Automotive

2021 Chrysler Pacifica PHEV long term review

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Oct 27, 2009
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2021 Chrysler Pacifica PHEV long term review

You may know me from my weekly grocery QC round up threads. As a single income earner and father of two, saving money is always a priority. ''Helping'' the environment is a plus.

We took delivery of our Pacifica in Sept when it was originally scheduled for April as It was delayed due to the supply shortage.

After three months of ownership I can confirm this is the best vehicle we have EVER owned. I always bought my cars new and fully loaded. ( Honda Civic SI, Honda Accord EX, Mazda 3 GT (spouse), Audi S4, Dodge Caravan GT (spouse), Grand Cherokee, now Pacifica PHEV Pinnacle )

The Pacifica is significantly more luxurious than the Audi S4 with a never ending list of standard equipment. In fact, the only ''option'' you could check are winter mats.

Of note is the Nappa leather - an expensive option in most brands, full panoramic sunroof and moonroof for the 3rd row, custom cushions for passengers, dual TV screens for the 2nd row etc.

As a downside, the Stow-and-Go seats are unavailable in the 2nd row as the batteries take all the floor space, bench is not available for the 2nd row ( limited to 7 passengers instead of 8), no vacuum and manual folding seats in the 3rd row ( they're electric folding in the gas Pinnacle).

What is incredible is that the Pacifica PHEV is actually more affordable than the regular Pacifica BEFORE the government credits. Chrysler did a great job on this and probably one of the few times carmakers thought about the consumers. The gas Pacifica Pinnacle starts at 60k+ whereas the Pacifica Pinnacle PHEV is 59 995, just enough to get the full 13 000 EV credit in QC. A better, more economical vehicle for 13 000 less? NO BRAINER!

Between being a taxi for the kid's and the occasional grocery run, we drive less than 60km per day and the maximum battery range of 60km was PERFECT. Its always plugged in a night and with the Level2 Tesla charger (don't ask, Big fan of Tesla here :P) it takes about 4 hours to fully charge. The OEM level1 charging takes about 12 hours and a Level2 would take 2 hours. We DID not upgrade our breakers etc, hence the slower charging time of 4 hours.

We set a charging schedule and a preset ''conditioning'' mode (HVAC, heating etc) starts about 10 mins before we leave for school. The car is warm/cool and ready and because it's plugged in, we leave with more or less 100% battery.

On the downside, range does decrease about 15-20% on cold days which is in line with gas cars anyway. I had not put gas in the car since the purchase until...

One big negative that we should have known/told about is the ''gas maintenance''. Because we run about 99% of the time on electric, gas is almost never used and gas does go ''bad'' after a while. 3 months in, the vehicle stayed on gas ONLY until FULL depletion. On our fill refill, I put just enough gas to feel ''safe''. The car will also run the gas engine under heavy conditions (full AC/heater on with cool/heated seats on etc).

In Montreal, the rate is about 0,06$ to 0,09$ per KW. In the WORST case scenario, It should cost us about 300$ or so in electricity.

What about the public charging grid? We use the Roulons Electrique app and chargers are almost everywhere and It's usually 1$/hour of charging. For the Pacifica, it would be around 2$ for the full 60km range. Charging stations next to a Chain department/corner store, you will often get free water bottle/coffee etc for every charging session which is really cool. Charging stations next to metro stations are usually
2.50$/day. Furthermore, some charging stations are FREE such as the ones in Marché Central and all the stations of the small shopping center in Bois-Franc/VSL On Henri-Bourassa are ALL FREE. Very nice thinking from the borough/developers.

I have attached a picture since my first gas refill. Over 331 kms driven, ONLY 4 kms was on gas or 98% electric/almost 0 emission.

Once the kids no longer need it, our next purchase will certainly be a full BEV. We're leaning towards a Tesla but we're open to offerings from KIA/Huyndai etc.

Ask me anything, especially if you still have doubts about EVs/BEVs/PHEVs. We're never going back to gas, ever.
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MTLGuru wrote: You may know me from my weekly grocery QC round up threads. As a single income earner and father of two, saving money is always a priority. ''Helping'' the environment is a plus.

We took delivery of our Pacifica in Sept when it was originally scheduled for April as It was delayed due to the supply shortage.

After three months of ownership I can confirm this is the best vehicle we have EVER owned. I always bought my cars new and fully loaded. ( Honda Civic SI, Honda Accord EX, Mazda 3 GT (spouse), Audi S4, Dodge Caravan GT (spouse), Grand Cherokee, now Pacifica PHEV Pinnacle )

The Pacifica is significantly more luxurious than the Audi S4 with a never ending list of standard equipment. In fact, the only ''option'' you could check are winter mats.

