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Nissan lowers entry to Pathfinder

Follow the path: Nissan’s fourth-generation Pathfinder marks a huge departure from the boxy, utilitarian model that went on sale in 2005.

Nissan chases Territory and Kluger with $39,990 starting price for new Pathfinder

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30 Sep 2013

NISSAN’S all-new seven-seat Pathfinder SUV range will kick-off from $39,990 plus on-road costs when it arrives in showrooms next month, marking a $9000 drop over the model it replaces.

As well as pricing, the Japanese car-maker has announced the new, US-built range will be available in three specification levels: base ST, mid-spec ST-L and range-topping Ti, with each variant offered in both two-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations.

The entry level two-wheel drive ST starts the range at $39,990 plus on-road costs, with buyers asked to hand over an extra $4300 for the all-paw version, which has a recommenced retail price of $44,290.

Nissan’s sub-$40,000 entry price undercuts a number of the Pathfinder’s key rivals, including two-wheel drive versions of the Toyota Kluger KX-R ($40,490), Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo ($43,000) and Mazda CX-9 Classic ($44,525).

The starting price also matches Ford’s locally built two-wheel drive Territory TX, but can’t beat the keen opening gambit for the South Korean-built Hyundai Santa Fe Active ($36,990) or the Kia Sorento Si ($38,490).

A little further up the range, the mid-spec Pathfinder ST-L 2WD is priced from $50,290 or $54,290 for the AWD, while the Ti flagship is available from $60,790 (2WD) and $64,890 (AWD).

The 2013 Pathfinder Ti marks an $11,500 saving over the outgoing flagship that topped out at $76,390.

Initially, the Pathfinder will be powered by a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine matched with a continuously variable transmission, while a 2.5-litre four-cylinder supercharged hybrid powertrain is expected to be added to the line-up next year.

As with the Kluger, there is no diesel option in the Pathfinder range.

Oil-burners dominate the large SUV segment in which the new Nissan competes. In fact, the outgoing Pathie was a diesel-only model.

The V6 produces 191kW of power and 325Nm or torque, with Nissan claiming official fuel consumption figures between 10.7 and 11.2 litres per 100 kilometres.

Nissan has re-positioned the Pathfinder for its fourth generation, shifting from a utilitarian, hard-edged off-roader like its predecessor to a sleek, car-like wagon aimed squarely at the family SUV market.

The US-built SUV is based on the same platform as the Altima mid-size sedan that arrives in Australia in December, and will sit below the slightly more premium Murano in Nissan’s local SUV line-up.

Nissan Australia executive general manager of marketing Peter Clissold said the Pathfinder would attract buyers wanting a practical family wagon.

“The all-new Nissan Pathfinder is an outstanding seven-seat crossover,” he said. “With impressive comfort and versatility, this new generation model is ideally suited for Australian families and adventure seekers.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, sales of the eight-year old current-generation model are down by 59 per cent in the first eight months of this year compared to 2012, while the overall large SUV segment has grown by 2.0 per cent in the same period.

Top-sellers in the segment include the Toyota Prado with 10,226 year-to-date sales, the Ford Territory on 9309 sales and the Holden Captiva 7 which has shifted 9247 units so far.

Nissan Australia said it will release details on specification and equipment levels prior to its local debut next month.

2013 Nissan Pathfinder pricing*
ST 2WD (a)$39,990
ST-L 2WD (a)$50,290
Ti 2WD (a)$60,790
ST 4WD (a)$44,290
ST-L 4WD (a)$54,290
Ti 4WD (a)$64,890
*Plus on-road costs

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