This ain't your daddy's Pathfinder. And that's exactly why we're welcoming one into the Autoblog long-term garage.
With the launch of the all-new 2013 Pathfinder, Nissan has ditched the trucky, body-on-frame architecture of the previous model for something substantially more refined and efficient, yet the automaker says this is still a capable machine. It's a move Nissan has used before (the second-generation Pathfinder, sold from 1996 to 2004, used unibody construction), but because of just how darn popular three-row crossovers are these days, the timing sure seems right for Nissan to, well, find a new path again.
Think about it: Ford made this exact move with the Explorer when its all-new model was introduced for 2011, and that vehicle has been a huge success for the Blue Oval, dominating the segment in terms of volume. Nissan is hoping to capture that same sort of magic – and make up a good deal of market share in the process – with this more-soft-road-than-off-road Pathfinder.
Does it work? Our brief stint behind the wheel of a 2013 model out in California gave us high hopes. But to really see if the three-row crossover-minded formula works behind that Pathfinder badge, we're embarking on a year-long test with the Smyrna, Tennessee-built Platinum 4x4 seen here.