Of note is the Nappa leather - an expensive option in most brands, full panoramic sunroof and moonroof for the 3rd row, custom cushions for passengers, dual TV screens for the 2nd row etc.

As a downside, the Stow-and-Go seats are unavailable in the 2nd row as the batteries take all the floor space, bench is not available for the 2nd row ( limited to 7 passengers instead of 8), no vacuum and manual folding seats in the 3rd row ( they're electric folding in the gas Pinnacle).

What is incredible is that the Pacifica PHEV is actually more affordable than the regular Pacifica BEFORE the government credits. Chrysler did a great job on this and probably one of the few times carmakers thought about the consumers. The gas Pacifica Pinnacle starts at 60k+ whereas the Pacifica Pinnacle PHEV is 59 995, just enough to get the full 13 000 EV credit in QC. A better, more economical vehicle for 13 000 less? NO BRAINER!

Between being a taxi for the kid's and the occasional grocery run, we drive less than 60km per day and the maximum battery range of 60km was PERFECT. Its always plugged in a night and with the Level2 Tesla charger (don't ask, Big fan of Tesla here :P) it takes about 4 hours to fully charge. The OEM level1 charging takes about 12 hours and a Level2 would take 2 hours. We DID not upgrade our breakers etc, hence the slower charging time of 4 hours.

We set a charging schedule and a preset ''conditioning'' mode (HVAC, heating etc) starts about 10 mins before we leave for school. The car is warm/cool and ready and because it's plugged in, we leave with more or less 100% battery.

On the downside, range does decrease about 15-20% on cold days which is in line with gas cars anyway. I had not put gas in the car since the purchase until...

One big negative that we should have known/told about is the ''gas maintenance''. Because we run about 99% of the time on electric, gas is almost never used and gas does go ''bad'' after a while. 3 months in, the vehicle stayed on gas ONLY until FULL depletion. On our fill refill, I put just enough gas to feel ''safe''. The car will also run the gas engine under heavy conditions (full AC/heater on with cool/heated seats on etc).

In Montreal, the rate is about 0,06$ to 0,09$ per KW. In the WORST case scenario, It should cost us about 300$ or so in electricity.

What about the public charging grid? We use the Roulons Electrique app and chargers are almost everywhere and It's usually 1$/hour of charging. For the Pacifica, it would be around 2$ for the full 60km range. Charging stations next to a Chain department/corner store, you will often get free water bottle/coffee etc for every charging session which is really cool. Charging stations next to metro stations are usually
2.50$/day. Furthermore, some charging stations are FREE such as the ones in Marché Central and all the stations of the small shopping center in Bois-Franc/VSL On Henri-Bourassa are ALL FREE. Very nice thinking from the borough/developers.

I have attached a picture since my first gas refill. Over 331 kms driven, ONLY 4 kms was on gas or 98% electric/almost 0 emission.

Once the kids no longer need it, our next purchase will certainly be a full BEV. We're leaning towards a Tesla but we're open to offerings from KIA/Huyndai etc.

Ask me anything, especially if you still have doubts about EVs/BEVs/PHEVs. We're never going back to gas, ever.
331km in 3 months? Wow you certainly drive extremely low mileage.

Kudos on driving in electric mostly, but you really need full EV.

Did you consider 40kw leaf? It would have suit your needs perfectly and would have been cheaper than Pacifica
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Sep 24, 2006
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Congrats on the purchase! The Pacifica sounds like a great vehicle. Being in Quebec I have a question for you. My hesitancy with getting a full BEV is taking family road trips in winter. Imagine if you want to visit Quebec city during Carnival where temps reach -30C. How much battery degradation would occur in a BEV? Are you guaranteed to find a charger at the hotel you're staying? Most hotels I've visited have one charger. If another visitor has their Tesla plugged in what do you do? First world problems I know but these are practical questions to owning a full BEV in Canada.


MTLGuru wrote: You may know me from my weekly grocery QC round up threads. As a single income earner and father of two, saving money is always a priority. ''Helping'' the environment is a plus.

We took delivery of our Pacifica in Sept when it was originally scheduled for April as It was delayed due to the supply shortage.

After three months of ownership I can confirm this is the best vehicle we have EVER owned. I always bought my cars new and fully loaded. ( Honda Civic SI, Honda Accord EX, Mazda 3 GT (spouse), Audi S4, Dodge Caravan GT (spouse), Grand Cherokee, now Pacifica PHEV Pinnacle )

The Pacifica is significantly more luxurious than the Audi S4 with a never ending list of standard equipment. In fact, the only ''option'' you could check are winter mats.

