The old Nissan Pathfinder is gone. Long live he NEW Nissan Pathfinder. Everything must come to an end. Pathfinder had to become family friendly or die, it was that simple. Nissan knew this and morphed their old school body on frame SUV Pathfinder into a unibody SUV with better ride, lighter weight, (500 pounds less) bigger size, and much better fuel economy. (class leading to be exact) Off –roaders that loved the old Pathfinder should probably look at the Xterra for comfort and quit whining.
The new 2013 Pathfinder is a much more refined vehicle. Outside, the Pathfinder is lower, wider, and longer than the old one. It can fit 7 passengers comfortably and people can afford to buy fuel for it. Sure, it looks more like a minivan, but not enough to lose sales. I like to think that it still looks like a Nissan Pathfinder, just a good looking one this time. (unlike the old Pathfinder)
The interior is the big story here. Inside, everything is bigger and better. The seats are more comfortable, it is easier to climb in to, and best of all, the third row of seats is easily accessible! I don’t know why some companies put in third row seats that people can’t get to. Nissan made the second row slide out of the way with a flick of the wrist to provide plenty of room for big guys to get back there. (I even did it) The second row seats recline, very nice.
The dash is well configured and the controls are easy to learn and use. Interior noise level is good, the quality of materials used is very good, and the seats are comfortable. All in all, and big step up from the old Pathfinder.
The 2013 Pathfinder is powered by Nissans popular 260 hp 3.5-liter VQ V6. It is mated to a CVT transmission that works well. I think that Nissan makes the only CVT that I would consider owning. (that is a compliment) Front wheel drive is standard and four wheel drive is available. The Pathfinder has good power and even better fuel economy. EPA estimates are 20 city/26 highway and 22 combined for the standard FWD version. Nissan says that the Pathfinder can tow 5,000 pounds, but I wouldn’t do it very much.
Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, and airbags all around. The biggest safety improvement is the fact that it handles better then the old one.
The Pathfinder is offered in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum. The base model S sells in the $28k range and the top of the line Platinum version for $39k. Most sales will be the $31k SV model.
I like the Pathfinder, but think it will struggle against the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Ford Explorer. Lets hope Nissan treats it well. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.