After driving 18 electrified vehicles from the broadest segment sampling feasible in 6 hours, members of NWAPA (Northwest Automotive Press Association) voted Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Northwest Green Vehicle of the Year. Yes, the minivan.
Granted, gaining seat time behind the wheel of 18 state of the auto art electrified vehicles in 6 hours is a bit mind boggling; a bit of sensory overload if you will. However, that is what the members of NWAPA did last Thursday on and around Vancouver, Washington’s historic Fort Vancouver.
On a perfect Pacific Northwest Summer day members of the Auto press met with representatives from BMW, Chevrolet, Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Nissan and Mini Cooper — yes, I know that Mini is owned by BMW. Anyway, the lineup was 100% electrified, and as diverse as the automotive industry itself. Like I said, a bit overwhelming.
The task at hand, and a contingency of participating in 2018 Drive Revolution, was a comitment to drive all vehicles present — while scoring entries on drive quality, dynamics, overall handling, featured active safety, drive assist technology, and overall technical performance. Each catigory was scored accordingly, and then tallied for a total point score.
When the smoke cleared the highest scoring vehicle also happened to be the plug-in electric hybrid version of the best selling minivan in North America, Chrysler Pacifica. Yes, Chrysler Pacifica PHEV (plug-in-electric-vehicle) won the Gold when drive-compared to Lexus LS 500 H, Chevy Bolt, the reinvented 2019 Ford Focus Hybrid, Honda’s 2019 Insight, Nissan Leaf, and the underrated but a pleasure to drive Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV..
So, why Chrysler Pacifica PHEV ?
Simply put, 2019 Chrysler Pacifica PHEV presents a comprehensive, tech-rich, active safety, drive-assist environment that not only achieves segment topping fuel efficiency, but is comfortable, powerful, and a pleasure to drive. Yes, it’s a minivan. However, Pacifica injects more than a bit of “cool” into a segment long associated with Soccer moms and family transportation.
NWAPA members give the top nod to Pacifica for its exceptional combination of fuel-efficiency, ample cabin space, user-friendly amenities, and value. Drive Revolution Chairperson Sarah Shelton of U.S. News & World Report tells us, “The Pacifica Hybrid’s 84 mpg-e and 33 miles of all-electric range saves you hundreds in fuel costs each year over the average new minivan or SUV,” Shelton said. “But what’s particularly remarkable is that you can achieve this fuel economy while also carrying a family of seven in the front and a suitcase for everyone in the back. This, along with a notable amount of standard equipment, makes the Pacifica Hybrid a truly family-friendly vehicle.”
So, in acknowledgement of the ever expanding hybrid car and light truck universe, here is your list of best-in-class winners.
Northwest Affordable Battery-Electric Vehicle of the Year: 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Northwest Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year: 2018 Chevrolet Volt
Northwest Family-Sized Plug-In Hybrid of the Year: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Northwest Luxury Green Vehicle of the Year: 2018 Lexus LS 500h
All or portions of this article first appeared in Torque News.Com
Parks R. McCants 2018.