Besides Jeep, Nissan was noted as one of the first brands to introduce a solid, capable off road vehicle that could conquer even the most rugged terrain. The model was appropriately named the Pathfinder due to it's off road, "path-finding" capability. Back in the late 1980s, this model remained a favorite in the industry and it's owners, as a product that stood for exactly it was named for. The Pathfinder’s 4WD system remained a competitive alternative to even some of the most rugged utilities back then.
And now, in the latest generation, the all-new Pathfinder recently bowed into production for the United States market. For the week of testing, Nissan delivered a completely loaded Platinum edition that included every available option besides for the four-wheel drive option, which was missed. The front wheel drive variant was mated to a smooth running CVT transmission designed to optimize fuel economy, when possible.
On the interior, luxury adorned the interior from floor to ceiling, wall to wall. The leather had smooth surfaces throughout for each of the seven passengers in the cabin. The second row seats easily collapsed to allow access to the third row, which while cramped, could easily accommodate two or three children. Like most of Nissan products, the interior was completed loaded with top-end technology and gadgets. An intuitive navigation system was neatly integrated into the center console.
During the week long test drive, the Pathfinder was challenged to head out to the Everglades National park, where the path-finding capabilities were put to the test. First, the Pathfinder was challenged to use its rugged platform to approach a slight incline, in which the front wheel drive did have a challenge accomplishing. Next, a slight dip into the shallow swamps, to where the Pathfinder prevailed. There is no doubt that the front wheel drive drivetrain setup could be a perfect fit for the South Florida market, that contains limited off road terrain and no snow. However, to handle the daily rainy weather conditions, and random off road ventures, a four-wheel drive variant is always appreciated, especially when it comes to a name like Pathfinder.
The new Nissan Pathfinder is an attractive sport utility that offers plenty versatility, and with the Platinum trim, an array of luxury features to please even the most particular consumer. However, with a name like Pathfinder, and a drivetrain orientation of front wheel drive, the question surfaces if maybe the variant nomenclature should read Mallfinder, or Roadfinder?
For more information on the all-new Pathfinder, and the rest of the Nissan portfolio, please visit nissan.com.