Photo by Vince Taroc.

Photo by Vince Taroc.

Becoming a dad to four kind of forces you embrace the concept of the minivan, which I why I have always been the perfect candidate to write about the minivans we see here at the Bobit offices.

While many follow the same formula in terms of basic design elements, some take the opportunity of an incoming model year to add more than just a new headliner or softer seats, which is what Chrysler did with 2017 Pacifica.

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid wraps the look, feel and fuel consumption of the near future into a well-designed and easily maneuverable seven-seater. The newest model of the Pacifica minivan offers a comfortable ride and less wear on your wallet with the 3.6-liter V-6 eHybrid engine – offering 84 mpg electric equivalent with the combo of the hybrid electric and gasoline engines, and 32 mpg when relying on gas alone. Either way, you are saving more than just a dollar or two on gas. The vehicle also came with the appropriate charging cables, making it easy to charge the battery overnight.

The driver’s seat has a roomier feel from past models, as if you have more head and leg room to stretch when you’re in the captain’s chair. And the dash and infotainment center have a more-modern look and allow for easy reach when trying to get your iPod to play your daughter’s favorite song.

Photo by Vince Taroc.

Photo by Vince Taroc.

The rear of the van also gives everyone space, especially for siblings who each need their personal space. Our model had seatback video screens with apps loaded onto them that even kept my 18-year-old busy on a slow-moving drive to Los Angeles one day.

The Platinum model also offers the Advanced SafetyTec Group of driver assistance features. While I did not test out all the included safety tech, among those that should be mentioned are the available full-surround camera views, blind spot monitoring, ParkSense Rear Park Assist with stop capability, and Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist.

And in moments when your attention is divided between the road and a possible sibling scuffle in the back, the Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking keeps everyone in and around the vehicle that much safer.

Touted as “America’s First Hybrid Minivan,” the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid gives those weary of stepping into an all-electric vehicle a stepping stone in the right direction. The hybrid-gasoline combo, as well as the flowing interior, available entertainment upgrades, advanced safety features, and possible federal tax credits, gave me more of a reason to embrace the idea that I am now a minivan dad.

Author

Stephane Babcock
Stephane Babcock

Stephane Babcock

Stephane works on Heavy Duty Trucking. He has an interest in alternative fuels, fleet safety, and engine technologies.

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Stephane works on Heavy Duty Trucking. He has an interest in alternative fuels, fleet safety, and engine technologies.

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