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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, been a few years since I posted, but I always lurk and read.

My Background: we bought our 2017 Pacifica Limited (8 person config, SafetyTek, 20" wheels, white) new almost exactly 2 years ago.

Just got back from dealer a few hours ago after trading it in on a new 2019 Hybrid Limited (SafetyTek, Hybrid Premium Wheels, something else I'm forgetting)

Here is what I noticed right away:

  • MOST IMPORTANT - I'm calling this out top of post because I wish I had this communicated to me more clearly (I ended up really understanding it when I got a Lyft driver that had a Hybrid Pacifica) - 2x things make the power delivery and driving experience of the Hybrid probably 20-30% nicer than the ICE one and those are: (1) New eFlite electronically variable transmission and (2) electric motor torque. The combination of those two things makes the delivery of the power smoother and stronger so you not only feel that you are pulling harder, but it's not interrupted with little hiccups of a transmission shifting and engine revs changing. Both my wife and I like driving this so much more - I'm the SRT/performance guy and I certainly like the pull more... it's not a hot rod and I believe the 0-60 is technically slower than the ICE one, but it doesn't feel that way... it feels better, feels faster, feels stronger. I'm guessing what I'm perceiving is a much more enjoyable power curve sub-40mph, but I also noticed in normal highway passing (just rolling into throttle, not trying to race) it also feels better there, I'm not trying to stab the throttle to encourage a downshift like in the ICE one, the car just accelerates linerally to my pedal press. It's much better BEHAVIOR I would say.
  • Even when the battery is depleted, the ICE motor delivering power through the eFlite transmission is much nicer than the ZF 9-speed in the ICE-based Pacificas... just this driving dynamic all together is better. It just feels stronger when the battery has charge, but the good behavior is still there when it doesn't.
  • Higher-res screens in driver and center UConnect are REALLY noticeably better.
  • Manual and automatic sliding doors feel a bit more solid / smoother.
  • The automatic tilt forward/return to position button for the Driver and Pass seat to help make access to 2nd row are now there on the 2019; so when you are loading people in the car can hit that and the front seats will lean way out of the way and let people in and then return when done - I loved that in our 17 and I believe it wasn't in the 19 until this year.
  • MINOR, but I noticed the door pillars where the internal sliding door buttons are have a 45 degree face to them now; the button use to be on the pillar, pointing straight back parallel to the door; now it's inside on that 45 degree part pointing more towards the passenger. I'm surprise that Chrysler went through the trouble of designing, fabbing new moulding for this interior B-pillar with that design... it's perfectly nice, just surprised to see style changes.
  • I had the "grinding sound in stop and go" in the Adaptive Cruise in our 17 and it seems to be gone in our 19.
  • The pull handle feel on the driver and pass doors on our 2017 felt a LITTLE grindy and plasticy - like some plastic guides were grinding on each other - this one feels smoother and more substantial.
  • 1-speed trans is AWESOME. We drove the car straight through a full charge into the ICE motor (with no charge) and the way power is delivered through the new tranmission is awesome regardless of where it's coming from. Very smooth, no gear shifts, no hunting... it's just accelerating happily.
  • With a charge, this is 30-50% more enjoyable to drive around town. Mechanically it feels 20% smoother, power-delivery wise it feels like it has 30% more pull (both more torque AND delivered more smoothly with no shifts = better feel) and psychologically if you are the type to fret about how hard your motor is working when you "gun it" or hear it down shift aggressively and it sort of makes you feel guilty, all of that goes away.
  • Battery charge EVAPORATES at hightway speeds. I mean like... "20 miles of charge left" going 80mph lasts like 6-8 miles.
  • Regeneration in 'L' is awesomely aggressive. Car uses lots of opportunities to recharge the battery. About half as aggressive in slowing power as a Model S in the aggressive regen mode or Bolt using the regen tigger on the wheel.
  • Faster UConnect 4 platform (software and hardware) is SO MUCH NICER. 50% better to use.
  • Theater is way cooler and functional than I realized... I expected it to be gimmick-ey, it's really slick.
  • Adaptive Cruise seems to have gotten some refinements - a bit smoother - OR it's just the power train that makes it accelerating/slowing feel more natural and less obtrusive.
  • The driver display layout (infront of the steering wheel) is better laid out than in the 17; because of the higher res screen the fonts are bigger and have a little nicer layout.
  • The gas cap is locking now - it was a push-cap in our 17 but it has the ejector button now like my Jeep and 300 have/had.
  • The 3rd row doesn't recline like in our Limited 17 - in the 17 it had a "<-->" button in the side panel that the passenger could use to increase or decrease the incline of the seat back; it was actually pretty badass. In the new Hybrid it has a singular locked position, slightly reclined. It seems OK, but probably not as comfortable as the 17.
  • When the car has a charge, the MPG is amazing; we were getting something like 75 MPGe on the way home when the car had a charge.
  • Temper this with "new car high" but the 2019 feels a bit tighter/smoother than our 17 did. Not that our 17 had any rattles and creaks or anything, but little things like the action of the sliding doors (sounded grindy in the 17) or like I said handle pulls feel more smooth/solid in the 19. The impression I'm getting is that in the last 2 years Chrysler has put a lot of refinement into these vans based on warranty repair feedback and I'm happy to experience it.
I think that is all the stuff I noticed and all the stuff I really wanted to share now that we have one for anyone shopping.

