2024 Chrysler Pacifica Review: Plug-In Hybrid is still the one to get

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Review: Plug-In Hybrid is still the one to get

See Full Image Gallery >>

Pros: Unique plug-in hybrid; versatile Stow ‘n Go seats; great entertainment features; good looks

Cons: No cheaper base trim; top trims and Hybrid are really expensive; less-comfy second-row Stow ‘n Go seats

Wow, does time fly by. The 2024 Chrysler Pacifica represents the eighth(!) model year since Chrysler’s iconic minivan lineup was reborn under a single newish name with handsome styling, state-of-the-art features and a plug-in hybrid powertrain that provided unrivaled fuel economy for a three-row family vehicle. Turns out Chrysler did a pretty bang-up job all those years ago, because for 2024, the Pacifica remains a fully competitive and appealing minivan that doesn’t seem long in the tooth.


True, the revolutionary Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid makes a more compelling case for itself since no competitor matches it. Even the excellent, hybrid-only Toyota Sienna doesn’t offer the all-electric range of the Plug-In Pacifica. The superior fuel economy offered by both, however, is the key reason why they are our top minivan choices. We ultimately give the nod to the Toyota due to interior versatility and the Plug-In’s hefty price increase last year (2024 pricing was not available at the time of this writing, but since when do cars get less expensive year to year?).

As for the standard, V6-only Pacifica, it still stands out from the pack with its user-friendly technology (for those up front and in back), attractive interior style, well-mannered driving dynamics, and unique Stow ‘n Go second-row seats you can’t get in the hybrid. There’s a lot to like, but then the same can be said of the Sienna, Kia Carnival and Honda Odyssey. The Pacifica may not be long in the tooth, but its competition has caught up or surpassed it in some respects, so cross-shopping is a must.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

What it's like to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Levels   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What's new for 2024?

The Pacifica Hybrid has been officially renamed the Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid, but it’s always been a plug-in hybrid, so there’s nothing functionally new about it. Its trim levels do get reduced by one, with a new Select trim level joining the carry-over Pinnacle. Speaking of that trim level, it gets a new exclusive “Sepia” interior color, with quilted leather seats accented with “Light Diesel stitching and Sydney Gray piping.” Fancy.

What are the Pacifica interior and in-car technology like?

The Pacifica interior is a lovely place to spend time. It may not be as eye-catching as the Toyota Sienna or Kia Carnival’s car-like cabins, but it's far more appealing than the Honda Odyssey's frumpy appliance look. Up front, there’s plenty of room to stretch out, and lots of places to stash items within easy reach. We’re especially fans of the huge cupholders, which are big enough to house two 32-ounce Nalgene water bottles side by side.

The cabin materials are nice, with good attention to detail. We were quite fond of the perforated leather seats, smooth leather steering wheel and attractive stitching in our long-term Limited test van, but things get even ritzier with the range-topping Pinnacle trim level that adds quilted leather seats and matching cushions for the second row.

As for tech, the UConnect 5 infotainment system's quick responses and user-friendly layout are bolstered by a big, 10.1-inch screen and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Wireless smartphone charging is also available, while upper trim levels can be equipped with a rear-seat entertainment system that uniquely has screens mounted in both front seats rather than a single screen overhead (as in the Odyssey and Sienna). There’s also the available FamCam that lets those up front watch the kids punching each other from the main infotainment screen (this is a feature that should be offered on every type of family-oriented vehicle). Keep in mind, though, that many of the whiz-bang features are exclusive to upper trims.

How big is the Pacifica?

The Pacifica is basically the same size on the outside as its minivan competitors. They're all so big that an inch here or there really doesn't make much of a difference. That goes for finding a big-enough parking spot and then maneuvering into it. Cargo space behind the raised third row is also effectively equal among all the vans.

Things change once you start lowering seats, however. Every minivan has a different second-row seating format, and the Pacifica's claim to fame is the Stow 'N Go captain's chairs that fold into the floor (the two top photos below). This lets you quickly transform your van from people carrier to stuff hauler without giving yourself a hernia lifting seats out. The downside is that the seats themselves aren't as comfortable as the second-row captain's chairs found in rivals – or those in the Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid (the bottom two photos) below. That doesn’t have Stow 'N Go because its battery takes up the underfloor stowage space. Basically, you get considerably more comfort for considerably less versatility – the seats also don’t slide as much as those in rival vans.

As for the Pacifica's eight-passenger configuration, it adds a small seat between the captain's chairs that does need to be physically removed. It's similar to what you’d find in the Sienna, and therefore less versatile than what’s found in the Odyssey or the Kia Carnival.

What are the Pacifica fuel economy, electric range and performance specs?

The Pacifica's standard engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It is paired to a nine-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is an option. The Toyota Sienna is the only other van that offers AWD. EPA-estimated fuel economy was not available at the time of this writing for the 2024 model year, but we doubt it would be significantly different than 2023’s estimates of 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined with FWD and 17/25/20 mpg with AWD.

The Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid, as the name now says, is a plug-in hybrid with an extra-large battery pack that can deliver 32 miles of all-electric range. That range is replenished by plugging it in – preferably into a home charging station for quicker charging times. However, once that all-electric range is depleted, the Pacifica Hybrid still acts as a regular hybrid (much like the Toyota Sienna) that uses both its electric motor and 3.6-liter V6 to achieve an EPA-estimated 30 mpg in combined driving. How much it ultimately saves you depends on how much you can plug in and utilize that all-electric range. Its total output is 260 hp.

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle
2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle
2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle
2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle

What's the Pacifica like to drive?

The standard, gas-only Pacifica delivers ample power and on-road comfort, with steering and handling that don't completely ignore a driver's preference for actually feeling what the car is doing dynamically. It behaves less like an appliance than the Honda Odyssey, for instance.

Where things start to get really interesting is with the Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid. With the electric powertrain’s low-end torque, it is quick to get moving from a stop without drama. It is supremely smooth and quiet when running on electricity only, which it can do for 32 miles. With that amount, it's certainly possible to do a day's worth of commuting, school drop-offs and errands – and the more you use that all-electric range, the less gas you use. As an added bonus, the Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid is also the better handling minivan thanks to its 568-pound battery pack located low in the chassis between the axles. It's actually quite the surprising difference.

What other Chrysler Pacifica reviews can I read?