The Nissan Pathfinder is back in the New Zealand line-up after a couple of years being MIA. The sixth- generation Nissan Pathfinder is available in two high grade models, Ti and Ti-L only, with seven or eight seats. Respectively, they cost $85k and $80k, before clean car fees (not yet to hand). Pathfinder neatly fills the gap between X-Trail and the more off-road oriented Patrol. In Australia 2wd is available, but Kiwis will only be offered top-shelf 4wd variants.
Made in the USA
The Pathfinder is made in Tennessee, so has only a handful of right-hand drive markets. It is petrol only, the 3.5L naturally aspirated V6 engine largely carryover from the outgoing model. Like X-Trail the design is renewed for the 2020s, sharper and curvier all round, and there are big lifts in the tech and safety areas. The interior is vastly more modern and lavish.
New auto for better towing
An interesting update is a move away from CVT to a new nine-speed ZF automatic transmission. This means a marked increase in towing capacity, up from 2000kg braked to 2700kg. Fuel consumption, at a claimed 10.5L/100km, is essentially unchanged, despite a marginal weight increase of 35kg.
Pathfinder’s direct injection 3.5L V6 spits out 202kW of power at 6400rpm, and 340Nm at 4800rpm. A new AWD system features direct coupling and rapid torque transfer between axles for immediate take-off in low traction situations. There are special drive modes for snow, sand and mud and ruts, each with specific shift mapping, throttle response and ESP settings, along with steering weight and 4wd torque distribution.
Classier now inside
Inside this pretty swanky, with big plush powered seats, a 10.8-inch head-up display with navigation instructions and road speed shown, and well crafted finishings. It’s perhaps in the rear of the cabin where this shines especially. Where the X-Trail’s sixth and seventh seats are for children only, the Pathfinder’s will accept adults, so long as the middle row seats are slid forwards slightly to allow for third-row leg and foot room. And there’s still 205L of luggage capacity available with all seats in use, not to mention a generous below-floor box at the rear of the hold. The spare is housed underneath the vehicle.
Access all areas
Doors in the rear now open to 85 degrees but the Pathfinder’s best trick is access to the third-row seats dubbed EZ Flex latch and glide. Push a button and the middle row seats electronically release, the back rest folding and the entire seat moving forward on either side to facilitate entry. Egress for those in the rear is just as simple because of the exit button’s location on the seat back in front. There’s 554L of cargo space in five-seat configuration, expanding to 782L with all seats folded down.
Specified to the nines
Special Pathfinder features aside from the full Nissan Intelligent Mobility safety suite – its dubbed full for a reason – include remote start for preheating or cooling of the cabin, hill descent control, a total of 16 cupholders for coffee-addled families, individual unlocking of any door, powered tailgate operation, tri-zone air con, heated seats (front and rear) and mirrors, wireless smartphone charging, a 13-speaker Bose system, and rear window sunshades.
The Ti-L gets a pair of captain’s chairs in the middle row, power adjustment for the steering column along with seat memories, digital and analogue rear view mirror, front seat ventilation, special leather and interior trim finishings, ambient lighting, a panoramic glass roof with tilt/fold function, 20-inch alloys and a 12.3-inch TFT instrument panel.
Drive impressions are embargoed until Dec 8th.