Page 1: Intro
SEATTLE – Almost 20 years have disappeared since the first Nissan Pathfinder rolled onto the streets of America, days in which the world of cars and trucks has mirrored the frenetic changes that have coursed through America. It was 1986, sport-utility vehicles were just catching on, and the Pathfinder was a rugged utility vehicle with hardbody good looks. It was quite popular with the young crowd, not so much with families – and especially so with people who liked to go adventuring and had the time to do it.
Much has changed since then. We’re all a bit larger and, maybe, a little more desirous of creature comforts. Today’s SUVs make the grade as more an alternative to a minivan than an off-road adventure vehicle for the young. To meet this need, the family of Nissan utility vehicles has grown significantly in size and scope, now encompassing the Pathfinder, Xterra, Murano and the recently introduced full-size 2004 Armada.
And so the rise of the beast is complete. Hulking sport-utility vehicles now dominate traffic lanes like grazing buffalo, snorting and clamoring for more room, casting a long shadow on our roads and on the decisions we make when we buy a car. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t avoid them and they have changed everything. And though signs now point to a decline in the popularity of large and truck-based SUVs, these vehicles continue to impact the buying decisions people make, simply because they offer more: more room and versatility than most cars, and in a sportier-looking package -- with better performance character -- than the typical minivan.
Page 2: New SUVs
Nissan has taken a measured approach to their new suvs, emphasizing car-like ride with modern design and versatility. Not too tough to gain acceptance on that basis – especially when no one has heard of your Murano and you’re on a long product win streak. But when the iron you’re twisting has a heritage – and with that heritage a long list of expectations – making a new one becomes a little tricky. Move too far away from the Pathfinder’s original charm and lose your core buyer; fail to improve it and be faced with an out-dated product in a cutthroat market.
Nissan accomplishes both with the new 2005 Pathfinder. It’s an SUV that stays true to its rugged heritage while adding improvements such as a third row of seating and a superb V6 engine, built on an all-new foundation that cost about $2.4 billion to create and will also host the new Xterra SUV and Frontier pickup truck. The Pathfinder, consequentially, finds itself back in the game as a grocery hauling, off-road threat in the SUV market. It is, truth be told, a completely different vehicle than the previous Pathfinder – and a glimpse into future SUVs and large vehicles for Nissan. The glimpse, by and large, is pleasing.
Page 3: Exterior
Page 4: XE, LE
The numbers don’t lie. But they also don’t tell the whole truth. For front seat passengers, the 2005 Nissan Pathfinder is a comfortable ride, but one that gets less comfortable the farther back you go. This is possibly due to the type of seat used in the middle row, the sink-inside headrests and the loss of legroom. But so what -- most passengers will ride up front anyway, and if there’s a regular backseat occupant, they’re probably under 12.
All you really need back there is a seat belt.
Page 5: Cargo
Page 6: Power
Page 7: Off-road
Page 8: Wrap
Today, it’s less about off road and more about comfort, performance and convenience. The brilliant thing about the 2005 Nissan Pathfinder is that it gives you as close to the best of both worlds as you’re likely to get at the price: decent ride, adequate room – all with the ability to tow up to 6,000 lbs and to go off road should you ever feel like experiencing what a real SUV was meant to do. And though it’s traveled from a basic utility hardbody to seats for seven, maybe the world of SUVs hasn’t really changed that much after all. There’s still a path to find, after all, and a vehicle that will help you travel it.
Page 9: FAQs
What type of safety features does the Pathfinder offer, and does it include side curtain airbags?
Safety features for the new Pathfinder include front air bags as standard, three-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, three-point seat belts for rear seat occupants, including the 2nd row center position, and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchor system. The Pathfinder offers as available equipment roof-mounted supplemental curtain air bags for side impact and rollover protection for passengers in all three rows. It’s important to note, however, that part of the safety of any vehicle is the frame on which it is built, and Nissan engineers claim to have used a stronger steel in the construction of the Pathfinder.
Where will the Pathfinder be built, and how much will it cost?
Pricing has not been released, but look for the Pathfinder to be priced competitively with the Toyota 4Runner and the Ford Explorer. The Pathfinder will be assembled by Nissan’s Smyrna & Decherd Tennessee Plant.
Page 10: Notes
Transmission: 5-speed electronically controlled automatic
Frame: Fully boxed, all-steel (F-Alpha frame, based on Nissan Armada)
Drive: Front engine/rear-wheel or All-Mode 4-wheel drive with 2WD/AUTO/4H/4LO modes, electronically controlled transfer case or part-time 4-wheel drive with 2WD/4H/4LO
Suspension: Independent double-wishbone front suspension with stabilizer bar, Independent double-wishbone rear suspension with stabilizer bar
Steering: Engine speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion Brakes: 4-wheel disc with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)