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Best 2018 ‘green car’ is a Chrysler

by Chris Vander Doelen on

The readers of Green Car Reports have voted their choice of the 2018 Best Car To Buy, and its name does not start with the letter T, nor is it a cramped little subcompact.

The best car new to buy in 2018 – if being green is your over-riding concern – is the Chrysler Pacifica, the publication says here. FCA is touting the award here, as they should, since the company seems to be overlooked by most when people rate the best on the market or when families weigh buying a hybrid themselves.

Chrysler took the green crown over a handful of much better-known hybrids and electric vehicles because the Pacifica hybrid is the most family-friendly choice on the market, Green Car Reports says.

“It wins because it’s a one-of-a-kind vehicle: the sole seven-seat minivan with a plug-in hybrid powertrain sold in the U.S. this year.”

The publication has been handing out the award for 11 years. Chrysler beat out the Tesla 3 – which was ruled out of competition because the company refused to offer up a unit for a test-drive, as per the contest rules – and the two other finalists, the Hyundai Ioniq, and the Nissan Leaf.

The Pacifica hybrid offers only a 30-mile range on its batteries before the gasoline engine kicks in, causing sniffs of dismissal from Tesla and Leaf buyers, among others. But Green Car Reports calls that “substantial real-world electric range,” since it’s more than enough to get most families to and from their daily rounds.

And unlike most hybrids, which are bought as second cars or by childless couples and singles, the Pacifica is actually large enough to haul the entire family. While “a couple of small five-door hatchback” plug-ins can travel a bit farther on a charge, none can “carry a family of seven and their gear in everyday travel.”

John Voelcker, senior editor at Green Car Reports, called the virtues of the Pacifica “well documented: it’s stylish, with an interior design far more elegant than you’d expect, plus excellent controls and interactive displays and more family-friendly features than we have space to cover. Adding a plug-in hybrid powertrain to that package, at a price that’s essentially offset by the full federal income-tax credit, makes a very good vehicle exceptional.”

 

Chris Vander Doelen was Opinion Editor and columnist of The Windsor Star until December, 2016; He was the Star's automotive reporter and columnist for seven years, and had also covered the political and gambling beats. With his wife, Veronique Mandal, he wrote the book Chasing Lightning (1999). Chris won a National Newspaper Award in 1997 and more than a dozen provincial news awards. There is a Chrysler 300 in his driveway.


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