What started out as a small SUV is now one of the larger yet more sophisticated of its type. The present Nissan Pathfinder embodies a hybrid of a rugged and classy off-road vehicle. It not only boasts of trekking capabilities but also of family-oriented configurations with its cargo space and passenger seating. Today, this Nissan model continues to find excellence in its path in the SUV world.
1985-1995: The rugged and small SUV
The first generation of the Nissan Pathfinder found its path to fame in 1986 as a small SUV. Back then, this rugged-looking automobile was known by the name Pathfinder only in North America while the rest of the world called it the Nissan Terrano.
By 1990, the original two-door Pathfinders were replaced with a four-door design. Also, the former V6 engine was improved to a more powerful multi-point fuel injection system, which increased performance to 153 horsepower and 180 lb/ft of torque. A few years later, the SUV refurbished its looks with a redesigned bumper and fender flares. It also achieved a breakthrough in air conditioning with its CFC-free refrigeration. Pretty soon, the latter batch put focus on aesthetic revisions with new leather seats, storage racks, and heated front seats.
1996-2004: Larger and classier
With a more rounded styling, the second generation of the Nissan Pathfinder was the first to veer away from the rough appeal. It came with a unibody construction, and its size was increased. In addition, the Pathfinder also received a 3.3 liter V6 engine upgrade that boasted 168 horsepower and 196 lb/ft torque.
By the new millennium, Nissan focused on the Pathfinder's exterior appeal with its new front fascia and two grille variants. Three years later, the Nissan Pathfinder boasted of new designs and safety measures that included a revamped steering wheel, side airbags for those seated in front, and a traction control system to avoid skidding.
2005-2012: International name and fame
The year 2005 was significant for the SUV as the name Pathfinder finally became international. Manufactured with a new platform--F-Alpha--the Pathfinder also came with a 4.0 liter V6 engine boost that boasts of 270 horsepower and 291 lb/ft of torque. In that same year, a third row seating was made available for the first time. Additionally, this generation angled to a bigger, stronger, and sportier look with its new front and rear exteriors, bonnet, grille, and bumper assembly. And this renovation improved the Pathfinder's off-road capability.
2013 onwards: Less power, better fuel economy
The concept for the next generation was revealed in the 2012 North American International Auto Show in which the manufacturers will focus on improved fuel consumption. There is a good chance that the new home-grown hybrid setup will be used, which may sacrifice power for better fuel economy.