Up to this point Nissan’s strategy in green car deployment in the United States has focused mostly on the all-electric Leaf. It has the Altima Hybrid as well, but other than that most hybrid ideas we’ve seen from them are concepts. Now, at the 2013 New York Auto Show, the Japanese automaker has unveiled a new vehicle for the hybrid masses – the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid.
Nissan has taken its popular crossover SUV platform, first developed in 1986, and gone green with it in a rather significant way. Fuel economy is estimated at 26 mpg combined, which Nissan said is an increase of 24 percent over the standard Pathfinder. Estimated city fuel economy is 25 mpg, while highway mileage is estimated at 27 mpg. With the Pathfinder Hybrid’s 19.5-gallon fuel tank – the same as non-hybrid models - driving range is estimated at more than 526 miles.
For the Pathfinder Hybrid, Nissan has replaced the SUV’s standard 3.5-liter V6 with a new supercharged 2.5-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor paired with a compact Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. The 15 kW electric motor and gas engine work in tandem and are rated at 250 net horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque – versus the 3.5-liter V6′s 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. The battery pack fits under the 3rd row seat, and a regenerative braking system automatically recharges the battery by converting the vehicle’s kinetic energy that would be otherwise lost in braking.
Features of note for those looking for creature comforts in the Pathfinder Hybrid include a moonroof with sliding opening front panel and fixed rear glass panel which extends over the 2nd and 3rd rows; three rows of leather-appointed seating surfaces; Bose Audio System with 13 speakers; satellite radio; a 4.2-inch color monitor for hybrid technology that can show power flow readings from the electric motor and gas engine, along with power regeneration back into the battery; streaming audio vid Bluetooth; a monitor that provides the driver a virtual 360-degree image of the area around the vehicle; 4-wheel drive and power rear liftgate.
The 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid, when it becomes available this summer, will price a little under $32,000 starting.