Of note is the Nappa leather - an expensive option in most brands, full panoramic sunroof and moonroof for the 3rd row, custom cushions for passengers, dual TV screens for the 2nd row etc.

As a downside, the Stow-and-Go seats are unavailable in the 2nd row as the batteries take all the floor space, bench is not available for the 2nd row ( limited to 7 passengers instead of 8), no vacuum and manual folding seats in the 3rd row ( they're electric folding in the gas Pinnacle).

What is incredible is that the Pacifica PHEV is actually more affordable than the regular Pacifica BEFORE the government credits. Chrysler did a great job on this and probably one of the few times carmakers thought about the consumers. The gas Pacifica Pinnacle starts at 60k+ whereas the Pacifica Pinnacle PHEV is 59 995, just enough to get the full 13 000 EV credit in QC. A better, more economical vehicle for 13 000 less? NO BRAINER!

Between being a taxi for the kid's and the occasional grocery run, we drive less than 60km per day and the maximum battery range of 60km was PERFECT. Its always plugged in a night and with the Level2 Tesla charger (don't ask, Big fan of Tesla here :P) it takes about 4 hours to fully charge. The OEM level1 charging takes about 12 hours and a Level2 would take 2 hours. We DID not upgrade our breakers etc, hence the slower charging time of 4 hours.

We set a charging schedule and a preset ''conditioning'' mode (HVAC, heating etc) starts about 10 mins before we leave for school. The car is warm/cool and ready and because it's plugged in, we leave with more or less 100% battery.

On the downside, range does decrease about 15-20% on cold days which is in line with gas cars anyway. I had not put gas in the car since the purchase until...

One big negative that we should have known/told about is the ''gas maintenance''. Because we run about 99% of the time on electric, gas is almost never used and gas does go ''bad'' after a while. 3 months in, the vehicle stayed on gas ONLY until FULL depletion. On our fill refill, I put just enough gas to feel ''safe''. The car will also run the gas engine under heavy conditions (full AC/heater on with cool/heated seats on etc).

In Montreal, the rate is about 0,06$ to 0,09$ per KW. In the WORST case scenario, It should cost us about 300$ or so in electricity.

What about the public charging grid? We use the Roulons Electrique app and chargers are almost everywhere and It's usually 1$/hour of charging. For the Pacifica, it would be around 2$ for the full 60km range. Charging stations next to a Chain department/corner store, you will often get free water bottle/coffee etc for every charging session which is really cool. Charging stations next to metro stations are usually
2.50$/day. Furthermore, some charging stations are FREE such as the ones in Marché Central and all the stations of the small shopping center in Bois-Franc/VSL On Henri-Bourassa are ALL FREE. Very nice thinking from the borough/developers.

I have attached a picture since my first gas refill. Over 331 kms driven, ONLY 4 kms was on gas or 98% electric/almost 0 emission.

Once the kids no longer need it, our next purchase will certainly be a full BEV. We're leaning towards a Tesla but we're open to offerings from KIA/Huyndai etc.

Ask me anything, especially if you still have doubts about EVs/BEVs/PHEVs. We're never going back to gas, ever.
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Jun 26, 2009
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Andro wrote: 331km in 3 months? Wow you certainly drive extremely low mileage.

Kudos on driving in electric mostly, but you really need full EV.

Did you consider 40kw leaf? It would have suit your needs perfectly and would have been cheaper than Pacifica
He clearly said "since last gas refill" 🤦‍♂️. Looks like almost 4000 km on the odo.
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Tommy74 wrote: He clearly said "since last gas refill" 🤦‍♂️. Looks like almost 4000 km on the odo.
Missed that, my bad
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"In Montreal, the rate is about 0,06$ to 0,09$ per KW. In the WORST case scenario, It should cost us about 300$ or so in electricity."

Over what time period/distance covered?
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I was seriously considering one, but the reliability concerned me. One of the auto mags, maybe Car & Driver, had one as a long term tester and it was a disaster.

