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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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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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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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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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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.

THIS is what ruled out the hybrid for me....If you are younger than I am, taking the seats out might not be as big a deal as it is for me. The seats are removable, but heavy.
 

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Although we don't have stow and go for the middle seats the 3rd row seats are stow and go. (I had a honda Odyssey, it also did not have stow and go 2nd row) Lots of room to put my wife's wheel chair in behind the second row.
If you have an eight person family you might look else where. The second row seats are probably the best of any minivan, much better than the Odyssey.
On business trips I have rented many different minivans and none are as good as the Pachy (next best the Odyssey), I think the CG is lowered by the battery which helps.
 

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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.
While under warranty, change it each year or 10k miles. If something happens to your engine, they may want proof you were following the manufacturer's recommended maintenance interval. When you're out of the warranty period, change it however you'd like.
 

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That is also pure speculation, but I would assume that a hybrid car would have more appeal than a gas car on the used market, especially in the years to come.
 

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On a hybrid,
1. you cant get the StowNGo option
2. If you want the Adv Safety Tech package, you have to upgrade to Limited mode, in which case the price gets bumped up from the Touring+ model by some 8k .

For me, the deal breaker was the 2nd option, so I went for the gas model Touring+.
 

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Make sure you order a new 2020 Hybrid. Better to get one out of the factory with everything you want, including new battery and all updates.
 

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A little insight from our family:
My wife hates pumping gas. She pumped gas in her second most previous car lest than 5 times. When we traded in her Jeep Grand Cherokee on our PacHy 2 months ago, she told the salesperson proudly that she had *NEVER* put gas in her Jeep -- true story. The transmission on the Jeep had an intermittent problem (with only about 50k miles) where it would seem to pop into neutral (even with the gear selector in D) and we would lose all forward momentum until we pulled off the road and restarted the engine. My wife was pregnant with our second daughter (who arrived a week early on 7/24, btw) and we realized after loading up the Jeep with all of the kids' crap (double-stroller, diaper bag, potty seat, enough food for a 9 month deployment, etc) we didn't have much room for anything else, not to mention the transmission woes, so we started looking at larger vehicles.
My wife has *ONLY* driven Mopar products her entire life, starting with a Neon to Dakota to 200 convertible... you get the picture. She, of course, wanted a 3-row SUV which pointed to the Durango. She doesn't like the styling of the Durango, so after much convincing, I opened her up to the idea of a mini-van. One of the factors that swayed her to van-life was the idea of Stow-N-Go seats in the second row. Our idea was to store some of the kids' crap in the bins where the seats store.
Her requirements were a white exterior with anything other than black seats on the interior. My requirements were the surround-view cameras and FCW/ACC. Neither of us considered the hybrid. We searched for a few months for a pre-owned gasser van that fit the bill. Side note: WHY DO SO MANY PACIFICAS HAVE BLACK INTERIORS???
I found our PacHy in the next state over about 150 miles away and it more than checked all the boxes except no Stow-N-Go in the second row. We pulled the trigger on the hybrid anyway and couldn't be happier. I'm not a tree-hugger by any means, so is it awesome that we're allegedly saving the planet from global warming? Sure, I guess?
More importantly for me, it is so much more convenient plugging in the van instead of filling up at the gas station.
We live about 7 miles out of town so the 30ish miles of EV driving is perfect for our everyday use and getting 30mpg on the highway on longer trips is a heck of a lot better than our old Jeep. Do we miss the Stow-N-Go bins for the second row? Nope, since we never had them in the first place. We have about 45K miles on Pearl and my mechanic says the brakes look brand new since you asked about maintenance.
As others have noted, drive the hybrid and see how smooth the transmission is and how quiet the interior is. Everyone's situation is different, but for our family, the hybrid was exactly what fit the bill.
 

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In Vancouver, 90% of our public charging station is FREE to charge and our electricity rate is low. I compared my hydro usage before and after I bought the Hybrid. My electricity bill only increase about $1 a day on average. Plus I got 10k government incentives deducted directly from MSRP. So it was a no brainer to go with the Hybrid for me.
 

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The stow and go second row seats were the biggest selling point for me. I've hurt my back removing seats on previous cars. I believe neither the L nor the Hybrid have those seats. (batteries use that space on the hybrid) That is why we went with an LX. We didn't want the extra complexity of the electric doors either, so didn't want to go higher than the LX. Love the LX. Often get 33 mpg on the highway--about the same as our little KIA Forte 5 (compact car). Amazing mileage, power and versatility. You also get alloy wheels and electric driver's seat on the LX. Perfect model for us. If stow and go is not important to you, then you are good to go with either option you mentioned. I personally shy away from the complexity and additional potential for problems with a Hybrid.
 
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