Following the announcement today from the Obama administration on future fuel-economy standards, automakers are focusing intently on improving fuel economy across the board, and trucks and SUVs are no exception.
Nissan is already showing big changes in its product lineup, with the 2013 Pathfinder going from a traditionally truck-based SUV to a transverse crossover platform shared with the new Infiniti JX35, a variation of the Murano chassis. The EPA figures of 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway for the 2013 model are a major improvement over its predecessor's ratings of 15/22 mpg.
But the Pathfinder is just the beginning. According to Automotive News, the next-generation Rogue compact crossover could get a hybrid powertrain mated to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, and the Titan full-size truck, which has been offered only with a 5.6-liter V-8 since its launch in 2004, may get more efficient engine options when the new model arrives in 2014 or 2015. The 4.0-liter V-6 in the Frontier is a good bet, as is a seven-speed automatic, up from the current five-speed. Nissan may finally offer a regular cab option on the Titan in addition to the current King Cab and Crew Cab models.
The Frontier midsize truck and the related Xterra SUV are due for a reskin for the 2014 model year to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.
The Murano, new for the 2009 model year, isn't expected to get a full redesign until the 2015 model year.
Source: Automotive News (subscription required)