Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has revealed its 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has managed to garner a best-in-the-segment fuel economy rating of 84 miles-per-gallon-equivalent (MPGe) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
FCA proudly says that no other minivan has ever come close to this rating – even its own initially stated performance. According to the company it estimated that the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid would earn a 80 MPGe, but it turns out that the minivan was much better at fuel economy than its manufacturer thought. FCA says that the latest EPA ratings are an indication of what customers can expect when they opt for a vehicle from FCA.
This wasn’t it as far as EPA numbers are concerned. EPA established that the total driving range of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is of 566 miles, up from 530. Further, the EPA gave the new Pacifica Hybrid a rating of 10 in its Green Vehicle Guide. The score relates to a vehicle’s combined performance on fuel economy and greenhouse-gas emissions.
FCA points out that it is for the first time that a minivan has managed to achieve the 10 rating in the Green Vehicle Guide category and this effectively means that the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient minivan of all time.
eFlite, the Pacifica Hybrid’s distinguishing technology, is an in-house FCA US innovation. It was developed by a team of engineers assigned exclusively to the task of delivering powertrain efficiency within the functionality envelope customers expect from minivans.
Conventional electrification schemes dedicate one motor to serve as a generator and a second motor – usually much larger – to deliver torque to the wheels. But the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid uses a one-way clutch that allows the motor typically used only as a generator to deliver torque to the wheels, depending on driving conditions.
The result is increased efficiency, refinement and improved component packaging.
The Pacifica Hybrid’s 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located under the second-row floor, keeping the rear cargo area as roomy as ever and preserving the third-row Stow ‘n Go seating and storage, plus room for seven passengers. Recharging can take as little as two hours using a 240-volt (Level 2) charger, available from Mopar through dealers.
With a 120-volt (Level 1) charger, which comes standard with the vehicle, the Pacifica Hybrid can be fully recharged in approximately 14 hours. The vehicle also benefits from regenerative braking.
When the battery’s energy is depleted to a certain threshold, the Pacifica Hybrid becomes a part-time electric vehicle, like a conventional hybrid, to maximize energy and efficiency. Power to the wheels is supplied by the electric drive system or supplemented by a specially adapted new version of the award-winning gasoline-powered Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6.
An upgraded version of the original 3.6-liter Pentastar – named one of Wards 10 Best Engines on three occasions – the new V-6 uses the Atkinson combustion-cycle system. This helps reduce pumping losses to further improve efficiency.
The EPA estimates the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid’s annual fuel cost, gas and electricity combined, at $900. The vehicle pricing starts at $34,495 with available U.S. federal tax credit, not including state and local incentives.