Nissan has announced pricing and details for its new Pathfinder Hybrid range, featuring three model grades, along with with front- and all-wheel-drive options.
Starting from $42,990 for the FWD Pathfinder Hybrid ST, Nissan's first Australian-delivered hybrid lobs in at just $3000 more than the V6-powered base model Pathfinder ST.
And though it doesn't have the fuel-saving plug-in capability of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, it undercuts the Mitsubishi by some $4500 and boasts seven seats as standard.
It also gives Nissan an offering to oppose diesel competitors like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento, and it has a big advantage against the petrol-only Toyota Kluger - its key rival.
Propelled by a 188kW/330Nm 2.5 litre supercharged inline four and a 15kW electric assistance motor, the Pathfinder Hybrid produces 2kW less power and 5Nm more torque than the 3.5 litre petrol V6 in the rest of the Pathfinder range.
Yet despite being a torquier motor, Nissan claims the hybrid consumes just 8.4 l/100km on the combined cycle, 1.5 l/100km less than the V6.
In the ST power is taken to the front wheels via a continuously-variable transmission, while the ST-L and Ti grades feature all-wheel drive as standard. For the AWD models, average fuel consumption rises slightly to 8.5 l/100km.
The engine and electric motor are each connected to the transmission via an electromagnetic clutch, which enables them to operate independently of each other.
And while there's no dedicated EV mode, regenerative braking allows the electric motor to top up the Pathfinder Hybrid's 144-volt lithium-ion battery.
But though the Hybrid has the edge on its petrol-powered counterpart in torque and fuel efficiency, its tow rating suffers.
While the V6-engined Pathfinder can pull up to 2700kg on a braked trailer, the Hybrid can only haul 1650kg.
Equipment levels in the Pathfinder Hybrid largely mirror those of the equivalent V6 models, with all models getting seven seats, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, tri-zone climate control, keyless entry keyless ignition, and Bluetooth phone and audio integration.
One unique feature of the Pathfinder Hybrid is its LED tail lamp clusters, which are fitted to every variant and are different to those of the V6.
All hybrid models also get active engine mounts and noise-cancelling technology to improve refinement and provide a quieter drive.
Move up in to the ST-L, and you get a glass sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a powered driver's seat, foglamps, heated wing mirrors and a power-adjustable steering column.
An option package is also available for the ST-L which adds sat-nav, an 8-inch colour touchscreen, a top-down camera view function and 9GB of onboard music storage.
At the top of the range is the Pathfinder Hybrid Ti.
Equipped with all of the features of the ST, ST-L and the ST-L's option pack, the Ti also enjoys dual 7-inch colour monitors to entertain rear passengers, 20-inch alloy wheels, heated and cooled seats, and remote key fobs with unique driver profiles for seat and mirror positions.
All Pathfinder Hybrids feature the same amount of passenger and luggage space as non-hybrid models, with the location of the high-voltage battery pack designed not to intrude on interior volume.
The Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid range officially goes on sale in September, with retail pricing as follows.
- Pathfinder Hybrid ST - $42,990
- Pathfinder Hybrid ST-L - $57,490
- Pathfinder Hybrid ST-L with option pack - $59,590
- Pathfinder Hybrid Ti - $68,090
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