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Facebook Users Get 1st Look at 2013 Nissan Pathfinder

Maker plans official debut in Paris.

by on Jul.31, 2012

The production version of the new Nissan Pathfinder makes a Facebook debut.

While some may question the benefits of advertising on Facebook it’s clear industry planners love using the social media site to reach consumers – that includes Nissan which turned to Facebook to give potential buyers a first look at the all-new version of its Pathfinder ute.

Nissan revealed a show car version of the Pathfinder at the Detroit Auto Show last winter and those familiar with the concept version will find relatively few surprises here; as with the prototype the production Pathfinder evolves from a traditionally boxy SUV into a more sleek and sporty CUV.

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Indeed, the big changes are, in fact, hidden under the skin.  The next-generation Pathfinder follows such rivals as the Mercedes-Benz M-Class and Ford Explorer by migrating from a conventional, truck-based body-on-frame platform to a lighter, nimbler car-based crossover design.

The new Pathfinder will switch from a truck-like platform to a car-based crossover design.

The 2013 Pathfinder will share its FF-L platform with both the Altima as well as the JX crossover that recently was added to the maker’s Infiniti luxury line-up.  Like the JX, the new Pathfinder will feature three rows and seating for up to seven passengers.

Nissan hints it may have more to say in the coming days about the Pathfinder redesign which is expected to shave a significant amount of weight off the old model – somewhere in the range of 500 pounds.

That will translate into a more nimble ride and markedly better mileage – perhaps a 25% improvement or more over the outgoing sport-ute, which has a combined City/Highway rating of 16 mpg..

If the talk in Detroit holds true the new crossover-utility version will be offered with a single engine, Nissan’s trusty 3.5-liter VQ V-6, mated to a CVT gearbox.  But officials have hinted other powertrain possibilities, including a diesel and perhaps even a hybrid, could follow during the lifecycle of the next Pathfinder.

The interior of the 3-row 2013 Pathfinder - which shares platforms with the new Infiniti JX.

The Japanese maker has said that the next Pathfinder will still have reasonable off-road capabilities, though likely less than truck-based models of the past.               As for towing capacity, Rich Miller, Nissan’s senior manager of truck planning told earlier this year that while you won’t be pulling a 30-foot trailer with the next Pathinder it will haul most anything else you can throw at it.

Though the sheet metal version of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is expected to debut at the Paris Motor Show the ute is expected to go on sale first in the U.S. and then in Europe and other global markets.

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