Tweaked, old favourite
NISSAN’S seven-seater Pathfinder is back on the radar.
Two out of three large sports utility vehicles sold last year were pretenders.
You know the type: they have the off-roader hallmarks, such as ride-height and flared arches, but they are designed to rarely leave the bitumen. Made for the school run, not burly bush fun.
Nissan saw the writing on the wall for its Pathfinder in late 2013.
The previous generation was of the utilitarian variety but the new model went from Pathfinder to Path-kinder. The move paid dividends with sales more than doubling in 2014.
Two years later, though, sales have slowed and a muchneeded mid-life update brings a new face, improved tech smarts, extra power and other tweaks to the V6 variants.
Prices have remained the same across the Pathfinder line-up, apart from the entry level front-drive model, which is $500 more at $46,641 on the road.
Nissan Australia boss Richard Emery says extra value has been thrown at the big SUV, along with plans for snappier marketing, to grab the attention he says it deserves against offerings such as the Toyota Kluger, Mazda CX-9 and Hyundai Santa Fe.
“We think it has become a forgotten car,” he says.
“Maybe it flies under the radar … maybe it’s our fault, the nature of the segment or the style of vehicle it is.
“When we moved from (the previous model) we have never sold so many Pathfinders.
“Our volume has been slowly creeping up. We think it deserves a greater level of consideration.”
There are still three levels of spec, ST, ST-L and Ti with a choice of the revised V6 or a hybrid with four-cylinder and an electric motor.
Among the key changes is better connectivity through a standard eight-inch colour touchscreen with two USB ports. The ST-L and Ti get satnav with updated graphics.
Ti models have three USB slots and a HDMI input that allows separate viewing on the rear screens. Parents rejoice.
Radar cruise control, forward collision warning, rear cross traffic alert and surroundview camera have also been introduced to the mid and topspec models.