Nissan Pathfinder

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This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Japanese Wikipedia.
Nissan Pathfinder/Terrano
2005-2007 Nissan Pathfinder (R51) ST-L wagon 03.jpg
Pathfinder R51 (up) Pathfinder R52 (down)
2013 Nissan Pathfinder concept -- 2012 NYIAS.JPG
Manufacturer Nissan
Production 1985-present
Body and chassis
Predecessor Nissan Bushmaster

The Nissan Pathfinder was an SUV and now a CUV manufactured by Nissan Motors since 1986, derived from Nissan's compact pickup truck platform. The Pathfinder is slotted in size between the Murano and Armada or Patrol, but in price between the Xterra and Murano. The Pathfinder's traditional Japanese competitor is the Toyota 4Runner.

First generation WD21 series (1985-1995)[edit]

First generation (WD21)
90-92 Nissan Pathfinder.jpg
Manufacturer Nissan
Also called
  • Nissan Terrano
  • Nissan Terramax
Production 1986–1995
Body and chassis
Body style
  • 2-door SUV
  • 4-door SUV (1990-1995)
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Related Nissan D21 Pickup
Wheelbase 104.3 in (2,649 mm)
Length 171.9 in (4,366 mm)
Width 66.5 in (1,689 mm)
  • XE: 65.7 in (1,669 mm)
  • 1986–89 SE & LE: 66.1 in (1,679 mm)
  • 1990–95 SE: 66.7 in (1,694 mm)

The North American first generation Pathfinder came in two different bodies and shared styling and most components with the Nissan Hardbody Truck. Built on a ladder-type frame, the Pathfinder was Nissan's response to the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Bronco, Jeep Cherokee, and non-American SUVs like the Toyota 4Runner, Isuzu Trooper, and the Mitsubishi Montero. WD21 Pathfinders were available in both 2WD and 4WD configurations. In the US from 1986.5 to 1989 Pathfinders came with a two door body. In early 1990 it became a four door in the United States. Some US 1990 Pathfinders came with the two door body, but they are rare. Before the Pathfinder there was the Nissan Bushmaster (an aftermarket conversion of the Datsun Truck), but they are rare as well.The Pathfinder used the same body platform with the Nissan Hardbody Truck.

When the four door version was introduced, Nissan chose to conceal the door handles as a part of the "C" pillar trim to visually make it appear like a two door truck with a camper shell, with the conventional door handles on the front doors. This design tradition is still used on all Nissan SUVs currently offered, including the Nissan Armada and the Nissan Xterra.

The 2-door version was available in Canada until 1990. From 86.5 to 1989 Pathfinders were available with either the Nissan VG30i 3.0 L V6 (143 hp (107 kW), 162 lb·ft (220 N·m) torque), or the Nissan Z24i 2.4 L (106 hp (79 kW)) I4 (the same engine choices as the Nissan Hardbody Truck). In 1990 the V6 received an upgrade from throttle body injection to a multi point fuel injection system. This engine was known as the VG30E, and was rated at 153 hp (114 kW) and 180 lb·ft (244 N·m) torque. Also in 1990, the Z24i was replaced with the KA24E. The first generation continued until 1995. In certain countries this generation also came with a 2.7 L I4 Diesel Engine known as the TD27 with the option of a turbocharger to increase the power rating.


A facelift occurred in 1990 when the 4-door model was introduced. The front grille was revised, numerous interior trim level options became available and numerous exterior packages were offered by dealerships. The 1993 models received a third brake light and the 1994 models received a curved dashboard.

Image gallery[edit]

Second generation R50 series (1996–2004)[edit]

Second generation (R50)
99-04 Nissan Pathfinder.jpg
Manufacturer Nissan
Also called Nissan Terrano (Japan)
Production 1996–2004
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door SUV
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
  • 4-speed automatic
  • 5-speed manual
Wheelbase 106.3 in (2,700 mm)
  • 1999–2002: 178.3 in (4,529 mm)
  • 2000–04: 182.7 in (4,641 mm)
  • 2000–04: 71.7 in (1,821 mm)
  • 2000–04 XE: 69.7 in (1,770 mm)
  • 1996–99: 72.4 in (1,839 mm)
  • 1999–2002 XE: 68.7 in (1,745 mm)
  • 2003–04 SE: 72.7 in (1,847 mm)
  • 2000–04 LE & 2000–01 SE: 70.9 in (1,801 mm)
  • 2000–01 XE: 67.9 in (1,725 mm)
  • 1999–2002 XE & 1998–99 LE: 67.1 in (1,704 mm)
  • 1999–2002 SE & 1999–2000 LE: 67.9 in (1,725 mm)

