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 2013-14. It’s a maturation process that entailed several zigs and zags. Like so many 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 unibody (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, redesigned as generation four, was a major course change for this persistently popular SUV. 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.
Generation four represents an about-face. Concluding that the large-SUV segment is increasingly composed of buyers whose priorities don’t include off-road adventure, Nissan retuned the Pathfinder around family values: roominess, comfort and, paramount among today’s vehicle attributes, fuel economy. The result is a Nissan Pathfinder that’s bigger than the gen-three model, with more room, sharply reduced curb weights, and dramatically improved fuel economy ratings.
Pathfinder S includes a tilt/telescopic steering column,18-inch alloy wheels, 235/65R18 tires, power mirrors, privacy glass, cruise control, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo, remote keyless entry, 6-way manual driver’s seat, 4-way passenger seat, and tri-zone automatic climate control.
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