Nissan's popular Pathfinder was one of the very first mid-sized SUVs on the market when it was introduced back in 1986 and it has remained at the core of Nissan's Canadian vehicle lineup ever since.
A new, fourth-generation Pathfinder will arrive in Canadian dealerships at the end of October, with a starting price below $30,000, albeit barely. MSRP for the two-wheel-drive, base-level S model will be $29,998.
The all-new Pathfinder is available in four models: S, SV, SL and Platinum; and in in 2WD and 4WD drive configurations.
For the first time in its history, the new Pathfinder employs unibody rather than body-on-frame to construction, bringing it into line with most of its major competitors and giving it a more car-like demeanour.
Still, it has the highest standard towing rating in its class (2273 kg/5000-lb) and best-in-class passenger volume, according to Nissan.
The company also claims best-in-class highway fuel consumption of 7.7 L/100 km (highway) for the 2WD model – an improvement of more than 25 % from the previous-generation model.
Full fuel-consumption ratings for the 2WD model are: 7.7 L/100k highway; 10.5 L/100 km city; and 9.3 L/100 km combined.
For the 4WD version they are: 7.9 L/100k highway; 10.8 L/100 km city; and 9.5 L/100 km combined.
A major contributor to the Pathfinder's improved fuel economy, along with improved aerodynamics, is a significant reduction in weight, resulting from its new unibody structure. At 1900 kg (4185 lb), it is now one of the lightest vehicles in its segment.
Inside, there is an all-new interior with seating for seven in three rows. What Nissan calls its EZ Flex Seating System, combined with LATCH AND GLIDE technology and wide rear doors are said to ease entry into and exit from the third-row seats.
Options include a 13-speaker Bose audio system with Acoustic Waveguide Subwoofer, Tri-Zone Entertainment, Around View Monitor and an 8.0-inch, centre-stack-mounted touch-screen monitor that controls a navigation system and other driver-selectable vehicle systems.
All 2013 Pathfinders are powered by a 260-horsepower 3.5-litre DOHC V-6 engine, mated to a next-generation Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission).
Nissan's ALL-MODE 4x4-i 4WD system features a class-exclusive choice of driver- selectable 2WD, Auto or 4WD Lock modes.
Suspension is via independent strut in front and a multi-link design in the rear, with hydraulic-electric power-assisted steering standard.
Standard wheels are 18-inch aluminum-alloys, with unique 20-inch variants offered on the Platinum model.
Starting MSRPs (excluding Freight and Delivery charges) for all models, in Canadian dollars, are:
- Pathfinder S 2WD $29,998
- Pathfinder S 4WD $31,998
- Pathfinder SV 4WD $35,248
- Pathfinder SL 2WD $35,698
- Pathfinder SL 4WD $37,698
- Pathfinder Platinum 4WD $42,098