Nissan has some great names for their SUVs and crossovers. But if there is one that is truly proper for an SUV apart from Patrol, it's Pathfinder.
First emerging in the mid-1980s, the Pathfinder started life as the American market name for another great Nissan model: the Terrano. Based on the mechanicals of the D21 pick-up, the Pathfinder was intended to compete against some of the other great 4x4 SUVs of the day like the Bronco II and the S10 Blazer. It preserved the SUV/truck credentials for three generations (up to the R51) until it became a crossover for the fourth-generation model.
Now Nissan has revealed a new generation Pathfinder, and it looks ready to meet today's new crop of midsize crossovers. Nissan says the Pathfinder is “all-new from the ground up” and it does look that way. The vehicle appears to follow the stronger design precedent set by their flagship SUV (the Patrol) with the new SUV family face with the V-motion grille, three-slot grille, and C-shaped headlights with LED headlights and DRLs. Nissan designed it with a floating roofline too; something common in a lot of SUVs and crossovers today.
The new generation Pathfinder is more square-ish than its predecessor with a wide stance and, as Nissan calls it, a structure SUV look thanks to that C-pillar that lets them use a two-tone paint scheme with the black roof.
The rear has also been redesigned and is referred to by Nissan as a “boxed out” liftgate to evoke the feel of the first Pathfinder, accented by the slim LED taillights. PATHFINDER is also spelled out fully at the back.
The interior has been fully reworked, too, with an open design, generous use of leather, and other premium materials. Other details include vertical A/C vents on the sides, a reworked center stack with a new 12.3-inch touchscreen audio unit, a new-look steering wheel, a unique shifter design, among others.
In standard trim, the Pathfinder can seat eight people inside in a 2-3-3 format. Some variants trade the three-seater middle row for two captain's seats, making for a 2-2-3 seating layout.
The Pathfinder is powered by a 3.5-liter direct-injection V6 that has 284 horsepower. The predecessor used a CVT, but the new one used a 9-speed automatic gearbox that can either be front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The four-wheel-drive versions have a Terrain Mode Selector that can be set to Standard, Sport, Eco, Snow, Sand, Mud/Rut, and Tow.
Standard for all models is a new dual-pinion electric power steering system, fully independent suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes, Nissan Connect with Apple Carplay, and Android Auto. All versions also get Nissan Safety Shield 360 with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), and more. Select grades get the Around View Monitor, Nissan ProPilot, and Bose audio.
Unfortunately, the Pathfinder nameplate is not one that they offer in our market. This vehicle is intended for the North American market since our market gets the Terra which follows the original route of the Pathfinder by being based on Nissan's midsize pick-up, making it a PPV. Because it's a unibody (no frame) chassis, the Pathfinder is classified as a crossover.
It is highly unlikely Nissan will offer this in Philippine showrooms, but given the look of the vehicle, we won't be surprised if a few individuals decide to import one themselves.