CleanMPG's First Drive Review of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and 2014 Hybrid Preview

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by xcel, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG]All-new 2013 Pathfinder provides unique safety and utility features all the while selling really really well.

    [fflash=right]http://www.youtube.com/v/IFDI7AFV2uY?version=3[/fflash]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Dec. 3, 2012

    2013 Nissan Pathfinder - $28,270 to start and a 20/26/22 mpgUS city/highway/combined rating in FWD format and 25/27/26 mpgUS city/highway/combined in 2014 Hybrid form.

    Nissan’s Pathfinder was first introduced in 1986 as a family adventure vehicle with each successive Pathfinder design remaining true to that original premise. Interesting enough, the original was a body on frame, gen 2 was a uni-body, gen 3 went back to body on frame and the latest all-new 2013 current gen 4 is back as a uni-body.

    Today’s 2013 is more adventure-ready than ever with the highest standard tow rating of 5,000 pounds and largest passenger volume at an eye opening 157.8 cu. ft. in its class! All the while offering a 30 percent increase in fuel economy over last year’s model mainly through the addition of Nissan’s Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with the lowest ratio providing excellent acceleration and tow capability and the tallest ratio for a quiet and lazy low RPM highway cruise.

    The adventure only gets better...

    2013 Nissan Pathfinder (2014 Hybrid) Pricing, Options and Specifications

    The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is available in four trims, the S, SV, SL and Platinum. It is also available as a Hybrid which is scheduled to arrive later this summer.

    Complete specifications, pricing, standard, and optional equipment for the 2013 Pathfinder (2014 Pathfinder Hybrid) can be found within the Pricing, Options and Specifications Specifications page.

    The all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder offers a long list of both best-in-class and unique-to-class specifications and features spelled out above plus the following:
    • Best-in-class front headroom and front legroom
    • Class-exclusive 3rd row seat recline
    • Class-exclusive Around View Monitor giving you a birds eye view of not just behind but all around!
    • Class-exclusive Easy Fill Tire Alert System
    Its real claim to fame however is the EZ Flex Seating System with LATCH AND GLIDE, an industry first 2nd row tip-up seat which allows easy 3rd row access with a child safety seat still installed.

    Drivetrain

    All 2013 Pathfinders arrive with a 260 HP 3.5L DOHC V6 mated to the Xtronic CVT that holds the engine at the ideal rpm for the conditions at hand, offering responsive power for passing or towing when needed and quiet efficient running at cruising speeds or around town.

    260 HP to move up to 5,000 pounds is not all that surprising but to tow a 4,000 pound Airstream with the 3.5L mated to the wheels through a steel belt. The CVT action proved just as smooth with a load as it does when moving an empty SUV.

    Ride and Handling

    Up front resides an independent strut front and independent multi-link rear end. It now uses the fuel saving hydraulic electric power-assisted steering standard. Also standard are 18 in. alloys with 20 in. alloys offered with the Platinum trim.

    Steering was a bit vague and the suspension allowed more body roll than we are used to from smaller sedans and hatches. The pathfinder does however provide a very soft and compliant ride making a family adventure a family outing with transportation not given a second thought.

    Exterior Design

    The 2013 Pathfinder is more aerodynamic while adding to interior comfort and cargo capacity.

    [​IMG]
    A broad bold face and stance…​

    Up front, deeply sculpted feature lines flow as an extension of the profiles character line inward down the hood towards a thick chrome bezel surrounding the large mesh like “power strut” grille. A chrome trim piece resides below the lower intake while large wraparound headlight lenses and available round foglights make up the face.

    From the profile, a steeply rakes windshield provides a hint of clean and modern aero. The hoods shut lines roll back over the bulging front fender flairs and into a slight character line that continues over the rear fender flair disappearing into the D-pillar. A thin chrome surround wraps the entire day light while chrome door handles and optional lower sill trim provide an upscale appearance.

    To the rear, an upper fairing molded into the rear hatch and upper D-pillar makes its presence known. Unfortunately that same rear molded piece cuts into the sightline from the driver’s perspective.

    An available Dual Panoramic Moonroof, with sliding opening front panel and fixed rear glass panel which extends over the 2nd and 3rd rows, combines with the large windows to create an open, airy interior environment.

    Interior

    [fimg=right]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2013_Nissan_Pathfinder_2nd_row_manual_slide_-_recline_-_fold_flat.jpg[/fimg]One of the Pathfinders most endearing attribute, the 2nd row EZ Flex Seating System with manual slide, recline and fold flat capability.

