Body style: SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle)
Segment: Medium SUV
Production years: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Nissan introduced a facelifted version for the third generation of the Pathfinder at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show and finally introduced the V8 engine option for the mid-size SUV.
In 2007 few could predict the world financial crisis that followed, and the blooming-looking economy made some automakers dream big. Nissan, for instance, hoped to increase its sales thanks to a redesigned Pathfinder, an SUV that could finally compete against the well-established Grand Cherokee. But then, everything collapsed.
Since the Pathfinder was a body-on-frame vehicle, customers expected it to be able to tow boats or trailers on long distances without tearing a sweat. Moreover, they wanted their SUV to look capable of doing it, and Nissan tried translating that into the bodywork's design. With its squared-looking shape and the rugged appearance of the front fascia, it was on the right path. However, with the flared wheel arches and the concealed door handles for the rear doors, it looked more like a pickup with a topper.
On the other hand, the interior had to be as civilized as possible. It looked like it made it with an option for three-row seating and a comfortable driving position. In addition, the refreshed version featured an upgraded dashboard fitted with a 7" color display and Bluetooth connectivity. The option for a heated steering wheel was much appreciated in cold climate situations. The occupants could relax on long journeys thanks to the reclining middle-row seats, but the third row was not adequate for full-grown adults.
Nissan decided to install the 5.6-liter V8 under the Pathfinder's hood and paired it with a five-speed automatic transmission, which was the most significant upgrade. In other markets, the automaker offered a choice of two turbo-diesel powerplants, including a 3.0-liter V6. Power went to the rear or all corners via a two-speed transfer case, and a locking rear differential was on the options list.