Most weeks I find myself chauffeuring everyone from my one-year-old granddaughter Eleanor to my 93-year-old father Chester, the retired Detroit vice cop. So what’s the perfect vehicle for this challenging life-stage? A 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Platinum, the first electrified minivan sold in the U.S.
My parents love to get in on vehicle reviews, but sometimes the test vehicles prove to be impractical for them. For instance, I couldn’t get my dad’s walker in the cargo hold of the 2017 Kia Soul compact crossover I recently tested and the otherwise stellar 2017 Volvo S90 sedan was too low to the ground for Chester to get in and out of comfortably.
Not so with the Pacifica Hybrid Platinum, a three-row family vehicle. My parents had no trouble getting in without assistance and the walker stashed easily in the rear. There is even room for Eleanor and her Daniel Tiger gear in the third row.
Fuel economy is pegged at an astonishing 84 MPGe in combined city/highway driving, says the EPA. The price tag for my test vehicle was steep at $47,885, including a $1,095 destination charge and a $1,795 options package that included some high-end safety features and a Uconnect theater package. But that can be defrayed with a $7,500 federal tax credit for green vehicles.
My kids grew up in a succession of minivans. I’m tempted to get into this impressive postmodern version when my stalwart 2015 Honda CR-V comes off lease.