Nis­san points Path­way down hy­brid high­way

South Waikato News - - SPORT / TE PAPA HA¯ KINAKINA -

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.

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