Nissan points Pathway down hybrid highway
Think large SUVs and diesel power is often the norm, with buyers lapping up the effortless torque and fuel saving advantages such motors can provide.
But many of the family breed of seven- seaters – including the Toyota Kluger, Mazda CX-9 and Subaru Tribeca – don’t offer a diesel engine, primarily because of the lack of global demand for such a configuration ( the biggest markets for large SUVs are America and the Middle East, both of which are heavily skewed towards petrol rather than diesel).
The antidote for high fuel prices in places like the US has been hybrid systems, but they’ve largely been shunned in Australasia due to low volumes (hybrids account for just 1.1 per cent of the new car markets).
But Nissan has now jumped on board with a petrol-electric version of its Pathfinder. The latest Pathfinder is all about appealing to US tastes – witness the lashings of chrome and the big body – and the hybrid is an important part of that.
Priced at $69,990 in New Zealand, the Hybrid model brings a $4000 premium over the regular V6- powered Pathfinder Ti. It’s available in a range of models in Australia, but in New Zealand we get just the Ti spec, which means leather trim, a full Bluetooth setup, cruise control, rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring, seven seats, electric driver’s seat and six airbags. There’s also a three-zone air-conditioning system giving those in the rear separate controls.
One negative for those looking to tow is that capacity has been reduced from 2700kg to just 1700kg.
Still, it’s fuel saving that is the Hybrid’s reason for being. Fuel use is claimed at 8.5 litres per 100km for the 4WD models, a decent chunk below the 10.2L/100km for the V6 models.