Today Nissan sent its followers on Facebook photographs of the 2013 Pathfinder. Nissan had teased fans recently with an on-line video, but the vehicle was cloaked in darkness. These new pictures reveal a fantastic new look and the design gives away a lot about the mechanicals buyers are likely to see.
Moving From Rough and Tough to Crossover Cool
The current Pathfinder has been built upon the Nissan Titan frame. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does come with compromises. Body on frame vehicles always suffer in the handling department. On the other hand, they are much more capable when towing. They are also typically more off-road ready, but who are we kidding? How many Pathfinder owners actually use it to find a path? From these pictures any car enthusiast can see that the new Pathfinder will share the Infiniti JX crossover structure. That means more third row seating area, and superior handling compared to last year’s model.
The Pathfinder is sure to use Nissan’s corporate V6. The engine is tried and true. Some think it a bit noisy, but Nissan will likely insulate all the angry sounds out. Sadly, the drivetrain will almost certainly use the constantly variable transmission from the Nissan/Infiniti parts bin. As CVTs go this may be the best in the world. However, that is not saying it sounds good or feels good when driven. It does save fuel (a smidgeon) so it is not all bad news.
When large automakers use the same underpinnings to create multiple models sometimes the good things are lost in translation. Here one would think that if the JX is the template Nissan owners win big. It is usually the more affordable models that benefit most from platform sharing. Nissan owners will enjoy a lower cost and much of the same mechanicals that the Infiniti will have. In the looks department the new Pathfinder is now looking much more like its pretty Murano sister and a lot less the X-terra black sheep brother in the family. That will help sales and the few folks that need to tow a bulldozer can still have what they need from other Nissan vehicles like the Titan.
We are only speculating how the new Nissan will do, but based on the pictures it looks like a safge bet that the Pathfinder’s sales are about to head upward.