Does it have a resistive heater, or does the gas engine need to run if you want heat?
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Reliability is a huge concern with the PacHy. Lots of owners are very happy with them (my buddy loves his). But a lot of owners have had major issues with them.
I had been following them on Manheim auctions in the US and during the time I was searching them roughly 10-20+% of PacHy available were Lemon Law Buy-Backs (usually no more than 10-20 available in a given week). To compare, I've NEVER seen Sienna Buy-Back and I've only seen a handful of Odyssey Buy-Backs (it might be 1 out of 500 in a week).
This is certainly not scientific proof as it's possible that Toyota / Honda don't resell their lemons on Manheim. But I can say that they list lots of vehicles there so I'd be surprised if they didn't.
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michelb wrote: Reliability is a huge concern with the PacHy. Lots of owners are very happy with them (my buddy loves his). But a lot of owners have had major issues with them.
I had been following them on Manheim auctions in the US and during the time I was searching them roughly 10-20+% of PacHy available were Lemon Law Buy-Backs (usually no more than 10-20 available in a given week). To compare, I've NEVER seen Sienna Buy-Back and I've only seen a handful of Odyssey Buy-Backs (it might be 1 out of 500 in a week).
This is certainly not scientific proof as it's possible that Toyota / Honda don't resell their lemons on Manheim. But I can say that they list lots of vehicles there so I'd be surprised if they didn't.
Could be early years issues (or just Chrysler). That's why car analysts always recommend to avoid a 1st year model, time to iron out youth problems.
.
Last edited by SPARTACVS on Dec 19th, 2021 8:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
Pourquoi pas?
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michelb wrote: Reliability is a huge concern with the PacHy. Lots of owners are very happy with them (my buddy loves his). But a lot of owners have had major issues with them.
I had been following them on Manheim auctions in the US and during the time I was searching them roughly 10-20+% of PacHy available were Lemon Law Buy-Backs (usually no more than 10-20 available in a given week). To compare, I've NEVER seen Sienna Buy-Back and I've only seen a handful of Odyssey Buy-Backs (it might be 1 out of 500 in a week).
This is certainly not scientific proof as it's possible that Toyota / Honda don't resell their lemons on Manheim. But I can say that they list lots of vehicles there so I'd be surprised if they didn't.
Definitely a concern for us because the 2021 is a new generation. The old one continues as the Caravan (think Golf vs Golf City). We never keep our cars beyond the usual ''bumper to bumper'' warranty (+- 3 years). We lease or buy depending on rate/buy back price etc. Desjardins offered us a ridiculously low interest rate provided we take the extended warranty to 5y/100k, which we did. The Pacifica does not have the best reputation and knowing we're covering for a full 5 years is reassuring. Lease rates on this model were, at the time, 6%+ and projected depreciation too high.
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scouzer wrote: I was seriously considering one, but the reliability concerned me. One of the auto mags, maybe Car & Driver, had one as a long term tester and it was a disaster.

Does it have a resistive heater, or does the gas engine need to run if you want heat?
The vehicle can run all the electronics ( 2nd row tv screens, heater/AC, heated/vented seats, sun/moonroof on battery ). The engine will absolutely turn on, seamlessly, If you put the heater on max setting etc. The engine will also turn when you're going uphill and need to maintain speed.

I didn't see your reply until I replied to @michelb (about reliability). We did take the extended warranty. The 2021 is a brand new generation (good as all the bad from the old generation have been ironed out, bad because it might have its own issues).

YMMV (literally lol) as I drive very slowly and will, mostly, respect speed limits.
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hank755 wrote: Congrats on the purchase! The Pacifica sounds like a great vehicle. Being in Quebec I have a question for you. My hesitancy with getting a full BEV is taking family road trips in winter. Imagine if you want to visit Quebec city during Carnival where temps reach -30C. How much battery degradation would occur in a BEV? Are you guaranteed to find a charger at the hotel you're staying? Most hotels I've visited have one charger. If another visitor has their Tesla plugged in what do you do? First world problems I know but these are practical questions to owning a full BEV in Canada.


smacd wrote: "In Montreal, the rate is about 0,06$ to 0,09$ per KW. In the WORST case scenario, It should cost us about 300$ or so in electricity."

Over what time period/distance covered?
This is why we didn't go with a full BEV as the grid in Quebec still needs improvement. I wouldn't be concerned about temps, any more than a gas car. If you're plugged in, you can just preset the ''conditioning'' mode about 10 mins before your usual departure, the vehicle will start the HVAC to your comfort level, your car will be warm and ready to go and still have 100% charge.

On our most recent cold day, It was -8 if I recall, we lost about 15%. In September, it would say +-60km and about +-50km on colder days, at 100% charge.

We thought about all EVs and , at the time, the Tesla model Y/X were the only models meeting our needs. We were returning the Grand Cherokee and needed a vehicle that could sit 5 and have ample cargo room. We went against the Tesla exactly for the reasons you mentioned. We checked off the Toyota Sienna PHEV, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Rav4 Prime because the Pacifica was easily the best value. At the time, the Sorento PHEV was nowhere to be seen as that would have been a great choice. Also, we didn't want to be limited in hotel choices/destination as It's currently hard to tell IF the hotels have chargers, fast chargers or Superchargers/DC chargers. Luckily, you can plan your trip through Tesla or you can use the Roulons Electrique app to plan your trip.

