Boasting the same powertrain technology that originally launched in the Infiniti M Hybrid sport sedan, the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid has reached local dealerships with an MSRP that starts at $35,110. Now, at first glance, that may look like a stiff premium over the standard Pathfinder S—which opens at $28,850—but note that the hybrid line actually begins at Nissan’s SV trim level; on an apples-to-apples basis, the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder SV Hybrid is priced $3,000 higher than its conventionally powered counterpart, but also includes, of course, relatively high fuel-economy marks of up to 25 mpg city/28 mpg highway/26 mpg combined.
That’s when the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid is configured with two-wheel drive, but the only change with all four wheels drawing power is a 1-mpg decrease in highway efficiency. It’s not quite enough to give Nissan the No. 1 position on the fuel-economy leaderboard for three-row crossovers, however. Keeping in mind that there’s just one other mainstream entry in the segment with hybrid motivation, the likely rivals to the Nissan include:
- Toyota Highlander Hybrid (AWD only)—28 mpg city/28 mpg highway/28 mpg combined
- 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid (FWD)—25/28/26
- 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid (AWD)—25/27/26
- Ford Explorer (FWD, EcoBoost I4)—20/28/23
- Nissan Pathfinder (FWD)—20/26/22
- Toyota Highlander (FWD)—20/25/22
- Honda Pilot (FWD)—18/25/21
- Dodge Durango (RWD)—18/20/25
- Chevrolet Traverse—17/24/19
Engineers also made sure that the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid would retain much of its crossover capabilities. Yes, it swaps out the standard version’s 3.5-liter V6 for a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, but the latter has been supercharged and works with an advanced electrical propulsion system to serve up 250 hp and 243 lb.-ft. of torque. As a result, and as compared to the Pathfinder’s gas-only powerplant, hybrid drivers actually get an additional 3 lb.-ft. of torque (albeit with 10 fewer horsepower). And it’s still enough for a 3,500-lb. max tow rating—some 1,500 lbs. more than the EcoBoosted Explorer mentioned above.
There’s also reason to believe the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid is just the first of a wave of new hybrid entries from the automaker …