|What is it? Nissan’s seven-passenger family road warrior goes green — and supercharged — for a 24 percent fuel economy gain. There are three trim levels of the hybrid crossover, and 2- and 4-wheel-drive versions. The car is based on the fourth generation Pathfinder, which was introduced last fall.
Is it real? Yes. Nissan is on an electric and hybrid blitz.
What they said: “It’s the most innovative Pathfinder we’ve ever built,” said Adam O’Shaughnessy, a senior planner for trucks and S.U.V.’s at Nissan North America. “There’s no reduction in interior space or cargo capacity, and you get 26 m.p.g. combined.”
What they didn’t say: You’re not going to see Prius-level fuel economy in a seven-passenger S.U.V. Driving around town to meetings of the Cub Scouts, you’ll see 25 m.p.g. in the hybrid, but that’s much better than the 19 you’d see in a 2013 Pathfinder with a V-6 and 4-wheel drive. And it’s not a huge price premium. One big benefit is the 526-mile cruising range, which should be very useful for passing gas stations in the Pathfinder’s suburban habitat. Andy Palmer, a Nissan Motor Company executive vice president, said the new car was for people with “the adventure and ecology mindset,” but many buyers will just be looking for a fuel economy edge.
What makes it tick? The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is supercharged and married to a 15-kilowatt electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack for 250 net horsepower. The sole transmission is a C.V.T. Towing capacity is 3,500 pounds.
How much? How soon? The Pathfinder Hybrid will be at dealers in late summer. The car is expected to carry a $3,000 price premium over V-6 Pathfinders.
How’s it look? The Pathfinder, in any version, has a certain imposing grandeur. But it won’t win beauty contests. The hybrid version has no significant visual changes, just badges and LED taillights.