2013 Nissan Pathfinder

Originally derived from a compact pick-up truck platform, the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show is something of a departure from the vehicle the company first started to produce in 1986. Redesigning the fourth generation of the popular SUV for the modern family, Nissan has focused less on off-road travel and more on comfort for the family, with a design that moves the Pathfinder firmly towards the SUV crossover segment of the market.

Previously the Nissan Pathfinder has come to be known as a truck that has slowly evolved as the market has moved away from strictly off-road vehicles to those which consider the family and road travel to a greater extent.

Nissan Pathfinder

** Nissan Pathfinder **

Nissan Pathfinder 3-3-2 Seat Configuration

The new 2013 model features three rows of seats in a 3-3-2 configuration, with monitors on the backs of the front-row seats and plenty of space extending all the way to the back of the vehicle. As per the standard five-door design, the second row of seats slides and folds forward to allow passengers access to the back row, which can be folded down for additional cargo space. This is fairly limited when all three rows are being used.

Nissan Pathfinder Aerodynamic Body

The real test in this segment is to fit in three rows of seats without producing a bulky, minivan exterior, and the new Pathfinder passes this test with flying colours. The body is aerodynamic, with a large front grill and headlights that slant back but not to the extent of other vehicles in this segment. Somehow the Pathfinder still creates the illusion of a slightly oversized crossover without piling on the pounds. It’s also got spoilers on the front and the rear, rear suspension fairings and tire deflectors to produce among the most aerodynamic offerings in this part of the market.

Nissan Pathfinder with Greater Fuel Efficiency

Despite a more sporty look, Nissan has kept things much more conservative under the bonnet. The new Pathfinder achieves greater fuel efficiency courtesy of its Continuously Variable Transmission coupled with a V6 engine. Together these elements provide a 25 per cent fuel saving, according to Nissan. Overall, the horsepower produced is only slightly below that of the third-generation Pathfinder, a considerable achievement given the large increase in fuel efficiency.

Nissan Pathfinder Launch in Europe

Consumers won’t have to wait much longer for Nissan’s radical new Pathfinder. It goes on sale in North America in the autumn, with a launch in Europe expected shortly afterwards. With some 1.2 million Pathfinders already sold in the vehicle’s 27 years, this latest edition looks set to extend the model’s life span by years yet.

Sportier Nissan Pathfinder

After already undergoing a number of facelifts in recent years, Nissan is set to get even more sporty with its latest incarnation of the Pathfinder, and this is a sleek looking vehicle. Although we have still not seen much of how the new 7-seater will look – there has only been a teaser image – it’s sleeker looking lines and sporty curves suggest the Pathfinder is about to get its biggest update yet. Although it won’t come out for a full year, according to Nissan’s latest schedule, we’ll get a much better look at this vehicle in January at the Detroit Motor Show. And this will be a version that will be almost identical to that which is due to hit showrooms at the end of 2013, according to the Japanese automaker.

Another major facelift

From the pictures, it looks like the Pathfinder will have evolved significantly. Don’t forget, this a vehicle that first rolled off the production line back in 1986. Back in those days there were only 2 doors and 2 rows of seats. It looked much like a truck at first and it drove like one. Since then it has undergone two major facelifts as second and third generations were released.

Alterations to Modernise

Nissan’s philosophy with the Pathfinder in recent years has been fairly obvious. It has tried to keep the best aspects of the vehicle, which is quite a bit, while looking to improve the look of the vehicle. The rear and the front of the Pathfinder were altered to differentiate the 2008 model from what had come before. There was a new look to the headlamps, a new badge and a number of other alterations that made the vehicle look more modern.

After all, the Nissan Pathfinder has often been described as boxy in the past and there is a feeling that this has been felt in sales volumes, particularly given the sporty crossover SUV market has exploded in the past 5 years or so. The feeling is that the Pathfinder has been left behind.

2013 Pathfinder

So what exactly can we expect from the 2013 version of the Pathfinder? Well, the main changes are likely to be aesthetic, for certain. It’s going to have a new platform to try and tackle those looks. That is likely to be a unibody, which would almost certainly improve the quality of the drive. Expect something based on Infiniti JX and Altima. On this foundation, Nissan looks to be adding a much sleeker, more aerodynamic body along the lines of the Dodge Journey and Ford Explorer.

Off and on Road driving

These are the vehicles the Pathfinder should be competing with. The Pathfinder 7-seater has in recent years offered a quality drive both on and off road. It’s a sporty SUV that offers a huge amount of space, superb comfort and a good standard of safety features at a very competitive price. Perhaps with a new exterior the Pathfinder will become the complete package, because at the moment it is not far off doing just that. But we’ll have to wait another year to find out.

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