I would also add that Tempe Dodge was CRAZY cooperative with us when it came to making the deal happen; I had talked to 8 other dealerships up until that point both in and out of state - I was offering a fairly aggressive deal - and expected to find it with a 2018... but Tempe made it happen. The sales manager and associated I worked with were disturbingly friendly and I kept waiting for "the other shoe to drop" and it never happened... they were just super straight forward, no BS, amazing price and worked the deal to the end and helped us moved all our car seats from the old van into the new one and wished us well.

If you are in Phoenix/Arizona I would try and work with them if you are in the market. I've also had a great experience with Avondale Chrysler buying our original 2017 Pacifica but they couldn't even make this deal happen for me as a return customer.
 

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Great writeup. I have a 2017 Limited ICE and have been contemplating the shift to a 2019 Hybrid. Still waiting for prices to get more attractive it. With the tax law changes, I don't think I would get the full $7500 of US government incentive.
 

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FYI, the third row does recline (at least on the 2018,) its just manual instead of power. There is a pull strap on the far edges of the bench that will allow that section of the 40/60 split to adjust.
 

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Yes! You're description of the feeling of driving the hybrid is spot on. Once we test drove we were immediately sold. Just waiting on mine to show up. Enjoy your new ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
FYI, the third row does recline (at least on the 2018,) its just manual instead of power. There is a pull strap on the far edges of the bench that will allow that section of the 40/60 split to adjust.
OH! I will try and mess with it when my wife gets home, thanks for the heads up!

EDIT: In the absence of her being here, I looked back at my photos I posted above and in the lastone, down on the right corner I see the strap you are talking about. AWESOME!!!
 

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I'm curious about this one:

The automatic tilt forward/return to position button for the Driver and Pass seat to help make access to 2nd row are now there on the 2019; so when you are loading people in the car can hit that and the front seats will lean way out of the way and let people in and then return when done - I loved that in our 17 and I believe it wasn't in the 19 until this year.
Got a photo of that button so I can try to see what that does?
 

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I'm curious about this one:



Got a photo of that button so I can try to see what that does?
I think they meant it wasn't on the Hybrid until this year... Anyway, I can't find it described anywhere in the manual, but apparently the official name for the feature is "auto advance 'n' return", and the buttons for it are on each B pillar down near the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yep someone clarified below it’s called “Auto advance and return” - weird name. Here is a pic I just took after opening the sliding door and leaning in and shooting forward towards the front passenger seat.

It’s the same button from the gas Limited that would take the front driver our passenger seat and lean them way forward out of the way so you could use the stow and go bins easily. It wasn’t on the Hybrid until this year.
 

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Interesting. Definitely not on our 18. I bet it's a carry over feature from the gas only model when they brought over the memory seats, which were not previously on the hybrid at all. Probably now just 1 seat configuration across the models for simplicity / economies of scale even if we have no stow and go to have that help with.

Now I'm wondering if we slide the front seat forward a bit if it will allow the middle row to slide forward a little more for easier 3rd row access. I had just assumed it was the 2nd row that was the limiting factor. And if not, no biggie.

I have something to tinker with this weekend :)

Thanks for replying! Congrats on the new ride. I'm curious if longer term you're a bigger fan of the gas or the hybrid after you've had a change to live with both for a bit.
 

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I agree with all of rkalla's assessments. The 2019 PacHy is more pleasant to drive than any car I've ever owned.

