IT’S PATHFINDER’S TURN TO TAKE ‘TREK’

Nissan_Pathfinder_N-Trek_frontSomething tells me I’m into something good
– Herman’s Hermits

These lines from the ‘60s hit song could well parallel Nissan’s move to scatter its N-TREK tech-and-trimmings package over a range of product from Navara to X-Trail, Patrol and Pathfinder.

Shared by the SUV / ute quartet above, Nissan recently added a Special Edition to the Pathfinder N-TREK line-up. Does the titular seven-seat large SUV live up to the ‘something good’ approbation?

There are four variants of the Special Edition – two-wheel and four-wheel drive versions of the ST+ and ST-L. I recently spent time with the latest Pathfinder ST-L N-TREK Special Edition.

Across the board, standard features include an 8-inch touchscreen, satellite navigation, reversing camera with 360-degree view, six-speaker stereo, DVD player, privacy glass, rear parking sensors and three-zone climate control. The ST-L adds a 13-speaker Bose stereo, LED headlights, sunroof, leather seats, front fog lights, heated side mirrors and power adjustable driver and front passenger seats.

Nissan says with contrasting black accents, unique 18-inch alloy wheel design with wider tyres, the Pathfinder N-TREK Special Edition appeals to traditional four-wheel drive fans who are looking for a higher degree of individuality and Expression.

“Pathfinder offers an abundance of interior space, a compelling suite of Intelligent Mobility features designed to keep occupants safe, and a highly dynamic powertrain package that makes it a top choice for growing families with an active lifestyle,” says Stephen Lester, managing director of Nissan Australia.

Nissan_Pathfinder_N-Trek_rear

STYLING
The exterior has a V-motion front grille, with black-finish strip and silver lower bumper guard. At the rear there are black badges, black licence plate trim and black lower bumper finish.

Side on, the vehicle features black fender flares, black exterior door handles, black roof rails, and black door mirror caps. The black and silver design of 18-inch alloy wheels are shod with wider 255 mm tyres, an increase of 20 mm.

The Pathfinder N-TREK Special Edition is available in four colours: Ivory Pearl, Diamond Black, Gun Metallic and Caspian Blue. The black bits did add a touch of menace to the Gun Metallic test vehicle.

INTERIOR
The Pathfinder’s generous expansive exterior translates inside the cabin to flexibility in passenger accommodation and generous storage space. For example, the second row of seats is split 60/40 and the third row 50/50 across the range.

When both rows are folded 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 a handy under-floor storage compartment behind the third row of seats as standard.

Leather upholstery adds a touch of luxury and padded armrests on the front doors make sure the driver and passenger can get comfortable, especially on long journeys.

INFOTAINMENT
It seems ironic that a vehicle with a name like ‘Pathfinder’ should be without in-car satellite navigation, as the ST is. Higher grades are blessed with it.

Digital connectivity is offered across the board through a new in-car infotainment system, which centres on an 8-inch colour touch screen with two USB ports. Bluetooth phone / audio streaming and voice control are now standard.

Nissan_Pathfinder_N-Trek_interior

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
Powered by the tried-and-tested 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, delivering 202 kW and 340 Nm, mated to the Nissan Xtronic continuously variable transmission, stands all Special Edition models in good stead.

SAFETY
The Nissan Pathfinder is equipped with a host of Nissan’s advanced Intelligent Mobility features as standard, including Intelligent Emergency Braking with Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross

A year ago, Rear Door Alert, which notifies parents if children are left unattended in the vehicle, was added. This automatically engages when the rear doors are opened and closed. Once the car is turned off a warning message appears on the Advanced Drive-Assist Display to prompt the driver to check the rear seat.

If the driver walks away from, or locks, the car without opening a rear door the horn sounds three times and the ADAD screen displays a warning to check the back seat. This technology, and / or the horn, can be turned off if preferred.

DRIVING
Nissan keeps squeezing power (202 kW) and performance (340 Nm) out of its ageing 3.5-litre V6 engine and continuously variable automatic transmission.

With its more-than five metre length, the vehicle can be a bit of a hand-full but a more powerful engine, firmer suspension and quicker steering response overcome potential problems on the bitumen.

Unlike some CVTs, the Xtronic transmission includes D-Step Logic Control, which simulates shifts in a stepped gearbox, giving a more natural feeling to the driving experience.

Combined urban / highway fuel consumption is put by Nissan at 10.1 litres per 100 kilometres. The test car used up to 15 litres per 100 kilometres in our combination of city/suburban and open road conditions.

Ground clearance is a conservative 180 mm, so there’s not much of a step up, or down, getting in and out of the cabin. Conversely, serious off-roading is out. Gravel and dirt tracks are the limit.

However, Pathfinder people need to pick their parking spots. At almost two metres wide, the super-SUV may slot into a spot all right, but passengers could remain prisoners because there’s no space to open the doors.

Not that passengers would find sitting in the Special Edition a chore. The vehicle retains the EZ flex seating system, with the versatile second-row seats offering recline, headrest adjust and slide that can offer additional leg room to third-row occupants.

The second row also includes IsoFix child restraint anchorage with technology that allows tilt and slide of the right-side of the second row with an Isofix-compatible child seat in place so there’s still access to the third row. The third-row seating also includes recline adjustment and now comes with a rear tether point for child restraint.

SUMMING UP
The Pathfinder, with size alone, makes its presence felt among the big boys of the SUV segment. Now with the N-TREK kit, the seven-seat wagon adds a touch of menace. Just don’t ask it to take on too big a challenge: rocky outcrops or log-strewn tracks, for example.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
Pathfinder ST+ N-TREK Special Edition 2WD $46,840
Pathfinder ST-L N-TREK Special Edition 2WD $57,140
Pathfinder ST+ N-TREK Special Edition 4WD $50,340
Pathfinder ST-L N-TREK Special Edition 4WD $60,640
Premium paint $595
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Nissan dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Nissan Pathfinder ST-L N-TREK 3.5-litre V6 petrol CVT 4WD five-door SUV)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 3.498 litres
Configuration: Six cylinders in ‘V’
Maximum Power: 202 kW @ 6400 rpm
Maximum Torque: 340 Nm @ 4800 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: 1963 mm
Height: 1793 mm
Turning Circle: 11.8 metres
Tare weight: 2046 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 73 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years / unlimited kilometres

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