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First Drive: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder

Switch to crossover design yields plenty of advantages, few sacrifices.

by on Nov.01, 2012

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder adopts a lighter, more fuel-efficient crossover platform that can still handle moderately rough trails.

Admittedly late to the party, can Nissan regain its place in a radically changed sport-utility market? That’s the big question the maker faces as it rolls out an all-new version of the long-running Pathfinder.

The new model is more than just a face-lift, in fact, more than the usual redesign.  The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder evolves from a classic, truck-based body-on-frame ute to a car-like unibody-based crossover.  The move has significant advantages, shaving about 500 pounds of mass to deliver a more nimble ride and fuel economy.

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But it also raises the possibility that classic SUV buyers might turn up their noses.  On the other hand, the market for classic, truck-like utes has all but vanished, so the bigger question is whether Nissan can regain the buyers who’ve migrated to competing products, such as the latest-generation Ford Explorer, that previously made the SUV to CUV migration.

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Nissan Cuts Price, and Weight, on New Pathfinder

Maker hopes to dent lead of its rivals.

by on Oct.11, 2012

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is lighter - and more affordable.

Over the years, we’ve come to expect three things will happen when an automaker introduces an all-new product: the vehicle will get heavier, it will get more content, and it will get a bigger price tag.

With stiff new fuel economy standards coming into play, we’ve begun seeing a shift in that occasion as manufacturers begin to slash weight which has a direct impact on mileage. But Nissan is apparently adopting an entirely new form of math, because its all-new 2013 Pathfinder is not only as much as 500 pounds lighter but also about $1,000 less expensive than the outgoing SUV – even while getting more standard equipment.

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The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder S launches at $28,270, exactly $1,020 less than the 2012 model, to be more precise – though you’ll need to add another $825 for delivery charges.  The S anchors a line with a revised series of upgraded trim levels, all the way up to the $39,170 Pathfinder Platinum edition.

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2013 Nissan Pathfinder Boats Best-in-Class Mileage

Redesigned model lighter, better-equipped, maker claims.

by on Aug.03, 2012

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder adopts a new crossover platform with a more sleek body design.

With the 2013 model evolving from a classic, truck-like SUV to a car-like crossover design, Nissan says the new version of its long-running Pathfinder model will be not only one of the lightest but also the most fuel-efficient V-6 entry into the large crossover segment.

Set to start at $28,000 when it goes on sale later this year, the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder will get as much as 20 miles per gallon in the City, 26 mpg on the Highway and 21 in the EPA’s Combined test cycle. That’s a roughly 30% improvement over the old Pathfinder, a significant selling point – Nissan is betting – at a time when mileage tops the shopping list for most U.S. car buyers.

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The Pathfinder is the second of five new models Nissan will be bringing out during the 2013 model-year, the utility vehicle following the new Altima into showrooms.  A new version of the Sentra sedan will arrive in September, with an updated Versa hatchback and another model, not yet identified, to follow in the spring.

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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.

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Nissan to Show Pathfinder Concept at Detroit Auto Show

Nissan says it has "re-imagined" its body-on-frame SUV.

by on Dec.20, 2011

Nissan is teasing the unveiling of its Pathfinder SUV, which it will show at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Nissan is teasing a Pathfinder Concept that will break cover at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

Like a lot of automakers, Nissan is apparently redeveloping it’s traditional body-on-frame sport utility vehicle, into a new crossoverish SUV, built on car underpinnings. In fact, Nissan says the Pathfinder has been “re-imagined.”

Interestingly, Nissan has actually skipped the Detroit show for the last 3 years, so it plans to make the most of its return to Detroit.

Reports say Nissan is planning to use its Altima car platform as the basis for the Pathfinder. It is planning to build it, as well as a new Infiniti version, at its plant in Smyrna, Tenn.

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