Japanese Hybrid Xovers Invade NY

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Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Infiniti have all arrived at the New York Auto Show with hybrid crossovers. Check out how they compare.

No less than four Japanese crossover hybrids have descended upon the 2013 New York Auto Show. Nissan unveiled its fuel-sipping Pathfinder and its premium Infiniti-badged sibling the QX60, Subaru released its first-ever production hybrid, the XV Crosstrek, and Mitsubishi introduced its Outlander PHEV. The Outlander plug-in hybrid went on sale in Japan back in January, but is just hitting the US market. In New York Mitsubishi has showcased the new model with a unique full-scale cutaway.

Expected to land in showrooms in 2014, the Outlander PHEV is powered by a hybrid drivetrain combining a pair of 80-horsepower electric motors, a 12kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 2.0-liter inline-four gasoline engine, good for 117 hp and 137 lb-ft of torque. The unique drivetrain configuration allows the Outlander PHEV to automatically select one of three unique drivetrain modes: pure EV mode, which provides a top speed of 75 mph and a 30-mile range, Series Hybrid that gets help from the gas-powered generator, and Parallel Hybrid that makes use of all available resources.

The hybrid variant of the redesigned Pathfinder boasts the same features as the standard crossover but with improved economy and cruising range. Power comes from a 2.5-liter supercharged V6, a lithium-ion battery and 20hp electric motor, which combine to generate 250 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, while offering 25/27 mpg city/highway and a cruise range of 526 miles. Nissan also managed to cleverly package the hybrid gear to give it just as much passenger and cargo spaces as a standard Pathfinder. The Infiniti QX60 Hybrid is effectively a rebadged Pathfinder Hybrid with identical mechanics and subtle style differences to make it more upscale than its Nissan twin.

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Bringing up the rear is the XV Crosstrek Hybrid that Subaru claims will become the most fuel-efficient AWD crossover in the US. It features a 2.0-liter boxer engine, rated at 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of toque, mated to a continuously variable transmission with an integrated electric motor producing 13 hp and 48 lb-ft of torque. Combined with a start/stop system, the hybrid returns 28/34 mpg city/highway even though it adds 300 pounds more weight. Distinguishing the Hybrid from the gasoline model is some Hybrid badges, a new Plasma Green Pearl body color, an active shutter grille and unique alloys.

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