It’s a sign of the times that sport utility vehicles are trading in their body-on-frame construction to go the unibody route. Buyers want crossovers that drive like cars, not squared-off rigs that behave like pickup trucks. Additionally, switching to unibody construction allows engineers to shave down curb weight figures, which in turn helps drive up fuel economy numbers. It’s a win-win situation for automakers and the average consumer.
The latest machine to enter the universe of unibody is the all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder. Built on the same platform as the recently launched Infiniti JX35, the Pathfinder looks to bring a refined driving experience along with class-leading fuel economy into the three-row crossover SUV segment. It may have gotten soft on us, but it might also be better prepared to take on the rest of the competition by doing so.