A fixture in Nissan’s product lineup for more than 25 years, the fourth generation Pathfinder has evolved from the cheeky adolescent Hardbody of 1986 to the mature parental unit of 2013. It’s a maturation process that has entailed several zigs and zags. Like so many of the vehicles that came along in the mid-’80s SUV boom, that first generation was a body-on-frame design based on Nissan’s compact pickup truck. The next iteration (1996) was a unitbody (frame rails integrated with the body shell), but Nissan reverted to body-on-frame for generation three (2005).
As a result, the transition to the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, generation four, is a major course change for this most persistently popular of all Nissan SUVs. The third generation was conceived for the possibility, however remote, of serious off-road use, hence lots of ground clearance and body-on-frame construction, a prescription for enduring the pounding that goes with rugged terrain.
The latest Pathfinder provides a vanilla driving experience, and it’s no longer a good choice for anyone who wants to take on rough off-road treks. However, it’s roomy, comfortable, quiet, attractive, devoid of dynamic vices, offers the kind of family peacekeeping entertainment features that make long trips tolerable for all hands, and can be optioned up to luxury levels. Add fuel economy that’s as good as anything in this class, and better than most, and the new Pathfinder rates as an attractive entry in a very competitive field.
2013 Nissan Murano Platinum Gainesville FL at Paul West Used Cars, where you’ll find the best deals on used cars, trucks & SUVs.