From the April 2021 issue of Car and Driver.
Let me tell you about my minivan. Oh yeah, I sure did: a Ceramic Gray 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Red S Edition. After eight years of faithful service and righteous depreciation, the ol’ Lincoln MKT EcoBoost is gone, replaced by the Pacifica. When I informed one of my colleagues about this development, he responded, “You traded your 350-hp Lincoln for a hybrid minivan. Strange times.” Uh, incorrect, sir! The Lincoln had 355 horsepower. And all-wheel drive. And a tow package. The Pacifica Hybrid has a tow rating of “not recommended.” Oh no, what have I done?
The smartest thing ever, that’s what. My oldest kid is now 10, and my only regret is that I didn’t buy a minivan a decade ago. What derangement caused me to think that power-sliding doors were somehow antithetical to my worldview? They’re car doors. And my personality is not defined by the doors on my car. It’s defined by my collection of vintage Garbage Pail Kids stickers, my preference for Oates over Hall, and my “inability to read the room.” Sorry, that last one was from my most recent performance review, but you get the idea.
If you’ve never heard of the Pacifica Hybrid Red S Edition, don’t worry—Chrysler barely has, either. When it announced the model for 2020 (extremely quietly), FCA’s media site said that the Hybrid Red S would come with a panoramic sunroof. It doesn’t. And my car’s own window sticker says the interior is black. It’s not. The leather upholstery is red. And not a burgundy or oxblood sort of red. More like Rosso Corsa’s embarrassingly extroverted cousin, Molto Uh-Oh. Hey, if you’re gonna get a minivan, own it. And I mean that literally, since I don’t really understand how leases work.
The genesis of this purchase was a trip in the 2021 Pacifica, during which my wife and I had the epiphany that we really loved that thing. Then I wrote about it, and all you minivan freaks jumped in the comments section to tell me to get one. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, you can never go wrong taking direction from internet commenters. Once I made the cognitive leap to minivan acceptance, I found that I also possessed deeply held beliefs about minivan aesthetics. As in, I definitely prefer the Pacifica’s S Appearance package, which blacks out the chrome and adds dark wheels. But the regular S package comes only with an all-black interior, making the Pacifica’s cabin look like Pluto’s Cave. If you want the stealth exterior without the dour interior, the Red S is the answer. Plus, it’s fun to open the door of a minivan and be confronted with a Las Vegas lounge.
We went with the hybrid because the Pacifica’s 32 miles of electric range are more than enough for our usual daily driving, and its smooth and silent EV behavior complements the minivan’s luxurious mien. And the hybrid gets about 30 mpg on the highway, even with a depleted battery. Which we learned about the moment we drove off the lot, because when you ask a Chrysler dealer if they have a charger, they’ll probably say, “Sure! We’ve got Scat Packs, Hellcats, all kinds of Chargers.” But no SAE J1772s, meaning that the Pacifica Hybrid was delivered with a drained battery. That’s a common situation, according to fellow owners on the Pacifica forum.
The Hybrid’s electric motors make 231 and 92 pound-feet of torque, but those figures don’t convey the van’s power to bewitch all who drive it. A few days after we brought home the Red S, I let my sister-in-law, Elena, take it for a spin. A few days after that, her 2016 GMC Yukon XL was gone, replaced by a Pacifica Hybrid Red S Edition. Apparently, I am now an incredibly specific kind of influencer. The first day she drove it to work, Elena texted me, “I absolutely love this car.”
Me, too. I miss the MKT, but like they say, one door closes, another door opens. Or two doors open, and they’re remote power-operated sliders, and you wonder why you ever refused such a luxury. Okay, minivan people, you were right. But I’m still keeping the Bronco.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io