For more than 25 years, when people think of the Nissan Pathfinder, they imagine where it can take them. With a choice of powerful V6 or V8 engines, a rugged truck frame underneath and available four-wheel drive, the 2012 Pathfinder lives up to its reputation as an authentic, rugged adventure vehicle. Yet with an abundance of “civilized” features, including available leather-appointed seat and DVD video entertainment system, today’s Pathfinder owners also know that how it can take them – as in comfort and style – is of equal importance.
For 2012, the Nissan Pathfinder is available in 4x4 and 4x2 drive configurations and in five models: S V6, SV V6, Silver V6, LE V6 and LE V8 (4x4 only). Enhancements for the new model year include the addition of a power moonroof and DVD mobile entertainment system on the Silver model, standard navigation system on LE models and one new exterior color: Brilliant Silver (replaces Silver Lightning).
Pathfinder is again offered with a choice of a 5.6-liter DOHC V8 engine is rated at 310 horsepower and 388 lb-ft of torque, which helps it to achieve 7,000 lbs of maximum towing capacity (when properly equipped), or the proven 4.0-liter V6, which offers 266 horsepower and 288 lb-ft of torque.
Along with standard three-row seating for seven, Pathfinder’s refined interior offers a range of amenities, including available heated steering wheel, Nissan Intelligent Key®, Nissan Navigation System, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately) and RearView Monitor.
An Iconic Exterior Design and Refined Interior
Throughout its history, Pathfinder has maintained an iconic exterior design, while also remaining fresh and dynamic. The exterior is defined by its unique combination of sophistication and rugged, go-anywhere looks.
Large headlamps, angled strut-style grille and a sweeping hood hint at the power underneath, while Pathfinder’s broad shoulder line, large integrated fender flares covering purposeful wheel and tire combinations and distinctive C-pillar with high-mounted rear door handles reinforce the distinctive Pathfinder appearance.
A long wheelbase of 112.2 inches allows for a roomy three-row cabin while providing ride comfort and stability – with the manageable 192.3-inch overall length and short front and rear overhangs help enable drivers to feel comfortable driving or parking. Additional exterior highlights include standard roof rails with integrated front and rear grips and a rear tailgate design with flip-up rear glass hatch opening. Pathfinder also offers side running boards on SV, Silver and LE trims, fog lights (standard on all trim levels except S), available heated outside mirrors and power slide and tilt moonroof (Silver and LE models). Seven exterior colors are available for 2012, the new Brilliant Silver and carryover colors Super Black, Dark Slate, Red Brick, Avalanche, Espresso Black and Navy Blue.
Inside the ruggedly elegant body, the Pathfinder interior offers standard three-row seating and exceptional utility and storage capacity. Seating selections include an available 8-way power driver’s seat, 4-way power front passenger’s seat, fold-down front passenger seat, driver’s seat auto entry/exit system with two-driver memory and heated front seats. A fold-down 3rd row seat, 40/20/40 split separate-folding 2nd row seats with easy one-touch release lever for 3rd row access come standard on all models.
Additional standard equipment includes power windows with driver and front passenger auto-up/down and safety reverse, power door locks with auto door lock function, tilt steering wheel, Remote Keyless Entry, trip computer and climate control system.
Storage areas are plentiful throughout the spacious cabin, including eight cupholders and an overhead console with sunglass storage. Utility is enhanced with four 12-volt outlets (two on instrument panel center stack, one for 2nd row and one cargo area), driver’s seatback pocket, plentiful passenger assist grips and available rear reading lamps (standard on all but S) and outside temperature gauge (standard on all but S).
The Nissan Navigation System, available on LE models, includes XM® NavTraffic Real-Time Traffic Information (XM® subscription required, sold separately).
Available Pathfinder technology and features includes Nissan Intelligent Key®, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System and XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately), a dual-zone automatic temperature control (standard on all but S), rear air conditioning, power-adjustable pedals (standard on all but S), leather-appointed 1st and 2nd row seats, power moonroof, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, Bose® audio system, leather-appointed steering wheel (standard on all but S), wood grain trim and DVD entertainment system with 7.0-inch color rear monitor and rear seat wireless headphones (Silver and LE models only).
Two Advanced Powerplants
The 2012 Pathfinder is available with a choice of two engines – a powerful 5.6-liter DOHC 32-valve V8 engine producing 310 horsepower and 388 lb-ft of torque and a 266-horsepower 4.0-liter V6. The V8 engine is offered with the Pathfinder LE 4x4 configuration, while the V6 is offered in S, SV, Silver and LE 4x4 and 4x2 models. Backing both engines is a standard electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission. The transmission, which is specially tuned for each engine application, features a wide gear ratio spread for maximum acceleration performance and a Direct Control System to provide smooth shift quality.
