Nissan Pathfinder Concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show

Nissan pathfinder concept

  • Looks like: The Pathfinder will succumb to the crossover movement after all
  • Defining characteristics: Car-based unibody architecture, seating for seven in three rows, V-6 power
  • Ridiculous features: None to speak of; it's ready to be built
  • Chance of being mass-produced: It's coming to dealerships this fall

Though it's technically a concept car, the Nissan Pathfinder Concept is about as production-ready as they come. It gives a good idea of what the redesigned Pathfinder will look like when it hits dealerships this fall.

More 2012 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Along with the Toyota 4Runner and Ford Explorer, the Pathfinder was one of the few remaining body-on-frame midsize SUVs in the U.S. market. Ford switched the Explorer to a car-based unibody architecture with its recent redesign, and Nissan follows suit with the Pathfinder Concept. Off-road and towing enthusiasts will likely bemoan the change, but a unibody platform's advantages — better gas mileage and interior packaging — can't be discounted when you consider that most SUV owners don't venture off-road.

Despite the platform change, the concept exudes a clear design connection to the current Pathfinder, especially its front styling, which features a mesh grille bordered by two angled chrome bars. The Pathfinder Concept favors smoother, flowing body lines over the current SUV's boxy shapes. The concept has a panoramic moonroof with a movable front panel; this will likely be offered on the upcoming production model.

The Pathfinder Concept retains the three-row seating layout of the current Pathfinder, providing room for up to seven people.

Its drivetrain consists of a V-6 engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission. Again, these are fairly conventional components that could be readily applied to a production version (a similar drivetrain appears in the Nissan Murano crossover).

Clicking on any image below will launch a larger photo gallery; you can browse through them by hitting the right and left arrow keys.

Nissan Pathfinder Concept

Nissan Pathfinder Concept

Nissan Pathfinder Concept

Nissan Pathfinder Concept

Nissan Pathfinder Concept



Interesting how some people like to say Infinitis are just fancy Nissans which is pretty silly.....possibly until now. If this turns out to be front wheel drive, 3.5L with a CVT it will be a less extravagant version of the new Infiniti JX which will be out on lots very shortly.

Ken L.

Any more info, pics? I know it's only a concept thus far, but for a crossover, it looks pretty descent.


Please tell me they are not turning this into FWD trash.


Tow rating. That's all I want to know. Is it going to be for towing groceries/kids (i.e. Enclave), jet-skis (i.e. Explorer) or boats (i.e. Durango)?


I am glad I bought one of he last MAN looking Pathfinders, another soccer mom grocery getter is what this looks like. Time for a TRUCK

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