Nissan Pathfinder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the model marketed as Nissan Terrano II in parts of Europe, see Nissan Terrano II. For the model marketed as Nissan Terrano in India, see Dacia Duster.
Not to be confused with Pontiac Pathfinder.
Nissan Pathfinder/Terrano
2014 Nissan Pathfinder (R52 MY14) Ti 4WD wagon (2015-07-09) 02.jpg
Nissan Pathfinder R52
Manufacturer Nissan
Production 1985–present
Body and chassis
Predecessor Nissan Bushmaster

The Nissan Pathfinder is a CUV manufactured by Nissan Motors since 1985, derived from Nissan's compact pickup truck platform. The Pathfinder is positioned in size between the Murano and Armada or Patrol, but in price between the Xterra and Murano.

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

First generation (WD21)
90-92 Nissan Pathfinder.jpg
Manufacturer Nissan
Also called
  • Nissan Terrano
  • Nissan Terramax
Production August 1985 – September 1995
Designer Doug Wilson, Jerry Hirschberg (1982, 1983)[3]
Body and chassis
Body style
  • 2-door SUV (1985–1990)
  • 4-door SUV (1990–1995)
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Platform WD21
Related Nissan D21 Pickup
Wheelbase 2,649 mm (104.3 in)
Length 4,366 mm (171.9 in)
Width 1,689 mm (66.5 in)
  • XE: 1,669 mm (65.7 in)
  • 1986–89 SE & LE: 1,679 mm (66.1 in)
  • 1990–95 SE: 1,694 mm (66.7 in)

The first generation Pathfinder was introduced as a two-door SUV, 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 II, Jeep Cherokee, and non-American SUVs like the Toyota 4Runner, and the Isuzu MU.

Before the Pathfinder there was the Nissan Bushmaster (an aftermarket conversion of the Datsun Truck), but they are rare as well. One of the features that was unique at the time was an optional 4WD system that could be engaged electronically while the vehicle was moving, mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. All WD21 Pathfinders were available in both 2WD and manually engaged 4WD configurations, with base models installed with a 2.4 L four cylinder engine. 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 installed later in November 1988.

In Japan, it was exclusive to Nissan Bluebird Shop locations, where it was called the Terrano as a smaller companion to the larger Nissan Safari. While the Pathfinder/Terrano was essentially based on the newly introduced Hardbody truck, the rear five link coil suspension was borrowed from the Safari to enhance its off-road abilities. The two door version shared a design appearance with the second generation Nissan EXA, and was installed with the VG30E Nissan V6, that was shared with the Fairlady ZX.

As the Japanese market Terrano was regarded as a luxury vehicle, with an emphasis on outdoor leisure activities, the Terrano was introduced to Japanese buyers as an off-road, back country Fairlady ZX. To emphasize this marketing approach, the Terrano was available with optional features not normally found on other budget-minded vehicles. Some of the upmarket features offered to Japanese buyers were climate-controlled air conditioning, electrically powered windows, seats, door locks, as well as other optional features. In 1993, Recaro seats were offered to Japanese buyers. Nissan's sports division Autech offered special equipment packages to Japanese buyers as well, introducing the "Wide R3M Urban" and the "AJ Limited". The emphasis on luxury was partly due to a strong economy in Japan, in what is now regarded as the Japanese "bubble economy".

In 1987, the first generation Terrano was entered in the 9th Paris to Dakar rally race, with continued entries in rally races for many years, winning multiple times in its category.

The four-door Pathfinder was introduced in October 1989 to enhance the Pathfinder's market appeal, but the overall vehicle length and wheelbase were not extended to accommodate the rear doors. At its introduction to North America, 1985 to 1989 Pathfinders came with a two-door body. In early 1990 it became only a four door. Some US 1990 Pathfinders came with the two door body, but they are rare.

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, Nissan Juke, Nissan Terrano II, and the Nissan Xterra. The front doors were slightly shortened to accommodate the rear doors.

From 1985 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.


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.

