Hybrids & Electrics

The Best Plug-in Hybrid Is a Minivan According to Edmunds

Plug-in hybrids are becoming more popular, and everyone is getting in on the game, even hypercars like the Koenigsegg Gemera. Assuming you do not have $2 million to spend on a car, there are other, significantly cheaper, plug-in hybrids you can get, such as the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica. The Chrysler Pacifica, which is a minivan, was the highest-ranked plug-in hybrid on Edmunds list for 2021 and 2022 cars.

How is a minivan the highest-ranked plug-in hybrid?

2021 Chrysler Pacifica at Auto Show
2021 Chrysler Pacifica | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Yep. It has style and space, with Edmunds saying “…there’s no other three-row EV or hybrid that can transport so many people in such comfort.” The Chrysler Pacifica is easy to get in and out of and has a spacious, relaxing interior.

The Pacifica is definitely more stylish than your usual minivan and is also the only minivan available as a plug-in hybrid. It also has an abundance of standard safety features, including a rearview camera and rear parking sensors.

What features does the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid offer?

In addition to having room for seven, the Pacifica is absolutely packed full of features, both luxurious and convenient. It has comfortable, contoured seating throughout with fixed captain chairs in the second row instead of the stow-away seating due to the hybrid battery location, which are actually super comfy.

An easy-to-control, three-zone climate control is standard on all trims, and the audio and navigation system is one of the strongest available. The features are easy to use and include smartphone integration, voice controls, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen. Overall the interior gives off a very upscale, premium feel.

A 3.6-liter V6 engine that is augmented with two electric motors for a total of 260 hp, comes standard with every model. On electric power alone, the Pacifica can drive for 33 miles, and a 240-volt power supply will recharge the 16 kWh battery in about two hours.

It also gets an estimated 32 mpg combined once you do switch to the V6. The CVT automatic is also smoother than the standard nine-speed automatic on non-hybrid models.

Which cars did the Pacifica beat?

Coming in a close second is the 2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime. While the Rav4 drives for 48 miles on electric power only due to a slightly larger 18.1 kWh battery, the Pacifica edged this SUV out in comfort, interior, and technology.

One area where the Rav4 Prime won was price. The Pacifica has a higher price than normally seen for a minivan, and while the Rav4 is at the high end of the SUV price range, it is not quite as hard on your wallet.

Behind the Pacifica and the Rav4 is the Subaru Crosstrek. Although comparable in comfort and interior, the tech is not quite as great as the Pacifica.

The biggest differences though are range and storage. The Crosstrek only gets 17 miles on electric-only driving and is lacking in cargo space, particularly due to the location and height of the hybrid battery. It does come standard with AWD if you are looking for a hybrid to do some off-roading.

If you are looking for a plug-in hybrid, and you need a minivan, the Pacifica is a good choice. In fact, the 2021 Pacifica is a minivan that caters to families and their dogs, providing a collapsible kennel and built-in vacuums. You probably swore you would never get a minivan, and you were too cool for that. Today’s minivans are a lot cooler than the one your parents probably drove you to school in. And better for the environment.

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