Nissan updated their Pathfinder in 2017 with a refresh of both external appearance and internal features. Over the years the Pathfinder has been very popular with Australians.
However for many years it was a real dual range 4WD vehicle, not the AWD SUV it has morphed into of late. It sits in a very competitive segment against established family favourites.
The Pathfinder’s updated appearance incorporates the latest Nissan design signature “V-Motion” grille and LED headlights with auto levelling, front fog lights and boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights.
Other exterior enhancements include a new, more aggressive bonnet, new front bumper and fog lights. The outside rearview mirrors now include standard integrated turn signals. In the rear, changes include new taillights and a stronger bumper design. It runs on 20-inch alloy wheels with 235/55 R20 tyres. I actually like the look, it has a certain appeal.
Leather everywhere, space, comfortable seats and abundance of features describes the first impressions. Front leather seats are heated and ventilated and multi electronically adjustable with a great lumbar support for the driver.
There is an electronic adjustable thick steering wheel, with typical Nissan design for the controls. It takes a little while to work out and looks a little dated, but works well. Indicator stalks are clearly visible and the instrument panel is a twin large dial with an upper MFD between.
Like most they are clean and crisp in clarity. From trip computer to 4WD torque distribution, the new Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display presents information right in front of the driver – helping to minimise time looking away from the road. Standard across all grades, its intuitive 3D depth and tilt design help drivers take in information more quickly
The central zone has an uncluttered centre console, with the AWD controls, large dual cup holders, seat ventilation etc. The stack is a little more cluttered with A/C controls, topped by the audio controls then a push button panel for the 8-inch colour touch screen with 2x USB ports.
This contains Bluetooth phone / audio streaming and voice control as well as In-car navigation equipped with 3D mapping graphics and multi-touch functionality. The screen is ok in clarity, but not the best in class.
Second row of seats are split 60/40 and the third row 50/50. Middle row occupants have a reasonable amount of room, third row seats are for smaller passengers only. When both rows are folded to flat, the Pathfinder offers a massive 2260 litres of cargo space. There are also ten cup holders, six bottle holders, four 12v power outlets and an under-floor storage compartment behind the third row of seats as standard.
Rear tailgate is a power open/close linked with Intelligent Key and can be operated by a motion activation under the rear bumper.
The 2017 upgrade has seen more features added that include: Tri-Zone Entertainment, 13 Bose speakers, i-Key remote keyless entry with memory, front sunroof with manual sunshade as well as panoramic glass roof with power sunshade, 2nd row dual entertainment screens with wireless headphones, remote control and HDMI/USB ports.
Drive and Engine
Nissan Pathfinder is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, producing 202 kW/340 Nm. This drives through a new-generation Xtronic CVT with D-Step logic control, that sips, or drinks fuel at an ADR rate of 10.1 l/100k but around town with a heavy right foot it can be considerably more.
Nissan’s ALL MODE 4×4-i System, with Hill Descent Control, is controlled by a rotary dial, can be switched between three modes, 2WD (drive directed to front wheels, for better economy), AUTO (system monitors all four wheels to distribute the ideal amount of torque between them) and LOCK (for rough terrain, permanently engaging drive power with a 50:50 torque split between front and rear wheels at speeds below 40km/h).
However it is more show than go. Think of the Pathfinder as more capable than say a Mazda CX-9 but still not suitable for heavy off road adventures. It is quiet, smooth and comfortable. Exactly what you want for the family.
Like all in this segment, it is designed as a suburban transport, some dirt roads and trips to the snow. The diff lock is more about maintaining a 50/50 split rather than mountain climbing. The Pathfinder has a foot park brake, similar to the Kluger, and that just poor.
The Pathfinder TI is packed with advanced safety and driver assistance technology which includes:
- Intelligent Emergency Braking (IEB),
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW),
- Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC),
- Moving Object Detection (MOD) has been added to the available Intelligent Around View® Monitor (AVM), which gives the driver a 360-degree aerial view when reversing.
Additionally there is Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). Six airbags are fitted as standard equipment as is a reversing camera and rear parking sensors.
- Interior space
- Interior comfort
- V6 performance and smooth ride
Not so Good Bits:
- No diesel option
- V6 can be thirsty
- Ridiculous foot park brake
There’s plenty of competition in the seven-seat SUV market and that’s great news for buyers. Nissan’s offering is definitely worth test-driving as it is a good mix of being family-friendly and having quite good driving dynamics/character. It is also quite car-like to drive, rather than being big, bulky and cumbersome.
As mentioned (and not necessary particular to Pathfinder) the V6 can be a bit thirsty but other than that there is much to like about it, other than the ridiculous foot parking brake. Still, the Nissan seven-seat SUV is very competitively priced and this could tip the scales for you.
Also Look At
Facts and Figures: 2019 Nissan Pathfinder TI
- Engine: 3.5L V6 Petrol produces 202kW/340Nm
- Transmission: CVT AWD
- Warranty: 3 Yrs / 100,000 km 3 Yrs. Roadside Assist
- Safety: Five Star ANCAP
- Origin: Japan
- Price: From $66,190 MLP*
*Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options
Nissan Pathfinder TI
Nissan’s Pathfinder is definitely worth test-driving as it is a good mix of being family-friendly and having quite good driving dynamics/character. It is also quite car-like to drive, rather than being big, bulky and cumbersome.