The 2000 Nissan Pathfinder is the latest refinement in a long line of Nissan sport utility vehicles. Revised as a 1999.5 model, it features aggressive front and rear styling, improved engine horsepower, new interior appointments and new interior and exterior colors.
Nissan’s SUV experience began more than 38 years ago with the 1961 arrival of the Nissan Patrol, which was sold in the United States until 1969. In 1987, the original Pathfinder debuted – a trendsetter for the wave of sport utility vehicles coming to market in the years that followed. The 1996 model year marked the first major redesign of Pathfinder, which introduced a number of innovations, including MonoFrame® construction.
The 2000 Pathfinder has a powerful, yet elegant, appearance, achieved through use of a high hood with a “milled off” top/front edge appearance, new multi-parabola headlights, simple grille designs and a muscular front fascia.
The rear view features a smooth tailgate, bumper and rear combination lamps. A tailgate finisher puts the final touch on the rear end and completes the refined, premium look of Pathfinder.
Under the new skin, Pathfinder continues to feature MonoFrame construction – the body, floor pan and frame are a single structure. This offers greater torsional and bending rigidity than traditional body-on-frame construction, with a weight savings over ladder-frame designs.
In addition, with no ladder frame or body mounts, squeaks and rattles are kept to a minimum, especially off-road. MonoFrame construction also allows a lower step-in height for ease of entry and exit while maintaining a high ground clearance.
Special side member “outriggers” distribute stress evenly throughout the body at the A-, B- and C-pillars, assisting noise reduction and contributing to Pathfinder’s solidity. MonoFrame also allows easier access to the engine compartment, an advantage for maintenance purposes.
The 2000 Pathfinder is offered in eleven exterior colors: Bayshore Blue, Aspen White Pearl Glow, Crimson Blaze Red, Sherwood Green, Sequoia Green Metallic, Sahara Beige, Cayenne Red, Mahogany Pearl, Super Black, Sierra Silver and Cloud White.
Inside, the 2000 Pathfinder offers a full array of interior fabrics with standard cloth trim. All driver controls are arranged according to frequency of use ¬– the most commonly used controls are in the driver’s field of vision, and switches are varied in size and shape to ensure that they will be recognized by touch. A white instrument meter cluster (titanium colored on SE) offers outstanding gauge readability day or night.
Four-way adjustable front bucket seats cradle front seat occupants with a fatigue-reducing design, consisting of higher density foam on the sides to prevent sliding in the seats and a low density foam center for comfort on long and short drives. Between the seats is a center armrest with dual level storage capacity, and on either side of the occupants are large door pockets. The front passenger seat features a back pocket, perfect for map and magazine storage.
Luxury and convenience features include low-cut pile carpeting, an under-dash flip-down coin tray, overhead sunglasses storage, a cargo area under floor mini-storage bin, a cargo area concealed storage bin and a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat.
Interior colors include Parchment and Slate in cloth or leather.
Under the hood is a 3.3-liter SOHC V6 engine producing 170 horsepower and 200 ft-lbs of torque. This engine features Sophisticated Optimized Fuel Injection System (SOFIS), which optimizes the air/fuel mixture by sensing and correcting fuel delays inside the intake ports, resulting in lower emissions, increased fuel economy and higher engine output.
More than 90 percent of the engine’s torque is available in the 1,500 to 1,800 rpm range, ideally suited for around-town, freeway passing and off-road excursions. Liquid-filled front engine mounts help isolate engine vibrations from the cabin and ensure smoothness and quietness.
Pathfinder is available with a 5-speed manual or electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. Four-wheel drive Pathfinders feature a shift-on-the-fly transfer case, which can be engaged at speeds up to 50 miles per hour.
The 2000 Pathfinder utilizes a 5-link rear suspension design with coil springs and stabilizer bar with an optimized shock absorber layout for ride and handling control. The front suspension features independent struts with coil springs. This combination, along with the MonoFrame construction, provides a smooth, comfortable on-road ride while offering outstanding off-road capabilities.
Standard 16-inch wheels with separate designs for each model give Pathfinder a broad-shouldered look. All models have standard 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), with Nissan’s unique G-sensor system which “reads” the driving surface and adjusts braking control accordingly. Standard power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering ensures maneuverability and a tight turning radius.
In addition, more than 20 countermeasures were implemented in 1999.5 to enhance overall NVH performance, contributing to a more luxurious driving experience.
“We realize that the SUV market is constantly evolving, and we want to make sure Pathfinder stays ahead of the curve,” said Jed Connelly, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc.
The 2000 Pathfinder offers front seat supplemental side-impact air bags, which emerge from the side of the front seats, as part of the optional Leather Package on LE and SE models. The side air bags add to the standard Pathfinder safety equipment list – which includes dual front air bags, adjustable front shoulder belt anchors, front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, pipe-style steel
side-door guard beams, front and rear crumple zones, an energy-absorbing steering column, a clutch/ignition interlock feature (manual transmission) and child safety rear door locks.
All Pathfinders – the well-equipped Pathfinder XE, sporty and rugged SE and luxurious LE model – are available in 4x2 and 4x4 models. The 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission is standard on XE and LE Pathfinders, while the SE is offered with a choice of the automatic or a 5-speed manual transmission.
Several option packages are available again in 2000, including the XE Popular Package, SE Popular Package, SE Sunroof Package, Leather Package (SE and LE models only) and LE Sunroof Package. Optional on SE and LE 4x4 Pathfinders is a limited-slip rear differential.
“Pathfinder is one of our most popular models, and the 2000 Pathfinder guarantees that it will stay that way,” said Connelly.