Second generation R50 series (1995–2005)[edit]

Second generation (R50)
99-04 Nissan Pathfinder.jpg
Manufacturer Nissan
Also called Nissan Terrano (Chile)
Infiniti QX4
Production October 1995 – August 2004
Designer Jerry Hirschberg, Yoshio Maezawa (1992, facelift: 1997)
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door SUV
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
  • 4-speed automatic
  • 5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,700 mm (106.3 in)
  • 1999–2002: 4,529 mm (178.3 in)
  • 2000–04: 4,641 mm (182.7 in)
  • 2000–04: 1,821 mm (71.7 in)
  • 2000–04 XE: 1,770 mm (69.7 in)
  • 1996–99: 1,839 mm (72.4 in)
  • 1999–2002 XE: 1,745 mm (68.7 in)
  • 2003–04 SE: 1,847 mm (72.7 in)
  • 2000–04 LE & 2000–01 SE: 1,801 mm (70.9 in)
  • 2000–01 XE: 1,725 mm (67.9 in)
  • 1999–2002 XE & 1998–99 LE: 1,704 mm (67.1 in)
  • 1999–2002 SE & 1999–2000 LE: 1,725 mm (67.9 in)

The second generation Pathfinder was introduced in late 1995 with more rounded styling. It 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. In 2000, model year 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 was no longer sold in Japan, and was available in North America, Europe and the Middle East. The market position held by the Terrano in Japan was replaced by the Nissan Murano in 2002. The Japanese market Terrano and high luxury content Terrano Regulus saw demand drop significantly due to the hard economic times felt in Japan, known as the Lost Decade. Nissan offered a smaller, off-road vehicle to its Japanese customer base who enjoyed the Pathfinder when it introduced the Nissan X-Trail in 2000.


The Pathfinder was given a significant facelift for the 1999.5 model year with a new front fascia two grille variants, rear fascia, and interior. Another facelift occurred in 2001 (MY 2002), when the updated Nissan logo was added and received a bolder grille versus the 1999½ model, as well as a new steering wheel and radio display.

Infiniti QX4/Terrano Regulus[edit]

1997–2000 Infiniti QX4

The Infiniti QX4 is a mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle (SUV) introduced in September 1996 and based on the unibody Nissan Pathfinder. It was released following Acura's introduction of the SLX and Lexus's larger LX 450. The QX4 was Infiniti's first entry into the SUV market segment.

In Japan it was sold as the Nissan Terrano Regulus. As the Japanese market Terrano was exclusive to Japanese Nissan dealerships called Nissan Bluebird Store, the Terrano Regulus was briefly offered at Nissan Motor Store, which was a luxury-oriented network. Major differences between these vehicles and the Pathfinder include a more upscale interior, and unique styling. Although marketed as a luxury vehicle, it has good off-road capability due to its low-range four-wheel-drive system and 8.3 inches (211 mm) of ground clearance.

Year-to-year changes[edit]

2001 Nissan Terrano Regulus (JDM)
Nissan Terrano Regulus Starfire (JDM)

The QX4 received its first major update in 2000 for model year 2001, with a new VQ series engine (also later seen in the G35 and FX35) increasing its power from a relatively low 168 horsepower (125 kW) to a 240 hp (179 kW) V6 engine. The displacement went from 3.3 L to 3.5 L. The timing belt was replaced with a timing chain and the ignition distributor was replaced with an individual coil ignition system.

This facelift also gave the QX4 an updated exterior and interior body style, including features such as a new dash with integrated analog clock, 17-inch (423 mm) alloy wheels and xenon HID headlamps. In Japan, the Terrano Regulus trim package was no longer offered. Also, a rear-wheel drive QX4 model was added (1997 through 2000 were only available in 4WD).

2002 Infiniti QX: Cruise control designed to maintain a set distance from other traffic was the main addition for 2002. The QX4 shared Nissan's Intelligent Cruise Control with Infiniti's flagship Q45 sedan. Employing laser sensors, the system was designed to automatically speed or slow the QX4 to keep it a constant distance from cars ahead. Also new for 2002 was a revised audio system, plus audio controls for the available leather/wood steering wheel. The optional rear-seat video entertainment system offered a choice of VCR or DVD player.

