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Nissan Pathfinder specs announced

Three-row Nissan Pathfinder SUV to return as plush, off-road-ready family wagon

17 May 2022

AFTER a two-year hiatus, Nissan’s big-bodied Pathfinder will return to our shores with modern looks, new technology and a new mission – to be Australia’s most off-road-capable three-row unibody SUV.


Slated to launch towards the end of this year, pricing for the new Pathfinder is still under wraps but Nissan has detailed a four-grade line-up for its new large SUV, with a generously-equipped base model and a lush flagship grade that adds a captain’s chair option to the second row for even greater cabin comfort. 


It is also a car that Nissan Australia hopes will be the most rugged of the large unibody SUVs, with Nissan identifying the Hyundai Palisade, Toyota Kluger and Mazda CX-9 as the Pathfinder’s core rivals.


Off-road credentials will have to be assessed after launch, but the Pathfinder’s seven-mode AWD system should help it find traction when off the blacktop. 


Mechanically, the new Pathfinder’s powertrain does not deviate far from the old model. 


Nissan’s venerable 202kW/340Nm VQ35DD 3.5-litre V6 returns as the only engine available from launch, and it is unclear at this stage whether a hybrid will make its way back into the line-up, let alone a diesel option.


The petrol V6 however dumps the old car’s continuously variable transmission (CVT) in favour of a nine-speed torque converter auto, with front-drive or all-wheel drive available.


Towing capacity is unchanged at 2700kg on a braked trailer, though a new towing mode and trailer stability program promise to help increase safety while lugging a load. 


From the outside, the new Pathfinder looks broad-shouldered and confident, a contrast to the old Pathie’s soft and blobby styling.


Inside is a strong family resemblance to the all-new X-Trail that is also due to land at the end of the year, with the two cars sharing much of their centre console and centre stack layout – including a dual-level centre console with lower storage nook.


With the standard seating configuration spreading eight seats across three rows, the Pathfinder is built for big families. With the 60:40 split third row in place there is still an appreciable luggage area as well, while the cabin becomes cavernous when the second and third rows are dropped. 


Standard on all models from the base ST grade and up are tri-zone climate control, a 10.8-inch head-up display, 9.0-inch infotainment screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, digital radio, four USB charging points spread throughout the cabin, air vents for all passengers including the third row, two 12-volt outlets, 18-inch alloys and active cruise control.


Safety equipment includes auto emergency braking (both front and rear), lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, forward collision alert, rear cross traffic alert and rear parking sensors. 


Moving up into the ST+ grade nets a powered tailgate, roof rails, a top-down parking camera and Nissan’s ProPilot semi-autonomous driving assistance with lane keep assist.


The ST-L gets the same gear as the ST+, but the ‘L’ stands for leather (or is it luxury?), with leather-accented upholstery as standard issue along with rear seat heaters, a wireless phone charging pad and a 12-speaker Bose audio system. 


At the top of the tree sits the Pathfinder Ti, which introduces the option to switch out the second row bench for a pair of armrest-equipped captain’s chairs and an additional centre console storage unit.


It reduces the maximum seating capacity to seven, but introduces an upmarket cabin ambience that is further enhanced by wrap-around ambient lighting, a panoramic glass sunroof, 20-inch alloys, ventilated front seats, an electronic rearview mirror and a 12.3-inch electronic instrument panel. 


The only obvious omission appears to be in the infotainment department, with the same 9.0-inch screen being applied to all grades. The new Qashqai and X-Trail at least gift high-grade variants with a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, but it appears that the Pathfinder will not get the same treatment.


Pricing and full details will be announced closer to the Pathfinder’s launch, scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2021.

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