A new Nissan Pathfinder is due in showrooms this fall, one that’s smoother, comfier and tuned more for on-road performance than the current model. And it’s on display this week at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

The latest-generation 2013 Pathfinder reverts back to a car-like platform, dropping the current model’s truck-based underpinnings in a strategy that mimics the risky move Ford undertook with its latest Explorer SUV.

That car-like platform found in the new 2013 Pathfinder is Nissan’s flexible FF-L architecture, which is also found in vehicles like the Murano, Quest, Maxima, Altima, and even the recently revealed 2013 Infiniti JX.

Also shared with its platform stablemates is the Pathfinder's drivetrain, which consists of a gasoline V-6 paired with a CVT. Nissan hasn’t released any specs but promises its new 2013 Pathfinder will be 25 percent more fuel efficient on the EPA-rated combined cycle than the model it replaces.

The most fuel efficient Pathfinder in the current 2012 lineup returns 17 mpg on the combined cycle, so expect the new 2013 model to get more than 20 mpg. Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations are expected, though it’s unclear if a low-range option will be available on the latter.

Inside, there is still three row seats with seating for seven but space is up, especially at the rear of the vehicle. Nissan calls it a full-sizer inside, which pits it against vehicles from the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, to Explorer and Ford Flex, to Dodge Durango and Chevrolet Traverse.

Look out for the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show this week and stay glued to our dedicated show page for more details and live shots direct from the show floor.