2007 Chicago Auto Show: Nissan Updates Pathfinder, Armada, and Titan
Trucks Get New Interiors and Features
For the 2004 model year, Nissan introduced its first full-size truck and SUV, following up for 2005 with the mid-size Pathfinder and Frontier. For 2008MY, introduced around the 2007 Chicago auto show, Nissan freshened Armada, Titan, and Pathfinder where each needed it most. All three sport better-looking and higher-quality interiors with more convenience features for the SUVs and subtle exterior updates, as Nissan took the opportunity of a normal mid-cycle update to address some areas of criticism.
Pathfinder offers the most brawn behind its facelift. Under the hood, its bigger brother’s 5.6L V8 becomes available. Nissan is adding a large V8 at a time when it seems consumers are searching for high-fuel-efficiency options because they see the mid-size SUV market carrying about 25% of its sales in V8 models. With a V8 in the parts bin, Nissan decided to use it. And it should make for a nice package. Pathfinder also gets a new hood, grille, front/rear bumpers, and rear liftgate to the exterior, with some of the front changes made to accommodate the V8. Inside, there is a new center stack and console and new convenience features.
Armada takes a new front fascia, new headlights and fog lights, a new one-piece roof rack, and a revised rear fascia, including integrating the rear window washer fluid nozzle into the CHMSL. The powertrain carries over, including the optional flex-fuel version.
Inside, there is a more user-friendly layout and, based on the pre-production trucks we saw in February, a higher-quality look and feel. There are new interior colors and fabrics, a new gated shifter, available woodgrain accents, optional heated steering wheel, revised steering wheel controls, and updated gauge cluster. Rear-seat passengers may be pleased with the larger screen for rear-seat entertainment systems
Titan is the underdog of the full-size pickup market, with a narrowly defined lineup not matching competition and an advertising budget well below the Big Three and the all new Toyota Tundra in its launch mode. Changes for 2008MY improve the oft-criticized interior and add capacity for hauling stuff and going off road. The biggest change is new long-wheelbase Crew Cab and King Cab models, with a seven-foot bed for the Crew and an eight-foot bed for the King Cab, which may help with the working crowd. A PRO-4X off-road package may catch the eye of trucking enthusiasts. The PRO-4X gets Rancho shock absorbers, a lower final gear ratio, more skid plates, an electronic locking rear differential, white-faced interior gauges, and body-color exterior trim.
Other than the new beds, Titan’s exterior and interior changes are minor. The 5.6L V8 engine and transmission carryover. The front gets a new bumper, headlight, fog lamps, and grille. Along the side there are new wheel-lip moldings and wheels (including optional twenty-inchers). Inside you’ll find a new seat design, revised gauge cluster, new wood trim accents, and revised HVAC controls. Titan adds optional Bluetooth and XM capability, but does not get most of the convenience options of the SUVs. GVWR and payload are up 500 pounds to 9500 pounds.
More Convenience Features for SUVs
There is a new hard-drive system for navigation and music storage in Nissan’s cupboard, and Armada and Pathfinder are among the entries that get to offer it. The hard-drive uses 9.3GB for music storage (loaded through owners’ CDs) and an unspecified amount to run and store navigation information. Armada buyers can order up the hard drive without navigation and get a 9.3GB Music Box, Pathfinder buyers must take the whole system. Because of the hard drive operation, the navigation function should refresh faster and offer better-quality graphics. In the Armada it also works with XM for real-time traffic updates.
Both SUVs now offer optional Intelligent Key, with Nissan’s corporate twist-start, a heated steering wheel, and Bluetooth hands-free system. There is a new, larger multi-function screen that enables buyers to order the rear-view camera separate from the navigation system. The Armada now offers front sonar parking sensors as well as the optional rear camera.