    The new Pathfinder is a 3-row/7-passenger SUV that has some unique features making up its DNA. It is not just that it includes soft touch plastics up front, an attractive upper dark and lower light dual color scheme, beautiful wood grain inlays into the center console and door panels on upper trims, includes a comfortable large diameter leather wrapped wheel with a nicely padded arm rest and center console or even the available 7 in or 8 in high resolution display. Many similar sized SUVs supply that today. It is the seating versatility and advanced external camera display that makes the new Pathfinder something to behold.

    The Pathfinder’s versatility is revealed in the design of the 2nd and 3rd rows with exceptional 3rd row access. Nissan calls it their EZ Flex Seating System with 5.5 inches of 2nd row seat travel for ease of entry and exit to the 3rd row. The 60/40-split 2nd row features LATCH AND GLIDE technology that allows forward movement and access to the 3rd row even with a child safety seat remaining securely in place (on the passenger curb side). See the introduction video for more on this class exclusive feature.

    Even the 50/50 split-folding third row is unique as it can be reclined.

    Both the 2nd and 3rd row seats fold flat for maximum cargo capacity with additional under floor storage in the rear cargo area.

    What I thought was the most unique innovation was Nissan’s class-exclusive Around View Monitor. With a camera up front, under both side view mirrors and in the back, the display shows a virtual 360-degree image of the area around the vehicle. It provides a bird’s eye view like none you have ever seen before and is absolutely fascinating to see in action.

    Other available features include leather-appointed seating, heated and cooled front seats, heated 2nd row seats, heated steering wheel, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Start, multiple user memory settings and an advanced Bose Audio System with 13 speakers. In retrospect, the output was clean up to at least ½ volume.

    [​IMG]
    Extremely large cargo area.​

    Infotainment

    The pathfinder is available with Nissan’s Navigation System with NavTraffic real-time traffic and NavWeather weather information (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Zagat Survey restaurant guide, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth and RearView Monitor. The screen was high color and resolution and was easy to see even in direct sunlight.

    A Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, power rear liftgate, iPod integration and tri-zone entertainment system with 2nd row head restraint-mounted DVD display screens are also.

    The Pathfinder is available with the Easy Fill Tire Alert we highlighted in the 2013 Nissan Sentra First drive.

    Safety

    On the passive front, a high strength steel safety cage, front, side and side curtains extending to all three rows is of course standard. E active front, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Brake Override.

    Hill Start Assist (HAS) is standard across all models but the AWD variants with the “All-Mode 4x4-I” system allowing 2WD/AUTO/4WD Lock modes with the turn of a knob, there is no on/off-road hill descent control. This unfortunate exclusion is possibly the only misstep when driving the big SUV down steep off-road paths or trails.

    Fuel Economy

    When towing the 4,000 pound Airstream, the Pathfinder offered up 17 mpg. When driving the big SUV along the pacific Coast, with just two journalists onboard, it easily offered 31.x mpg.

    [​IMG]

    First Drive Conclusions

    While we do not normally recommend an SUV for a daily driver as its per person fuel economy with a single occupant onboard is nowhere near sustainable along with normally vague handling, the all-new 2013 Pathfinder provides a glimpse into the future of advanced transmissions and safety technology. The “Around View Monitor” and CVT are what make this SUV better than its rivals and for those that need a 7-passenger vehicle, I can only think of the upcoming Ford Transit Wagon with the 1.6L EcoBoost and it has nothing on the power and feature packed capability of the Pathfinder.

    [​IMG]

    2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid Preview Addendum

    The 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid still provides the same utility, passenger and cargo volume, and seating for seven as the conventionally powered 2013 Pathfinder while providing its future owner an 18% increase in combined fuel economy with a minimal 1,500 pound reduction (3,500 lbs from 5,000 lbs) in towing capacity.

    The Hybrid version replaces the conventional 3.5L V6 with a new supercharged 2.5L gasoline engine mated to a smallish 15 kW electric motor paired with a compact Li-ion battery. The system is rated at 250 net horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque – versus the 3.5L V6's 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque and should provide very similar straight line performance characteristics.

    The hybrid system uses a Nissan coined term called “Intelligent Dual Clutch” System (one motor / two clutch parallel system) that manages power from the electric motor and gasoline engine. Positioned between the engine and the Xtronic CVT, the motor also functions as a generator, providing regenerative braking power from the CVT to recharge the battery during braking or deceleration. One clutch is installed between the gasoline engine and the electric motor, the other within the CVT.

    Visually the Pathfinder Hybrid is marked by efficient LED taillights and Nissan PUREDRIVE Hybrid badges. In addition, special hybrid information screens are added to the instrument panel's Advanced Drive-Assist Display.

    Given the increase from 22 mpgUS for the 3.5L equipped Pathfinder to 26 mpgUS combined rating of the Hybrid, an owner driving 15,000 miles/year and paying $3.899 per gallon would save $409/year or $34/month. Not sure it is worth it but I know I can work a hybrid system. The 3.5L is somewhat limited as my first drive results showed.

