NISSAN Australia says it is expecting to pick up some sales from former Ford
Territory owners with its facelifted Pathfinder seven-seater, when stock
finally runs out of the Aussie-built SUV later this year.
The revised Pathfinder touches down this month, from $41,990 plus on-road
costs, three-and-a-half years after the launch of the R52-series version that
saw it shift from a rugged utilitarian four-wheel drive to a family friendly
Speaking with GoAuto at the Pathfinder and Series II Navara media launch,
Nissan Australia managing director and CEO Richard Emery said the car-maker was
pleased with the response to the SUV, despite not receiving the coverage of
some of its competitors.
“It has carved out a fantastic little niche and has a really loyal customer
base,” he said this week. “With the new car we are trying to tough it out a
bit, make it a bit more masculine, there is lots of new tech in the car.
“We are really happy with where Pathfinder is. From a pure volume perspective,
it has never done as well as it has done (in the last three years), but it
doesn’t get rated by everybody. But our consumers love it. It’s not seen in the
forefront of the segment and people within the industry probably don’t consider
it, but from a consumer perspective, we are really happy with it.”
Mr Emery added that the demise of the Australian-built Territory provided an
opportunity for the Pathfinder in the coming years.
“We think there is a big opportunity with that car with Territory going. If it
has a kindred spirit, it is probably Territory. We think our car does things
better than Territory ever did in terms of how it suits customers.
“Because of its nice balance between the typical American soccer mum car, where
it is obviously derived, but also the sorts of uses that an Australian family
would use the car for, we think it is in a really nice space and it probably
doesn’t get the credit it deserves.”
Since its launch in 2013, the US-built SUV’s sales have steadily grown, with
January’s haul of 933 units marking the best month since the nameplate was
launched in Australia in the mid-1980s.
2015 was the Pathfinder’s most successful year, with 6433 examples sold, while
last year it dipped by 13.6 per cent for its second best year – 5560 sales.
Registrations are already up by 32 per cent in the first two months of 2017
with 1427 shifted, and the Pathfinder is trailing the Hyundai Santa Fe (1495),
but just ahead of the Mazda CX-9 (1339).
Mr Emery said he was not expecting a significant sales increase on the back of
the new model, and highlighted the competitive nature of the segment.
“I think it will certainly sustain volumes we have been getting out of the car,
if we could sell a few more along the way I would be ok with that as well. We
are not planning to substantially increase volume out of that car. There have
been a few new entrants in that segment since its launch, so the market has
become a bit tougher in the sense that there are more competitors.”
The Pathfinder’s key rivals are the freshly updated Toyota Kluger, Mazda’s
well-received new CX-9, Kia’s Sorento and the Hyundai Santa Fe.
As previously reported, Pathfinder pricing remains static for the update,
except for the base two-wheel-drive ST that has increased by $500 to $41,990.
Choosing all-paw traction lifts the price by $3500 for the ST and $4000 for the
ST-L and Ti.
Opting for a hybrid powertrain adds $2500 to the price of the 2WD ST and $3000
for the AWD ST-L and flagship Ti. The range tops out at $69,190 for the
all-wheel-drive Ti Hybrid.
Fifty per cent of the 3.5-litre V6’s engine components are new, according to
Nissan, and it now includes direct injection as well as mirror bore coating in
the engine cylinders to reduce weight and friction.
As a result of some of the tweaks, power in the V6 has risen by 12kW to 202kW
and torque is up by 15Nm to 340Nm.
The V6’s fuel economy rating has improved by 0.1 litre per 100km for the 2WD to
9.9L and 0.2L for the 4WD to 10.1L.
Despite the weight savings in the engine, the Pathfinder weight hovers between
1921kg and 2170kg, depending on the variant.
Maximum braked towing capacity for the V6 is rated at 2700kg, while the hybrid
can tow 1650kg.
There are no changes to the petrol-electric hybrid powertrain which continues
on with the 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine paired with a 15kW electric motor
and a 144-volt lithium-ion battery for a combined output of 188kW and 330Nm.
Fuel economy stays at 8.6L/100km for the 2WD and 8.7L for the 4WD.
Each Pathfinder is now equipped with the latest version of Nissan’s Xtronic
continuously-variable transmission (CVT) that is already found in the
Nissan has stiffened the suspension tune by 11 per cent at the front and seven
per cent at the rear for the update, and when combined with the sharper
steering response from the speed-sensitive electric power steering system, the
company says the Pathfinder has improved body control, ride and handling.
The All Mode four-wheel-drive offered as an option on all three variants
features a rotary dial with three modes – 2WD, Auto and Lock, depending on
As well as the changes under the skin, the new Pathfinder ushers in new
front-end styling with fresh headlights, LED ‘boomerang’ daytime running
lights, a revised V-motion grille and integrated exterior mirror indicators.
The Caspian Blue hue is new to the colour palette which also includes Brilliant
Silver, Diamond Black, Ivory Pearl, Cayenne Red, Midnight Jade and Gun
It also gains a new alloy wheel design, which measures 18 inches for the ST and
ST-L, while the Ti rides on 20-inch hoops.
There are few changes inside, although there is a new 8.0-inch colour
touchscreen with Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity now standard – it only
had phone Bluetooth standard on the previous ST – and a new Advanced Drive
Assist Display in the instrument cluster.
There is now a third USB port and an HDMI port for second-row entertainment
screens and the satellite navigation now has 3D mapping graphics and pinch and
Nissan has introduced Intelligent Mobility technology – its umbrella term for
driver aids and its imminent step into autonomous vehicles – to the updated
Pathfinder, with adaptive cruise control, a rear cross-traffic alert, forward
collision warning and autonomous emergency braking (up to 180km/h) now standard
on ST-L and Ti.
There is no option for AEB in the base ST.
These new items are in addition to the blind spot warning and Moving Object
Detection, which picks up movement behind the car via the surround view monitor.
It also has six airbags and a five-star ANCAP crash safety rating.
Standard gear in the ST includes regular cruise control, an eight-way power
adjustable driver’s seat, tri-zone climate control, ‘Ez Flex’ second row
seating system with sliding and tilt function, rear parking sensors, reversing
camera with guidelines, keyless entry and start and a leather accented steering
Other features include a six-speaker stereo, hill start assist, automatic
headlights, a tyre pressure monitor, power-folding mirrors, tinted glass and
Isofix child seat anchor points.
Stepping up to the ST-L, which starts at $53,690, adds heated exterior mirrors,
heated front seats, foglights, front sunroof and panoramic glass roof, four-way
adjustable front passenger seat, black or ivory leather-accented seat trim,
sat-nav, an auto-dimming interior mirror, stainless steel front kick plates and
a 13-speaker Bose audio system.
The flagship Ti, kicking off from $62,190, gains a motion-activated power
tailgate, auto-levelling LED headlights, remote engine start, heated and cooled
front seats, driver position memory, auto-reverse tilt-down mirrors and new
second-row entertainment screens with wireless headphones and remote control.