Making headlines since the 1996 mid-year introduction of the totally re-designed model, Nissan Pathfinder continues to deliver outstanding performance, versatility and sophistication to sport utility buyers in 1997. Named "1996 Sport Utility Vehicle of the Year" by the Northwest Auto Writer's Association, Pathfinder sustains its strong position in the SUV category by offering a refined ride, handling, and strong off-road capability.
Refinements in 1997 include storage pockets added to all doors (SE), seat back pocket added to passenger side (XE), one new exterior color and an advanced Bose® six-speaker 150-watt AM/FM CD audio system on LE models (available on SE with sunroof option).
All 1997 Pathfinder models feature a powerful V6 engine that is civilized and capable on the road, and also provides greater flexibility and torque for towing and off-road driving.
BaseBased on the proven Pathfinder powerplant, the refined engine displaces 3.3-liters. Horsepower is rated at 168 at 4,800 rpm, with 196 ft-lbs of torque produced at 2,800 rpm. Pathfinder boasts an extremely flat torque curve -- with more than 90 percent of the engine torque available in the 1,500 - 1,800 rpm range. The result is increased responsiveness and driver control off-road, and an improved towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. (with automatic transmission) and enhanced acceleration for city driving.
Helping provide excellent fuel economy and all-around driveability is the engine's new SOFIS (Sophisticated Optimized Fuel Injection System) fuel injection. The SOFIS system optimizes the engine's air/fuel mixture under all driving and atmospheric conditions by sensing and correcting fuel flow delays inside the intake ports.
The 3.3-liter engine is mated to a choice of 5-speed manual or electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. Four-wheel drive Pathfinders feature a revised shift-on-the-fly transfer case, which can be engaged at speeds up to 50 miles per hour.
A heavy duty strut-type front suspension provides enhanced rebound control for better tire contact with the road and greater passenger comfort on and off-road.
Pathfinder employs a proven 5-link rear suspension design with springs and shocks placed outboard for greater stability and enhanced body roll control. Stabilizer bars are utilized front and rear.
An innovative 4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS) is offered as standard equipment on every 1997 Pathfinder. On-road the system works like a traditional ABS design, but off-road, a special G-sensor "reads" the road surface and adjusts braking control accordingly, overcoming the "skimming" effect caused by loose surfaces such as dust, gravel or sand.
Another key to the performance of various Pathfinder components is the platform on which they reside -- a MonoFrame™ unibody with 2.3 times the bending stiffness of the previous generation model.
Finally, every Pathfinder comes with a standard power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system, for easier maneuverability and a tight turning radius.
Additional driving confidence is gained with an extensive list of standard safety features including: dual air bags; front- and rear body structure crumple zones; hood buckling creases with safety stops (to help avoid intrusion into the passenger compartment); special "outrigger" box-section bodyside reinforcements; energy-absorbing steering column; 3-point outboard seat belts with height-adjustable front shoulder anchors; and child safety rear door locks. Additionally, a remote keyless entry and vehicle security system is available.
Standard Features/Optional Features and Packages
Pathfinder XE is offered in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations and includes 235/70R15 steel-belted radial tires, 6-spoke alloy wheels and woven fabric seat material.
Available options and equipment packages offered with Pathfinder XE include CFC-free air conditioning, outside spare tire carrier, Sport Package and a Convenience Package that includes power remote-controlled windows, door locks, and heated outside mirrors, roof rack, cruise control and more.
The The rugged Pathfinder SE, available in 4x4 only, offers drivers a higher level of sportiness and an adventurous image. It includes a shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive system, 265/70R15 radials mounted on 6-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, chrome trim, fender flares, tubular steel step rail, roof rack, Moquette fabric seat material and retractable cargo area cover and tie-downs.
The SE model also offers as standard equipment: cruise control; power remote-controlled windows; door locks and heated outside mirrors; remote keyless entry; vehicle security system; and driver's seat lumbar with height adjustments.
Available options and packages offered with Pathfinder SE include CFC-free air conditioning and automatic temperature control system, power sliding glass sunroof with tilt feature and sunshade, Integrated HomeLink® Transmitter, outside tire carrier, an Off-Road Package with black-out trim, limited-slip rear differential, and a Leather Package with leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, and compass/outside temperature gauge.
Pathfinder LE offers a sophisticated combination of luxury amenities in a choice of 4x2 or 4x4 configurations. The LE model comes standard with: electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission; limited-slip rear differential (4x4 only); running boards; fog lights; luxury aluminum-alloy wheels; roof rack; simulated wood-grain interior trim; CFC-free air conditioning and automatic temperature control system; leather seating surfaces; cruise control; remote-controlled power windows; door locks and outside mirrors; remote keyless entry and vehicle security system; and retractable cargo area cover and tie-downs.
The only option available on the LE model is a Luxury Package, featuring power sliding glass sunroof with tilt feature and power front seats (8-way driver's side, 4-way passenger's side).
Pathfinder's spacious interior, designed by stylists at Nissan Design International (NDI) in La Jolla, Calif., has numerous thoughtful features. Taking advantage of the expanded space resulting from the Pathfinder's combination of extended wheelbase and unibody construction, NDI stylists achieved a harmonious blend of user friendliness and ergonomic comfort.
The instrument panel is arranged by consumer preference, with gauges arranged according to need. The most commonly referred to information displays are centrally located in the driver's field of vision and switches are varied in size and shape to minimize control confusion.
The Pathfinder's front bucket seats utilize a fatigue-reducing foam construction, consisting of higher density on the sides for body control and lower density in the center to provide added comfort on long drives.
The 60/40 split fold-down rear seat folds flat for added cargo flexibility and storage areas are maximized for space and convenience. Pathfinder offers large rear door pockets, a concealed side storage bin, and a mini-storage compartment under the floor of the rear cargo area. The spare tire is mounted under the body for streamlined aerodynamics and increased cargo utility (an optional outside spare tire carrier is offered).
The 1997 Pathfinder introduces one new exterior color, Neptune Blue, in addition to previously available colors of Cayenne Red, Mahogany Pearl, Sahara Beige, Cobalt Green Pearl, Rain Forest Green Pearl, Super Black and Cloud White. Interior colors include Gray (cloth and leather) and Beige (cloth only).
All 1997 Nissan models are covered by a comprehensive 3-year/36,000-mile "bumper-to-bumper" Limited Warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty, a 5-year/60-000-mile Corrosion Coverage and a Lifetime Seat Belt Warranty