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As LL Cool J so poignantly rapped back in 1991; “Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years.”

What better way to describe the all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder as it transforms its look, not to mention its platform, moving from an SUV to a crossover in a bid to revive a sport utility that was once a dominant market force.

LIGHTER AND MORE FUEL EFFICIENT

Gone is the traditional truck-based body-on-frame, replaced with a unibody chassis that has helped cut 500-lbs of weight while increasing structural rigidity. Lighter, it’s now able to make do with a smaller engine, dropping the last gen's 4.0-liter V6 and 5.6-liter V8 engines, while also switching from a basic rear-drive layout to one that is front-drive – with AWD optional.

The same platform as the Infiniti JX crossover, the Pathfinder also shares the same 3.5L V6 engine, matched with Nissan’s Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) to deliver 260-horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. With the dramatic weight loss and introduction of that CVT, fuel numbers have improved 30-percent from last year’s model ranging from 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway (22-mpg combined) for the 2WD models to 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway (21 mpg combined) for 4WD versions.

LESS BACKCOUNTRY AND MORE BOULEVARD

For many diehard fans of the first and second generation Pathfinder, this softer crossover might not fit the bill, but it can still trek far and wide with the optional ALL-MODE 4x4-i system which delivers selectable 2WD, Auto or 4WD modes.

Testing the different AWD settings, the Pathfinder performed extremely well during our time on an off-road course complete with treacherous dips, serious vertical inclines and even a few large moving objects – they were bulls, and they weren’t in a hurry to move either.

The Hill Start feature, which stops the vehicle from rolling backwards on a steep incline, was much appreciated.

Read the complete 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Review - Video on AutoGuide.com
 

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This review really outlines Nissans reasoning for making the new Pathfinder less "hardcore". The market speaks for itself, with gas prices ever increasing; having a big motor with lots of power and torque and a huge rugged chassis isn't going to help. I think with the new design they did a good job at keeping some of the off-road heritage yet bringing it into a more urban life style. Reastlically most people who use the Pathfinder never go off-roading. Not that it's not able to.
 

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This review really outlines Nissans reasoning for making the new Pathfinder less "hardcore". The market speaks for itself, with gas prices ever increasing; having a big motor with lots of power and torque and a huge rugged chassis isn't going to help. I think with the new design they did a good job at keeping some of the off-road heritage yet bringing it into a more urban life style. Reastlically most people who use the Pathfinder never go off-roading. Not that it's not able to.
plus lets not forget the xterra, i think a lot of people are forgetting it. it's now the only Nissan SUV on a truck platform, so although the pathfinder isn't the typical pathfinder anymore.....nissan still has something for that hardcore offroader
 

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plus lets not forget the xterra, i think a lot of people are forgetting it. it's now the only Nissan SUV on a truck platform, so although the pathfinder isn't the typical pathfinder anymore.....nissan still has something for that hardcore offroader
True but the pathfinder was legendary, one of the first SUV's from Nissan, but not all things can last forever and unfortunately the pathfinder was the only appropriate vehicle to get the green vehicle treatment
 
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