In the Market for a PacHy - Couple of Questions - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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In the Market for a PacHy - Couple of Questions

Been reading the forum for a couple of weeks now and what a great community this is. I've been able to find most of the answers to my questions.

Looks like my family is growing and we're probably going to have to ditch the MDX for the space afforded by a minivan. I quickly narrowed the list down to the Odyssey Elite and the Pacifica Limited. But after reading about the PacHy, I'm very intrigued about the combination of electric power yet fun to drive nature (for a minivan).

A couple of questions that I couldn't easily find answers to:

1. Exactly what happens when the battery is completely drained? Can I expect a loss in available power?
2. How bad are the halogen headlights really? (Compared to the regular Pacifica Limited?). Will I need to DIY upgrade?
3. Is there an expectation the PacHy will be updated for the 2020 model year?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 10:50 AM
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The battery is never fully drained (even though the display says otherwise), the car goes into a hybrid mode when the display says zero. Thus full power is always available for acceleration .

I have no problem with the headlights, love the automated high beam. I cannot comment on comparison with the Pacifica Limited.

I doubt that there will be any upgrade for 2020 other than some possible cosmetic changes.

FYI previously I had a Honda Odyssey that was definitely the best driving minvan at the time. The PacHy drives just as good as the Honda. I think the lower CG because of the underfloor battery helps.

I did enjoy getting $7,500 from the IRS and $2,500 from Massachusetts (although this may be gone)
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 11:18 AM
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The gas Limited headlights are excellent. The others, not so much.

"Fun to drive" is a relative term. Stow 'n Go was a must for me, so I never considered the hybrid. However just out of curiosity I took one for a drive recently. It is certainly smoother and quieter, but the 600+ plus extra lbs shows up in less responsive maneuverability. The handling of the gas model is the best ever for a minivan; the hybrid, not quite as good (it has more of Buick's famous 1950's "road hugging weight" ad campaign!)

Get the hybrid if you get a "good feeling" about saving the planet while driving (maybe), and are willing to give up Stow 'n Go, and the simplicity of the gas model's drive train. About 4% of Pacifica sales are hybrids. Way more than 4% of the problems described in this forum are hybrid related. 96% of the buyers are not all wrong.

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited Billet Silver, AST, 20" wheels (build date 1-25-18)
2014 Jeep Cherokee Latitude V6 FWD Eco Green

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. . . and others in the 'way back machine!
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 11:54 AM
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1. The driving dynamics don't change, you will heat the engine at the lower speeds when it is not masked by the road noise.
2. The headlights are weaker than the latest HID or LED based designs, no question about it.

3. They made small upgrades for 2018 and 2019, so the 2020 may bring something new. I don't expect any major upgrades for a couple of year.

In my subjective opinion the extra weight doesn't affect the handling much.The battery sits low at the center of mass. The van feels more stable and planted and the electric drive eliminates much of that disconnect between the gas pedal and wheel typical for automatic transmissions.

*** 2019 Hybrid Limited ***
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 12:16 PM
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Online reviews generally say that gas is quicker though the hybrid "feels" quicker, if that makes sense. That's what I've found as well, instant power, even at "<1%", while the gas rental I drove seemed to lag a bit. The added battery weight also seems to plant the vehicle better with less roll, but again, that's just what it feels like, may not be reality. Either way you're driving a big box which either model handles surprisingly well.

HIDs would be nice but Hybrid headlights are more than acceptable.

I thought Stow 'n Go was a must until I rented a Pacifica gas for a week. Had it stuffed and Stow 'n Go was nice, but then felt it was no longer a must and haven't missed it, yet.

And priced out, with the $7500 + state incentives and with slightly upgrade specs it was a no brainer, for us.

Plugging it in every night is kinda annoying but well worth it, going for gas every 5 weeks instead of every 5 days is priceless. I've filled up twice since mid December.

