2023 Chrysler Pacifica

absolutely AUTO REVIEW  | By Steve Kursar –

The 2023 Chrysler Pacifica continues to lead the minivan segment. And, for the new model year, it adds the premium Pinnacle model, which features the most luxurious interior in its class.  The Pacifica was the first minivan to offer both gas and hybrid powertrains and still the only one in the segment to offer a plug-in hybrid.  With the ability to deliver the equivalent of more than 80 miles per gallon (MPGe) in electric-only mode, it’s a vehicle designed to keep you free from visiting gas stations.  For parents who have a daily routine that includes school and team car-pooling along with all the other chauffeuring duties, the Pacifica could be a game-changer.

Minivans had their heyday in the 1980s and 90s when every automaker had one in their showroom.  Chrysler introduced the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager in 1983, and both models were big hits with the car buying public. Here was a vehicle that carried up to eight passengers comfortably and handled like a car.  But, minivans lost their appeal when SUV’s were perceived as so much cooler to drive. The 2023 Chrysler Pacifica has the power and hipness to change all that.

With an MSRP of $37,095, the gasoline-only 2023 Pacifica is powered by a 287 hp, 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission that delivers EPA estimated fuel economy numbers of 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.  But, if you really want to save fuel, the plug-in hybrid Pacifica is the only way to go.  With a base MSRP of $48,478, the plug-in hybrid is powered by a specially modified version of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine mated to a dual-motor eFlite electrically variable transmission (EVT) giving the minivan an impressive 500 mile range.  But, plug in the minivan  and you can drive more than 30 miles a day without ever visiting a gas station.

The Pacifica exterior is athletic, a clear departure from the stodgy minivans of old. The top-of-the-line Pinnacle trim is a near-luxury vehicle that delivers a beautiful interior and loads of technology.  Parents with small children will be reassured with the FamCAM interior camera that delivers a high-definition image including a view of rear-facing child-seat occupants, split-view display and unique “zoom-to-seat” feature.

The Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid is an ideal vehicle for parents who would like to embrace an all-electric future without sacrificing the ability to take long road trips. It’s a great compromise.