Review: 2015 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

If you have the desire to have a practical 7 seat SUV with the smaller vehicle, the 2015 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid has launched to fill that gap.

The hybrid is available across the entire Pathfinder range, meaning there is a wide number of configurations and drive types to choose from, so you can best match your needs.

Our review model, the entry-level ST 2WD Hybrid still has lots of features packed in that make travel that much more comfortable. This includes the easily configured EZ Flex seating system, cool Tri-Zone automatic climate control, reversing camera and rear parking sensors.

Compared to its regular petrol Pathfinder models, the purchase price is higher for the Hybrid, but can it be justified on the road? That’s the purpose of our review; let’s check it out.

Initial Impression​

Compared to the Pathfinder ST we reviewed previously, there are only very subtle changes to the exterior including some additional badging and a new alloy wheel design.

Otherwise, the large proportions of the Pathfinder are noticeable when up close but overall the design is understated and isn’t one for drawing attention to itself.

Climbing inside finds you in the center of a vast space that feels as big as a football field and has you looking for a radio to communicate with the rear passengers.

Ok, so it’s not that big, but it still has loads of space for everyone and this is a big deal for a hybrid. Normally you lose a considerable amount of space for batteries and electric motors, but Nissan have done a good job here.

Drivability

The addition of the hybrid model is further evidence that the Pathfinder is no longer the hardcore 4WD it used to be. Even though 4WD is still an option, the interior and exterior design is orientated to be a SUV for the road and it does an excellent job at that.

The Pathfinder Hybrid is quiet, comfortable and extremely easy to drive and that’s all you could ask for.

Unique to this model is the 177kW four cylinder supercharged engine and a 15kW electric motor. This adds up to an 188kW combined output and 330Nm of torque. Standard is a CVT to help put power down to the wheels and result in an official fuel economy figure of 8.4L/100km.

In our tests we were able to achieve an 8.1L/100km combined fuel economy figure without any need to change our driving style. This is an improvement of the petrol Pathfinder that achieves 9.9L/100km, thanks to the electric motor providing some extra oomph when accelerating.

However, if we turned off the air-con and allowed the Pathfinder to engage in its electric mode whilst coasting and stopped, we saw a figure as low as 6.1L/100km for a round trip from Brisbane to the Gold Coast.

Even though with hot summers air-con is essential, you always have the option to stretch more from your tank when the fuel level is getting low. Even though the low fuel warning light displayed 60km left during our review, we were able to squeeze and extra 30km from the tank. That’s pretty impressive, and very handy.

Practicality​

What really sets the 2015 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid apart is that this is the first 7-seat SUV to be made available as a hybrid. This means that in terms of practicality and flexibility, the Pathfinder is the hybrid you’ll be wanting.

Thanks to the EZ Flex seating system, Nissan has made using the second and third rows of seats super easy. Depending on what you want to carry or whom you need to transport, you can arrange the seats in a mindboggling number of different configurations.

Even with the 1650kg towing capacity that is smaller than other SUV’s, you still have an option to tow a wide number of items - whether that is towing the jet ski, the new camper trailer or taking home your latest Bunnings purchase.

It’s also great to know that during all of this, you’ll relax and settle into an extremely comfortable drivers seat that even without leather, feels great.

The Pathfinder Hybrid in lots of ways, knows how to impress and make a lasting impression.

Cost

Nissan hasn’t followed in the footsteps of other manufacturers when it comes to the Pathfinder Hybrid and its models. For the first time, a hybrid option is available for each model in the Pathfinder line-up. This means that you always have the option to choose a more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle.

Starting with the 2WD ST Hybrid priced from under $50,000, you have a very compelling proposition. However, if you want more features and further refinement of the interior or a 4WD drive type, you can move through the range to find what is right for you.

For the Pathfinder Hybrid, Nissan offers 3 Years/100,000km of new car warranty and 6 Years/120,000km of Capped Price Servicing, both allowing a good deal of peace of mind for those new to Nissan. However, we would love to see a more competitive battery warranty offered, instead of the 1 Year/Unlimited KM warranty.

Overall, a 7-seat SUV hybrid that can be bought for under $50,000 is pretty good value and something that can’t be match at the moment.

Conclusion​

After what felt like a long time since the unveiling of the Pathfinder Hybrid and its arrival in the showrooms, the wait feels like it has been worth it.

The 2015 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid is worth consideration if you are in the market for a 7-seat SUV and wanting to be conscious about the environmental impact and to stretch the fuel tank a little bit further each week.

It’s highly practical, extremely comfortable and feels good on the road. There’s not much more you can ask for.

Search our Stock