Help me decide between hybrid and gas-powered - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Question Help me decide between hybrid and gas-powered

I've already gotten a lot of great advice from this forum, and I can tell there are some very knowledgeable people here. Thank you!

So, I'm wondering if you could give me some input on my purchase decision.

I am ready to purchase a Pacifica and am trying to decide between two options:

1. A new 2018 Pacifia Hybrid Touring Plus that has been sitting on the lot. I have actually found two of these, both at the same, deeply discounted, price. (2019 hybrid is out of my price range.)

2. A new, gas-powered, 2019 Pacifica L.

After taking into account the tax incentive, the price difference between the two is negligible.

My only deciding factors are:

1. which one will have the lower cost of ownership over ten years. (I do not plan to get an extended warranty with either).

2. which one (if either) is more likely to still be going strong after 10 years.

3. which one will be the least hassle over time. (If things break while under warranty, it doesn't add to cost of ownership, but there is still a loss of time and energy, so that's a factor).

I have calculated that my estimated fuel savings will be $1800/year if I go with the hybrid over the gas-powered.

But, should I expect more repairs with the hybrid? Especially since the only hybrids I can afford are ones that have been sitting on the lot for a year?

Which car do you think will meet my requirements better? (Keep in mind that both options are new, never owned, but the hybrid has been sitting on the lot for approximately a year longer than the gas-powered.)

Thank you in advance for any help.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 11:33 AM
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It's entirely speculative to guess about repairs on either.

Think about your commute and use patterns. That'll tell you whether or not the Hybrid is a good option. Think about the Stow'n'Go seats--do you need them? Think about how the two drive. What do you enjoy more?
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 04:38 PM
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Do you have access to 220Volt charging? We have two Pacifica PHEV's in the family, and to us, there is no question that the Hybrid is the better buy. The savings on the cost of gas alone is huge if you drive less than 30 miles a day. Even with the Northern California PG&E exorbitant kWh prices it still works out in our favor. We added solar panels to our homes and are now laughing all the way to the bank. In addition to our 2017 Pacifica PHEV, we also bought a 2018 PHEV left over at a great discounted price and 0% interest financing. It was a no brainer for us. Our 2017 Pacifica PHEV has been running flawlessly now for two years and we are very happy with it. The $7,500 tax rebate brings the PHEV cost very much in line with the gas models, and the quietness of the ride is amazing.

Good luck and chose wisely.

J. C-H
2017 Platinum
Molten Silver
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 05:13 PM
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Here is my view after having new 2018 PacHy Limited for just over 2 weeks. Hope it helps you to make the right decision.

1. Battery gives me 32-38 miles on full charge. I already see fuel cost savings of $35-$40/week from my 60 miles/day commute (99% electric on Level 1 charge overnight at home, and Level 2 for 2 hours at work).
It's with $2.80 average gas price which isn't likely to go down. But if gas prices go up, hybrid savings will only grow.
Plus, I expect to save few hundred more from several long-distance trips I do every year - so, your projected savings number looks correct.

2. Aside of anticipated 12V battery reliability issue (and assuming that your new PacHy has recall work done), HV battery is by far the highest-risk component in the vehicle - it may fail, and stories on this forum posted by members who had it fail are not pretty. HV battery is covered for 150k miles (may be 100k in your state) / 10 years, but it takes time, effort, and nerves to get it replaced if needed. In my mind, it is the biggest risk you should accept if you go the hybrid way.

3. Other than HV battery, this hybrid has similar chance to have something fail, as any other new car. I WILL buy extended warranty mainly because my PacHy is packed with expensive technology items, many of which are the same for hybrid and gas models - if you read some reviews (like Car and Driver), you will see that most failures / problems they experienced are not hybrid-specific. Therefore I would suggest anyone buying tech-packed car to get extended warranty. However, in case of hybrid I can cover the cost of extended warranty by sacrificing about 1.5 years worth of fuel savings, while with gas vehicle it would be additional cost. To me, not getting extended warranty (or getting some cheap non-Mopar backed extended warranty) is a dangerous gamble.

