The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid To Intensify The Battle of The Green Crossovers : Amongst other things, the prestigious New York Auto Show 2013 became the proverbial launch pad for Nissan’s first ever hybrid model, the 2014 Pathfinder. When this Japanese automobile giant first announced their intent to develop a hybrid concept about two years ago, it was assumed that their next Altima sedan would make use of such technology. To find that Nissan’s foray into the world of hyper-fuel-efficiency is to be marked by a crossover SUV comes as a surprise, albeit a pleasant one.
The hybrid model is to mirror the exterior design of the previously launched Pathfinder model. It has a tall, rugged look, the sharpness of which is somewhat balanced out by curvaceous lines and soft, clean edges. Unlike other contemporary, mid-sized crossovers, Nissan’s hybrid has a seating capacity of 7, arranged in the classic 3 row format. Other than the innovation of LED taillights and hybrid-specific information screens, there have been few alterations in the original Pathfinder’s interior or external design.
In terms of the hybrid driveline the new Pathfinder shall be using, the specifics are nothing short of impressive. It is empowered with a 2.5 liter, supercharged 4 cylinder engine alongside a 15 kW electric motor; together they produce 250 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. This means that while the hybrid produces less horsepower and towing capacity than the last generation model, it offers more torque and 24% better fuel economy. The estimated fuel economy is 25 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on highways, and 26 mpg combined. The only shortcoming perhaps is that the Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid does not have an electric-only mode for low speeds, though the gas engine shuts down during deceleration and/or coasting.
What is extremely interesting about this upcoming Nissan model is that it is expected to be priced roughly $3,000 above the original model, which would be around $35-37,000. This means that it would cost significantly lesser than other 2014 Crossover SUV models, which provide but little more than the Pathfinder Hybrid. This model shall thus occupy a special space in the automobile market. It is the first non-luxury, fuel efficient and affordable crossover SUV to enter the market.
When the Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid will be launched in the market, reportedly late this summer, it is likely to add more fuel to the fiery battle of the green (fuel-efficient, hybrid) crossovers. Currently, all the big players in the business are looking to combine sporty-looks with utility and luxury with fuel efficiency. Nissan has now added affordability into the equation, thus widening its potential consumer base. It is unlikely that other mid-segment brands will not follow suit. Therefore, one may assume that good times lie ahead of SUV-enthusiasts who unfortunately have a limited budget. As and when these manufacturers shall compete with one another for better models offering more and more at lower prices, buyers can be assured to have a wider range of options available to them, especially if hybrid SUVs are what they are looking for.