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Thursday, February 06, 2014

2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid





PRICE : For 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid SV 2WD $35,110
PRICE : For 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid SV 4WD $36,710


Over the past few years, automakers have been transforming their old-school truck-based SUVs into kinder, gentler, car-based crossovers. Last year the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder became the latest example of this trend and, by almost all measures, it has emerged the better for it.

Although this seven-passenger Pathfinder lost some of its predecessors' off-road and towing capabilities in the transition, the majority of buyers will find Nissan's largest crossover SUV infinitely more useful as a result. This latest Pathfinder gained a spacious new interior with adult-size seating in both the second and third rows, along with superior ride and handling qualities that are better suited for carpool duty and shopping trips to Target.

For power, the current Nissan Pathfinder also uses a 3.5-liter V6 and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that drives either the front wheels or, on all-wheel-drive models, all four. The CVT helps the 2014 Pathfinder achieve EPA fuel economy estimates of 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined for front-wheel-drive models and 21 combined with all-wheel drive. While those numbers might not sound spectacular on their own, in context they make this Pathfinder among the most fuel-efficient seven-seat crossovers on the road.

If those mpg numbers just aren't good enough for you, this year marks the introduction of the new Pathfinder Hybrid model. With a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and 15-kilowatt electric motor under the hood and a compact lithium-ion battery pack packaged underneath the third-row seat, the hybrid Pathfinder offers a significant improvement in fuel economy with no loss of passenger and cargo room. There aren't many hybrid seven-passenger SUVs on the market, so the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid gives you an alternative to the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, which is really the only other option in this price range.


Even with the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder's strong points, there are a few other midsize-to-large three-row crossovers worth considering. Among the dozen or so entries in this category, we'd recommend looking at the 2014 GMC Acadia if maximum interior room is a priority, while the Mazda CX-9 also offers a bit more room than the Nissan, along with the best ride and handling dynamics of any large crossover SUV. The Dodge Durango and 2014 Ford Flex, meanwhile, are better picks if you're after superior engine performance and, in the case of the Flex, truly distinctive exterior style. Any of these utility vehicles will work if you need three rows of seating, but with the Pathfinder's strengths in interior design, fuel economy and general ease of use, it's a solid pick for families.



EXTERIOR













Towards the exterior design, the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid will come with the dashing and fluid tall-wagon look and also more curvy lines as compared to other crossover SUVs out there. Some of the standard exterior features of all-new Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid are the 18 or 20 inches wheels and a bold chrome grille along with heavily sculpted front fenders...SEE ALL PHOTOS


INTERIOR



















Inside, the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder offers an attractive cabin with high-quality materials that give it a decidedly premium look, especially in the top Platinum trim level. Even with its long list of features, gauges and controls are easy to see and operate. We're especially fond of the touchscreen electronics interface. There's nothing particularly flashy about it, but it's very easy to use and offers helpful redundant controls.

Both front- and second-row occupants will find their seats comfortable and supportive. The second-row seat excels here by virtue of its ability to slide fore and aft and recline for greater comfort or to create more room for those in the back. Those seats also slide forward even with a child's car seat in place, eliminating the need to uninstall these seats every time you need to get people into the third row. And unlike the third-row seats in some competitors, the Nissan Pathfinder's rearmost seat has enough headroom to accommodate adults up to 6 feet tall. Legroom's a bit tight, though, so only kids will be happy back here on longer trips.

Behind the third-row seats there are 19 cubic feet of cargo room, which can be expanded to 79.8 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats folded flat. It's a useful amount, but other models like the Acadia or CX-9 are roomier still..SEE ALL PHOTOS



SPECIFICATON


► Year:2014
► Make:Nissan
► Model:Pathfinder
► Price:$28700
► Engine:V6
► Transmission:Xtronic Auto
Horsepower @ RPM:260
► MPG(Cty):20
► MPG(Hwy):27
► Torque @ RPM:240
► Energy:EFI
► Displacement:3.5 L
► 0-60 time:7.3 sec.
► Top Speed:118 mph
► Layout:Front-engine, Front-Drive (4x4 Opt)


HANDLING & FOUR WHEEL DRIVE


Like all Pathfinders, Hybrid versions offer a quiet, comfortable ride and handling provided by an independent strut front/multi-link rear suspension and with hydraulic electric power-assisted steering standard. Available wheel and tire combinations include 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/55R20 all-season tires...

