Fusion of power: Pathfinder Hybrid

The Community takes the dashing Nissan crossover for a test drive…
The Community By Indira Kasaeva
Published on October 21, 2015

The Nissan Pathfinder 2014 Hybrid is an impressive version of an SUV transformed into a midrange crossover. Arriving in a four-wheel drive and hybrid version, it was an interesting ride to put to the test.

With fluid lines creating a smooth exterior, the body of the car looks top notch. It seems to be quite compact from the outside; however it is impressively large from inside with sufficient place to squeeze in eight people and easily fit in seven. With three rows of seats, enough leg space and headroom, a panoramic roof, fuel economy and user friendly electronic interface– the Pathfinder is some serious competition to other cars in the midrange crossover category. It is the ultimate family car for a drive in the city and some off road adventures. There is ample space in the two front rows and enough in the back; good thing the second row seats can be adjusted to create more space for the third row passengers.

Our 4WD was a pleasant drive, absorbing the humps and bumps and effortlessly flowing on the road. Handling this big beast was fairly easy too; the steering was light despite the weight and size with only a little effort required on the U-turns. Even after driving a sedan, the Pathfinder was very easy to adjust to. The acceleration was sufficient enough but complete stopping required some effort.

The issue may be due to the Pathfinder being a hybrid. Combining a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, 15-kW electric motor, and a Lithium-ion battery – it offers better fuel economy, but slightly takes away from the performance. The Hybrid blends the power of the engine and the electric motor resulting in a bit sluggish response, and it is not seamless either; you will see the energy flow on the dashboard behind your steering, which can make new drivers a bit frustrated. However, the combo makes up a good 250 horsepower.  Considering that there aren’t many SUV hybrids in the market, Nissan Pathfinder is a good option for a seven seat crossover with great fuel economy. The closest you can get of a similar hybrid is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

Interior wise, you get a great panoramic sunroof that you can close and open from the sun, there is an automated system for that. The roof is just perfect for some cool breeze in the winter months, and to be closed for the summer to protect from the scorching sunlight.  Complete leather interior was a nice touch, especially the leather wrapped steering wheel. There are automated power adjustments to the driver’s seat for all angles and directions. In terms of the technology, there is nothing too fancy in the Pathfinder; mainly a seven-inch colour display holds everything from the radio to the park assist sensors. There is a reverse camera, a CD player and satellite radio on the display, while the audio and video jacks are located in the compartment between the two front seats. You can just connect your iPhone with your USB wire and the beat will drop. The electronic interface is very easy to navigate with only a few buttons. Out of the cons, would be the loud noise of the air-conditioning system.

In terms of safety, the Pathfinder passes the test with front row airbags and full-length side curtain airbags across all the three rows. Breaking system is also on a high level with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control. In crash tests the Pathfinder’s performance was rated as good.

Overall, the Pathfinder is a safe, easy and efficient car for a family in the city. Easily to handle, can fit in a ton and economical in terms of fuel.



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