2013 Nissan Pathfinder Concept Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 03, 2012
  • Lighter and more fuel-efficient than outgoing 2012 model
  • Roomier inside with unique comfort and access features
  • V-6 engine with CVT and available 4WD


Nissan calls the Pathfinder Concept "a special preview of the new 2013 model." If you read between the lines, this is essentially the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder that goes on sale before the end of the year.

Exterior Features

For 2013, the Nissan Pathfinder features unibody construction, rather than the traditional body-on-frame construction of the outgoing 2012 model. As a result, the new Pathfinder is a lighter vehicle, with 25% better fuel economy, according to Nissan. A panoramic sunroof is optional.

Interior Features

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is roomier inside than the outgoing model, and is equipped with a flat passenger cabin floor and 7-passenger seating. The 60/40-split second-row seat slides fore and aft up to 5.5 inches to adjust leg room according to passenger needs. It also includes a "child seat mode" that allows the "40" side of the seat to slide forward with a child safety seat installed to make entering the 50/50-split third-row seat easier. Nissan has also designed the third-row seat to recline.

Trim levels and features are not finalized, but it appears that the Pathfinder Concept represents a fully loaded model. It is equipped with leather, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and a heated power tilt/telescopic steering wheel. Nissan Intelligent Key with push-button start is also included on the Pathfinder Concept, along with a Bose audio system with 13 speakers, navigation system with real-time traffic and weather reporting, Zagat restaurant survey ratings, and Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio. The concept SUV is also equipped with a power rear liftgate, Around View and Rear View Monitors, triple-zone automatic climate control, and a triple-zone rear entertainment system.

Under the Hood

Nissan says the Pathfinder Concept is equipped with a V-6 engine of smaller displacement than the current model's 4.0-liter V-6, but doesn't specify the size or power rating. However, since the new Pathfinder shares a platform with the new Infiniti JX35, it's safe to guess the Nissan has a 3.5-liter V-6 making 265 horsepower.

A continuously variable transmission (CVT) delivers the power to the front wheels. A 4-wheel-drive system is optional, what Nissan calls "intuitive 4WD." It features driver-selectable 2WD, Auto, and 4WD modes. Nissan says the new Pathfinder will tow up to 5,000 pounds in standard format.

Fuel Economy

Nissan says the new 2013 Pathfinder will get 18 mpg in the city, compared to 14 mpg with the outgoing 2012 model. For greater detail, we reference the Infiniti JX35, which gets the following EPA ratings:
  • FWD model: 18/24/21 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
  • AWD model: 18/23/20 mpg


Nissan offers little detail about safety features for the 2013 Pathfinder, except to say it will be available with an Around View Monitor camera and an Easy Fill Tire Alert System. If features from the Infiniti JX35 trickle down to the Nissan, the Pathfinder may also offer Blind Spot Intervention, Lane Departure Prevention, Intelligent Brake Assist, and a Back Up Collision Intervention system.

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