Now in its fourth generation, the Nissan Pathfinder is a three-row midsize crossover SUV. The original Pathfinder was introduced in 1986, starting life as a truck-based two door SUV that gradually morphed into today’s family-friendly seven-passenger crossover.
2013 to Present: Nissan Pathfinder
Introduced for the 2013 model year, the fourth-generation Nissan Pathfinder is a three-row, seven-passenger midsize SUV. Available with front- or all-wheel drive, the Pathfinder is powered by a 260-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Designed to accommodate adventurous individuals and families, the Nissan Pathfinder features excellent passenger and cargo space, as well as above average towing capacity. Independent front and rear suspension, along with a sedan-based platform, enhance the Pathfinder’s daily-driving characteristics. All-wheel drive models include off-road extras like hill start assist and hill descent control.
The Pathfinder’s family-friendly cabin boasts a spacious second row of seats, which slide forward to provide excellent ingress and egress to the crossover’s third row. Unlike many three-row crossovers, the Pathfinder’s third row provides enough room for two adults. The Pathfinder’s interior is also equipped with plenty of standard equipment including push-button ignition and tri-zone automatic climate control.
Moving into higher trims levels allows the premium luxury side of the Pathfinder to shine. Highlights include leather seats, navigation, a dual panoramic sunroof, Bose premium audio and a power liftgate.
The Nissan Pathfinder is a trusted member of the three-row crossover SUV segment that includes the Dodge Durango, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. Other competitors consist of the Ford Explorer, GMC Acadia and Mazda CX-9.
Earlier Nissan Pathfinder Models
The first-generation Pathfinder was offered from 1986 to 1995. Originally a two-door SUV, the Pathfinder added two additional doors for the 1990 model year and has remained a four-door vehicle ever since. The first-generation Pathfinder was a body-on-frame SUV powered by either a 106-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a 145-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6. Nissan would drop the four-cylinder engine and boost output from the V6 before the first generation model came to an end.
The second-generation Pathfinder was built from 1996 to 2004 and featured unibody construction. The sole power plant was a 3.3-liter V6 that generated 168 horsepower, which would be replaced in 2001 by a 240-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6. For the second-generation, Nissan moved the Pathfinder upstream with a bigger exterior and cabin. Available options were also enhanced, with family-friendly extras like DVD entertainment.
Nissan launched the third-generation Pathfinder for the 2005 model year. The third-gen model returned to the Pathfinder’s body-on-frame roots. The exterior grew even more and took on a boxier design. The Pathfinder shared a platform with the Nissan Titan and Frontier pickup trucks and offered excellent off-road capabilities.
The third-generation Pathfinder gained an available third row of seats. Earlier models were powered exclusively by a 270-horsepower, 4.0-liter V6 engine. In 2008, the Pathfinder was given a significant facelift and Nissan added a 310-horsepower, V8 to the lineup. Third-gen Pathfinders can be optioned to include navigation, Bluetooth, satellite radio, leather seating, premium audio and more.