With the available intuitive four-wheel drive, Pathfinder continues to serve as an excellent vehicle for inclement weather driving conditions...

Pathfinder is the only vehicle in class with selectable 2WD, Auto or 4WD Lock modes for its available intuitive ALL-MODE 4x4-i system. The system lets the driver choose full-time 2WD for maximum fuel economy, Auto mode to automatically monitor conditions and adjust the balance of power between front and rear wheels for best traction, or 4WD Lock mode when the confidence of full-time 4WD is desired. In addition, standard Hill Start Assist helps add control when starting and driving away on a steep incline (both 4WD and 2WD models)..

Hybrid-equipped Pathfinders also retain the ability to tow boats, jet skis, trailers and a variety of other recreational gear with standard towing capacity of 3,500 pounds (when properly equipped)...

"The Pathfinder Hybrid takes all the style, features, utility and amenities of the popular new Pathfinder and adds fuel efficiency and driving range, without losing one bit of its real-world, everyday lifestyle-enhancing fun and flexibility," concluded Loing. "As the most fuel-efficient Pathfinder ever, we believe it's going to be a great addition to the lineup for 2014."..


TECHNOLOGY






Thoughtful technology is also found throughout the Pathfinder Hybrid interior, starting with the instrument panel, which includes the Advanced Drive-Assist Display in the center of the instrument cluster right in front of the driver. With hybrid-equipped models, the customizable, easy-to-read 4.2-inch color monitor can show power flow readings from the electric motor and gas engine, along with power regeneration back into the battery...

The instrument panel also includes a large multifunction center IT display, available Nissan Navigation System with NavTraffic real-time traffic and NavWeather weather information (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Zagat Survey restaurant guide, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth and RearView Monitor...

Pathfinder also features available advanced, class-exclusive Around View Monitor, which provides the driver a virtual 360-degree image of the area around the vehicle. Other technology includes Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, power rear liftgate, iPod integration and tri-zone entertainment system with 2nd row head restraint-mounted DVD display screens...

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with individual tire pressure display and class-exclusive Easy Fill Tire Alert that provides both visual and audible signals to help owners conveniently maintain correct tire pressures without the use of a gauge is standard. The available remote engine start function allows the climate control system to warm up or cool down the interior prior to driving....


NEXT GENERATION STYLE


Beyond its hybrid powertrain and distinctive LED taillights, the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid is pure fourth-generation Pathfinder. That means that along with reduced weight of its unibody construction (versus the previous generation's body-on-frame design), it offers an attractive, aerodynamic exterior without compromising headroom or cargo capacity. The look is adventure-ready with wheel-oriented muscular fenders and a strong, stable stance. The upper body features an open cabin with a low beltline and thin A- and D-pillars, which flow smoothly into the rugged, durable-looking lower body. The coefficient of drag is 0.34...

Other exterior details include a wide chrome grille and large aerodynamic headlights, recessed front windshield wipers, chrome door handles and the large rear LED combination lights. An available Dual Panorama Moonroof, with sliding opening front panel and fixed rear glass panel which extends over the 2nd and 3rd rows, combines with the large windows to create an open, airy interior environment...

Pathfinder's quiet, comfortable interior includes a wide range of available features, including three rows of rich leather-appointed seating surfaces, heated and cooled front seats, heated 2nd row seats, heated steering wheel, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Start, multiple user memory settings and an advanced Bose Audio System with 13 speakers. SiriusXM Satellite Radio is standard (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately)...