The 4.0-liter V8 engine's advanced design includes features such as an aluminum engine block with cast iron cylinder liners, chain-driven dual overhead camshafts with silent single-stage timing chain for quiet operation and durability, and electronic drive-by-wire throttle for precise control. For greater efficiency, graphite-coated pistons, microfinished forged steel crankshaft and microfinished camshaft help reduce friction. Maximum towing capacity with the V8 is a full 7,000 pounds when properly equipped.
Pathfinder’s advanced 4.0-liter DOHC V6 is rated at 266 horsepower and 288 lb-ft of torque. This specially tuned engine, created for SUV and truck applications, is part of Nissan's award-winning VQ engine series. The 4.0-liter design includes Electronic Throttle Control with secondary mapping in 4LO (4x4 models), Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), Nissan variable Induction Control System (NICS), silent timing chain, microfinished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces, molybdenum-coated pistons and lightweight aluminum block. Maximum towing capacity for V6-equipped Pathfinders is 6,000 pounds when properly equipped for towing.
Pathfinder is offered with several advanced 4x4 systems. The Pathfinder LE V8 4x4 features a full-time All-Mode 4-wheel drive system that can instantly distribute torque to all four wheels whenever road conditions warrant (up to 50 percent can go to the front wheels on demand), resulting in optimal traction with improved fuel economy and enhanced cornering capability. Pathfinder V6-equipped 4x4 models are available with a part-time 4-wheel drive system (S, SV) or an All-Mode 4-wheel drive system that includes 2WD/AUTO/4H/4LO modes and electronically controlled transfer case (LE V6).
Standard on all Pathfinder models is a responsive engine-speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system and 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-wheel, 4-channel, 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with G-sensor and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD).
All Pathfinders continue to be built on a high-strength, fully boxed, all-steel ladder frame based on the full-size Nissan Armada SUV. Pathfinder’s long-travel front suspension is an all-steel double-wishbone design with coil-over shocks and large stabilizer bar. For smooth ride quality and optimized handling, the rear suspension is an independent double-wishbone design with the coils located on the toe control link (offset spring and shock) with stabilizer bar. Standard underbody component protection puts a plate under the radiator, and all models are equipped with an integrated tow hitch.
Wheel packages vary by Pathfinder model. Pathfinder S models offer standard 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P245/75R16 tires, while 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P265/65R17 BFGoodrich Long Trail tires are offered on SV and Silver. Pathfinder LE V6 and LE V8 models feature special 18-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels and P265/60R18 BFGoodrich BSW tires. All Pathfinders provide a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and full-size spare tire.
Standard Safety and Security Equipment
Pathfinder’s long list of standard safety features and equipment includes Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS), featuring dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and a front occupant classification sensor; supplemental front seat-mounted side-impact air bags; and roof-mounted supplemental curtain air bags for improved side impact and rollover head protection for outboard occupants in all three rows.
Other features include Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones; energy absorbing steering column; front seat Active Head Restraints and 3-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, 3-point seat belts for all rear seat occupants, including the 2nd row center position; adjustable 2nd and 3rd row head restraints; LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren); Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Five Well-Equipped Models
The 2012 Pathfinder is offered in a choice of five models: S, SV, Silver, LE V6 and LE V8 (4x4 only), each with an array of standard features, including three-row seating.
Pathfinder SV models add 17-inch wheels with P265/65R17 tires, 7.0-inch multi-information display, 8-way power driver’s seat, fold-down front passenger’s seat, power-adjustable foot pedals, unique seat fabric, AM/FM/6CD audio system with MP3 capability, speed-sensitive front wipers, splash guards, illuminated steering wheel audio controls, dual-zone automatic temperature control with rear air conditioning, 2nd row fold-down center armrest, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, fog lights, body-color outside mirrors, side running boards, automatic on/off headlights, auto day/night rearview mirror, compass, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver and RearView Monitor.
Pathfinder Silver models add 17-inch machine-finished alloy wheels, body color side moldings with chrome inserts, 6CD Bose® audio unit with 10 speakers including subwoofer, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately), Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Nissan Intelligent Key®, 4-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, heated outside mirrors, leather-appointed interior and Silver badge.
Pathfinder LE models add enhanced levels of style and luxury. The LE V6 includes 18-inch bright machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels, wood grain trim, driver memory package (seat, mirrors and pedals) with programmable remote keyfobs, heated steering wheel, roof rack crossbars, power moonroof, LE Badge and front fascia underguard. The Pathfinder LE V8 adds the 5.6-liter V8, XN All-Mode 4x4 system, Nissan Navigation System and V8 badging.
Three option packages are available, including the DVD Mobile Entertainment System (Silver and LE V6 only) and the Silver Edition Moonroof Package (Siler only).
The LE V8 Value Package includes the power moonroof with slide and tilt, and DVD player with 7.0-inch color monitor for rear passengers, rear seat wireless headphones and remote control.
The 2012 Pathfinder is assembled at Nissan's award-winning Smyrna, Tennessee manufacturing facility, with engines supplied by Nissan’s nearby Decherd, Tennessee engine facility.