2003 Infiniti QX: Additional standard equipment for 2003 included curtain-type side airbags, available for the first time. Several new standard features had previously been part of the Premium Package, including 17-inch wheels, a driver-seat memory system, and a leather/woodgrain steering wheel with audio controls. Options included heated front/rear seats and a videotape or DVD rear-seat entertainment system, as well as a power moonroof that comes standard.

The QX4 was discontinued in 2003, and its position in price was taken by the FX35/45 crossover SUV based on the all-new Nissan Murano. The last QX4 was manufactured during November 2002.[citation needed] The QX4 was succeeded by the larger QX56 in 2004.

Third generation R51 series (2004–2012)[edit]

Third generation (R51)
2005-2007 Nissan Pathfinder (R51) ST-L wagon 03.jpg
Production August 30, 2004 – August 2012
Model years 2005–2012
Designer Kiyoshi Yanase (2002)[4]
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 2,850 mm (112.2 in)
  • 2005–07: 4,765 mm (187.6 in)
  • 2008–2012: 4,890 mm (192.5 in)
  • 2005–07: 1,849 mm (72.8 in)
  • 2008–2012: 1,849 mm (72.8 in)
  • S & SE 4WD: 72.8 in
  • SE Off-Road: 1,862 mm (73.3 in)
  • LE 4WD: 1,852 mm (72.9 in)
  • S & SE 2WD: 1,839 mm (72.4 in)
  • LE 2WD: 1,842 mm (72.5 in)

In August 2003, Nissan unveiled Dunehawk Concept and showcased it at the IAA 2003 in Frankfurt (R51 design patents filed September 8, 2003), previewing the next Pathfinder's design. 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.[5]

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 2004, 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. Nissan instituted a graduated extended warranty to cover all expenses up to 8 years or 80,000 miles followed by a $2500 deductible warranty up to 9 years or 90,000 miles and a $3000 deductible warranty up to 10 years and 100,000 miles. Nissan offers a replacement radiator for approximately $670 USD or an approved Value Advantage radiator for approximately $230 USD; labor, coolant fluid, and shop charges will apply.

NISSAN Assist Website

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, 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 (2012–present)[edit]

Fourth generation (R52)
2015 Nissan Pathfinder (R52 MY15) Ti wagon (17406943283).jpg
Nissan Pathfinder Ti 2WD (R52; Australia)
Production September 2012–present (USA)
Model years 2013–present
Assembly Smyrna, Tennessee, United States (Nissan USA)
Saint-Petersburg, Russia, (Since late 2014)
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
Nissan Pathfinder (R52) Ti 4WD (Australia)

A redesigned Pathfinder went on sale in late October 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 2015 the R52 series is only available in North America, Africa, Australia, South Korea and the Middle East. It has not been scheduled to go on sale in Japan and nor assembled there.

2014 model year update, Pathfinder Hybrid (2013–2015)[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. Nissan discontinued the Pathfinder Hybrid in early 2015 due to falling gasoline prices in the United States.

In addition to the new Pathfinder Hybrid, changes to the US 2014 model include:[6][7][8]

  • 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)[9]
  • 3.5-liter V6 models available late summer 2013
  • Pathfinder Hybrid available fall 2013
  • Pathfinder utilizes a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) transmission made by Jatco; early versions of this CVT have proved to be problematic to the point of requiring replacement by Nissan in some 2013 and 2014 model years due to a hydraulic line size issue.

Canadian models of 2014 Pathfinder includes Pathfinder 3.5-litre 4WD V6 X, Pathfinder V6 S; 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid includes SV and Platinum Premium.[10]

The Nissan Pathfinder is now sold in some African, Asian and Middle Eastern markets. Locally built Pathfinder entered Russian market in November 2014[11]


External links[edit]