Hate the goddawful blue charging lights, ugh.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 12:24 PM
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I have to say that handling is on par with the ice version and acceleration also , the transmission with gas and electric combination allows for same pull of the line as the engine doesn’t have to build torque as a ice engine . The quietness and trans in hybrid is far superior than the ice as well . If you can upgrade the bulb as others have done on their halogens I’d say do it . The stow and go isn’t a issue for me as the seats in hybrid are more comfortable than the fold in floor ones . I think you need to do what suits your family or driving characteristics . I’m a fan of having a hybrid as it’s best both worlds . Around town I can just plug it in and get free charging and pay nothing for gas . Then the combination of electric and ice makes for some more amazing mileage . I’d buy another in heartbeat and wouldn’t think twice .
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 12:40 PM
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If having headlights are important to you, then you need to upgrade/DIY or get the gasser Limited. (If you are asking this question then it seems you will end up with DIY. . )
For me having 8 seats and HIDs were important. I figured I wouldnít use much stow and go but now I find that one of my seats stays permanently stowed (passenger side). Also the stow go bins have been an invaluable storage space during long epic trips. For me the gasser was totally worth it.
How many kids you have (or planning to have) ? If you donít need the third row seats then hybrid makes most sense. If youíre likely to have more than 5 passengers at most of the times, then space may become an issue.
Also hybrid has the more comfortable second row seats.
I would have loved to have the hybrid if it had some more electric range and less of the issues as seen in the forums. Most automakers will have plug in hybrids in their portfolio in the next few years.


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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lateral G View Post
Been reading the forum for a couple of weeks now and what a great community this is. I've been able to find most of the answers to my questions.

Looks like my family is growing and we're probably going to have to ditch the MDX for the space afforded by a minivan. I quickly narrowed the list down to the Odyssey Elite and the Pacifica Limited. But after reading about the PacHy, I'm very intrigued about the combination of electric power yet fun to drive nature (for a minivan).

A couple of questions that I couldn't easily find answers to:

1. Exactly what happens when the battery is completely drained? Can I expect a loss in available power?
No loss in power as it switches to ICE operation when it runs out of battery. The only caveat is there have been a few claims it is not seamless and the start up of the ICE is noisy. There is a Car and Driver long-term test that references this. It's worth reading since they were not overly impressed.

One thing C&D didn't mention was the improved driving of the PacHy over the gasser. While the added weight of the battery does it no favors in overall numbers, the added torque from a standing start is quite nice and it definitely would seem like a better performer than the ICE version, at least from a stand-still. This is the same for all EVs since, unlike an ICE, all the torque is available from rest. It's the reason diesel locomotives power an electric motor.

Likewise, they failed to mention the better feel of the transmission. With the ICE (and not just the PacHy), the latest multiple speed transmissions have a bad habit of hunting around for the best gear. It's not bad, but the PacHy has a transmission that operates completely differently and is definitely smoother. It's kind of like a CVT without the detriments of that transmission.

Quote:
2. How bad are the halogen headlights really? (Compared to the regular Pacifica Limited?). Will I need to DIY upgrade?
You won't need to upgrade; the PacHy halogens are fine. While LEDs are nice, one of the detriments of LEDs is you tend to get a lot of oncoming traffic flashing their brights, thinking you've got your brights on. Having automatic high-beams helps in this area, too, although the sometimes constant switching between high and low beams is annoying.

With that said, I can't quite figure out why LED headlights are standard on the gasser Limited, but not on the hybrid Limited. In a podcast with Chrysler engineers, one of them mentioned that the hybrid is based upon the lowest standard Pacifica 'L'. Maybe that's it. Another similar (very minor) quibble is the gasser gets a glove box light, while the PacHy does not.

Quote:
3. Is there an expectation the PacHy will be updated for the 2020 model year?
Any significant changes are unlikely. The big news for 2020 will be the addition of Jeep hybrids (Cherokee).

For the PacHy, my guess would be maybe the addition of LED headlights on the PacHy Limited, along with minor color additions/deletions, although there has been speculation that a AWD version of the Pacifica might be offered. But, like the hybrid, that would likely involve the removal the popular Stow n'Go seating to get enough room for the AWD system. There's even the possibility that AWD would be added to the hybrid version with the rear wheels being powered by electric motors. But, man, that's surely going to drive the price to an even higher level.

Another possible change for 2020 is the ability to toggle between battery and ICE operation. As it now stands, the PacHy always goes to whatever battery power is available first, then when depleted, switches to ICE. You cannot force one over the other like, say, the third year (and newer) Chevy Volt. This comes in handy to 'save' the battery for urban driving while using the ICE for highway travel.

