For 2013 the venerable Nissan Pathfinder returns with a more svelte body and the option of front-wheel-drive. Pathfinder fans will no doubt do a double take as the boxier looks of the old model have all gone with a change to unibody construction. The new Pathfinder looks longer, leaner and more athletic than the outgoing model, but is apparently smaller than its predecessor. Styling wise it all left field curves, sleek headlights, and body colored front and rear fascia’s. Our platinum tester looked pretty sharp with its chrome grill, chrome door handles, body mouldings and 20- inch alloy wheels.
Other improvements include better fuel economy courtesy of a redesigned, smaller capacity (down by a half liter) 3.5L VQ V6 engine developing 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque using regular unleaded gas. Also adding to the improved fuel economy is a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and weight savings of around 227 kg compared to the 2012 Pathfinder. The new features mean an official fuel efficiency ratings of 10.5 L/100 km city and 7.7 L/100 km highway for the front-wheel-drive models as well as 10.8 L/100 km city and 7.9 L/100 km highway for the four-wheel-drive models.
Some of the gadgetry to help with difficult terrain is deleted such as: hill descent control, low range gearing, and manually locking differentials. However, the Pathfinder despite its smoother looking exterior does have the optional driver selectable All-Mode 4×4-i, which allows for 2WD, Auto, or 4WD modes.
Interior wise, the Pathfinder has a comfortable generous cabin. The front leather seats are very comfortable, but strangely the passenger seat has no height adjustment! The dash looks well designed and ergonomically good and is finished in sturdy looking hard plastics.
Our tester was a top of the line Platinum edition with leather seats, 20 inch alloy wheels, and featured options such as front cooled and heated seats, a heated steering wheel, intellikey, dual panorama moon roofs, and satellite navigation. Also added was Nissan’s Around View Monitor, Bose 13-speaker system with Acoustic Waveguide technology and a DVD Family Entertainment System with dual 7-inch screens and wireless headphones.
With three rows of seats there are seven seats in all. The middle-row seats have decent legroom as the seats can move backwards as they are on rails. The third-row seats are more for kids or small as a bonus can also recline and feature their own heating ducts and speakers. Cargo space is an impressive 453 L of trunk space behind the third-row seats. Fold down both rows of seat and storage space expands to 2,245 L.
On the road the new Pathfinder performs well and the ride is smooth and comfortable with no vices from the steering. The brakes feel good with good linear modulation. Passengers enjoyed the serene cabin and creature comforts.
In terms of the four wheel drive system, the Pathfinder in Auto mode runs the front wheels exclusively until there is slippage detected, and then the rears drive automatically engages. AWD lock makes it AWD all the time. A dash display in between the gauges show how much power is being sent fore and aft. On a weekend jaunt to a local farmers market we found the Pathfinder handles rough roads, potholes and gravel roads in its stride and still keeps its composure. If you haul a trailer you may be interested to know the Pathfinder has a 2,273-kg standard towing capacity.
Particularly noticeable is the better fuel economy than the outgoing Pathfinder.
To sum up the new 2013 Pathfinder turns out to be a comfortable, roomy family hauler with a lot of luxury and style. Highly recommended Nissan Pathfinder S 2WD: $29,998 – $42,098 Pathfinder Platinum 4WDas tested priced at $42,098
Indo-Canadian Voice | 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum Edition: Sleek and sophisticated