As Nissan's Pathfinder sport/utility vehicle enters 1995, its changes are mostly a juggling of trim packages. Last year's luxury-oriented LE trim package has been extended from 4-wheel drive (4x4) models to rear-wheel drive (4x2) models.
Positioned at the upper end of the compact-sport/utility market, the Pathfinder is available in two 4x2 models (XE and LE) plus three 4x4 models (XE, SE and LE), all 4-doors and all equipped with Nissan's 3.0-liter sohc V6 engine, tuned for truck use. A specially designed intake manifold optimizes the engine's low- and mid-rpm pulling power, which is critical in off-road and trailer-towing applications. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard. An electronically controlled 4-speed automatic is optional on base and midrange models and standard on the LE.
Major competitors include the Toyota 4Runner, Mitsubishi Montero and the Isuzu Trooper/Honda Passport twins. Buyers looking specifically for an imported utility vehicle will probably ignore the Jeep, Ford, Chevy and GMC offerings, as well as the Ford-built Mazda Navajo, which is only available with 2 doors. The Oldsmobile Bravada and Land Rover Discovery are interesting luxury alternatives.
Power disc/drum brakes with rear-wheel ABS are standard on most models. Rear discs are standard on the 4x4 LE and optional on the SE. Popular options have been grouped into four packages (XE Sport Package, Convenience Package, SE Off-Road Package and Leather Trim Package) that allow base and midrange models to be optioned up almost to the next level.
As of April 30, 1994:
- $19,669 (1994 Nissan Pathfinder XE without 4-wheel drive)
- $21,339 (1994 Nissan Pathfinder XE)
- $25,249 (1994 Nissan Pathfinder SE)
- $29,239 (1994 Nissan Pathfinder LE)
As of early 1995:
- $21,549 (1995 Nissan Pathfinder XE 4x2)
- $23,149 (1995 Nissan Pathfinder XE 4x4)
- $27,549 (1995 Nissan Pathfinder SE)
- $28,849 (1995 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4x2)
- $31,249 (1995 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4x4)