So, for 2020, besides the typical new colors, maybe:

1. LED headlights.
2. EV/ICE toggle.
3. AWD.

Besides losing Stow n'Go for the traction battery, the other big negative mentioned by most is the inability of the PacHy to tow (the 600lb battery lowers the load capacity to a total of 1100 pounds for passengers and their cargo). The biggest issue really isn't the inability to tow, it's that it's a difficult process to add a trailer hitch (particularly a factory installation) to use for carrying bikes which would keep the load capacity within the 1100 pounds maximum.

If the lack of Stow n'Go and towing (including just to carry bikes) is important, the PacHy is probably not for you. But if you can do without those two features, the ability to avoid using gas for a majority of your driving is a significant attraction.

One final word: it appears that the Toyota Sienna is due for a major overhaul for 2020 to keep up with the FCA and Honda minivans. Besides being the only one to (currently) have available AWD, it's been rumored that there will be a hybrid Sienna, as well.

Personally, I'd rather have had a Toyota hybrid (even one that wasn't a PHEV) and, if you're not in any particular hurry (it won't be available until at least the end of this year), you might want to wait to see if it actually comes to pass.

'18 PacHy Ltd, red/alloy, 18" whls, roof, AST
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses guys. We have two kids and just found out that a third one is on the way in October. So an 8th seat isn't a deal breaker. I admit I'm not sold on the PacHy with all the reports of fires and other issues. But seeing as that I already have a pickup the lack of stow and go isn't a huge deal to me, nor is not being able to tow. I do wonder about how much of a PITA it would be to have to charge a vehicle every night, but seeing as it's going to be the wife's daily maybe she won't mid as much as me?? Yeah, probably not either. But it's amazing what you can get used to, right?

I already did a 6 hour DIY on my pickup's headlights last month, so I'd rather not recreate that fiasco. I had to cut the dust shrouds and silicone them back together...I'm somewhat handy but I just don't have the time anymore to mess around with that BS all weekend.

Honestly the biggest issue to me in the PacHy (besides the fires and reliability reports) is that the second row doesn't slide forward with a car seat in it. I realize FCA couldn't put the Stow and Go feature in with the batteries already being in the floor. But why couldn't they design the seats to slide forward with the car seat as a work around? Seems like a miss to me. I'm hoping they rectify that in the 2020 but I realize that's a fat chance. At least I have time to wait and see.

Thanks again everyone for the replies, this place is great. Glad to see most are happy with their purchases.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 12:19 AM
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Presuming you have a garage with a standard outlet, you'd get used to plugging-in at the end of the day for a nearly full charge by the beginning of the next. Yeah, you could go the route of having a 240v charger (or plug for a portable charger) installed, but many seem to be fine without it (and your battery will last longer on the slower, trickle charge). Plus, you wouldn't have to lug along the charger but just leave it in the garage. Hanging the included charger on the wall with a small hook to hold the plug is an easy job anyone could handle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lateral G View Post
Honestly the biggest issue to me in the PacHy (besides the fires and reliability reports) is that the second row doesn't slide forward with a car seat in it. I realize FCA couldn't put the Stow and Go feature in with the batteries already being in the floor. But why couldn't they design the seats to slide forward with the car seat as a work around? Seems like a miss to me. I'm hoping they rectify that in the 2020 but I realize that's a fat chance. At least I have time to wait and see.
That's actually a pretty good one. Have you checked out removing the second row seats on the Odyssey or Sienna? I don't know for sure on the Odyssey, but I do know the Sienna has 'trolleys' that allow the second row seats to move fore and aft.

But here's the thing about that: those trolleys stick up quite a bit. If you remove the second row seats, the load floor of the cargo area is most definitely not flat. My personal preference is for a load floor that is as flat as possible, and you're not likely to get that with fore-and-aft seats. OTOH, I can certainly see why that trade-off wouldn't be a big deal for someone with small children riding in car seats in the second row.

As to why the Pacifica doesn't have fore-and-aft second row seats, I would guess that the anchor points for the second row seats could be identical to those for the base Pacifica 'L' which does not have Stow n'Go but a seond row bench (good luck lugging that out). This is surely another reason that the Pacifica 'L' was chosen as the basis for the PacHy; the basic architecture was more conducive to hybrid conversion than a higher trim Stow n'Go model.

Regardless, the fore-and-aft seats of the Sienna is yet another reason to maybe wait and see what the new 2020 Sienna brings to the party.

'18 PacHy Ltd, red/alloy, 18" whls, roof, AST
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