An all-new Nissan Pathfinder is on its way and speculation has it that the automaker is making it a crossover like Ford did with the Explorer. A teaser shot of the Pathfinder, which is scheduled to debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, shows Nissan dropping its traditional boxy SUV design for a sleeker design hinted at by the upscale 2013 Infiniti JX crossover. Nissan, though, is tight-lipped on any additional details.
Who It's For
There's nothing that has been really wrong with the Nissan Pathfinder, which stands out from the competition like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and the aforementioned Ford Explorer with its off-road capability. The full-sized crossover market, though, has grown with the addition of the Chevrolet Traverse and Dodge Durango whose more contemporary designs emphasize fuel economy and on-road comfort, making the current Pathfinder's gas guzzling engines and off-road prowess look a bit dated.
The Nissan Pathfinder concept is for all intents and purposes the actual vehicle, so we can expect the following features to carry over to production:
- All new chassis: The Nissan Pathfinder concept and subsequent 2013 model will ride on an all-new chassis which offers better legroom and smoother ride.
- Better fuel economy: The Pathfinder crossover concept is powered by a V-6 mated to a continuously variable transmission which, combined with the crossover's lighter weight, will improve fuel economy by 25 percent to 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway, according to Nissan.
- Panoramic roof: Because your rearmost passengers need to see the sky too, apparently.
- Four-wheel drive: Nissan says the Pathfinder will get four-wheel drive, although we're guessing it will be for light-duty work.
What We Think
There's still too little information on the all-new Pathfinder or even on the concept. The teaser shot looks intriguing but both the press and the public's reaction to the similar Infiniti JX has been mixed.
Back to Auto Show Coverage: Detroit 2012