The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder enters its second year as a seven-seat family crossover with a new model added: the first-ever Pathfinder Hybrid, a direct shot across the bows of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Launched last year as a complete reinvention of the traditionally tough Pathfinder sport-utility vehicle, the current model comes with front-wheel drive as standard and sacrifices some towing and rock-crawling abilities for comfort and family-friendly features.
Powered by a supercharged 2.5-liter gasoline engine and a 15 kW electric motor paired to a Lithium-Ion battery fitted under the third row of seats, the Pathfinder Hybrid is equipped with Nissan's Intelligent Dual Clutch System that allows the vehicle to provide "performance equivalent to the Pathfinder 3.5-liter gasoline V6 model.
The Pathfinder’s new Hybrid powertrain option will be available in three fully equipped trim levels SV, SL and Platinum Premium– when it joins the lineup in late summer 2013. It is expected to be priced at around just $3,000 more than Pathfinder 3.5-litre 4WD V6 models.
In a departure from the naturally-aspirated hybrid norm, Nissan’s new setup utilizes a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder for gasoline-powered motivation. A CVT handles shifting duties, and a 15-kw electric motor sits between the engine and transmission with a pair of clutches to disconnect it from the system and conserve energy as situations allow. Nissan says the goal of the powertrain is to produce V6-like output without a commensurate appetite for fossil fuel.