1986 Nissan Pathfinder Set a New Normal In Swiss Military Knives

From the November 1986 situation of Automotive and Driver.

You do not want this automobile. Life would go on for you with no Nissan Pathfinder in it. Simply as you might get by way of a day with­out carrying your Swiss Military knife.

However what if an surprising urge comes over you to whittle away at a bit wooden­land? Or to screw round within the sand? Sup­pose you instantly should noticed by way of a snowbank? How are you going to cork­screw up a canyon, or bore over boulders, or file down a defile if you do not have a flexible little utensil like this at your hip?

Doing all of it is what the so-called sport­-utilities are all about. Chevy’s S-10 Blazer, Ford’s Bronco II, Jeep’s Cherokee, Toyota’s 4Runner, Mitsubishi’s Montero, Dodge’s Raider, Isuzu’s Trooper II­—virtually everyone seems to be making compact sport­-utilities now, and Nissan research present that some 489,000 had been bought right here in 1985. They’ve change into common as a result of they of­fer so many automotive talents in a single small, smooth-cornered software. Commuting, tenting, conveying, cruising, carousing: With such a automotive, everybody feels prepared for ev­erything. It would not matter if the proprietor by no means actually takes benefit of all of the pos­sibilities. That the probabilities are there, folded neatly away, at all times prepared, is what makes these little “utes” interesting.

So interesting that lastly Nissan, which claims the title of number-one importer in mixed automotive and truck gross sales, has fielded its first American-market sport-utility vehi­cle. Out there solely within the U.S. (although, un­like Nissan’s pickup truck, it is going to be constructed solely in Japan), the brand new Pathfinder is basi­cally the six-month-old, new-generation “Hardbody” pickup, with an integral sheetmetal enclosure on the again. It was styled concurrently with the brand new truck (at Nissan’s California studios), it is constructed on an solely barely modified short-wheelbase truck chassis, and it presents many of the truck’s non-obligatory {hardware}: fuel-injected V-6 engine, four-wheel drive, brush guards, and so on. Nissan is taking nice pains, nonetheless, to ensure nobody thinks of the Pathfinder as a truck.

In line with market analysis, sport-­utility consumers are a extra upscale group than truckers. They’ve extra education, they earn extra, they’ve extra refined life. They’re older, too. All of which Nissan interprets to imply that, whereas they could purchase vehicles to get the robust vehicles they need, what they actually need is hard vehicles.

Ergo, the Pathfinder has coil slightly than semi-elliptic leaf springs atop its rear axle, for a smoother journey. Its inside could be very carlike and exceptionally roomy each entrance and rear. The very best of the three accessible trim ranges presents such facilities as electri­cally adjustable home windows, mirrors, and shock absorbers. Energy steering is stan­dard on all fashions, as is part-time 4WD. Nissan expects that some 75 p.c of Pathfinder consumers will select the 140-hp 3.0-liter 300ZX-derived V-6. In distinction, virtually 4 out of 5 of the corporate’s pickups are bought with the 106-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder.

The Pathfinder’s promoting factors embody the longest wheelbase within the subject, the wid­est cargo space, and the biggest non-obligatory fac­tory-available tires: Sized 31×10.5R-15, they put greater than eight inches of tread on the street and measure greater than 30 inches in diameter.

At a quick, slightly rigorously orchestrated press introduction in California’s San Ber­nardino Mountains, we confirmed that the Pathfinder actually does journey virtually as easily and quietly as a standard passen­ger automotive on paved roads and appears to set a brand new commonplace for consolation and civility on unpaved ones. For the motive force, visibility, steering really feel, and general dealing with are all passable, given the automobile’s primary pur­poses. It isn’t precisely a quick automobile, regardless of the ability, however the torquey V-6 has little bother stepping the again finish out at will. Passengers, and that features back-seat­ers, can really benefit from the journey, because of the comfortable springing and ample leg- and headroom.

1987 nissan pathfinder


We weren’t in a position to attempt something just like the rock-riddled Rubicon, however we do really feel secure in saying that, for the roughest back-coun­attempt byways the everyday proprietor is prone to sort out, the Nissan will likely be totally satisfac­tory. And, since 99 miles of each 100 are in all probability going to be on asphalt or con­crete, the best way this new sport-utility cod­dles its crew must make it a winner.

Even for these not within the Swiss Military.

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1987 Nissan Pathfinder
Automobile Kind: front-engine, rear/four-wheel-drive, 5-passen­ger, 3-door wagon

$15,000–$17000 (est.)

2.4-liter inline-4 or 3.0-liter V-6, iron block and aluminum heads
Displacement: 146–181 in3, 2389–2960 cm3

Energy: 106–140 hp


5-speed guide, 3-speed computerized

Wheelbase: 104.3 in

Size: 171.9 in
Curb Weight: 3500–3900 lb

Metropolis: 15–16 mpg