The current (fourth generation) Pathfinder arrived here in 2013 with a smoother styling and aimed at the suburban market. Subsequent upgrades, the most recent of which was in April 2019, have made it more refined, safer and with added technology.
Pathfinder comes with the choice of a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine or a supercharged 2.5-litre petrol / electric hybrid and either two- or four-wheel drive. The previous diesel alternative was dropped for the gen-four model.
There are four equipment levels: ST, ST+, ST-L and Ti with prices ranging from $43,390 for the Pathfinder ST V6 2WD through to $69,390 for the Ti Hybrid. In a sign of the times the premium for equivalent hybrid models is a reasonable $3000.
While early Pathfinder 4WDs were quite square and rugged in appearance the latest models have evolved into the typical softer SUV style with smoother edges and sleeker profile.
At the front is the distinctive Nissan design signature ‘V-Motion’ grille and headlamps with boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights.
Alloy wheels are 18-inch in the ST, ST+ and ST-L. The Ti steps up to 20-inch units.
At just over five metres in length and nearly two metres wide Pathfinder is large enough to fit seven seats in comfort and still provide 453 litres with all seats in place. This can expand to1354 litres with the third row folded and 2260 litres with second and third rows down.
Pathfinder has the Nissan EZ flex seating system, with the second row seats to recline and slide to provide extra leg room to third row occupants. Another plus for in the third row is that the 50/50 split row seats can also be reclined.
Interior storage is excellent with ten cup holders, six bottle holders, four 12-volt power outlets and a useful under-floor storage compartment behind the third row of seats for extra security.
Maximum towing capacity is 2700 kg with the V6 engine, but just 1650 kg for the hybrid.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The petrol-only Pathfinders are powered by an upgraded 3.5-litre V6 engine, while the hybrid variants rely on a supercharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder unit plus a 15kW electric motor.
Our test ST was fitted with the V6 petrol engine, which now delivers 202 kW of power and torque of 340 Nm at a very high 4800 rpm. Its Direct Injection Gasoline system provides better wide-open throttle performance for improved fuel economy and lower emissions.
All 2019 Pathfinder models are equipped with Nissan’s third-generation Xtronic continuously variable transmission with ‘D-Step logic control’ which simulates shifts in a stepped gearbox to suit drivers who won’t adapt to efficiency of CVT units.
Following the 2019 upgrade all Pathfinder models now come with Emergency Braking with forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and intelligent cruise control. Previous features include six airbags; stability and traction control; speed-sensitive door locking; tyre-pressure monitoring; rear cross traffic alert; blind spot monitoring; and IsoFix child restraint anchorage in the outer centre row seats.
Pathfinder ST+ adds Nissan’s Intelligent Around-View Monitor with Moving Object Detection while ST-L now has adaptive LED headlights with auto-levelling.
The range topping Pathfinder Ti has a new feature called Rear Door Alert which reminds you to check if you’ve left someone behind.
Information display is through an embedded 8.0-inch colour touchscreen that sharp and easy to read with logical controls. There’s Bluetooth phone and audio streaming with voice recognition that’s easy to pair. There are twin USB ports on the lower grades, three on the topline Pathfinder Ti.
The entry-level ST Pathfinder doesn’t come with satellite navigation although it is standard on all higher-specced variants where it also includes 3D mapping graphics. In case you still get lost these models also come with a compass.
ST-L and Ti variants get a 13-speaker Bose premium audio system while the Ti looks after rear seat passengers with a Tri-zone entertainment system with wireless headphones, remote control and HDMI and USB ports for video playback.
With its large exterior dimensions Pathfinder there’s a bit of a climb for smaller occupants to get themselves in although the high driving position is a plus. It can be a bit of a handful to drive around town and especially in tight parking spaces.
The extra power and torque is noticeable and the big SUV moves sharply from a standstill thanks to the use of a CVT automatic. On the open road the added grunt together with firmer but not uncomfortable suspension and interior space make for a comfortable cruiser.
Like most modern SUVs Pathfinder is almost car-like in its refinement and general feel. Handling is reasonable although with its relatively high centre of gravity you can’t drive a Pathfinder as though it’s a car.
Fuel consumption from the V6 Pathfinder is listed at 9.9 litres per 100 kilometres in 2WD models and 10.1 with 4WD. We averaged in the mid 11s in our ST 4WD.
With more than three decades on the Australian market Nissan Pathfinder is a tried and proven performer both on and off the road. Although it’s due for a new model recent upgrades have added to its safety credentials and kept it up to date with the ever-changing technology enhancements.
Adding to the value equation Nissan has gone with the industry flow by increasing both the time and distance of their standard warranty to five years and unlimited kilometres.
AT A GLANCE
ST 3.5L V6 2WD: $43,390
ST 3.5L V6 4WD: $46,390
ST 2.5L Hybrid 2WD: $46,390
ST+ 3.5L V6 2WD: $44,590
ST+ 3.5L V6 4WD: $48,090
ST-L 3.5L V6 2WD: $54,890
ST-L 3.5L V6 4WD: $58,390
ST-L 2.5L Hybrid 4WD: $61,390
Ti 3.5L V6 2WD: $62,890
Ti 3.5L V6 4WD: $66,390
Ti 2.5L Hybrid 4WD: $69,390
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Nissan dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Nissan Pathfinder ST 3.5-litre V6 petrol 4WD five-door wagon)
Capacity: 3.498 litres
Maximum Power: 202 kW @ 6400 rpm
Maximum Torque: 340 Nm @ 4400 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 91 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 10.1 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 234 g/km
DRIVELINE: Xtronic continuously variable transmission
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 5042 mm
Wheelbase: 2900 mm
Width: 1960 mm
Height: 1766 mm
Turning Circle: 11.8 metres
Kerb Mass: 1985 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 73 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc
Five years / unlimited km