Pathfinder received an extensive number of changes in the middle of the 1999 model year and will continue unchanged until next spring, when a new 3.5-liter V-6 with an estimated 240 horsepower is scheduled to become the standard engine. Pathfinder is built from the same design as the Infiniti QX4 but has fewer amenities and a lower price.
Side-impact airbags for the front seats became optional last spring as part of the Pathfinder's revamp. On XE and LE models, the instrument cluster has a white background, and on the SE Limited it sports an eye-grabbing titanium background. All models seat five, and perforated and embroidered leather is optional on the SE Limited and LE models. On 4 x 4s, the leather package includes heated front seats. Front buckets and a 60/40-split rear seat provide seating for five. The rear seat folds to create 85 cubic feet of cargo room.
Last spring's styling changes included new sheet metal from the front pillars forward and a redesigned tailgate, bumper and rear lights. An outside spare-tire carrier, formerly offered on 4WD models to give off-roaders convenient access to an extra tire, is no longer available. The spare is now tucked under the vehicle.
Under the Hood
All models come with a 170-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6. SE Limited trims offer a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, while the others come only with automatic. All models come with either 2WD or a part-time 4WD system that is for use on slippery surfaces.