Nissan Pathfinder – The Ideal SUV for Families

by Masashi S. JDM Enthusiast

The Nissan Pathfinder is a midsize sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced since 1985 up to the present with over five generations. The Pathfinder was originally based on the Nissan Hardbody pickup truck platform and was sold as the Nissan Terrano in other markets.

First Generation

The first generation Pathfinder/Terrano (WD21) was revealed in 1985 with a two-door body-on-frame SUV, based on the Nissan Hardbody pickup platform. The Pathfinder shared similar styling with the Hardbody including three horizontal slots on the hood, rectangular headlights, and an airy interior. In 1990, the Pathfinder was facelifted with the introduction of the two rear doors with concealed C-pillar handles that became a signature of the Pathfinder to date.

The Pathfinder came with two engines: 2.4-liter 4-cylinder petrol with 106 hp and  3.0-liter V6 petrol engine with 140 hp. In 1988, the V6 engine was adjusted increasing the power to 153 hp, then tuned again in 1990 with its output now at 153 hp. Engines were paired with a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission.

Second Generation

The second-generation Pathfinder/Terrano (R50) was introduced in 1995 with its styling totally modified and came with a unibody frame. The new design makes the car more aerodynamic while the interior is well designed, spacious, and cozy. In 2000 and 2001, the R50 Pathfinder received a mid-cycle facelift with available three trims: the base XR, the SE, and the topline LE.

Standard features included power windows and mirrors, ABS, and 16-inch wheels, while options come with a navigation system, mobile entertainment system, premium Bose sound system, fake wood accents, side airbags, and fog lights.  

The Pathfinder came fitted with a 3.3-liter V6 petrol engine with 168 hp, a 3.5-liter V6 petrol engine with 250 hp, and optional turbocharged 2.7-liter, 3.0-liter, and 3.2-liter 4-cylinder engines.

Third Generation

The third-generation Pathfinder (R51) was unveiled in 2004 and was built on Nissan’s F-Alpha platform. It was available in XE, SE, SE Off-Road, and LE trims. The exterior looked adventurous with a striking front end with a new bonnet, headlights with xenon lamps, rounded bumper, bulbous fender flares, angular lines, a stepped-out rear bumper, and 16-inch steel or 18-inch alloy wheels. The interior is neat and well equipped with a 6-speaker audio system, keyless remote entry, cruise control, and privacy glass. In 2005, it received a mid-cycle refresh and a third-row seat was introduced making the car a seven-seater.

The R51 Pathfinder came fitted with a 4.0-liter V6 petrol engine with 266 hp and the 5.6-liter V8 petrol engine with 310 hp. Optional engines were the 2.5-liter (YD22DDTi) 4-cylinder and 3.0-liter (V9X) V6 turbocharged diesel engines.

Fourth Generation

The Pathfinder (R52) was unveiled in 2012 and resorted back to a unibody frame. The exterior is curvaceous, lower, and wider and got rid of the signature hidden c-pillar rear door handles. The cabin is well put together with plenty of high-end finishes and accents.

The Pathfinder has three seating rows with seven seats with the second-row seat capable of sliding and reclining and the third-row seats can easily be accessed by tilting and sliding the second-row seats. The third-row seats have enough headroom and legroom with cargo space of 2259 liters with rear seats folded flat.

The Pathfinder came fitted with a 3.5-Liter (VQ35DE) V6 petrol engine with 260 hp mated with an automatic or CVT transmission.

Fifth Generation

The fifth-generation Pathfinder (R53) was unveiled in 2021 with a rugged and smooth exterior. It features a huge V-motion grille with horizontal black plastic slats surrounded by a deep chromed rim and narrow headlights with two LED daytime running lights above, while at the bottom it features a wrapped-around bumper. 

The Pathfinder has better space with the second-and third-row seats that can fold flat to create enough room to carry a 4×8 ft cargo. The dash is simple and neat with an 8.0-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 10.8-inch digital instrument cluster display.

The Pathfinder comes fitted with 3.5-liter (VQ35DD) V6 petrol engine with 284 hp via a 9-speed automatic transmission. The car also came with Intelligent 4WD, with 7-position (Drive and Terrain Mode Selector) management settings.


The Nissan Pathfinder has continued to make strides for almost thirty-five-odd years on the market. The Pathfinder is a comfortable, reliable, durable, and ideal people mover. You can check the Nissan Pathfinder stocklist for more available model that is suited for you.

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About Masashi S. Junior   JDM Enthusiast

1 connections, 0 recommendations, 15 honor points.
Joined APSense since, April 15th, 2021, From Yamanashi, Japan.

Created on Aug 9th 2022 03:00. Viewed 66 times.


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