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The all-new, fourth-generation Nissan Pathfinder is blazing new trails.
For the 2013 model year, this seven-passenger vehicle receives a complete overhaul, making it much more road-friendly and easier on the eyes.

Despite its height shrinking by three inches, its wheelbase, length, width and interior volume are increased, making it dimensionally larger on the inside and out.

Even with its growth spurt, the Pathfinder manages to become trimmer in the process; shedding an impressive 500 lbs. A key component in that weight reduction was switching from a truck-like body-on-frame structure to a unibody composition.

That said, Nissan states in a press release: “The new unibody platform provided the designers an opportunity to create a more aerodynamic exterior without compromising headroom or cargo capacity.”

On the subject of cargo capacity, behind the third row, there’s 16 cubic feet to work with. When the third isn’t necessary, they fold flat and increase the cargo capacity up to 47.8

cubic feet. And if you want to tuck away a few extra goodies, there’s an underfloor storage area, too.

This SUV trades in its box-like physique from 2012 for one that has sweeping lines and flowing curves. It also has the best-in-class coefficient of drag further which, in turn, helps achieve more favourable fuel economy results.

The Pathfinder is offered in 2WD and 4WD configurations to accommodate various driving scenarios. The 4WD comes with Nissan’s advanced All-Mode 4x4-i system, which can easily be operated via a knob on the centre console.

With the 2WD configuration, estimated fuel consumption is 10.5L/100km in the city and 7.8L/100km on the highway. With the 4WD, it’s 10.8L/100km in the city and 7.9L/100km on the highway.

Regardless of the trim, each Pathfinder comes with a capable 3.5-litre, V6 VQ engine that has an output of 260 horsepower and 240 foot-pounds of torque, and a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

The engine is then matched with a CVT transmission.

To be honest, I really don’t mind this transmission in the Pathfinder. It’s actually quite liveable and responsive.

So is the overall ride quality. It’s quiet and comfortable inside the cabin at highway speeds and feels more planted in comparison to the last generation. That’s largely because of the unibody structure that makes it less like an off-road vehicle and more like a well-mannered city slicker.

It seats seven and was designed that way from the ground up. In order to facilitate a cabin full of occupants, Nissan has incorporated such features as the EZ FLEX Seating System, allowing passengers to access the third row with ease by a long slide and tilt-down function of the second row seats. The slide seat system moves backwards and forwards up to 5.5 inches, accommodating more or less legroom where needed.

Furthermore, the second row seats come with Nissan’s patent-pending latch and glide system that makes it possible for a child seat to be strapped in without infringing on capable movement.

The base S 2WD model is $29,998 with the top-of-the-line 4WD Platinum Premium coming in at $45,198.

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Read more: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is bigger but lighter
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