The second generation was introduced in 1996 with more rounded styling. The second generation Pathfinder was completely redesigned from the first generation, switching from body on frame construction to unibody construction. The engine was upgraded to the VG33E, with 168 hp (125 kW) and 196 lb·ft (266 N·m) torque. For the 1999½ model year, the Pathfinder was freshened. 2001 brought a new 240 hp (179 kW) V6 engine, the VQ35DE. With its facelift, the Pathfinder also grew in size, making way for the compact Xterra.

Diesel engines continued to be used in Japanese and European models.

As of the 2002 model year, the Terrano / Pathfinder is no longer sold in Japan, and is currently available in North America, Europe and the Middle East.


The Pathfinder was given a significant facelift for the 2000 model year with a new front fascia two grille variants, rear fascia, and interior. Another face lift occurred in 2002, when the current Altima-lined Nissan logo was added and received a bolder grille versus the 2000 model, as well as a new steering wheel and radio display.

Third generation R51 series (2005–2012)[edit]

Third generation (R51)
05-07 Nissan Pathfinder .jpg
Production 2004-2013
Model years 2005–present
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door SUV
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Platform Nissan F-Alpha platform
  • 5-speed RE5R05A automatic
  • 7-speed RE7R01B automatic (V9X only)
  • 6-speed FS6R31A manual (export models)
Wheelbase 112.2 in (2,850 mm)
  • 2005–07: 187.6 in (4,765 mm)
  • 2008–2012: 192.5 in (4,890 mm)
  • 2005–07: 72.8 in (1,849 mm)
  • 2008–2012: 72.8 in (1,849 mm)
  • S & SE 4WD: 72.8 in
  • SE Off-Road: 73.3 in (1,862 mm)
  • LE 4WD: 72.9 in (1,852 mm)
  • S & SE 2WD: 72.4 in (1,839 mm)
  • LE 2WD: 72.5 in (1,842 mm)

At the 2004 North American International Auto Show, Nissan unveiled a completely redesigned Pathfinder for the 2005 model year. The new R51 Pathfinder uses the Nissan F-Alpha platform, thus returning to a body on frame construction. It is powered by a 4.0 L V6 engine VQ40DE (266 hp (198 kW), 288 lb·ft (390 N·m)) or a 2.5 L YD25DDTi (126 kW (171 PS; 169 hp), 403 N·m (297 lb·ft)) Turbo Diesel.

In late 2003, a full-size SUV, the Pathfinder Armada, debuted. Although they share a common name, they have little similarity and use different platforms. The "Pathfinder" prefix was dropped for 2005, leaving just the name "Armada".

The Pathfinder is sold as the Terrano in many markets outside of North America. In 2005, when the redesigned Pathfinder was released the Pathfinder name became international as it sold worldwide. These were the first to be sold in the UK.

The 2005 model introduced a third row of seats to the Pathfinder line for the first time.

The 2005-2010 models have been subject to a class action lawsuit because of an issue with cracks in the radiator that allow coolant to leak into the transmission causing permanent damage that requires transmission and radiator replacement.

2008 facelift (US and Middle East)[edit]

The facelifted 2008 Nissan Pathfinder debuted at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. Some of the badge positions on the rear liftgate were tweaked some, and this version also received the Titan's 5.6 liter V8 engine rated at 310 hp (231 kW) and 388 lb·ft (526 N·m).

2010 facelift (Europe, South America, Asia/Oceania and the Caribbean)[edit]

An updated version debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010. Now available with a Nissan 3.0-litre V6 Turbodiesel (V9X Engine) producing 240 hp (175 kW),406 ft·lbf (500 Nm) @ 2,500 rpm while an upgrade YD25DDTi Turbodiesel power rises to 140 kW (190 PS) – up 14 kW (19 PS) – while torque increases by 47 Nm to 450 Nm. Over the combined cycle manual versions use 8.4 L/100 km – an improvement of 1.4 L/100 km – while CO2 emissions have fallen by 40g/km to 224 g/km. Both figures are class competitive. A version of the engine with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) is also available in certain markets.

