2013 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4×4 Test Drive

?2013 Nissan Pathfinder lunches Fourth Generation continuing to evolve?

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The first Pathfinder from Nissan bowed in mid-1986, appearing as a compact SUV intended to serve the needs of active, adventuresome families. Not one to make changes simply for the sake of change, the Pathfinder has continued to evolve over the years, and? has continued to grow considerably in not only in size, but in comfort, performance capabilities, seating capacity, innovative features and functionality. The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder has grown into a mid-size SUV and is no longer a compact. Pathfinder provides comfortable seating room for seven occupants along with their gear. The three-row Pathfinder provides first class accommodations, along with a rugged drivetrain capable of going nearly anywhere on or off-road.

Power for the latest Pathfinder comes from a 3.5-liter, DOHC, 24-valve V6 with sequential multi-point fuel injection ? a version of Nissan?s VQ-series V6 engine that delivers 260-horsepower along with 240 pound feet of torque. All trim levels are available in either a two-wheel (rear) drive configuration, or with Nissan?s Intuitive 4WD system. Standard towing capability is rated at up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. All Pathfinders are built on a high-strength, fully boxed, all-steel frame based on the same frame as that of the full-size Nissan Armada SUV.

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The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is available in four different models: Pathfinder S, Pathfinder SV, Pathfinder SL and the top-of-the-line Pathfinder Platinum.

Additions for the 2013 model year include new levels of versatility, fuel efficiency and full-size comfort, returning to the unibody construction of the second-generation Pathfinder design, this newest generation Pathfinder continues with the most standard towing capability in class, while also offering best-in-class passenger volume and best-in-class mpg, with an increase in fuel economy of 30 percent over the previous generation Pathfinder. Fuel economy is rated at 26 mpg Highway / 20 mpg City and 22 mpg Combined for the 2WD model and 25 mpg Highway / 19 mpg City and 21 mpg Combined for the 4WD model.

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The all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder also features 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, along with Easy Fill Tire Alert and class-exclusive Around View? Monitor. Comfortable ride and handling are provided by an independent strut suspension up front and a multi-link design in the rear, with hydraulic electric power-assisted, speed -sensitive steering as standard. Also standard are 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, with unique 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels on the Platinum model.

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The interior design is all-new as well and includes: the new Advanced Drive-Assist? Display, located in the center of the instrument display between the tachometer and speedometer, featuring a 4.0-inch color display and utilizing natural-looking 3D-effect graphics. An available 8.0-inch touch-screen monitor, mounted in the middle of the instrument panel, provides intuitive interaction and control of the Nissan Navigation System, along with numerous driver-selectable vehicle systems and settings.

Also offered, are a range of available amenities, including three rows of leather-appointed seating, Heated and Cooled front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, programmable Nissan Intelligent Key?, Bluetooth? Hands-free Phone System, 13-speaker Bose? Premium Audio system, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control, RearView Monitor, Remote Engine Start, Tri-Zone Entertainment System and Dual Panorama Moonroof.

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Highlights of the all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder include: a 0.34 coefficient of drag; a fresh interpretation of Nissan’s “power strut” grille design; wheel-oriented muscular fenders and a strong stance; an open upper cabin with low beltline and thin A- and D-pillars; a long wheelbase, short front and rear overhangs; a chrome grille, front and rear door handles and front and rear fascia accents; body color bumpers and dual power remote-controlled outside mirrors (manual fold); available heated outside mirrors and mirror reverse synch; front (chin) and rear (roof) spoilers, rear tire deflectors and rear suspension fairing; Black roof molding, available chrome bodyside molding; UV-reducing solar glass, rear privacy glass; standard auto on/off headlights with auto hazard system (linked to front wipers with twilight detection) ? available on SV models and above; available fog lights; available Dual Panorama Moonroof with one-touch open/close controls (front), manual front sunshade and rear roof glass with power sunshade; available power liftgate with closure assist; and available painted roof rails and cross bars.

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My test 2013 Nissan Pathfinder came in Platinum trim, with the Intuitive All-Mode Four Wheel Drive system. The exterior was finished in Arctic Blue metallic, complemented by an Almond-toned leather interior. The base price was set at $40,770 while optional features and equipment bumped the final sticker to $44,395. Options consisted of: Roof rail cross bars; carpeted floor mats; the Platinum Premium Package with dual 7? head restraint DVD screens, Family Entertainment System with 2 wireless headphones, 1 wireless remote control, 1 VTR jack and rear headphone jacks with volume control, Dual Panorama Moonroof including front power sliding tinted glass with one touch open/close and tilt feature and rear sliding sunshade and Destination charges. The standard equipment inventory is quite impressive and complete in its own right.

SUMMARY: ?With the Pathfinder being one of the pioneers in the SUV marketplace, and with their years of experience in producing such a vehicle, Nissan has definitely ?Gotten it right?. The Pathfinder makes no pretense at being anything other than an SUV ? and it does so in admirable fashion. It not only looks like an SUV, but also performs as an SUV should. The 3.5-liter V6 – delivers adequate power, with the added benefit of considerably improved fuel economy. The Pathfinder is now much more contemporary in its overall appeal, and is considerably less boxy in form than that of the original. The level of amenities and connectivity has grown substantially over the offerings of the first generation Pathfinder, not to mention interior room and comfort levels.

Handling characteristics border on the athletic, but certainly not on the order of a luxury sedan ? if that were the case, it wouldn?t serve its intended purpose in a satisfactory manner. The ride quality is very comfortable and is now more sedan-like that SUV like, and the Intuitive All-Wheel Drive system results in a somewhat reduced turning radius. Standard 2-wheel or 4-wheel active brake limited slip and Hill Start Assist aid considerably in off-road sojourns.

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Bottom line, the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4×4 reflects a favorable evolution toward perfection. It is a go almost anywhere SUV that comes with a tow hitch receiver, trailer harness and finisher for bringing along large recreational toys. Arguably, there are those who look upon SUVs with disdain, and will likely find nothing good to say at all, given its category. On the other hand, for SUV fans, the Pathfinder has blazed the trail earning the right to exist, and in sumptuous style at that, with enviable capability.
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[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4×4 [/wptabtitle]
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Base Price: $40,770.
Price as Tested: $44,395.
Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter, DOHC, 24-valve V6 with sequential multi-point fuel injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 260 @ 6,400 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 240 @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission: XTRONIC CVT
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Intuitive Four-wheel Drive with Selectable 2WD, Auto and 4WD Lock modes.
Suspension: Front – Independent strut with twin-tube- dual flow path shock absorbers and 26 mm solid stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-link with twin-tube- dual flow path shock absorbers and 26.5 mm hollow tube stabilizer bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD, BA, VDC, TCS and TPMS.
Tires: Bridgestone Dueler HP Sport AS 235/55 R20- 102H M&S mounted on 5-split”V” painted/polished alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 114.2 inches
Length Overall: 197.2 inches
Width: 77.2 inches
Height: 69.6 inches
Curb Weight: 4,471 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 19.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 19-mpg city / 25-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.34
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.

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