An unmatched level of versatility comes to life in the design of the 2nd and 3rd rows with exceptional 3rd row access - thanks to large rear door openings and the EZ Flex™ Seating System with 5.5 inches of 2nd row seat travel for ease of entry and exit to the 3rd row. The 60/40-split 2nd row features innovative LATCH AND GLIDE™ technology that allows forward movement and access to the 3rd row with a child safety seat remaining securely in place (on the passenger curb side). With the extensive 2nd row seat travel, it's easy to adjust legroom or accommodate cargo spontaneously as needed...

The 3rd row seat is a 50/50 split-folding design, offering added cargo flexibility, and it also reclines for greater passenger comfort - a feature not offered with other SUVs in class. Both the 2nd and 3rd row seats fold flat for optimal cargo capacity...


PERFORMANCE


The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder is squarely in the sweet spot of the mid-size crossover world: a large three-row vehicle that can carry seven people, with car-like ride and handling, optimized for use on suburban pavement and--to a lesser degree--curvy back roads and muddy athletic fields or graveled parking lots...

The standard powertrain in all Pathfinders is the familiar Nissan 3.5-liter V-6, which appears in products from the 370Z sports car to the Maxima sedan. In this use, it's rated at 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque, with updates to reduce friction and provide maximum power on regular gasoline. It's paired to Nissan's familiar Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), now driven by a chain rather than a belt. It has a wider range between the lowest and highest ratios, which improves acceleration and lowers engine speed during highway cruising. But responsiveness can suffer, and the Pathfinder sometimes has quite a delay as the engine speed spools up to deliver more power if it's been loafing along at low revs...

New this year is a second powertrain option, the Pathfinder Hybrid. This pairs a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a 15-kilowatt (22-hp) electric motor sandwiched between the engine and a modified version of the CVT, with a clutch on either end. The combination of engine and motor is rated at 250 hp, just 10 hp shy of the V-6 output...

The hybrid Pathfinder suffers from the same transmission lag, and occasionally feels underpowered. But its oddest feature is that the engine start-stop function appears not to work--at least in our prototype Pathfinder Hybrid--when the air conditioning is on, presumably so the engine can keep the compressor running. It's a problem Ford fixed on its Escape Hybrid back in 2009, but to keep costs down, Nissan hasn't fitted electric air conditioning. That means that in hot weather, the hybrid system forgoes the fuel-saving benefits of shutting down the engine when the car has stopped...

With a small single electric motor in a large, heavy vehicle, the Pathfinder Hybrid also has no ability to propel itself on electricity alone. Like Honda's mild-hybrid IMA system, the electric motor is strictly there to help out a smaller gasoline engine. Nissan says the hybrid model will be much closer in price to the gasoline version than in competing products--presumably meaning the Highlander Hybrid--but we wonder whether buyers will expect "hybrid" to mean some ability for all-electric running...

With either powertrain, the Pathfinder droves more like a softly sprung sedan than a large utility vehicle--and it's easy to forget how much metal is following behind you. It's lighter than some competitors, so there's less sense of heft behind the wheel. We did notice some torque steer in front-wheel-drive models, but not in the all-wheel-drive versions, which send most of the power to the front wheels until it's needed in back for traction or stability. The driver can select a 2WD mode for front-wheel drive only, maximizing fuel efficiency, or a 4WD Lock mode to distribute power equally front and rear (the system still modulates power delivery side to side)...

The response of the Pathfinder's hydraulic-electric power steering is quick, it's well-weighted, and it has decent on-center feel. Throw the Pathfinder quickly back and forth on choppy roads, and you'll get better control than some more inept competitors (the last generation of Toyota Highlander stands out there). The one drawback is that the low-rolling-resistance tires fitted to most models don't offer nearly as much grip as you'd expect from the well-controlled body. The problem occurs with both the standard 18-inch and optional 20-inch wheels...

The optional tow package gives the V-6 Pathfinder towing capability up to 5,000 pounds, or 3,500 for the Hybrid, with different programming for the CVT when the loads on the transmission are heavier. Most family buyers will never test the limits of the Pathfinder's all-wheel drive; while the crossover has less ground clearance than, say, a Subaru Outback, it handles rutted surfaces with assurance...SEE ALL PHOTOS


COMFORT & QUALITY


The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder has been ruthlessly designed with the needs of traveling families or groups uppermost in mind. it's comfortable, flexible, and spacious. Despite the visually long hood, the cabin is longer than those of several competitors--including the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot--and it actually has three usable rows of seats...

