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2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Ownership: Cold as Ice

I have a slight bone to pick with the designers of the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Touring’s interior. But first, let me just say that I think the plug-in hybrid Pacifica’s cabin is pretty luxurious, with its plush seats, beautiful 2-toned leather surfaces and tech features galore. Even the blue stitching on the seats and dash (signifying the minivan’s hybrid status) is a nice, subtle addition that gives the interior a little extra oomph, resulting in a cabin that you actually WANT to spend time in.

Just Chill

But back to my bone. I’ve written in the past about my love affair with heated seats and the heated steering wheel. I’m ALWAYS cold — and I use these warming features about eight months out of the year. And luckily, the heated seats work beautifully in our long-term Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. I can access the controls easily via Chrysler’s UConnect system touchscreen, which displays all the major icons in a row at the bottom of the infotainment screen, and quickly turn on the heated seats when I first get into the car on a chilly Atlanta morning. I can activate the heated steering wheel simultaneously, but here’s where my issue comes into play.

Out Cold

I think most of us would agree that your steering wheel can often feel really cold to the touch when you first get into your car during the winter months. Hence, why steering wheel warmers have gone from a nice-to-have to a must-have for many consumers (like me!). The goal of the heated steering wheel feature is to quickly get your steering wheel up to a comfortable temperature for driving, right? And that does happen in the Pacifica … except there just happens to be a thin strip of metal around the perimeter of the wheel, clearly put there for aesthetic purposes, that stays cold even when you activate your heated steering wheel! This drives me crazy. Every. Single. Morning. I’ve figured out a way to hold the wheel in such a way as to avoid the freezing cold metal strip, but seriously — I shouldn’t have to do that!

It’s crazy that a tiny metal strip intended to give the steering wheel a more upscale vibe would cause me such distress, but that’s the situation I’m in with our 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. I have a lot of love for this hybrid minivan — so much that I’d absolutely consider buying one myself — but until Chrysler does away with the metallic detail on the steering wheel, I’d probably opt for a more basic leather-wrapped steering wheel on one of the lower trims. Find a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid for sale

Check out our 2018 Chrysler Pacfica Hybrid New Car Review

Tara Trompeter
Tara Trompeter is an author specializing in automotive lifestyle content. Tara's background in fashion and lifestyle programming for Turner Broadcasting made the transition to automotive pretty seamless… cars are the ultimate accessories, right?

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