A whopping 500 pounds separates the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder from its predecessor. Thanks to the use of a unibody SUV platform, the new Pathfinder will get better fuel economy and, we're guessing, a better ride than the last-gen SUV that didn't make it onto as many shopping lists as the new one certainly will.
In a promotional video below, Nissan announced that pricing on the 2013 Pathfinder will start at $28,270. Even with a destination charge -- which is $825 on the 2012 model -- a $29,025 MSRP would make the new crossover just under $1000 cheaper than the pre-incentive price of the outgoing model.
Not surprisingly, the outgoing Pathfinder's V-8 will not be appearing on the new Nissan's options list, meaning the 2013 Pathfinder will be powered by a 260-hp 3.5-liter V-6 mated to the automaker's latest CVT in front- and four-wheel-drive forms. 2013 Nissan Pathfinder fuel economy is estimated at 20/26 mpg city/highway for front-drive models and 19/25 mpg for four-wheel-drive SUVs -- the 2012 Pathfinder V-6 is EPA-rated at 15/22 mpg in rear-drive form and 14/20 with four-wheel drive. In case you're wondering, the old Pathfinder V-8 hit 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.
What those 2012 Pathfinders didn't feature, however, are some of the second- and third-row solutions offered by the 2013 Pathfinder. The 2013 Pathfinder's second row of seats has 5.5 inches of seat travel and, like the Infiniti JX SUV, the Nissan can provide access to the third row of seats -- which has a back recline feature -- without removing a child seat in the second row. Other family-friendly technologies on the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder include the automaker's Easy Fill Tire Alert and the Around View Monitor to make parking easier.
In place of the 2012 Pathfinder V-8's 7000-pound towing capacity on the 2013 Pathfinder (the new model can tow 5000-lbs total) are available features like a three-zone entertainment system, a 13-speaker Bose sound system, a much more advanced instrument cluster, plus a dual-panel moonroof.
What may make the biggest impression on those who have driven the outgoing Pathfinder is the claimed reduction in NVH and more refined driving experience. Where this leaves the already-popular 2013 Infiniti JX is unclear. Through the first seven months of 2012, the Pathfinder already served as Nissan's third-most-popular SUV, with 17,865 units sold, behind the mechanically related but smaller Murano (31,542 units) and the compact Rogue (85,031 units). With the refocused 2013 Nissan Pathfinder crossover on the way, it appears Rogue and Murano buyers finally have a large crossover to consider before they leave the Nissan family.