The front seats are comfortable, offer good back support, and the driver has a wide adjustment range. There's little side bolstering, but they proved comfortable on long highway trips. The Pathfinder isn't a vehicle that really rewards a driver who tosses it around hilly roads, either, so the front seats are fine...

The second-row seats proved slightly disappointing. There's plenty of space, and the ability to slide 5.5 inches back and forth is a real bonus. But full-size adults may squirm and fidget trying to get comfortable. The back seat is short, flat, and somewhat van-like, as well as sitting quite low to the floor. That demands a leaning-back, legs-splayed seating position that doesn't bode well for comfort on long road trips. Headroom is more than adequate, so the less-than-perfect back seat is likely due to its ability to fold surprisingly far forward for third-row access..

The most impressive feature--for families, anyhow--will be that the second row can be slid and folded forward enough to permit third-row access while a "Latch and Glide" child seat remains installed in the middle row. (Yes, you have to take the child out first.)..

The third row is also low to the floor, and like most such installations, really suited for kids, without enormous amounts of headroom. The third-row seat back does adjust for rake, though, and overall the Pathfinder does as good a job of any three-row in trading off the incompatible goals of space, comfort, and access for all eight positions...

For family miscellany, the Pathfinder comes equipped with various bins, map pockets on the backs of the front seats, and a pair of large trays in the center console. The three bottle holders in each rear door panel may be a new record, along with cupholders on each side of the third row, and four altogether up front: two in the console, plus one in each door...

Cargo space totals 79.8 cubic feet with both the second and third rows folded forward. But with all seats up, there's only 16 cubic feet--not that much, and barely enough for a family grocery run...

Travelers with find the Pathfinder's ride smooth and refined, even on long trips. Nissan worked hard on eliminating secondary vibrations and reducing noise, so minor road coarseness is far less intrusive than in some competitors--and the same goes for wind noise as well. Despite the CVT, the engine drone is tolerable under most circumstances (though still not quite as pleasant as Subaru's CVT, still our favorite among all makers)...


DRIVETRAIN



The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder feels right at home in its role as suburban runabout. The 3.5-liter V6 and CVT deliver respectable acceleration in most situations. The V6 can feel a little sluggish during passing maneuvers, and the efficiency-oriented CVT can be slow to respond if you get aggressive with the gas pedal. In time, you get used to both of these traits, but we've never really made peace with the engine's noisy soundtrack: This V6 simply doesn't sound as good as competitors' six-cylinders.

On pavement, the Pathfinder's suspension does a good job soaking up bumps and road irregularities to create a smooth, stable ride. However, if you choose a Platinum model, which has 20-inch wheels, the ride is noticeably stiffer over bumps and ruts. Although the Pathfinder's steering is light and precise, handling is not a strong suit and it feels large from behind the wheel. Consumers looking for sportier handling will likely prefer the Mazda CX-9 or Ford Flex, although, we suspect most Pathfinder buyers won't find this to be a significant weakness.


BODY & TRIM



The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder is a midsize seven-passenger crossover SUV offered in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum. A new Pathfinder Hybrid model is also available but debuts this fall.

Standard equipment on the entry-level S includes 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat (with two-way lumbar adjustment), 60/40-split-folding second-row seats (with slide and recline), a 50/50-split third-row seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control and a six-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer.

The SV model adds automatic headlights, a roof rack, keyless ignition and entry, rear parking sensors, an eight-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a 7-inch color multi-information display, a rearview camera and an upgraded audio system with a 7-inch touchscreen display, a single-CD player, satellite radio and a USB/iPod interface.

Stepping up to the SL trim level gets you foglights, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, driver memory settings, a four-way power passenger seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Opting for the SL Tech package further gets you a 120-volt household-style power outlet, a larger 8-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system and a 13-speaker Bose audio system with Bluetooth audio connectivity.