    [​IMG]
    The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid provides less consumption with no compromise of interior volume or performance.​
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  2. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Re: Nissan November Sales up 12.9% + 2013 Pathfinder First Drive

    Wow FWD Pathfinder.
     
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: Nissan November Sales up 12.9% + 2013 Pathfinder First Drive

    Hi PriusCpilot:

    According to the EPA it is ;)

    Wayne
     
  4. CPLTECH

    CPLTECH Well-Known Member

    Re: Nissan November Sales up 12.9% + 2013 Pathfinder First Drive

    Please elaborate on the towing, Wayne. 17MPG sounds fantastic!!!
    My 2006 Pathfinder 5sp AT does a miserable 11. A 98 Tahoe did that and I thought the PF could beat that, but feel the design of the trans is at issue (4th gear [towing] never goes into torq converter lock-up)
     
  5. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Re: Nissan November Sales up 12.9% + 2013 Pathfinder First Drive

    Wow that low??? My 1997 LR Defender with its 4.0 V8i 4spd auto does 15mpg.
     
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: Nissan November Sales up 12.9% + 2013 Pathfinder First Drive

    HiCPLTECH:

    Here you go...

    2013 Nissan Pathfinder First Drive

    [​IMG]
    5,000 pounds of luxury machine... Both front and back. An no the tires were not flat as I parked it along a wine field shoulder ;)

    The Xtronic CVT did exactly what it was supposed to. When heading downhill, either fuel cut or it moved to the maximum ratio... Up hill or launch, lowest ratio and it stayed there as required. Flat crusie, moved to near maximum and stayed there as needed.

    Overall the Xtronic CVT was just as seamless with a load as it was without and won me over.

    Wayne
     
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: Nissan November Sales up 12.9% + 2013 Pathfinder First Drive

    Hi All:

    Nissan Brazil Sets New All-time Sales Record of 100,000 Cars Sold in One Year

    Nissan Brazil announced it has recorded a record of 100,000 vehicles sold in just one year. The previous record was set in 2011 when it sold 67,280 vehicles while also recording the largest increase in sales. With six days left until the end of the year, NBA has already benefited from an increase of 49% compared to the previous year.

    A sales record in 2012 is an important step towards the company’s overall growth plan which aims to achieve an overall 5% market share and move from 157 dealerships to 240 by 2016.

    The Nissan March stands out in terms of sales volumes, accounting for 32% of the company’s total sales results. The Nissan Versa represents 18%, while the Livina Family and the Frontier make up 15% and 17% respectively. The Tiida family was responsible for 9% of the total sales, while the Sentra sedan totaled 8%.

    2012 Nissan March

    [​IMG]

    Wayne
     
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: CleanMPG's First Drive Review of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and 2014 Hybrid Previ

    Hi All:

    I added the all-new 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid specs and preview (as seen at last week's 2013 NYIAS Press Days and as we know them today) to the original 2013 Nissan Pathfinder first drive review.

    While not an overwhelming increase in fuel economy, any increase to a large SUV is worth quite a few $'s at the pump as pointed out in the preview.

    Wayne
     
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: CleanMPG's First Drive Review of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and 2014 Hybrid Previ

    Hi All:

    The 2013/2014 Nissan Pathfinder just won a Ward's Autos "10 Best Interior" award!

    Today, WardsAuto named the all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder to its annual "Ward's 10 Best Interiors" list for 2013. The recently-redesigned Pathfinder is recognized for its comfortable, yet functional interior.

    Vehicles are selected to the "Ward's 10 Best Interiors" list after an intensive evaluation of dozens of nominated vehicles, each judged in areas such as materials, ergonomics, safety, the human-machine interface, comfort, fit and finish, aesthetics and overall value.

    WardsAuto World magazine Executive Editor Tom Murphy:
    2013 Nissan Pathfinder Interior

    [​IMG]
    It looks and feels even better in person ;)

    Wayne
     
  10. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    Re: CleanMPG's First Drive Review of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and 2014 Hybrid Previ

    I have driven a Nissan Quest with 3,5l and CVT. You indicated that the CVT was pretty well seamless. Where Nissan's CVT seemed very much at home on the 4-cylinder Altimas and Sentras, it very much seemed out of place behind the 3,5l in the Quest, never really settling down or able to pick a correct ratio. It was very annoying. Was there any of this nonsense on the Pathfinder whatsoever?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: CleanMPG's First Drive Review of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and 2014 Hybrid Previ

    Hi jcp123:

    None. WOT and the CVT ran up the sheaves and stayed there while the ICE was running at a steady 5 to 600 under redline. Driving around town, it was always close to the perfect gear and never really jumped around until you stepped into it.