Just one nitpick: it's not a one speed gear box. It has an infinitely variable gear ratio (for the ICE) by controlling the speed of the sun gear in the planetary gearset. (Motor A is used to do this.) This video helps to understand how the system works:

https://gas2.org/2017/10/31/deep-dive-chrysler-pacifica-hybrid-transaxle-w-video/
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I agree with all of rkalla's assessments. The 2019 PacHy is more pleasant to drive than any car I've ever owned.

Just one nitpick: it's not a one speed gear box. It has an infinitely variable gear ratio (for the ICE) by controlling the speed of the sun gear in the planetary gearset. (Motor A is used to do this.) This video helps to understand how the system works:

https://gas2.org/2017/10/31/deep-dive-chrysler-pacifica-hybrid-transaxle-w-video/
Ah you are exactly right, I've been casually reading through this breakdown of the motors/trans unit - not understanding everything but you are spot on.
 

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I quit reading that particular explanation when this statement appeared:

"On the input side, a single planetary system has four pinions and a clutch-operated sun gear, directly coupled with Motor 2. The planetary carrier gear is connected to the output ring gear on the differential, feeding mechanical power from the gasoline engine or Motor 2 to the front wheels (the park pawl is located on the planetary as well)"

The sun gear is not clutch operated. It is connected directly to the small motor and is controlled by it. There is only a one way sprag clutch to prevent the small motor from turning the engine backwards.

The planet carrier is not connected to the ring gear. It is connected directly to the ICE by the input shaft. There is a torque limiting clutch on this connection to prevent excessive torque loads under various conditions. It slips when torque exceeds the spec.

The parking pawl acts directly on the ring gear, which is directly connected to the large motor, and the final drive.

I don't think the author really understands the system, or he wouldn't have made those statements.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The sun gear is not clutch operated. It is connected directly to the small motor and is controlled by it. There is only a one way sprag clutch to prevent the small motor from turning the engine backwards....
I'm 99.9% sure you saw this already, but given your comfort with the tech did you see
? It was awesome... but I'm not familiar enough with the terms to immediate have mental foundation for concepts so kept getting stuck and wanting to see how each piece worked.
 

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Yeah, I watched it twice. I was a NIASE certified master mechanic, so it was just another planetary setup to me. I'll try to draw a nice cross section picture and put it up here.
 

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I'm going to do this one frame at a time in hopes it might be more understandable.

Item 1 is the engine flywheel, viewed as if you're standing in front of the car. It rotates down, which would be clockwise if you stood at the right side of the car and looked at it. It connects to the input shaft (no number) which connects to the over torque clutch, item 2. The over torque clutch is constantly engaged, and will only slip if engine torque exceeds a certain value. Serves to protect the drive train. Item 2 connects to the planet carrier, 3. I show only two planets for clarity. Whenever the engine is running, all of the stuff show here rotates in the direction of the arrow. When the engine stops, it all stops. The only items free to rotate with the engine stopped are the planet gears.
 

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The small motor is as labeled, item 4 is a one way sprag type clutch. It connects the small motor to the sun gear, item 5, but only when the small motor rotates in the same direction as the ICE. If the small motor rotates the other way, the sprag unlocks and breaks the connection to the ICE.
 

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The ring gear is a circular, hollow piece of steel with gear teeth on the inside. It fits over the planet gears and surrounds the entire assembly. It connects thru some other gears to the final drive of the vehicle. (I won't show all that here) Whenever the wheels are turning, the ring gear is turning. The park pawl engages the outside of the ring gear for parking the car. With the park pawl engaged, the car doesn't move.

The deal with planetary gear sets is that, if you want to transmit power through them, you have to hold one element, put power into another, and take the output from the third. When the engine (ICE) is running and you want maximum gear reduction, the small motor holds the sun gear from rotating. The engine power goes into the planet carrier, and the output is taken from the ring gear. The large motor is geared directly to the ring gear, so when you floor it, you've got maximum power from the engine and the large motor. As the car accelerates, the small motor will speed the sun gear up so that the gear reduction is less and engine rpm remains about the same.
 

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When the engine is stopped, the large motor that is geared directly to the ring gear now powers the car. The planet carrier is stopped because the engine is stopped. We now have the requirements for doing something with a planetary gear set. The carrier is stopped, the input is now the ring gear, which rotates the planet gears, which rotate the sun gear. This turns the small motor which is now a generator. If we want the engine to start back up, we merely make the small motor speed up to where it turns the sun gear at a speed that will fire up the engine from the planet carrier.

The last thing is that the small motor can act to assist the large motor. By turning it backwards, it drives through the stopped planet gears which now turn the ring gear in the forward direction. Slick.
 
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