4. I don't think it is realistic to make purchasing decision on expectation of any new car to "go strong after 10 years" - even with different statistical reliability averages between car manufacturers, your particular car may be an outlier, and be either strong after 10+ years, or die earlier than that. I had a 12+ years old Chrysler minivan that was driving "like new" (although on its 4th transmission, all replaced under extended warranty), and another non-Chrysler minivan which would have $5k+ repair bill if I would not trade it in after 9 years. But both vans delivered some great family trips. I don't expect any 2019 car to need zero repairs if it lasts through 2029, and I don't expect those repairs to be cheap...
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 11:18 PM
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single speed transmission (hybrid) > 9 speed gas model.

huge difference, if i had no choice of a hybrid i would being looking at other brands. We can't stand the gas models transmission.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Great info! Thank you. I'm going to test drive a 2018 hybrid tomorrow. 2.5 hrs away. I've already negotiated price and financing over the phone. So, it's just a matter of the test drive.

anything I should look for on the test drive?

Also, someone mentioned recall work - have there already been any recalls on 2018?
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 10:18 AM
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In Massachusetts our electricity is so expensive that there was not a big savings in cost per mile, so I went solar on my house and now over 3/4 of my driving is on sunshine. I usually get 1,500 miles per tank. Also, the solar is the best investment I have ever made yielding >10%/year return (buy don't lease!).

Maintenance cost seem much lower for the hybrid, much longer between service. Since the combustion engine is idol most of the time oil life is very long (I had it changed at 15 months even though it still had ~60% life left). The brakes last much longer - hardly worn after 14,000 miles.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 10:28 AM
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We were rear-ended in our Town and Country back in 2017 and ended up with a long list of loaners. This included Caravans, Gas Pacifica’s and the Kia mini-van (sorry, but we couldn’t stand the Kia!). This actually gave us quite a bit of time to compare while the T&C was being repaired. Ultimately, the hybrid won out and it wasn’t even a difficult decision. Nearly all of our trips are 100% electric aside from long road trips, the van is insanely smooth and quiet and the transmission is fantastic. Honestly, gas savings aside I’d still buy it. The transmission on the rental Pacifica drove us crazy as did the stop-start feature that must be turned off per drive. We also saw rather bad Mpg’s around town where most of our driving was. I was absolutely concerned about reliability but (knock on wood!) our 2017 hasn’t been in for anything at all outside of routine maintenance. Not that I’m speaking down to some of the very serious and/or very annoying issues others have had but just wanted to share that it is also possible to have a completely trouble free van which usually isn’t shared on public forums like this 🙂. Good luck!
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 11:21 AM
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For some of us, the Stow N Go center seats are a must have. For others, not so important. Keep that utility aspect in mind when deciding.
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2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited Billet Silver, AST, 20" wheels (build date 1-25-18)
2014 Jeep Cherokee Latitude V6 FWD Eco Green

Past . . .
2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L, 2003 Mazda MPV, 1997 Odyssey,
1999 Accord, 1994 Accord, 1988 Accord . . .
. . . and others in the 'way back machine!
. . . First new car:
1962 Plymouth Valiant
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by PacificaNewbie View Post
Great info! Thank you. I'm going to test drive a 2018 hybrid tomorrow. 2.5 hrs away. I've already negotiated price and financing over the phone. So, it's just a matter of the test drive.

anything I should look for on the test drive?

Also, someone mentioned recall work - have there already been any recalls on 2018?

Make very sure that your dealer has fully charged the Pacifica before the test drive. If not, don't take the test drive. You want to evaluate the performance on its main differentiating feature.

Also, if you're buying a 2018, make sure that you negotiate a swap of the 12-volt (the normal, not the hybrid) battery for a new one after agreeing on the purchase price. 12 volt batteries do *not* do well sitting on dealer lots, and too many PacHy owners have had problems with their 12-volt batteries even when the hybrid system is working fine.

As with all car transactions, agree on an out-the-door price before discussing any leasing or financing terms. Any. The out-the-door price, including all fees, is the only thing you can use to compare to other dealerships' offers. Then, you can figure out how you're going to pay for the vehicle.

Enjoy! {Jonathan}
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