    Wayne
     
  12. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    Re: CleanMPG's First Drive Review of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and 2014 Hybrid Previ

    I'm glad they got that sorted out...that CVT had instantly put any 3,5l Nissan with the CVT towards the bottom of the proverbial list for me. Sounds like this Pathfinder will be a winner.
     
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: CleanMPG's First Drive Review of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and 2014 Hybrid Previ

    Hi All:

    Last week Nissan released pricing for the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder, which is on sale now at U.S. Nissan dealers nationwide. They did not however release pricing on the Pathfinder Hybrid yet.

    The all new Pathfinder has re-energized Pathfinder sales with its unprecedented sales increases since its release with a 3 fold jump CYTD.

    For 2014, the Pathfinder receives a few changes starting with the addition of a new and 25/27 mpgUS rated Pathfinder Hybrid as described in the OP. It will reach dealership showrooms this fall.

    In addition to the new Pathfinder Hybrid, enhancements for all 2014 Pathfinder models include a new SL Tech Package with Bose 13-speaker Premium Audio System, Nissan Navigation System, Voice Recognition, XM NavTraffic and NavWeather capability (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Zagat Survey Restaurant Guide, Bluetooth Streaming Audio and 8-inch color touch-screen monitor.

    Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices* (MSRP) for the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder 3.5-liter V6

    Column1Column2Column3
    Trim2 or 4WDMSRP (not including the $845 D&H)
    Pathfinder S2WD$28,700 USD
    Pathfinder SV2WD$31,960 USD
    Pathfinder SL2WD$34,900 USD
    Pathfinder Platinum2WD$39,600 USD
    Pathfinder S4WD$30,300 USD
    Pathfinder SV4WD$33,560 USD
    Pathfinder SL4WD$36,500 USD
    Pathfinder Platinum4WD$41,200 USD


    The 2014 Pathfinder is also available with four option packages: SL Tech Package, SL Premium Package, Platinum Premium Package and Trailer Tow Package.

    Wayne
     
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: CleanMPG's First Drive Review of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and 2014 Hybrid Previ

    Hi All:

    As shown in the First drive, the 2015 Pathfinder offers exceptional levels of versatility, pretty darn good efficiency thanks in part to the 7.3:1 wide ratio CVT and even full-size comfort for seven passengers. Available in FWD and 4WD configurations, Nissan’s full sized SUV continues to be powered by the 260 hp 3.5L V6.

    For 2015, Nissan provided the following changes:
    • SL and Platinum now includes Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)

    • Slightly changed D-Step Shift logic added to the standard Xtronic transmission

    • Hill Descent Control added to 4-wheel drive models <-- FINALLY!

    • SL Tech Package now includes Around View Monitor and tow hitch and harness

    • SL Premium Package now includes Around View Monitor and Navigation system

    • New Family Entertainment Package with dual headrest 7.0-inch DVD Family Entertainment System

    • The SV trim adds fog lights, auto dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink Universal Transceiver, and heated side rearview mirrors

    • The SL trim level adds a 120V power outlet

    • The Platinum trim adds standard Dual Panorama Moonroof
    Five new exterior colors include Java Metallic, Midnight Jade, Gun Metallic, Magnetic Black and Pearl White (Mocha Stone, Dark Slate, Super Black and Moonlight White no longer available).

    The 2015 Nissan Pathfinder is available in four trims, the S, SV, SL and Platinum in 4WD or 2WD.

    The new 2015 will reach dealership showrooms this October.
     
  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: CleanMPG's First Drive Review of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and 2014 Hybrid Previ

    Hi All:

    2016 Nissan Pathfinder

    The 2016 Pathfinder continues with the utility and full-size comfort for seven in both FWD and AWD configurations powered by a 260 hp 3.5L DOHC V6 mated to the D-Step Shift Logic control of the standard Xtronic CVT. Together this large and powerful CUV provides a 20/27 mpgUS rating in FWD and 19/26 mpgUS in AWD configuration.

    It will be offered in four trims, the S, SV, SL and Platinum (each available in 4WD and 2WD).

    The attractive interior includes comfortable seating for seven, along with Pathfinder's innovative EZ Flex Seating System with LATCH AND GLIDE, an industry first 2nd row tip-up seat that allows easy 3rd row access with a child safety seat still installed. A range of available features is also offered, including Around View Monitor and 13-speaker Bose premium audio system.

    Enhancements for the 2016 MY include an almond interior with contrasting black and beige materials, a cold weather package (heated cloth front seats, steering wheel, outside rearview mirrors) available with SV, the SL adds standard heated steering wheel.

    It is scheduled to reach dealership showrooms this December.

    Wayne
     

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