All-new 2013 Pathfinder provides unique safety and utility features all the while selling really really well. Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Dec. 3, 2012 2013 Nissan Pathfinder - $28,270 to start and a 20/26 mpgUS city/highway rating in FWD format. Nissan’s Pathfinder was first introduced in 1986 as a family adventure vehicle with each successive Pathfinder design remaining true to that original premise. Interesting enough, the original was a body on frame, gen 2 was a uni-body, gen 3 went back to body on frame and the latest all-new 2013 current gen 4 is back as a uni-body. Today’s 2013 is more adventure-ready than ever with the highest standard tow rating of 5,000 pounds and largest passenger volume at an eye opening 157.8 cu. ft. in its class! All the while offering a 30 percent increase in fuel economy over last years model mainly through the addition of Nissan’s Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with the lowest ratio providing excellent acceleration and tow capability and the tallest ratio for a quiet and lazy low RPM highway cruise. The adventure only gets better... The all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder offers a long list of both best-in-class and unique-to-class specifications and features spelled out above plus the following: Best-in-class front headroom and front legroom Class-exclusive 3rd row seat recline Class-exclusive Around View Monitor giving you a birds eye view of not just behind but all around! Class-exclusive Easy Fill Tire Alert System Its real claim to fame however is the EZ Flex Seating System with LATCH AND GLIDE, an industry first 2nd row tip-up seat which allows easy 3rd row access with a child safety seat still installed. Drivetrain All 2013 Pathfinders arrive with a 260 HP 3.5L DOHC V6 mated to the Xtronic CVT that holds the engine at the ideal rpm for the conditions at hand, offering responsive power for passing or towing when needed and quiet efficient running at cruising speeds or around town. 260 HP to move up to 5,000 pounds is not all that surprising but to tow a 4,000 pound Airstream with the 3.5L mated to the wheels through a steel belt. The CVT action proved just as smooth with a load as it does when moving an empty SUV. Ride and Handling Up front resides an independent strut front and independent multi-link rear end. It now uses the fuel saving hydraulic electric power-assisted steering standard. Also standard are 18 in. alloys with 20 in. alloys offered with the Platinum trim. Steering was a bit vague and the suspension allowed more body roll than we are used to from smaller sedans and hatches. The pathfinder does however provide a very soft and compliant ride making a family adventure a family outing with transportation not given a second thought. Exterior Design The 2013 Pathfinder is more aerodynamic while adding to interior comfort and cargo capacity. A broad bold face and stance… Up front, deeply sculpted shut lines flow inward down the hood towards a thick chrome bezel surrounding the large mesh like “power strut” grille. A chrome trim piece resides below the lower intake while large wraparound headlight lenses and available round foglights make up the face. From the profile, a steeply rakes windshield provides a hint of clean and modern aero. The hoods shut lines roll back over the bulging front fender flairs and into a slight character line that continues over the rear fender flair disappearing into the D-pillar. A thin chrome surround wraps the entire day light while chrome door handles and optional lower sill trim provide an upscale appearance. To the rear, an upper fairing molded into the rear hatch and upper D-pillar makes its presence known. Unfortunately that same rear molded piece cuts into the sightline from the driver’s perspective. An available Dual Panorama Moonroof, with sliding opening front panel and fixed rear glass panel which extends over the 2nd and 3rd rows, combines with the large windows to create an open, airy interior environment. Interior One of the Pathfinders most endearing attribute, the 2nd row EZ Flex Seating System with manual slide, recline and fold flat capability. The new Pathfinder is a 3-row/7-passenger SUV that has some unique features making up its DNA. It is not just that it includes soft touch plastics up front, an attractive upper dark and lower light dual color scheme, beautiful wood grain inlays into