The R51 series Pathfinder continues to be sold and produced outside North America.

Exterior changes[edit]

The revised models have been given a new look front and rear to differentiate them from their predecessors. Changes at the front include a new bonnet, revised grille and a new bumper assembly. Adding 80 mm to the length of both models, the bumper is more rounded and lends a more sporting touch to the cars.

A new headlamp design with projectors is offered for Xenon lamps. Headlamps washers now pop up from beneath body color moulding in the bumpers. A new 18-inch (460 mm) alloy wheel complements the existing range of 16 inch (steel and alloy) and 17 inch (alloy) designs. V8 models are given a discreet V8 badge at the leading edge of both front doors and a new side moulding across the doors.

Fourth generation R52 series (2013-Present)[edit]

Fourth generation (R52)
'13 Nissan Pathfinder.JPG
2013 Nissan Pathfinder (North America)
Production 2012-present (USA)
Model years 2013-present
Assembly Smyrna, Tennessee, United States (Nissan USA)
Body and chassis
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Platform Nissan D platform
Electric motor 15 kW (20 hp) (hybrid models)
Transmission CVT
Wheelbase 2,900 mm (114.2 in)
Length 5,009 mm (197.2 in)
Width 1,961 mm (77.2 in)
Height 1,768 mm (69.6 in)
2013 Pathfinder concept

A redesigned Pathfinder went on sale in late 2012 as a 2013 model. Just like the second generation Pathfinder, it once again moved away from a body-on-frame, truck-based SUV and adopted a unibody design. It rides on the same platform as the Infiniti JX, Altima, Maxima, Murano and Quest.

A concept, nearly identical to the eventual production model, was first revealed at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. Retail availability was scheduled for September 2012. The new Pathfinder is only available with a VQ35DE 3.5-Liter V6 engine producing 260 hp (194 kW) and 240 lb-ft (325 Nm) of torque. City, highway and combined average fuel economy numbers are 20 (City), 26 (Highway) and 22 (Combined) mpg for the FWD version and 19 (City), 25 (Highway) and 21 (Combined) mpg for the 4WD version. The Pathfinder is now significantly lighter than the previous generation, with the FWD model weighing 4149 pounds, while the 4WD Pathfinder weighs 4290 pounds.

This generation also abandons the door handles that were placed on the C pillar that were present in the previous three generations. As of late 2013 the R52 series is only available in North America and Australia.

2014 model year update, Pathfinder Hybrid (2013-)[edit]

The Pathfinder Hybrid, available in 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive configurations – uses a supercharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor paired to a compact Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. The Li-ion battery fits under the 3rd row seat, with no effect on space used for cargo or passengers.

The hybrid system uses a Nissan Intelligent Dual Clutch System (one motor / two clutch parallel system) that manages power from both the electric motor and the gas engine. The 15 kW electric motor and gas engine work in tandem to provide performance similar to the non-hybrid Pathfinder's 3.5-liter gasoline V6. The system is rated at 250 net horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque – versus the 3.5-liter V6 ratings of 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque.

In addition to the new Pathfinder Hybrid, changes to the US 2014 model include:[3][4][5]

  • New SL Tech Package, featuring Bose® 13-speaker Premium Audio System, Nissan Navigation System, voice recognition, XM NavTraffic and NavWeather capability (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Zagat® Restaurant Survey, Bluetooth® Streaming Audio and 8.0-inch color touchscreen monitor
  • Offered in four models: S, SV, SL and Platinum (each available in 4WD and 2WD); Pathfinder Hybrid offered in SV, SL and Platinum (4WD and 2WD)[6]
  • 3.5-liter V6 models available late summer 2013
  • Pathfinder Hybrid available fall 2013

Canadian models of 2014 Pathfinder includes Pathfinder 3.5-litre 4WD V6 X, Pathfinder V6 S; 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid includes SV and Platinum Premium.[7]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]