising around parking lots or accelerating away from a stop is still done in electric mode, with the V-6 kicking in quickly afterward to put a little charge back into the batteries for the next stoplight takeoff.
Hmmmmmm.....the diesel Voyager got better than that 20 years ago, i'm not impressed. Mating a hybrid system to a huge gas guzzling V6 is counteractive in my opinion. Mating a smaller hybrid to an already fuel efficient diesel engine is the way to go, as in the Renault Scenic hybrid assist, expected to get 67 UK MPG real World (rated at 80 MPG official) Back to the drawing board Chrysler!
That Renault is about two feet shorter than an American minivan.
Toyota also has two to three hybrid minivans available in Japan. Again, they are smaller than what passes for a minivan here.
For their size, a V6 is probably the best option at this time. Combined EPA ranges from 19mpg to 22mpg. Turbocharging and/or DI might allow a 4 cylinder that would actually sell, but the companies really invested in those technologies aren't making traditional minivans anymore.
The diesel from 20 years ago would have been considered underpowered by American minivan buyers, even back then. A modern diesel would likely make a good choice for a minivan today. The hurdle is the companies making minivans.
The four companies still selling traditional minivans; FCA, Honda, Kia, and Toyota. Kia is the smallest seller of the four. With SUVs and crossovers being the bigger segment, I don't expect diesel in a minivan news from them. FCA was selling a smaller diesel in a pick up and SUV that could work, but they didn't disclose all the operating modes in the ECU, and now have trouble with the EPA.
Toyota does has diesels, but no rumors of bringing them to the US, and they are more likely to go hybrid for a minivan. Honda tried bringing a diesel Accord over in the early 2000s. When they couldn't figure out how VW was maintaining performance, fuel economy, and meeting emissions without DEF, they gave up on it. Thank you VW for killing what is a great line of diesel engines for America.
I guess the closest we get to a "minivan" here is er....an actual van, because it's easier and cheaper just to put seats and windows in an already existing platform. Example, the new Traveller with a huge table tablet and a robust 150 BHP diesel engine, expected to get around 38 - 40 UK MPG.
The Chevy Astrovan was just a van with seats added. We had one, and I hated driving it. The windows, extra seats, and nicer trimmings couldn't change the fact that it was a cheap work van underneath, and it drove like one.
The long wheelbase Transit Connect makes a decent minivan from the photos I've seen. The minivan segment as lost a lot of ground to SUVs though. Ford and GM don't even offer one anymore. I had forgotten Nissan in the previous post, and with only a 11 thousand something sales of the Quest last year, so did everybody else; it's gone in 2017.
It's definitely a dying segment, Minivans are just not cool despite thier practicalities, people are more fussed with thier image these days and want something stylish and cool. I just remembered the M Sport edition Transits, not sure if you get them there, but they are awesome, expensive but awesome. Google them, they come in a range of colour/rally sticker combinations.
That's horrendous. Sadly, limited range plug in like this are only good if you do 20-30 miles a day and have access to charging. Reminds me of the Mitsubishi Outlander, advertises a quoted 148 MPG, my friend hired one and got less than 20. It all depends on length and type of journey. I don't think the extra cost would be worth it, better off waiting and go full EV in my opinion.
That review is for the plain old ICE version; no plug.
At 3,400 miles, the tires aren't even broken in yet; hopefully they've checked the air pressure in them. Then December to now covers some of the worse weather for fuel economy. Chicago is far from Southern California.