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Nissan keeps rein on price rises for fresh Pathfinder

Power up: Nissan’s Pathfinder still has no diesel, but the petrol V6 has been given a pull-through delivering more power, torque and fuel-economy.

More zip for Pathfinder as Nissan upgrades its seven-seat SUV for 2017

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Nissan logo15 Feb 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

NISSAN Australia has minimised price rises for the upgraded 2017 Pathfinder seven-seat large SUV, despite a range of improvements that includes more power and torque from a heavily revised 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine that now matches the performance of its main rival, the Toyota Kluger.

When it goes on sale next month, price rises will be restricted to four of the nine variants, including the entry level two-wheel-drive V6 ST – up $500 to $41,990 plus on-road costs – and the three mid-range ST-L variants that go up by between $1700 and $2200, depending on powertrain and driveline.

On ST-L, these rises are offset by previously optional equipment such as sat-nav with eight-inch touchscreen and around-view monitor, which are now standard, along with more safety gear including adaptive cruise control and anti-crash detection systems such as autonomous emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alert.

The 360-degree camera system now also includes moving-object detection to pinpoint errant toddlers or pets.

Along with a tweaked suspension – now slightly firmer than before to aid handling – and quicker steering response, the American-built Pathfinder also gets a fresh look with the latest “V-Motion” family grille, new headlights with boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights, a reshaped bonnet, reshaped bumpers at front and back, fog lights and revised tail-lights.

The main news concerns the revamped petrol VQ V6 that, as previously reported, gets an extra 12kW of power (202kW) and 15Nm of torque (340Nm) thanks to direct fuel injection mirror-bore cylinder coating that reduces friction and does away with cast-iron cylinder liners.

The improvements bring the Pathfinder V6 roughly into line with the Toyota Kluger’s similarly-sized V6, which has 201kW and 337Nm.

Nissan says 50 per cent of the engine’s components are new to Pathfinder. These include new heads with a revised combustion chamber design and electronic variable valve control, new intake manifold and redesigned pistons.

As before, the V6 engine is hooked up to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), this time in its latest third-generation guise that includes simulated up-shifts for a more natural feel.

Fuel economy on the combined driving cycle is said to have been improved by 0.1 litres per 100km on two-wheel-drive V6 variants, to 9.9L/100km, and by 0.2L/100km on four-wheel-drive variants, to 10.1L/100km.

Pathfinder’s alternative hybrid powertrain is unchanged, retaining its 2.5-litre petrol engine married to an electric motor for a combined 188kW of power and 330Nm of torque. As before, it delivers a claimed 8.6L/100km.

Again, there is no diesel alternative.

The base ST specification gains the revised petrol powertrain with V6 engine and CVT, 18-inch alloy wheels, the LED running lights, advanced driver-assist display, eight-inch touchscreen, audio connectivity via Bluetooth with voice recognition and a third-row child-seat tether point on the right-hand side.

Gains for the mid-range ST-L include sat-nav with traffic monitoring, moving object detection on the surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control rear cross-traffic alert and autonomous brake with forward-collision warning.

The flagship Ti gains 20-inch alloy wheels, motional activated tailgate, LED headlights with auto-leveling, and updated second-row dual entertainment screens with wireless headphones, remote control and HDMI and USB ports.

Despite the price rise on the base ST 2WD, the price of entry to the Pathfinder is still marginally more affordable than that of its main rival, the Toyota Kluger, which starts at $42,190 plus on-road costs for the 2WD 3.5-litre V6 GX.

So far this year, the Pathfinder has shot out of the blocks in early trading, with sales up 71.8 per cent in January, to 933 units on the back of driveaway deals as low as $40,990 on run-out variants.

2017 Nissan Pathfinder pricing*
ST 3.5L V6 2WD (a)$41,990
ST 2.5L Hybrid 2WD (a)$44,490
ST 3.5L V6 4WD (a)$45,490
ST-L 3.5L V6 2WD (a)$53,690
ST-L 3.5L V6 4WD (a)$57,690
ST-L 2.5L Hybrid 4WD (a)$60,690
Ti 3.5L V6 2WD (a)$62,190
Ti 3.5L V6 4WD (a)$66,190
Ti 2.5L Hybrid 4WD (a)$69,190
*Excludes on-road costs

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