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2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid: Pricing Undercuts Toyota Highlander Hybrid

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Nissan has put a price on its all-new 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid. And while the Pathfinder Hybrid likely won’t quite match the Toyota Highlander Hybrid for fuel efficiency, Nissan has smartly priced this model below that rival.

The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid starts at $35,970, for the front-wheel drive Pathfinder SV Hybrid, all the way up to $45,210 for the four-wheel-drive Pathfinder Platinum Hybrid. At the middle of the range, the Pathfinder SL Hybrid starts at $38,910 with front-wheel drive or $40,510 with 4WD.

A hybrid that should save money over the long run

A base 2014 Nissan Pathfinder S costs $29,560, while the 2WD Pathfinder SV is $32,820. So unless you’re the kind to spring for base models, the Hybrid sells at about $3,000 more than a comparably equipped non-hybrid model.

Equipment for the Pathfinder Hybrid—in addition to the special powertrain, of course—is comparable to that of the Pathfinder, although you get special display screens with hybrid system information.

That’s a differential that should pay itself off by lowering your gasoline budget over just a few years of ownership. Hybrid models are expected to get 26 mpg Combined (25 mpg city, 28 highway); that’s a 24-percent increase over the standard Pathfinder, although it’s not quite up to the 28/28 mpg ratings of the 2013 Highlander Hybrid.

First Nissan with new hybrid system

2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid

2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid

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The Pathfinder Hybrid uses a new hybrid system for Nissan and Infiniti vehicles, pairing a supercharged, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a 15-kW (22-hp) electric motor that’s essentially sandwiched between the engine and CVT, with an electronically controlled clutch on either end. The system makes 250 hp altogether, and Nissan boasts that it provides torque and responsiveness on par with their oft-used ‘VQ’ V-6.

Nissan also notes that, when properly equipped, the Pathfinder Hybrid should be able to tow 3,500 pounds.

The 2013 Highlander Hybrid costs $41,030, while the top-of-the-line Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited stickers at $47,230 sticker price. Although according to Kelley Blue Book, it’s been selling, typically, for thousands less.

Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel also a rival

Another strong alternative would be the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, which can be optioned with an excellent, fuel-saving and tow-friendly 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6, at a bottom-line price of $41,290.

The Pathfinder Hybrid could prove more enjoyable to drive than the Highlander Hybrid, but that’s yet to be proven, as a new-and-improved version of the Highlander Hybrid is due next year. Look for updates to our full review pages on these vehicles and first drives for both in the coming months.

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