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First look: Nissan's all-new Pathfinder

Not quite right: US-market 2005 Pathfinder reveals design direction rather than the exact look of the version we'll get here.

Detroit auto show previews Nissan's redesigned Pathfinder

7 Jan 2004

A REDESIGNED, third-generation Pathfinder mid-sized SUV was revealed at the Detroit auto show this week, but Nissan Australia says it provides only “design pointers” to the all-new Pathy due on sale in Australia by early 2005.

Originally scheduled for release at this year’s Sydney motor show, where Nissan’s Murano luxury SUV will also be launched, the current Pathfinder’s successor now won’t go on sale here until early next year.

Featuring three rows of seats for the first time, the US-market Pathfinder will be available in both rear-drive and four-wheel drive configuration.

Australian Pathfinders are also expected to offer seating for seven for the first time, but should continue to offer a switchable all-wheel drivetrain exclusively, adopting a version of X-Trail’s All-Mode 4x4 system.

Bigger, bolder and with a longer wheelbase than before, the 2005 Pathfinder unveiled at Detroit for the US market is based on the F-Alpha truck platform employed beneath the larger Pathfinder Armada, which was recently launched Stateside.

Also sharing this platform is the new Frontier utility, which also debuted at Detroit and is ostensibly the next-generation Navara commercial due on sale here in 2005.

Both vehicles also share a new 4.0-litre V6 that’s a development of the Murano and 350Z’s 3.5-litre V6, producing 186kW and 365Nm of torque.

Which is a good thing, because Frontier has grown in every dimension, including wheelbase (up 250mm). It also features a the first factory-installed spray-on bedliner and a bed channel tie-down system dubbed Utili-track, both of which were first seen on Nissan’s full-sized Titan truck.

To be available in Crew Cab and King Cab bodystyles, America’s new Frontier will also feature a 2.5-litre inline four-cylinder petrol engine, while transmission choices will include a five-speed auto and six-speed manual. Towing capacity will be 2500kg.

Finally, Nissan’s Detroit show exhibit also played host to the Actic concept, a “content rich” show car styled by Nissan Design America in La Jolla, California.

Presented with a matching sleek silver trailer with inflatable walls that converts to a comfortable sleeping space for three, the bullet-shaped Actic features handheld keyfob-based information technology systems, GPS, MP3 player, six roof-mounted flat LCD screens, 20-inch wheels, dual sliding side doors and a sky theatre glass-panelled roof.

Nissan Australia has no interest in Actic.

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