- New Pathfinder ditching its truck-based roots
- 3.5-liter V6 is the only engine choice
- 2013 Pathfinder goes on sale this fall
Nissan recently used its Facebook page to reveal the redesigned, fourth-generation Pathfinder SUV. According to the automaker, the all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is shedding significant weight and its muscular V8 engine as it transitions to a car-based unibody construction that’s designed to be more friendly for urban drivers.
Updates to the new Pathfinder are immediately recognizable from the outside, as the SUV is ditching its distinctive blocky, truck-like shape. Instead, the Pathfinder will adopt curvy new exterior styling similar to the JX35 crossover from Nissan’s upscale Infiniti brand, which shares the Pathfinder’s platform. Much of the revised styling stems from the Pathfinder’s new car-like unibody construction, which allows the SUV to sit lower compared to its truck-based, body-on-frame predecessor.
Nissan says the Pathfinder’s switch to a unibody design also helps it shed around 500 pounds, which will make it more nimble–and fuel-efficient–in everyday driving. And while the main drawback to unibody construction is a lack of towing capabilities, Nissan says the Pathfinder’s rigid platform helps it tow up to 5,000 pounds–a figure the automaker touts as the best standard towing capacity in the segment.
While the new Pathfinder’s unibody construction is a major update, the SUV also offers several more improvements for the new model year. Under the hood, the Pathfinder drops last year’s 4.0-liter V6 and available 5.6-liter V8 engines, replacing both with a 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. The engine will be mated to the automaker’s fuel-saving, continuously variable automatic transmission, which Nissan says will be good for up to 26 highway miles per gallon in the front-wheel drive version and 25 highway mpg in the available all-wheel drive model.
Like other recently updated Nissan models, the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder will offer a host of new technology. One such item is Nissan’s center-mounted Advanced Drive-Assist touchscreen display, which provides customizable information to the driver and front seat passenger. The automaker also says its new EZ Flex Seating System is the first in the industry to give access to the third row while keeping a second-row child seat securely fastened. Other new features include a reclining third-row seat designed to enhance passenger comfort, and Nissan’s AroundView Monitor, which provides a 360-degree view around the SUV–handy when navigating tight spots.
According to Nissan, pricing information will be released closer to the 2013 Pathfinder’s release date, which is scheduled for this fall.
What it means to you: The all-new Pathfinder will offer three-row seating and a smoother ride than its truck-based body-on-frame predecessors.