Nissan has posted two pictures of its production ready, 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, on Facebook. Most significantly for the new Pathfinder, its chassis has changed from being the old, strong, body-on-frame-SUV-type, which ran on Nissan Navara underpinnings, to a conventional uni-body structure.
We have to say the new body looks absolutely brilliant too. It clearly moves away from the competent and yet slightly agricultural vibe of its forbear, and sticks identically to the styling of the pre-production 2013 Pathfinder that Nissan showed off earlier in the year.
The uni-body FF-L platform, as used by the Nissan Murano, is substantially lighter (227 kg) than the existing vehicle as a result and is better suited to everyday urban needs with improved aerodynamics and interior space. Does this mean the end of the Nissan Murano though? They sound like identical cars now. As far as we can see there are only three potential issues with the new Pathfinder. One, it’s gotten more diminutive since the last one and is even being classed by some as a ‘crossover’ vehicle now. Two, Nissan have said it will have the 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine in some markets and that will be mated to a CVT transmission. No, say it isn’t so Nissan, say it isn’t so. Thirdly, that low front apron with twinkly fog lights looks like it won’t be very useful when off-roading.
The Pathfinder never ate up off-road conditions and now the 2013 model looks to be much more car-like in its design and layout. From the side, you would never suspect the 2013 Pathfinder was a relative of the old Pathfinder. The 2013 Pathfinder features that must-have swooping roofline and the doors have luxurious sculpting rather than the flat sheet metal of the old model. It is the same story on the rear; you no longer get the flat rear hatch door. In its place is a more rounded and shapely hatch that boasts a sharp spoiler.
Nissan’s new EZ Flex Seating System will give the Pathfinder an amazing 1.3 million different seating configurations and will be able to hold seven passengers. This puts it in line to compete with the Chevrolet Captiva, Chevrolet Trailblazer (that will have arrived by 2013) and Toyota Fortuner. Assuming Nissan can find a range of engines other than the 3.5-litre V6 that is. South Africa can expect the much anticipated new model to arrive in 2013.