1986 Nissan Pathfinder Set a New Standard In Swiss Army Knives

From the November 1986 situation of Auto and Driver.

You don’t have to have this motor vehicle. Daily life would go on for you without having a Nissan Pathfinder in it. Just as you could get by means of a working day with­out carrying your Swiss Army knife.

But what if an sudden urge will come around you to whittle away at a small wood­land? Or to screw all-around in the sand? Sup­pose you suddenly should observed via a snowbank? How are you likely to cork­screw up a canyon, or bore around boulders, or file down a defile if you do not have a adaptable minor utensil like this at your hip?

Performing it all is what the so-named 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—almost absolutely everyone is making compact sport­-utilities now, and Nissan experiments demonstrate that some 489,000 ended up bought below in 1985. They’ve come to be well-liked since they of­fer so many automotive skills in just one tiny, smooth-cornered resource. Commuting, tenting, conveying, cruising, carousing: With this kind of a car, anyone feels all set for ev­erything. It does not make a difference if the operator by no means truly will take advantage of all the pos­sibilities. That the options are there, folded neatly away, always all set, is what helps make these minor “utes” captivating.

So desirable that last but not least Nissan, which statements the title of quantity-a person importer in mixed motor vehicle and truck sales, has fielded its very first American-sector activity-utility vehi­cle. Available only in the U.S. (however, un­like Nissan’s pickup truck, it will be crafted only in Japan), the new Pathfinder is basi­cally the 6-thirty day period-previous, new-technology “Hardbody” pickup, with an integral sheetmetal enclosure at the again. It was styled at the same time with the new truck (at Nissan’s California studios), it truly is built on an only a little bit modified small-wheelbase truck chassis, and it gives most of the truck’s optional components: gasoline-injected V-6 motor, four-wheel generate, brush guards, and many others. Nissan is using fantastic pains, even so, to make confident no one thinks of the Pathfinder as a truck.

According to current market investigation, sport-­utility purchasers are a a lot more upscale team than truckers. They have far more schooling, they gain much more, they have much more refined life. They’re more mature, too. All of which Nissan interprets to suggest that, even though they may invest in vehicles to get the tricky vehicles they want, what they genuinely want is challenging cars and trucks.

Ergo, the Pathfinder has coil instead than semi-elliptic leaf springs atop its rear axle, for a smoother ride. Its inside is very carlike and extremely roomy each front and rear. The best of the three accessible trim stages presents these kinds of features as electri­cally adjustable home windows, mirrors, and shock absorbers. Electric power steering is stan­dard on all models, as is aspect-time 4WD. Nissan expects that some 75 per cent of Pathfinder buyers will pick the 140-hp 3.-liter 300ZX-derived V-6. In distinction, almost four out of five of the company’s pickups are sold with the 106-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder.

The Pathfinder’s promoting factors incorporate the longest wheelbase in the subject, the wid­est cargo spot, and the biggest optional fac­tory-readily available tires: Sized 31×10.5R-15, they set a lot more than eight inches of tread on the street and measure additional than 30 inches in diameter.

At a temporary, fairly meticulously orchestrated press introduction in California’s San Ber­nardino Mountains, we confirmed that the Pathfinder actually does experience practically as smoothly and quietly as a normal passen­ger car or truck on paved streets and would seem to set a new conventional for comfort and ease and civility on unpaved kinds. For the driver, visibility, steering experience, and in general dealing with are all satisfactory, supplied the vehicle’s basic pur­poses. It is not particularly a quickly vehicle, inspite of the power, but the torquey V-6 has little difficulty stepping the back stop out at will. Travellers, and that incorporates again-seat­ers, can actually enjoy the trip, many thanks to the comfortable springing and ample leg- and headroom.


We were not ready to try out everything like the rock-riddled Rubicon, but we do experience harmless in saying that, for the roughest back again-coun­try byways the typical proprietor is likely to deal with, the Nissan will be fully satisfac­tory. And, because 99 miles of every single 100 are likely heading to be on asphalt or con­crete, the way this new activity-utility cod­dles its crew ought to make it a winner.

Even for these not in the Swiss Army.

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1987 Nissan Pathfinder
Car Kind: front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passen­ger, 3-door wagon

Foundation PRICE 
$15,000–$17000 (est.)

2.4-liter inline-4 or 3.-liter V-6, iron block and aluminum heads
Displacement: 146–181 in3, 2389–2960 cm3
Electricity: 106–140 hp


5-pace guide, 3-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 104.3 in

Size: 171.9 in
Curb Body weight: 3500–3900 lb

EPA Gasoline Economy
Town: 15–16 mpg