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Hybrid Pathfinder cuts fuel use by 25 per cent

Nissan adds battery and electric motor to Pathfinder and QX60

Published April 1, 2013

A year after introducing its new seven-seat Pathfinder, Nissan debuted a hybrid version here this week that’s powered by a lithium-ion battery small enough to make no dent in the SUV’s cargo capacity.

Sister company Infiniti also showed off the new hybrid version of its QX60, the more luxurious version of the Pathfinder that’s currently called the JX. Infiniti is changing the names of all its vehicles to either Q or QX to provide some conformity across its lineup.

Nissan says the Pathfinder hybrid will improve fuel consumption by almost 25 per cent over the standard model, returning an estimated 7.2 L/100 km, yet with no noticeable loss of performance or interior space. Its range could be more than 1,000 km with careful driving.

It uses a smaller 2.5 L supercharged gas engine instead of the regular 3.5 L V6, and its power is rated at 250 total hp and 243 lb.-ft. of torque, compared to the V6’s 260 hp and 240 lb.-ft.

The hybrid battery is stored under the third-row seat, so the interior layout is unchanged and still has a flat floor — unusual for hybrids. It’s the first use of this next-generation lithium-ion battery in a Nissan product.

The Pathfinder Hybrid will also use Nissan’s next-generation Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), and is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg).

Pricing will be confirmed closer to its availability in Canadian showrooms later this summer, but is expected to be about $3,000 more than the equivalent regular model, so it will probably start at about $35,000. It will be sold in three different trim levels, and only as a four-wheel-drive SUV.

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