Pacifica hybrid called ‘most fuel-efficient minivan’

Keith Laing
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC is touting its 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as the “most fuel-efficient minivan ever” after announcing it has received a record 84 miles per gallon-equivalent rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The company said Wednesday that the fuel-economy rating is a new benchmark for minivans.

“At 84 MPGe, the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid surpasses our initially stated performance,” Tim Kuniskis, FCA US LLC Head of Passenger Car Brands — Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat, said in a statement. “These EPA test results paint a clear picture of the benefits our customers can expect from driving the most fuel-efficient minivan ever.”

The announcement comes as automakers are facing a mandate from outgoing President Barack Obama’s administration that requires them to achieve a fleetwide average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

FCA said Wednesday it had estimated that the Pacifica Hybrid would only achieve an 80-MPGe rating from the EPA.

The company said EPA testing established a total driving range rating for the Pacifica Hybrid of 566 miles. The agency additionally set the electric-only range rating for the vehicle at 33 miles.

“A large share of credit goes to the vehicle’s e-Flite dual-motor electrically variable transmission (EVT),” Bob Lee, FCA’s Head of Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion, and Systems Engineering in North America, said in a statement.

“It is exceptionally well-suited to deliver the primary attributes we sought to infuse in the Pacifica Hybrid’s propulsion system — class-leading efficiency and superior refinement,” he added.

FCA said the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid’s annual fuel cost, gas and electricity combined, is $900, according to EPA estimates. The company said the vehicle starts at $34,495 after qualifying for an available U.S. federal tax credit. State and local incentives are not included in the estimated price for Pacifica Hybrid.

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Twitter: @Keith_Laing