2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid Review

Pathfinder Hybrid

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2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid Overview

In a nod to 21st Century sensibilities, the Nissan Pathfinder has been transformed from a terrain-taming sport ute into a sedate and civilized crossover suitable for soccer moms and commuters, mall-hoppers and gentrified backwoods tippy-toers. And for 2014, this suburbs-certified people-hauler is offered in a fuel-efficient Hybrid edition that doesn’t skimp on the standard amenities, offering 7-passenger seating in 3 rows, as well as the traditional 79.8 cubic feet of cargo room.

Expected to be available in a single well-equipped trim in the Autumn of 2013, the debuting Pathfinder Hybrid is offered in standard front-wheel drive (FWD) but can, of course, be delivered with available driver-selectable intelligent all-wheel drive (iAWD).

Dedicated performance and efficiency monitoring, meanwhile, keeps the supercharged 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) hybrid powerplant running like a gas-saving charm. The well-wrought continuously variable transmission (CVT) assures seamless management of the 250 hp and the 243 lb-ft of torque that’s put out by the coupled 4-banger and the 15-kilowatt electric motor. A dual-clutch arrangement ensures glitch-free transitions from gas to electric power and back, with regenerative braking adding to the recharging of the Lithium-ion battery and auto engine stop/start technology helping stretch those fuel-destined dollars. Mileage estimates tossed out by Nissan have the standard FWD edition getting 25 mpg city/27 highway, while towing, naturally, isn’t up to gasoline-burning Pathfinder standards, but a max trailer load of 3,500 pounds, with the proper equipment installed, still isn’t too shabby for a hybrid.

Meantime, the Pathfinder Hybrid’s AWD system flaunts the same selectable 3-mode lash-up of its conventionally powered siblings. Said three modes, 2WD, 4WD and Auto, are programmed to lock in FWD efficiency in normal conditions and 4WD for traction-challenged cruising, and, in the self-explanatory Auto mode, automatically transfer torque from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip on changeable surface conditions.

Let it not be said, furthermore, that the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid is stripped of the expected amenities. Look for 18-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, and power-adjustable mirrors outside, with cloth upholstery, split-folding and reclining second-row seatbacks and full power accessories to come standard aboard this civilized ute. Cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera also come standard in this heady hybrid, as do wood and leather cabin accents, tri-zone climate control and Bluetooth hands-free calling.

Entertainment, meantime, consists of a single-CD player with 6 speakers, bolstered by satellite radio and a USB connection.

Options for the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid, like its conventional siblings, are expected to include a panoramic moonroof embracing all rows of seating, with the front panel flaunting the expected power opening/closing feature. Also, rear-seat DVD entertainment is optional in this gas/electric Pathfinder, as is a hard-drive-based navigation system with 7-inch dashboard-mounted touchscreen, leather upholstery, upgraded wood-tone interior trim and Nissan’s Around View Monitor simulated aerial-view camera. Oh, and look for a trailer hitch and wiring to be available as add-ons.

Finally, standard safety features aboard this brand-new green-leaning crossover ute include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and 3-row head airbags. Dusk-sensing headlights additionally come standard, as do dusk-sensing headlights, a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm. Forward collision warnings, blind-spot and lane-departure alerts and adaptive cruise control, finally, are all optional safety equipment for the new Pathfinder Hybrid.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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