Chevrolet, Ford, Jeep, and Toyota go head-to-head with the original Pathfinder

With the refreshed Nissan Pathfinder making waves for the 2017 model year, we decided to look back at its beginnings. The Pathfinder debuted for the 1987 model year, but remained unchanged through 1995. That means the 1991 Pathfinder was midway into its first-generation stride when Motor Week pitted it against the best mid-sized SUVs on the market for that year.

Included in the tester were the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Explorer, Jeep Cherokee, and Toyota 4Runner. All were well equipped in high-ranking trim levels and fitted with 4WD. Though most owners rarely ventured off the beaten path, this video review focused on the off-road. It’s all about mud, ruts, and hill climbs.

I won’t spoil the outcome, but Motor Week found the Pathfinder to have the best ground clearance of the bunch, much in part to it having the largest tires. The journalists didn’t like the Pathfinder or 4Runner’s stiff ride, however, at least compared to the softer-sprung American brands.

The Pathfinder aside, it’s awesome to see these early 1990s SUVs in their prime, while getting put to good use. Be sure to catch the bunch sloshing through the deep mud pit. It proved to be a challenge, even for the high-riding brutes.

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