the center console and door panels on upper trims, includes a comfortable large diameter leather wrapped wheel with a nicely padded arm rest and center console or even the available 7 in or 8 in high resolution display. Many similar sized SUVs supply that today. It is the seating versatility and advanced external camera displays that makes the new Pathfinder something to behold. The Pathfinder’s versatility is revealed in the design of the 2nd and 3rd rows with exceptional 3rd row access. Nissan calls it their EZ Flex Seating System with 5.5 inches of 2nd row seat travel for ease of entry and exit to the 3rd row. The 60/40-split 2nd row features LATCH AND GLIDE technology that allows forward movement and access to the 3rd row even with a child safety seat remaining securely in place (on the passenger curb side). Sorry I do not have any pics but it really worked with access to the third row even with a child seat permanently mounted in the second row. Even the 50/50 split-folding third row is unique as it can be reclined which I do not believe anybody else offers? Both the 2nd and 3rd row seats fold flat for maximum cargo capacity with additional under floor storage in the rear cargo area. What I thought was the most unique innovation was Nissan’s class-exclusive Around View Monitor. With a camera up front, under both side view mirrors and in the back, the display shows a virtual 360-degree image of the area around the vehicle. It provides a bird’s eye view like none you have ever seen before and is absolutely fascinating to see in action. Again I have no pics but will try and post some B-roll showing it in action later this week. Other available features include leather-appointed seating, heated and cooled front seats, heated 2nd row seats, heated steering wheel, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Start, multiple user memory settings and an advanced Bose Audio System with 13 speakers. Extremely large cargo area. Infotainment The pathfinder is available with Nissan’s Navigation System with NavTraffic real-time traffic and NavWeather weather information (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Zagat Survey restaurant guide, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth and RearView Monitor. A Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, power rear liftgate, iPod integration and tri-zone entertainment system with 2nd row head restraint-mounted DVD display screens are also. The Pathfinder is available with the Easy Fill Tire Alert we highlighted in the Sentra First drive. Safety On the passive front, a high strength steel safety cage, front, side and side curtains extending to all three rows is of course standard. E active front, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Brake Override. Hill Start Assist (HAS) is standard across all models but the AWD variants with the “All-Mode 4x4-I” system allowing 2WD/AUTO/4WD Lock modes with the turn of a knob, there is no on/off-road hill descent control. This unfortunate exclusion is possibly the only misstep when driving the big SUV down steep off-road paths or trails. Fuel Economy Again pics are on my desktop half way across the Continent but when towing the 4,000 pound Airstream, the Pathfinder offered up just 17 mpg. When driving the big SUV along the pacific Coast, with just two journalists onboard, it easily offered 31.x mpg. Conclusions While we do not normally recommend an SUV for a daily driver as its per person fuel economy with one onboard is nowhere near sustainable along with vague handling, the all-new 2013 Pathfinder provides a glimpse into the future of advanced transmissions and safety technology. The “Around View Monitor” and CVT are what make this SUV better than its rivals and for those that need a 7-passenger vehicle, I can only think of the upcoming Ford Transit Wagon with the 1.6L EcoBoost and it has nothing on the power and feature packed capability of the Pathfinder. Nissan November Sales Results Nissan reported November U.S. sales of 96,197 units versus 85,182 units a year earlier, up 12.9 percent. Nissan Division set a new November record, with sales up 9.8 percent for the month over the prior year at 84,300 units. Sales of Infiniti vehicles were 11,897, up 41.2 percent over the prior year, also a November record. Nissan Sales Highlights Nissan Division posted sales of 84,300 units, up 9.8 percent from last November's 76,754 units, making