Nissan’s trusty workhorse three-rower, the Pathfinder, has been given a full overhaul for 2021, receiving more power and torque under the bonnet, styling that puts it in line with Nissan’s other recent updates (namely the Juke and Navara), and more tech.
While Nissan says the model is “all new”, it’s actually based on a version of the same platform as the outgoing model. Its 2900mm wheelbase is untouched, while overall length has shrunken a tad. Width and height has increased, helping grow cabin space for occupants.
Under the bonnet is another carryover in the form of Nissan’s 3.5-litre V6, although it now sports 212kW of power and 351Nm of torque — a 10kW/11Nm increase. Nissan have elected to dump the model’s old CVT; replacing it with a shiny all-new nine-speed automatic capable of sending power to either the front wheels exclusively, or all four.
There’s no diesel variant to speak of, at least not yet. This isn’t a surprise given the limited availability of the 2.5-litre diesel offered in the outgoing model, and the slow but steady phasing out of the engine genre.
Nissan hasn’t unveiled any hybrid powertrains for the Pathfinder yet, either, but one’s sure to be coming (the last model was offered with a 2.5-litre supercharged petrol hybrid). It’s also been tipped that some markets might get the beefed up SUV with the 2.0-litre turbofour from its Infiniti cousin, the QX50.
The Pathfinder’s cabin layout has changed just as much as the exterior, looking bang up to date with a utilitarian but modern centre stack and a new 9.0-inch primary screen. The driver gets a 12.3-inch digital binnacle with a hefty 10.8-inch head-up display to boot.
Running through all of these is Nissan’s latest ‘NissanConnect’ interface, which features wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto. A 360-degree camera, wireless phone charging, and Bose audio are among the other neat tech toys on offer.
Complementing this is Nissan’s claims of improved comfort and livability. According to the Japanese firm, the new Pathfinder absorbs 60 per cent more engine noise than the last model, thanks to thicker glass and improved insulation. Interior volume has increased, too, with seven- or eight-seat variants available.
“Thirty-five years after the launch of the original model, Pathfinder has returned to its rugged roots, loaded with the benefit of everything learned along the way,” said Jared Haslam, vice president, Product and Services Planning, Nissan North America.
“Today’s large SUV owners want a vehicle that conveys strength and rugged capability, while using advanced safety and technology features to keep their family safe and comfortable during every-day adventures, and the all-new 2022 Pathfinder is ready to take on those adventures.”
It’s yet to be confirmed whether the model will be released in New Zealand. But with SUVs continuing to dominate the local market, one would expect this to land in local showrooms. Nissan’s local website has already removed the previous Pathfinder from its navigation, meaning a new replacement could soon populate the slot.