So, yesterday, I went to the Detroit Auto Show, and... now I kinda want a minivan. I don’t even have a use for one, and I doubt I’d like the driving dynamics, but I still kinda want one. Well, a specific one, anyway.

I went to the auto show with a group of TDI friends, and a few of us decided to focus on some of the electrified vehicles that were on display. Eventually, we made it back to the Pacifica Hybrid, possibly the least likely vehicle to exist, that was on the show floor. I mean, we’re talking about a product from FCA, one of the automakers most resistant to electrification... yet they beat everyone, including Toyota of all companies, to the American hybrid minivan market, and they did it with what appears to be a well thought-out plug-in product. And, I mean, Toyota’s been selling hybrid minivans since 2001 in Japan, and most of their minivans there are available in hybrid form, with two exceptions.

But, holy shit, the Pacifica is so damn nice inside. You can legitimately fit four people in total comfort (and I think it was a Platinum that we sat in, so it had the nicer leather - I don’t usually like leather, but that felt quite nice), and then another two can fit with plenty of room (but not comfort, thanks to Stow ‘n Go), or another three can fit depending on how big they are. (I mean, a 6'4" friend got in the front passenger seat, set it to be comfortable for him, then got into the second row right hand seat, set that to be comfortable for him as well, then got into the third row successfully.) Or, a crapton of luggage could fit once you collapse the third row (and a decent amount would fit even with it in place), the sheer amount of space is impressive, I forgot how big and useful minivans are. This blows away all the three-row crossovers for space, and I really wonder why people avoid minivans so much...

And, then, when you consider that the damn thing is rated for 33 miles of electric range, and once that runs out, 32 MPG city, 33 MPG highway, on regular... and the $7500 tax credit (16 kWh battery) gets you shit-tons of equipment for basically under $40k... yeah, I think I get why using high-end minivans as luxury cars is a thing in Japan and some other east Asian countries...

The biggest nitpick I had with it? The mirror was way too low on the windshield, and I could tell it’d obstruct forward vision. (And, of course, there’s the concern about how well FCA will support this thing, given Marchionne’s attitude towards electrification, and FCA’s financial situation...) Oh, and you can’t get the nice brown interior on a hybrid. Still, if I needed to haul a bunch of people and/or a bunch of relatively clean cargo... yeah, I’d consider it just based on how nice it is inside, and how efficient it is. (And, being an e-CVT of some sort, it’d avoid all the problems that I have with conventional automatics.)