it Nissan's best November ever. The all-new 2013 Pathfinder SUV that went on sale for the first time in November saw sales rise 249.5 percent to 8,097 units. The all-electric Nissan LEAF recorded strong sales of 1,539 units in November, up 129 percent from the prior year at 672 units. Rogue crossover sales hit a new November record at 12,662 units, an increase of 16.8 percent versus year-ago sales of 10,845. Altima sales remained strong in November at 20,305 units, with year-to-date deliveries up 14.8 percent over its 2011 total. Infiniti had the best November in its history. Nissan November 2012 Highlights and Overall Sales Column1Column2Column3Column4Column5Column6Column7ModelNov-12Nov-11Nov-DSR % changeNov-12 YTDNov-11 YTDYTD-DSR % changeLEAF1,539672+129.0%8,3308,720-4.8%Versa8,8269,291-5.0%102,70989,791+14.0%Sentra7,1767,871-8.8%98,640106,281-7.5%Altima20,30520,613-1.5%278,968243,005+14.4%Pathfinder8,0972,317+249.5%34,68223,272+48.5%Nissan Nov Totals96,19785,182+12.9%1,042,366941,607+10.3% The daily selling rate (DSR) is calculated with 25 days for both Nov 2012 and Nov 2011. Year-to-date, the DSR is calculated with 281 days for all of 2012 and 280 for all of 2011. All percentages reflect DSR. Top 10 - Nov 2012 US Automobile Sales Leaders Column1Column2Column3Column4Column5Column6Column7Column8Column9Sales RankMakeModelNov-12Nov-11Nov-DSR % changeNov-12 YTDNov-11 YTDYTD-DSR % change1FordF-Series56,29947,740+17.9%576,529516,639+11.2%2ChevroletSilverado30,67434,251-10.4%367,613367,343-0.3%3HondaCivic30,07517,133+75.5%284,791200,690+41.4%4ToyotaCamry28,76523,440+22.7%373,479275,004+35.3%5HondaAccord28,34922,589+25.5%302,444217,958+38.3%6RamP/U24,33719,739+23.3%263,152218,749+19.9%7ToyotaCorolla22,61616,155+40.3%266,268219,250+21.0%8HondaCR-V22,33316,426+36.0%255,919196,787+29.6%9FordEscape20,97021,823-3.9%240,877228,719+4.9%10NissanAltima20,30520,613-1.5%278,968243,005+14.4% The daily selling rate (DSR) is calculated with 25 days for both Nov 2012 and Nov 2011. Year-to-date, the DSR is calculated with 281 days for all of 2012 and 280 for all of 2011. All percentages reflect DSR. Top 10 sales rank notes: Civic leaped from #8 to the #3 spot, with Altima falling from #6 to #10. B-Segment Sales Rank [fimg=right]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/2/November_2012_Auto_Manufacturer_Market_Share.jpg[/fimg] Nissan Versa - 8,826 Chevrolet Sonic - 5,016 Ford Fiesta - 3,688 Fiat 500 - 3,603 Honda Fit - 3,315 Hyundai Accent - 3,260 Mazda2 - 2,495 Kia Rio - 2,494 Toyota Yaris - 2,194 C-Segment Sales Rank Honda Civic - 30,075 Toyota Corolla - 22,616 Ford Focus - 18,312 Chevrolet Cruze - 16,807 Hyundai Elantra - 15,923 VW Jetta - 14,259 Mazda3 - 9,841 Nissan Sentra - 7,176 Dodge Dart - 4,489 Kia Forte - 4,266 D-Segment Sales Rank Toyota Camry - 28,765 Honda Accord - 28,349 Nissan Altima - 20,305 Hyundai Sonata - 17,660 Ford Fusion - 15,125 Kia Optima - 12,715 VW Passat - 10,544 Chevrolet Malibu - 10,227 Chrysler 200 - 7,371 Segment ranking items of note: In the B-Segment, the Fiat 500 passed the Fit, the Mazda2 passed both the Rio and Yaris with the Yaris falling behind the Rio. The C-Segment ranks saw the aging Corolla fall to #2 behind the hard charging Civic. Focus passed up the Cruze and the aging Forte fell behind both the Sentra and Dart. The D-Segment ranks saw Fusion pass Optima while the Passat passed both the Malibu and 200. Automobile Manufacturer's US Sales Rank – Nov 2012 vs. Nov 2011 Comparison and Total Sales GM Nov Sales up 3.4% with 186,505 vehicles sold. Ford Nov Sales up 7.6% with 177,673 vehicles sold. Toyota Nov Sales up 17.2% with 161,695 vehicles sold. Chrysler Nov Sales up 14.4% with 122,565 vehicles sold. Honda Nov Sales up 38.9% with 116,580 vehicles sold. Nissan Nov Sales up 12.9% with 96,197 vehicles sold. Hyundai Nov Sales up 7.8% with 53,487 vehicles sold. Kia Nov Sales up 10.9% with 41,055 vehicles sold. VW Nov Sales up 29.3% with 36,728 vehicles sold. BMW Nov Sales up 38.8% with 36,461 vehicles sold. MB Nov Sales up 15.6% with 32,649 vehicles sold. Subaru Nov Sales up 59.7% with 28,206 vehicles sold. Mazda Nov Sales up 17.7% with 21,691 vehicles sold. Audi Nov Sales up 24.4% with 12,067 vehicles sold. Manufacturer's US Sales Rank items of note: November rankings remained steady. Through the first 11 months of 2012, the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) is running at approximately 15.3 million.