2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid Kisses Ruggedness Goodbye Once And For All

When you think of the Nissan Pathfinder, odds are you think of this car. Or maybe even this car. But it's not that car anymore — the once-rugged, truck-based Pathfinder has gone over to the dark realm of the crossover. And today at the New York Auto Show, we saw the last of its toughness disappear forever as a hybrid version was unveiled.

But hey, can you really blame Nissan for this? Hardcore truck-based SUVs aren't what the market wants anymore. People want comfort, size and fuel economy in their sport utilities, not off-roading and haulability. That's just the way it is.

The new Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid comes in either front- or all-wheel-drive configurations, and it packs a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine coupled with an electric motor for a net total of 243 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Hey, at least it's supercharged; that's kinda cool.

2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid Kisses Ruggedness Goodbye Once And For All

As for fuel economy, this version brings it up to a combined 26 mpg, which doesn't sound too impressive but is about on par with its hybrid SUV competition. You will have to deal with the fact that the CVT is the only available transmission.

If you buy this and become inclined to tow stuff as if you owned one of the older Pathfinders, you can do it up to 3,500 pounds.

So if you've ever wanted a Nissan Pathfinder but didn't buy one because you kept saying "Gee, I wish this were a front-wheel-drive hybrid," now's your chance to snatch one up.