It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Pacifica!

What’s the old saying,  “getting there is half the fun”?  Well…I would agree.  The one-two punch of the Superman Festival in Metropolis, Illinois and getting there in the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid confirms it.

Metropolis sign

Why a van?  Why not!

No matter your age or station in life there’s always room for a van.  Whether you’re a parent toting children back and forth to school and sports, or a grandparent who likes to have a little more room for your golf clubs on the way to see those grandchildren, or anything in-between, the Pacifica Hybrid is a “Super” choice.


Starting any trip requires some logistics.  “How far, how long, how fun” are all questions being asked by the crew.  “In what” can easily be answered…the Pacifica Hybrid of course.  Everyone can agree on its treasure trove of “Super” assets.

First, it’s “Super” passenger space.  Room for seven adults comfortably, yes comfortably, even in the third row of the Hybrid edition.  A seat can be added in the second row of the gas version to bring the passenger number to full at eight.

Head, hip and leg room are all ample and suitable for the long haul.  Daydreamers can drink in the blue sky via the panoramic sunroof and third row-ers have their own sunroof as well—Chrysler thought of everything.  Take that nap, all the seats recline!



Creature comforts like vented/heated seats are a luxury for the driver and whoever calls “shotgun”.  In the hot summer heat its a luxury few find, let alone in a van!

Up to eight humans come with quite a bit of stuff.  The cargo area is spaciously “Super”.  Suitcases, golf clubs, snacks, pillows, etc. all stack nicely behind the third row seat in the 32.3 cu. ft. of space.

If needed and passenger count is down, drop the third row into its Stow ‘n Go® position and more than double the holding power.  Flush fit, as seen above left, can be expanded by removing the captain’s chairs for a full sheet of plywood’s space making the need for a truck obsolete for some.  “Back up the truck” just got a whole new look!

Maybe there’s some room for extra Superman souvenirs after all…



tour bus stop

Next, a “family room on wheels” is often used to describe the “Super” entertainment options in  the Pacifica Hybrid. 8.4 inches of the Uconnect 4 screen in my Pacifica make travelling and controlling the rolling movie theater easy.  Blue-ray™, on-board games, apps, wireless headsets, available 4G WiFi, etc. go the extra mile to give the trip a lift for those munchkins and teens alike. Add the app on your smartphone and it’s features are at your fingertips from anywhere.

One of my favorites was the License Plate game.  Yes, it is as it was in the good old days, just touch the state on the screen.  A good game of checkers against the computer and maybe some math practice when desperate. The driver has peace at last…except when the optional 20 speaker HARMAN KARDON® system is in use.

Pacifica games

Active Noise Cancellation technology screens road noise but not the peals of joy as you motor down the highway in a luxury liner fit for a king.  The king rules this road by taking advantage of the Chrysler Pacifica’s “Super” Hybrid capability.

84 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) when using both electric and gas and 33 miles in the all-electric mode.  It is the only “electric” van on the market at this time. The hybrid version qualifies for a $7500 Federal Tax Credit.



Don’t think that just because it’s a hybrid that it’s not powerful.  260 hp moves the hybrid version down the interstate with a 3.6-Liter Pentastar V-6 eHybrid engine.  A charging schedule can be programmed and a MOPAR charging station added to the accessories in your garage.  Set up for charging when electricity costs are at non-peak for your area.  The Pacifica Hybrid will let you know how long it will take to fully charge.

A  Regenerative Braking System generates energy during braking and coasting that occurs in city stop/go traffic.  Battery life is added without a direct plug-in.

The Pacifica gleaned 27 MPG with mixed highway and city driving in line with it’s professed 19/28 MPG combined.  Click here to calculate estimated energy and fuel cost based on your driving needs.



Lastly, summer solstice beckons us come to spend long sunny days tripping the light fantastic until sunset punctuates the end-of-day.  Whether it’s the Superman Festival in Metropolis,  Disney World, or just to grandma’s house, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is ready and waiting to give you and yours a “Super” trip.

Chrysler Pacific Hybrid starts at $39,995 for the Touring PLUS.

Add $1095 for destination fee.

$48,580 as driven in Limited trim.

*NOTE:  Superman was portrayed by Lonnie Johnson, Director of Heroes for Kids, a non-profit organization benefiting children and the community through fundraising events in the Perryville, Missouri area.  They can be found on Facebook and directly contacted at for more information.

Jules and Superman


Braun Ability + Chrysler = Independence

Most of us take the notion of independence for granted.  Going for a walk, running to the store, playing with our children, driving to work.  For many, independence is a daily struggle but @Braun Ability and @Chrysler have been partners for years and have associated once again in a collaboration to assist individuals with disabilities to be exactly that…independent… through the advent of the highly touted and award laden, Chrysler Pacifica.

Ralph Braun founded  Braun Ability out of necessity.  He himself struggled with independence due to spinal muscular atrophy and was unable to walk by the time he was 15 years old.  His station driving his invention, in the 1960s he invented the tri-wheeler (Save-A-Step Manufacturing Co.), wheelchair lift (Lift Away) and steering controls.  The vessel for these became a postal Jeep that he converted for his needed purpose and there you have it…independence achieved.  Braun Ability was born.

Evolving over the years in to the brand we know today, the release of the Chrysler Pacifica and it’s reveal at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2017 with partner Canine Companions for Independence made for a Braun Ability success story like no other and would have made Ralph very proud.


Brand Manager for Braun Ability, Megan Wegner, echoed this sentiment in referring to Ralph as the “father of the mobility movement”.  His desire to serve the “under served population” of those with disabilities drove him.  Dynamics that focus on user guided design and development have made Braun Ability the “most trusted” brand. A longtime partner with Chrysler the modifications pursued in order to keep that title are quite involved as this video imparts. Click here:  Braun Ability Pacifica Conversion Video


Wegner joined in my excitement about the role Braun Ability and every other auto manufacturer might play in the trend of #autonomous vehicles.  Fully automated vehicles would make independence more real at every turn for many consumers.  The possibilities are endless and features like blind spot detection, brake assist, 360 degree cameras, and other semi-autonomous elements dot the landscape already, like pins on a world traveler’s map, in today’s rides.

One last point to ponder is the healthy used market for wheelchair accessible transport.  Previous conversions and even Braun’s most recent Ford Explorer version make affordability reality.  Certified pre-owned status crosses over to these vehicles just like the mainstream market with a five year warranty.  Wegner emphasized that in the wheelchair accessible market especially, “peace of mind” and “reliability” are critical.  Braun’s website is a starting point for access to one of the over 200 certified dealers in the United States who can help with a search for the right vehicle  and financing for families who want to embark on the independence journey.

Braun Ability is headquartered in Winamac, IN .

Photos courtesy of Braun Ability.