In redesigning the Pathfinder from a truck-based, body-on-frame SUV to a crossover with unibody construction, Nissan has made this a more refined vehicle that provides a more comfortable ride than its predecessor, a more attractive and accommodating interior and significantly higher fuel economy.
The 2013 Pathfinder with the standard 3.5-liter V-6 and continuously variable automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 20/26 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 19/25 with all-wheel drive. Last year's heavier model had EPA ratings of 15/22 mpg with rear-wheel drive and 14/20 mpg with four-wheel drive. Ride comfort and handling ability in everyday driving also are significantly better than the previous, truck-based version.
Among the minuses in the Pathfinder's transition to a crossover are that towing capacity has dropped to 5,000 pounds from 7,000, and it now rides on low rolling resistance tires that lose grip fast in hard cornering. On balance, though, Nissan has a more competitive large crossover to counter the likes of the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot.
Check out our expert review, here, by Cars.com editor Kelsey Mays for more on the new Pathfinder.
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