New Pathfinder has best fuel economy
For 2013, the Nissan Pathfinder sport utility vehicle is longer, wider and has a roomier interior than its predecessor. At the same time, this new Pathfinder is 500 pounds lighter. And with a 30 percent boost in fuel economy, it tops all other mid-size crossover SUVs in sipping gasoline.
How can a bigger SUV be lighter and more fuel efficient?
Nissan engineers built the redesigned, 2013 Pathfinder as a unibody, so the vehicle no longer uses a heavy truck frame. Secondly, all Pathfinders come with a fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT). And, the V-6 engine is bit smaller, at 3.5 liters instead of 4 liters, while a V-8 no longer is offered.
So, while towing capacity has dropped from 7,000 pounds in the 2012 Pathfinder to 5,000 pounds, the new Pathfinder proudly carries a government fuel economy rating of 20 miles per gallon in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway as a two-wheel drive model.
This rating is better than previous mileage standouts in the category — the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer which, like the Pathfinder, have three rows of seats.
Another highlight: Starting retail prices for this fourth-generation Pathfinder are lower than that of its predecessor.
Specifically, starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $29,495 for a base 2013 Pathfinder S with 260-horsepower V-6 and two-wheel drive.
The 2013 Pathfinder's 3.5-liter, double overhead cam V-6 generates 260 horsepower instead of the 266 from last year's 4-liter V-6. Torque is reduced more, going from 288 foot-pounds at 4,000 rpm to 240 at 4,400 rpm.
But the test Pathfinder was responsive when accelerating and didn't lag, even when it carried a full load of seven passengers.
The CVT, which a driver operates like an automatic transmission, worked smoothly and in satisfying fashion, and the characteristic drone sound that was expected wasn't heard.
Better yet, the tester averaged 21.6 mpg in combined city/highway travel. This is nearly equal to the government's combined 22-mpg rating. The average mileage gave the test Pathfinder a 420-mile range on a single tank of regular gasoline.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Large-scale batteries are integral in shift to renewable energy
- Natural gas industry tries to find uses for abundance of product from shale drilling
- Plastics, tech sectors crucial to cracker plants
- Hackers rip into heart of open-source software
- Open enrollment puts varied impact of health care law back in focus
- Duquesne University business center helping Hispanic startups
- Energy Spotlight: Steve Anthos
- Student loan debt presents paradox
- EDMC loses $664M; executives receive six-figure bonuses
- 113 Federal Reserve staffers earn more than chief Yellen
- ‘Foodies’ get fill in Western Pa. as groceries hire chefs to offer tips