2013 New York: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid
25 Combined mpg Meets Seven Passengers
Typically, in automotive advertising, the highway fuel economy figure is the one that gets all the attention, whether in the starburst call-outs in the weekend dealer ads, or the "class-leading" claims on TV spots. Comparing the performance of the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid using this yardstick compared with its conventionally powered counterpart, a modest 1-mpg improvement may seem anti-climactic. But the bigger story, and one that will likely be much more appreciated by consumers in the day-to-day slog, is the hybrid model's impressive combined mpg total of 26. This compares with the front-drive V-6 model's still-impressive 22-mpg combined total.
Unlike some other models, where opting for the hybrid or high-efficiency powertrain means a Spartan, hair-shirt trim level, or glacial acceleration, the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid promises power and responsiveness on par with its conventionally powered stablemate. A new supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder combined with a 15-kW electric motor is rated at a combined power output of 250 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, just 10 hp less, but 3 lb-ft more than the V-6 model. Naturally, the transmission is Nissan's ubiquitous CVT, which has essentially replaced conventional geared automatics in all of Nissan's transverse drivetrain applications.
Towing capacity takes a small hit, from 5000 pounds to 3500, but that's about the only sacrifice over the conventional model, aside from the $3000 option for the hybrid drivetrain. Interior volume and seating capacity are the same as the conventional model's, with the hybrid system's lithium-ion battery stored under the third-row seat.
Additional differences between the hybrid and normal Pathfinder model are partial-LED taillights on the hybrid model and "PureDrive Hybrid" badging. Otherwise, the hybrid model retains all the features of the standard Pathfinder, including Nissan's Latch and Glide second-row seats. The hybrid will be offered in 2WD and 4WD configurations, and on SV, SL, and Platinum trim levels.
|2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid|
|BASE PRICE (est)||$36,000-$45,000|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD/AWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||2.5L, 230-hp/243-lb-ft, 16-valve DOHC supercharged, direct-injected I-4, 15 kW, 20 hp electric motor, 250 net system hp|
|CURB WEIGHT (MFR)||4300-4400 lb|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||196.9 x 77.2 x 69.6 in|
|0-60 MPH (est)||8.0 sec|
|EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON||25/27 mpg|
|ON SALE IN U.S.||August 2013|