There is a lot of development going on and the charging grid should improve significantly in the next years as EV adoption is growing exponentially.

Most shopping centers, city owned places (Library, Hall etc) have chargers. Some are free while some are at 1$/hour. However, the superchargers/DC are at 15$/h but don't fret because those chargers will give you back roughly 70/80% of your full range in about 20mins. In a full BEV, that can be 200-300kms in recovered in 20 mins.

As @Tommy74 noted, we did almost 4000kms, including several trips to Tremblant etc.

I estimated the 300$ value driving about 15000kms per year, emptying and recharging to 100%, everyday. There is also a large range difference between highway and city values, there's also a good level of brake charging of which you can also check on the daily logs.
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MTLGuru wrote: This is why we didn't go with a full BEV as the grid in Quebec still needs improvement. I wouldn't be concerned about temps, any more than a gas car. If you're plugged in, you can just preset the ''conditioning'' mode about 10 mins before your usual departure, the vehicle will start the HVAC to your comfort level, your car will be warm and ready to go and still have 100% charge.

...
Don't be concerned about Québec grid. Goverment target is 2500 level 3 chargers by 2030 and there's good chances this objective will be achieved. New charging stations are added each mouth. And of those new stations, many are now >50 kW. Check here for the actual situation: https://chargehub.com/fr/carte-borne-de-recharge.html
And that's only level 3.
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SPARTACVS wrote: Could be early years issues (or just Chrysler). That's why car analysts always recommend to avoid a 1st year model, time to iron out youth problems.
.
Good point but model years of the buy backs were pretty consistent every year including 2021.
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Jul 23, 2012
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Thanks for sharing your experience. Really considered getting Pacifica phev but reliability was my concern plus started getting tired of changing the oil. Will be selling or trading my TDI Passat and going almost full BEV (still have the wife's gasser which I enjoy working on more than my own car) with the Ioniq 5. Should meet our needs with taking the kids to daycare during those cold winter days, runs around Montreal, cargo, being able to use a four bike rack carrier (assuming it can be equipped with a class II hitch), and commuting to work which is roughly 15 minutes away by car with both free charging and paid on the street.
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beneran89 wrote: Thanks for sharing your experience. Really considered getting Pacifica phev but reliability was my concern plus started getting tired of changing the oil. Will be selling or trading my TDI Passat and going almost full BEV (still have the wife's gasser which I enjoy working on more than my own car) with the Ioniq 5. Should meet our needs with taking the kids to daycare during those cold winter days, runs around Montreal, cargo, being able to use a four bike rack carrier (assuming it can be equipped with a class II hitch), and commuting to work which is roughly 15 minutes away by car with both free charging and paid on the street.
Good choice with Ioniq 5, I have heard great things from it and its twin, the EV6. With its considerable range, I doubt you'll ever need public charging provided that you charge the Ioniq 5 overnight.

Here is an article about range loss in winter : https://www.recurrentauto.com/research/ ... gFSaozK5q4. Teslas are the best in winter whereas the Kona lost about 19%. Pretty sure the Ioniq 5 is an improvement from the Kona in every way but I expect it to have a lower range in winter but certainly not a dealbreaker.
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3 months is FAR from long term...
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Patriotic purchase and keep jobs in Windsor.

That said, they priced it lower than ICE because the government bend over backwards to structure the EV rebate for Pacifica. So there's i no way they will piss that away by pricing it above $60K even if does cost that much to be profitable.

Hate to say it, it's a token car to satisfy jurisdictions with EV mandates.
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Xtrema wrote: Patriotic purchase and keep jobs in Windsor.

That said, they priced it lower than ICE because the government bend over backwards to structure the EV rebate for Pacifica. So there's i no way they will piss that away by pricing it above $60K even if does cost that much to be profitable.

Hate to say it, it's a token car to satisfy jurisdictions with EV mandates.
Definitely, the CEO has been openly saying that Stellantis/FCA is losing money on every EV it sells. Politics aside, this is one of the few times the consumer actually wins.
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michelb wrote: Good point but model years of the buy backs were pretty consistent every year including 2021.
Checked again yesterday and out of 19 PacHys listed, 5 were Lemon Law Buy-Backs and all were 2020 or 2021s except for one 2017 which was listed as a "former" Buy-Back.

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