2004 Detroit Auto Show: Nissan Reveals 2005 Pathfinder
All-New 2005 Nissan Pathfinder features three-row seating, powerful 4.0-liter V6 and new rugged platform
When it was first introduced in 1986, the Nissan Pathfinder sport utility vehicle (SUV) stood as an innovator in class – and as the lone SUV in Nissan showrooms in North America. Today, while the Pathfinder remains true to its original spirit of innovative design, the family of Nissan SUVs has grown significantly in size and scope, now encompassing the Pathfinder, Xterra, Murano and the recently introduced full-size 2004 Pathfinder Armada.
For the 2005 model year, the Pathfinder takes the spotlight again with an all-new larger, more powerful design featuring, for the first time, three-row seating. Making its world debut at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the new third generation Pathfinder also returns to its roots with enhanced off-road capabilities and performance driven by the use of a new 4.0-liter version of the award-winning Nissan VQ-series V6 engine and a new fully boxed, all-steel frame based on the full-size Pathfinder Armada.
“The 2005 Pathfinder, wimth its body-on-frame construction and enhanced utility and performance, is designed to offer a higher level of an authentic, rugged off-road performance than the typical SUVs in its class,” said Mark McNabb, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc.
“Each of our four Nissan SUVs has a specific role in the lineup. With the success of Murano as our true crossover SUV, we're able to utilize the strengths of the Pathfinder Armada platform in creating the 2005 Pathfinder a highly capable, mid-sized adventure vehicle for highly active families.”
Expressive Exterior Styling
In its third major redesign, the 2005 Pathfinder evolves the now classic look of the previous generations - including a large, powerful hood and headlights, solid shoulder line, large integrated fender flares, short front and rear overhangs and Nissan SUV signature angled C-pillar with high-mounted rear door handles. The new Pathfinder also bears a strong family resemblance to the larger Pathfinder Armada, especially in the angled strut-style grille and powerful overall presence and straightforward functionality.
New exterior features include a new roof rack design with integrated forward and rear grips and an updated, clean-cut rear tailgate design with flip-up rear glass hatch opening. Other exterior features include available side running boards, heated outside mirrors and power slide and tilt sunroof.
“The styling of the new Pathfinder gives it a tough but modern appearance. It projects an authentic 4x4 adventure feeling, much like the Pathfinder Armada, yet with a relaxed attitude that implies an athletic leanness rather than overt force,” said McNabb. “The new Pathfinder has also grown in nearly every dimension, though it retains its manageable size that is ideal for many buyers – neither too big nor too small.”
The 2005 Pathfinder features a longer wheelbase for enhanced roominess, ride comfort and stability, while its manageable overall length and short front and rear overhangs enhance maneuverability for around town or driving on off-road trails.
A Flexible Three-Row Interior Design
The new Pathfinder continues the Nissan SUV tradition it originated in providing an interior environment designed to enhance active family lifestyles. The addition of the 3rd row seat gives Pathfinder 7-passenger seating along with outstanding passenger/cargo flexibility. The split fold-down 2nd and 3rd row seats can be folded down individually, combining with the fold-down front passenger seat to provide 64 different seating/cargo configurations. The 2nd row seat, for example, features a 40/20/40 split feature with a one-touch release lever for easy access to the 3rd row.
The 50/50 split 3rd row seat folds down into the floor, allowing complete passenger/cargo use spontaneity and the adjustable head restraints do not need to be removed to fold down. The back side of the 3rd row seatbacks combines with an available easy-to-clean luggage area flooring and a total of eight cargo area utility hooks (floor hooks can carry up to 110 pounds) to create an extremely versatile area for hauling camping equipment, bikes, wetsuits and other gear. Another unique feature of the new Pathfinder's interior is the hidden storage area located under the 2nd row seats, one of many areas designed to help hold the accessories of an active lifestyle.
“The new Pathfinder's interior offers both function and room for cargo and passengers,” said McNabb. “It's a great space and great facilitator for family adventures or personal pursuits.”
A New Full-Size Foundation
Like the new Pathfinder Armada, the 2005 Pathfinder combines rugged body-on-frame construction with the superior ride and handling characteristics of 4-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension.
Utilizing the Pathfinder Armada's new "F-Alpha" platform as a basis, the Pathfinder builds from a fully boxed, all-steel ladder frame and adds an all-steel double-wishbone front suspension with stabilizer bar and independent rear double-wishbone suspension with stabilizer bar. Performance shocks are also available with the Pathfinder Off-Road model. Powering the new Pathfinder is a standard 4.0-liter DOHC V6, rated at 250-plus horsepower and 270-plus lb-ft torque (final figures will be announced closer to production). The new engine is part of Nissan's award-winning VQ engine series found in the 350Z, Maxima, Altima, Murano and Quest. The engine features a longer stroke (than the 3.5-liter version) and has been specifically tuned for SUV and truck applications.
Like others in the VQ series, the new 4.0-liter version includes such advanced design features as Electronic Throttle Control with secondary mapping in 4LO (4x4 models), Continuous Valve Timing Control (C-VTC), Nissan variable Induction Control System (NICS), silent timing chain, microfinished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces, molybdenum-coated pistons, resin intake manifold, digital knock control system, high capacity muffler, lightweight aluminum block and platinum-tipped spark plugs.
Every 2005 Pathfinder is equipped with a standard electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission. Like the previous generations, the new Pathfinder is offered in 4x2 or 4x4 configurations. Pathfinder's available advanced All-Mode four-wheel drive system includes 2WD/AUTO/4H/4LO modes and electronically controlled transfer case. A Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system is also available, along with an advanced off-road traction system. Other driveline components include engine-speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering and 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). Available wheels and tires include up to 17-inch wheels with 265/65R17 tires.
The Pathfinder's list of safety features and equipment includes Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones, Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (which includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and a front occupant classification sensor), and 3-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters. Standard are 3-point seat belts for all rear seat occupants, including the 2nd row center position, and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchor system.
Also available are supplemental front seat side-impact air bags, and available roof-mounted supplemental curtain air bags for side impact and rollover protection for outboard passengers in all three rows.
The new Pathfinder will be assembled at Nissan's award-winning Smyrna, Tennessee manufacturing facility. Engines will be supplied by Nissan’s nearby Decherd, Tennessee engine facility.