Nissan X-Trail (Q2)
Highlighted by softer, more rounded exterior styling, a more premium cabin and the first-time inclusion of seating for seven, the all-new third-generation Nissan X-Trail launches locally in the second quarter of 2014. Again available in both front- and four-wheel-drive configurations, the X-Trail will debut the car maker’s new seven-inch touchscreen-based ‘NissanConnect’ infotainment system as well as two claimed world-firsts: road monitoring Active Ride Control and Active Engine Braking – the latter linked to the SUV’s automatic continuously variable transmission. Engine specifications are still to be revealed, though Nissan says the X-Trail will deliver class-leading engine efficiency through the use of downsized petrol and diesel powerplants. Expect pricing to again range from high-$20K to mid-$40K.
Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid (Q2)
Following the October launch of the all-new fourth-generation Nissan Pathfinder, the Pathfinder Hybrid arrives in local showrooms in the second quarter of 2014, aiming to fill the void left by the discontinued diesel variant. An alternative to the 190kW/325Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, the hybrid combines a supercharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, a 15kW electric motor and a lithium-ion battery for a total output of 186kW and 329Nm. Sending power to either the front or all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission – the latter with the aid of the car maker’s ‘All Mode 4×4-I’ system – Nissan claims a 785km range and combined cycle fuel consumption of 9.1L/100km – 0.8L/100km down on the V6. Despite the additional hybrid hardware, and thanks to the battery pack being located beneath the third-row seats, the circa-120kg-heavier Pathfinder Hybrid matches its petrol sibling for both cabin space and luggage capacity (2259 litres). Towing capacity, however, drops to 1600kg from 2700kg. Local pricing is yet to be announced, however in the US the hybrid commands a 20 per cent premium over its petrol equivalent, suggesting a starting price around $48,000 in Australia.
Read CarAdvice's Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid Review.
Nissan Pulsar SSS sedan (Q2)
The Nissan Pulsar SSS sedan launches in Australia in the second quarter of 2014, arriving around 12 months after its 140kW/240Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder-powered hatch sibling made its long-awaited return. Matching the Pulsar hatch line-up, the SSS sedan will sit atop the range, replacing the current $29,490 Ti as the flagship four-door. It will also resemble its $29,690 SSS twin by offering both a six-speed manual gearbox and a continuously variable transmission along with the five-door’s sports body kit and 17-inch alloy wheels. Likely priced just north of $30,000, the Pulsar SSS sedan will also be the sole turbocharged four-door model, with Nissan planning no sedan equivalent for the cheaper ST-S hatch.
Nissan Qashqai (Q3)
Replacing the first-generation Dualis, the all-new second-generation Nissan Qashqai lands in Australia in the third quarter of 2014 wearing the compact SUV’s global badge. To be offered locally in both front- and all-wheel drive, the five-seat-only Qashqai (the third-generation Nissan X-Trail will take the place of the outgoing seven-seat Dualis+2) is 49mm longer, 20mm wider and 15mm lower than the outgoing model. Up to 40kg lighter with 20L more boot space (now 450L) and a higher opening tailgate, the new crossover promises to bring collision avoidance technology, driver attention support, traffic sign recognition, and semi-automatic parking to showrooms. Yet to be finalised, engines will be selected from a four-unit range of Renault-Nissan alliance powerplants comprising two turbo petrols – an 85kW/190Nm 1.2-litre and a 110kW/240Nm 1.6-litre – and two diesels – an 81kW/260Nm 1.5-litre and a 96kW/320Nm 1.6-litre. The current six-speed manual and continuously variable transmissions will carry over. Local pricing and specifications will be announced closer to launch, though pricing is expected to again start around $25,000.