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2013 Nissan Pathfinder A Next -Gen SUV By Larry Nutson


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2013 Nissan Pathfinder

2013 Nissan Pathfinder
The Next-Gen SUV

by Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

Nissan rolled into Chicago, “The Second City”, last week with the all-new 2013 Pathfinder SUV. In a presentation to auto journalist members of the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) Nissan’s Director of Marketing Tom Smith and Director of Product Planning Ken Kcomt touted the new Pathfinder that has received a complete makeover. With a sleek new aerodynamically styled exterior, a premium interior, class-exclusive user-friendly technology and a new unibody platform and advanced drivetrain that helps it achieve best-in-class fuel economy, Nissan plans to make big inroads into families with kids.


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Shedding excess weight and eating healthy is all the buzz today with families. The all-new Pathfinder shed 500 pounds of mass compared to the outgoing model yet maintains the Pathfinder's SUV-ruggedness while delivering up to 26 miles per gallon on the highway. With its very capable class-leading standard towing capacity of 5000 pounds, and modern amenities, such as a class-exclusive Around View™ Monitor, Nissan says the 2013 Pathfinder is the next-generation SUV.

The 2013 Pathfinder will be eating less with fuel economy improved more than 30 percent over that of the 2012 Pathfinder. Both the FWD and 4WD 2013 Pathfinder models lead their segments in fuel economy across the board.

City, highway and combined average fuel economy numbers are 20 (City), 26 (Highway) and 22 (Combined) mpg for the FWD version and 19 (City), 25 (Highway) and 21 (Combined) mpg for the 4WD version. This significant increase over both the outgoing model's fuel economy as well as that of the competition was achieved primarily through a new, aerodynamic vehicle design (Cd of 0.34), 500 pounds of weight reduction, reduced engine friction and the application of a class-exclusive, next generation Xtronic CVT®. This is the first application of a CVT in the segment.

All 2013 Pathfinders come equipped with an advanced 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine matched with a next-generation Xtronic CVT® (Continuously Variable Transmission). The engine is rated at 260-horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 240 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. It is also the only vehicle in class with selectable 2WD, Auto or 4WD modes for the available intuitive ALL-MODE 4x4-i system. The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder will be offered in 4x4 and 4x2 drive configurations and in four models – S, SV, SL and Platinum.


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The all-new Pathfinder also features EZ Flex Seating System™ with LATCH AND GLIDE™, an industry first 2nd row tip-up seat for use with a child safety seat, which also provides easy access to the 3rd row while keeping the child seat securely fastened…but not while a child is in it. The 2nd row also features a 60/40 split-fold seating with a segment best 5.5 inches of seat travel. Class-exclusive features include Easy Fill Tire Alert and the segment-first availability of an Around View™ Monitor. The Easy-fill Tire Alert trips the horn when a tire has reached the correct pressure while being inflated.

And speaking of Chicago, performers from Chicago's world famous comedy troupe, The Second City, are bringing Nissan fans "An Improv-tastic Road Trip" featuring 12 hours of musical improv using fan suggestions and the next-gen SUV as the central element. Videos aired on Monday, August 20, on the official Nissan Pathfinder Facebook page. Fans are encouraged to visit the Nissan Pathfinder Facebook page to RSVP for a virtual front row seat to the show.

The Pathfinder is assembled at Nissan's Smyrna assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee and will go on sale this fall priced starting at $28,270. Nissan may just have done what it will take to stand out in a crowded SUV market chock-full of new vehicle designs. Watch for a full drive review here on The Auto Channel.

© Larry Nutson