The top-of-the-line Platinum model comes standard with the above features and further adds 20-inch alloy wheels, a towing package (optional on SV and SL), a 360-degree parking camera, a power-adjustable heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats.

For the Pathfinder SL, the SL Premium package gets you the Bose audio system, the 120-volt power outlet, a large dual panoramic sunroof and the tow package. The Platinum Premium package includes the dual panoramic sunroof and is the only way to get a rear-seat entertainment system with dual displays.


ENGINE




Towards the exterior design, the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid will come with the dashing and fluid tall-wagon look and also more curvy lines as compared to other crossover SUVs out there. Some of the standard exterior features of all-new Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid are the 18 or 20 inches wheels and a bold chrome grille along with heavily sculpted front fenders.


SAFETY


The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder earns good but not spectacular ratings for crash safety, and it's missing a few optional features that are increasingly common in competing vehicles...

Specifically, an imperfect array of test results in federal ratings, along with an incomplete set of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests, keep the Pathfinder from doing better than an '8' on our scale at this time...

Nissan's seven-seat mid-size crossover is rated at five out of five stars overall by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), including excellent five-star ratings for side impact and all its subcategories. It earns four-star ratings for frontal impact, however...

The IIHS has only partially rated the new Pathfinder, giving it the highest rating of "Good" for moderate-overlap front crash and side crash safety...

The predictable list of safety features for a new passenger vehicle shows up on the Pathfinder, including six standard airbags, with the side-curtain airbags offering a rollover sensor and covering outboard positions in all three rows. Then there's stability control, a traction control system, four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, and Brake Assist. A useful feature unique to Nissans is the standard Easy Fill Tire Alert, which sounds the horn when you've inflated the tires to the recommended pressure...

A rearview camera and rear sonar parking sensors are standard are most versions of the Pathfinder, but the multi-view camera system--which displays a 360-degree view of the car's surroundings--is only included on the top Platinum trim level. That system can make a big difference, whether you're backing out of a crowded driveway or navigating a narrow alley...

The missing features on the Pathfinder--neither standard nor optional--include active-safety systems like blind-spot warning and lane-departure warning, plus traction assists for more rugged off-road use, such as hill descent control. They're far from standard on all competitors, but they're increasingly common...


FUEL ECONOMY


There are two versions of the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder that offer quite different fuel economy. The standard V-6 model is rated at 22 mpg combined (20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway) with front-wheel drive, but specifying all-wheel drive knocks that down to 21 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway)...

Nissan says that's a best-in-class figure for three-row V-6 mid-size crossovers. Among mid-size crossovers with a third seat overall, only one does better, both with front-wheel drive: the base Ford Explorer, fitted with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, at 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway). Ratings have not yet been issued, however, for the redesigned 2014 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid...

The other alternative is the Pathfinder Hybrid, new this year, which is projected to earn ratings of 26 mpg combined (25 mpg city, 27 mpg highway). That's more than a 20-percent increase, but it comes at a price: the Pathfinder Hybrid can feel underpowered in some circumstances...

The hybrid Pathfinder still gets a lower fuel-economy rating than last year's Toyota Highlander Hybrid, which comes standard with all-wheel drive (the Nissan hybrid can be ordered either way). Moreover, the Pathfinder Hybrid has virtually no ability to run in all-electric mode as the Highlander does; the electric motor is just there to assist the gasoline engine. On the other hand, the price increase will likely be much lower than for Toyota's mid-size crossover. Last year's Highlander Hybrid, a high-end model, started at around $40,000--which will get you a fairly fully loaded Pathfinder...

Other contenders, conceivably, would include the version of the Mercedes-Benz GL 350 BlueTEC diesel, which has all-wheel drive standard and is rated at 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway) against the V-6 Pathfinder. Or the five-seat Lexus RX 450h hybrid crossover could be compared to the Pathfinder Hybrid; it's rated at 30 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, or 29 mpg with all-wheel drive...


VIDEO ( 2014 NISSAN PATHFINDER HYBRID )


Video by : CARVIDEO




By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars


= Shahen Tharammal



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