Want to help save the planet while looking menacing? Siths with a conscience, welcome to your new ride---the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited S. The S is for the S Appearance package, which paints the Pacifica Brilliant Black Crystal Pearlcoat, pops on a set of 18-inch Black Noise painted wheels, and loads the interior with more black leather than a biker bar in Sturgis.
But, you know---tastefully.
The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited is, with or without the S Appearance package, an extremely comfortable and capable machine. It seats seven in comfort, with climate and entertainment options for the folks in the second row. We're showing a non-S interior because our pictures of the inside were too dark to really see details clearly.
It is also a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle or PHEV. That means that you plug it in and get a certain distance of pure electric driving---no gas used, no pollutants emitted---and then the gasoline engine and electric motor go into hybrid mode, combining efforts and saving gas.
The Pacifica Hybrid's pure electric range is 32 miles. So, if you live 16 miles from work and charge it at home every night or at the office every day, you could drive indefinitely without dipping into the gasoline. But that gasoline/electric hybrid is what makes a PHEV in general and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid in particular a great solution for people who want to go electric for most of their driving but also have the ability to go long distances on short or no notice without worrying about being stranded or having to build in hours of charging time along the way.
Case in point: My wife and I took our daughter, son-in-law and 15-month-old granddaughter to the beach while we had the Pacifica. We chose the lovely little beach town of Capitola, south of Santa Cruz on the Monterey Bay. That's 173 miles from my house in Folsom---346 miles roundtrip.
Not only did we not have to pause to charge, we never even had to stop for fuel. We got home relaxed and happy that night with a quarter-tank of gas remaining.
The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited's base price is $45,395. Standard for that price:
- Four-wheel regenerative brakes (I actually got enough juice from braking along highway 17 between San Jose and Capitola in each direction to regain 3 miles of pure electric driving).
- Blind spot and cross-path detection.
- Rear parking assist with stop.
- Remote start system.
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror.
- Electronic stability control.
- SentryKey theft deterrent system.
- Ready-Alert braking.
- Tire inflator kit.
- Uconnect navigation with 8.4-inch display.
- One-year subscription to SiriusXM.
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
- 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Integrated voice command with Bluetooth.
- A 13-speaker Alpine audio system.
- Active noise control.
- Heated steering wheel.
- Heated front seats.
- Ventilated front seats.
- Driver seat memory.
- Driver and front passenger seat auto Advance 'n Return.
- Power eight-way driver seat.
- Easy entry slide second-row seating.
- Third row fold-in floor/60-40 bench.
- Second and third-row window shades.
- Universal garage door opener.
Our tester also had extra cost options beyond the $795 S Appearance Package:
- Customer Preferred Package 2EC---a 20-speaker Harmon Kardon 780-watt audio system, replacing the 13-speaker Alpine system. The window sticker that came with our car does not show a price for this, and the bottom line makes sense with this as zero. If it isn't a typo, it's the biggest steal in history---what an incredible audio system!
- Advanced SafetyTec Group (360-degree surround-view camera system; full speed forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go, lane departure warning, parallel and perpendicular park assist, ParkSense front and rear parking assist with stop, rain-sensitive windshield wipers, advanced brake assist, automatic high-beam headlamp control, Uconnect theater with wireless streaming, Blu-Ray/DVD player, seatback video screens, dual HDMI ports, a USB video port, a 115-volt auxilary power outlet, three-channel video remote control, and three-channel wireless headphones ($995).
- Tri-pane panoramic sunroof ($1,795).
With $1,395 destination charge, the bottom line was $50,375, which is in the ballpark for loaded minivans these days. But the Pacifica is, in our book, every bit as good as the Honda Odyssey and is light-years ahead of the Toyota Sienna, which has been unchanged since 2011, and the Kia Sedona, which came to market underbaked four years ago.
Now, factor in the plug-in hybrid and the Pacifica becomes the clear winner. There's no good reason not to get a plug-in and a lot of upside. Bravo to Chrysler for being the first and only PHEV minivan manufacturer.