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2014 Nissan Pathfinder: Eco Friendly Model

For quite some time it has been observed that most of the car makers have started transforming their truck based SUVs into gentler and kinder crossovers. To go by the flourishing trend, Nissan has come forward with its 2014 Nissan Pathfinder, which has also emerged as the latest example of the ongoing trend and for almost every reason, the emergence seems to be for nothing less than good. Although, the newly introduced 7 passenger SUV has lost its towing and off road capabilities which were the main attractions of its predecessor, but just like any other transition mode this large crossover from Nissan has also gone under some tremendous changes that will make it high on utility. The all new 2014 Nissan Pathfinder has been redesigned completely and is ready to impress the buyers with its spacious and refurbished interior with main highlight of adult sized seating for both second and row passengers. Superior ride and excellent handling qualities will surely make 2014 Nissan Pathfinder an ideal option for carpool or tough shopping trips.

3.5 liter V6 engine is the main source of power in pathfinder along with its continuously variable transmission that provides the option to drive on front wheel or on the all wheel mode in the all wheel drive models. With the availability of CVT the pathfinder manages to achieve fuel economy of 22 mpg for the front wheel drive models and 21 mpg for all wheel drive models. These numbers might not be very attractive for some but if compared to several other seven seat pathfinders Pathfinder stands among the most efficient ones.

If you are unaffected by the mpg number of Pathfinder, then company has also introduced the Hybrid version of 2014 Nissan Pathfinder which is fitted with a supercharged 2.5 liter four cylinder engine powered by 15 kilowatt electric motor. If you take a look under the hood of the hybrid version you will find the neatly packed lithium ion battery under the third row seat, which has also lead to significant fuel economy improvements without making any compromise in cargo and passenger space. Because there are very less number of 7 passenger hybrids in the market, 2014 Nissan Pathfinder can be your potential preferred choice over the slightly more fuel efficient 2104 Toyota Highlander’s Hybrid version, which is also the only option falling under this price band.

If you are still not settled with the positives of 2014 Nissan Pathfinder, then there are some mid to large size three row crossovers to consider. We would recommend you to consider 2014 GMC Acadia if roomy and spacious cabin is your top priority, while on the other hand 2014 Mazda CX-9 also has roomier cabin than 2014 Nissan Pathfinder, CX-9 also excels in ride and handling dynamics which are quite impressive for such a large sized crossover. The Dodge Durango and 2014 Ford Flex can also be your picks if you are looking for engine and performance based SUV, but in none of these alternatives you will find Pathfinders’ great strength, exceptional interior and great fuel economy.

First Look: 2014 Mazda CX-9

Standing out from the current line up from the brand, the new 2014 Mazda CX-9 is not only the brand’s largest vehicle, but it’s also a holdover from another era at the automaker; the era before the brand decided to “go it alone” away from Ford and focus on engineering more lightness and fuel efficiency into its cars and crossovers. Although the 2014 Mazda CX-9 is not a class leader in gas mileage, like those other models, it still ranks as one of the better large crossover options if you need three rows of seating and a responsive, almost nimble driving demeanor.

It was only last year that the Mazda CX-9 received a modest set of upgrades with a new snout that closely matches the frond-end look of the recently redesigned CX-5 compact crossover, Mazda 3 compact car family and the Mazda 6 Sedan. Already, the Mazda CX-9 has been one of the better looking vehicles in its class but the Kodo ‘soul of motion’ design language applied  with only the new front end and rear details to the 2014 Mazda CX-9 is a good fit with the SUV’s existing side profile. A number of minor aesthetic changes to the cabin can be seen in the 2014 Mazda CX-9. The centre stack area has been redesigned to accommodate a 5.8 inch touchscreen and overall the interior look, while clearly carried over is the better fit with the CX-5’s somewhat more upright look. The dashboard in the CX-9 features a graceful waterfall design that flows into the door panels with uncommon flair.

Performance changes aren’t much for the 2014 Mazda CX-9 and that is a good thing. The 3.7 liter ‘MZR’ V-6 engine produces a 273 horsepower and runs on regular gas. Mated to a six speed automatic transmission with manual shift control, the engine accelerates the crossover from zero to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds for a front wheel drive configuration. An all wheel drive model needs 8.5 seconds for the same. The fuel economy is on par with that of other large crossovers at an EPA-estimated 19 mpg combined (17 mpg city/24 mpg highway) for front wheel drive models. The 2014 Mazda CX-9 AWD drops to 18 mpg combined (16 mpg city/22 mpg highway).

Offering amazingly strong acceleration for both around town driving and highway passing the Mazda CX-9 impresses with its agile responses. An accomplished highway cruiser, this SUV keeps road and wind noises to acceptable levels for backseat movie viewing and such. The steering, so precise, enable the driver to carve a consistent path no matter if one powers down the interstate or makes time on a rural two-way road. The steep rake of the windshields adds to the sporty vibe of the giant crossover. The suspension is a combination of compliance and poise and this is one of the best handling crossovers around.

Yes there are competitors like the Ford Explorer, Chevy Traverse, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder, but the 2014 Mazda CX-9 stands out with its powerful V6 engine, dynamic handling, agile responses and a stunning body.

Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

Right after Chevrolet gave to the market the C7 Corvette, Volkswagen is ready to offer SUV lovers, or rather the American SUV lovers the most American vehicle of the year. Volkswagen CrossBlue concept was revealed at the Detroit auto show this year. Officially a concept, the CrossBlue while sporting the plug-in diesel-electric powertrain as a token to carry on the legacy of the classic auto-show fare, the concept is quite a foretaste to the three-row SUV Volkswagen is about to offer in the coming two years.

As the brand tells about the Volkswagen CrossBlue and the production version that will step into the light with a different name, the crossovers are claimed as being “made for America”. It’s a two way deal. While the CrossBlue concept is a stunning treat to the American taste buds, the CrossBlue will be a trump card for VW quest for American sales growth. Anticipated to be a six or seven seater, the three-row crossover takes straight aims at the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder. The design of the concept perfectly displays the key characteristics of American SUVs. Marc Lichte, exterior designer for the Volkswagen CrossBlue concept skillfully incorporated giant wheel arches, a broad stance and the general brawn and masculinity into the design for the Americans to indulge into their rides. The successful attempt to style the CrossBlue for the Americans is testified by the fact that it is virtually a doppelganger to the Jeep’s Grand Cherokee and the styling is to remain mostly the same for the production model as well.

The Volkswagen CrossBlue concept’s powertrain is a diesel hybrid setup combining the latest EA288 2.0 liter turbo diesel four-cylinder engine, a six-speed DSG dual clutch automatic transmission and two electric motors, one at each axle. On its own, the diesel is capable of producing 190 horsepower and 280 pound feet of torque while the front mounted motor delivers 54 horses and 133 pound feet of twist along with the rear mounted one that is good for 114 and 119. Overall, the system is one big machine successfully producing 305 horsepower and a phenomenal torque of 516 pound feet. The brand claims that CrossBlue can cruise at a theoretical top speed of 127 mph and can achieve 60 mph from rest (o mph) in an impressive 7.0 seconds.

It is not yet decided where the CrossBlue will get its final North American assembly. Reports are the various VW plants are to bid for the right to build the stunning crossover. However, it is strongly anticipated that the crossover will unite with the Passat in Chattanooga, Tennessee. There is expected to be a long wait between the idea and the implementation. The concept is not yet to be headed for production and there have been no official announcements made. For a German company to pursue such a considerable wait for a behind schedule model, it comes with a bit of the surprise, but maybe it is just another aspect among many of the Volkswagen’s Americanization.

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