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For some of us, seeing a larger reflection in the mirror inspires a New Year’s goal to lose the size gained over the past year. Not so for the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder.

The fourth-generation Nissan Pathfinder struts a broad new look and larger dimensions to accommodate today’s active-lifestyle buyer.

Built in America, the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder casts a shadow 4.6 inches longer and 4.3 inches wider than the outgoing model and at the same time sheds 500 pounds in the process.

Credit the weight loss to Pathfinder’s shift from a truck-based body-on-frame chassis to car-like unibody construction.

“Nissan Pathfinder is completely redesigned,” says Dan Blaskovich, general sales manager for Southlake Nissan in Merrillville. “It has moved away from a heavy-duty truck-type SUV to the crossover vehicle market to compete with leading crossover brands.”

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder comes in S, SV, SL and Platinum trim levels with choice of two- or four-wheel drive.

Pathfinder’s intuitive four-wheel drive provides driver-selected 2WD, Auto or 4WD Lock modes via a dial on the center console.

“Eighty-five percent of our Pathfinder buyers choose four-wheel drive to battle winter road conditions in our region,” Blaskovich said.

All models have a 260 horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission for best-in-class fuel economy of 26 miles per gallon on the highway – marking a 5 mpg increase over last year’s Pathfinder.

The 2013 Pathfinder also boasts best-in-class standard 5,000-pound towing capacity. A trailer Tow Package with Class-3 hitch receiver and 7-pin harness is optional.

Tipping into the throttle delivers excellent acceleration and passing punch with noticeably improved ride quality.

Inside, seven passengers enjoy three-row interior space that is eight cubic-feet larger than the previous Pathfinder.

The 60/40-split middle row has 5.5 inches of seat travel and features Nissan’s “Latch and Glide” system that provides passengers easy access to the back seat even with a child seat securely attached in the second row.

Absence of a child seat allows occupant access to the third row courtesy of second row seats that slide and tilt creating a 14-inch wide aisle to the rear quarters.

Seats recline in all rows for personalized comfort while enjoying available tri-zone automatic temperature controls and an overhead dual panorama moonroof.

Heated steering wheel, heated/cooled front seats and heated second row seats also are available.

Optional tri-zone entertainment system delivers DVD and video game enjoyment to all passengers. Front seat occupant viewing is possible when the vehicle is placed in “Park”.

Pathfinder features Nissan’s Easy Fill Tire Alert that eliminates guess-work and need for a tire gauge when checking tire pressure and an Around View Monitor that provides a 360-degree bird’s-eye view over the vehicle for greater surround awareness when backing up.

Price starts at $28,270 for the front-drive 2013 Nissan Pathfinder S to $40,770 for the four-wheel drive Platinum model. Add $825 across the line for freight.

Nissan hikes a new Pathfinder
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