FAM­ILY HAULER

Driven: Nis­san’s up­dated Pathfinder seven seater

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

IN re­cent tines the big and roomy Pathfinder has been shoved aside by ri­vals, but the Ja­panese car maker is hit­ting back.

For 2017 the full-size SUV re­ceives en­gine, styling, tech­nol­ogy and equip­ment up­dates.

The re­vised VQ-se­ries 3.5litre petrol V6 en­gine adds di­rect petrol in­jec­tion sys­tem and other up­dates, re­sult­ing in in­creased power and torque.

New ad­vanced driver as­sis­tance tech­nolo­gies in­clude In­tel­li­gent Emer­gency Brak­ing, In­tel­li­gent Cruise Con­trol, Rear Cross Traf­fic Alert and In­tel­li­gent Around View Mon­i­tor with Mov­ing Ob­ject De­tec­tion and re­fined styling adds sig­na­ture Nis­san de­sign cues.

The new Pathfinder ar­rived in show­rooms in March and has ar­rested the sales de­cline.

Sales are only down -1.2 per cent this year com­pared to -13.6 per cent for all of last year.

Toy­ota’s Prado leads the seg­ment fol­lowed by the nat­u­ral ri­val Toy­ota Kluger.

Mazda’s award- win­ning CX-9 is go­ing gang­busters, sales for the year up 425.4 per cent and 914.3 per cent for the year.

DE­TAIL­ING

The re­view ve­hi­cle was the Pathfinder ST- L, which is $ 58,500 on the road in fron­twheel drive only for­mat.

If you are se­ri­ous about of­froad­ing, which the Pathfinder is fully ca­pa­ble of, then the ex­tra $4K is worth the in­vest­ment.

On the out­side the Pathfinder re­ceives sharper front-end styling than the model it re­places, giv­ing it a more mod­ern look.

The tail-lights have also been up­dated.

In­side there are not many changes apart from a new driver dis­play in the instrument clus­ter and an 8- inch touch­screen. There are quite a few but­tons.

Six airbags are fit­ted as stan­dard equip­ment to all model grades as is a re­vers­ing cam­era and rear park­ing sen­sors.

The Aus­tralasian New Car As­sess­ment Pro­gram (ANCAP) awarded the Nis­san Pathfinder its top 5 Star safety rat­ing in 2013.

It is well equipped from a trip com­puter to a new “Ad­vanced Drive-As­sist Dis­play” in front of the driver with in­tu­itive 3D depth and tilt de­sign to help driv­ers to ab­sorb the in­for­ma­tion more quickly.

Other good­ies are 8-inch colour touch screen dis­play, Blue­tooth hands free phone sys­tem and au­dio stream­ing, voice com­mand­ing, two USB ports, cruise con­trol, tri-zone cli­mate con­trol with air vents for all three seat­ing rows, re­mote key­less en­try, roof rails, tinted glass in the sec­ond row and third row and rear, LED day­time run­ning lights, ad­justable tilt and tele­scopic steer­ing column.

The sec­ond row of seats is split 60/ 40 and the third row 50/50. When both rows are folded to flat, the Pathfinder has 2260 litres of cargo space.

There are also 10 cup hold­ers, six bot­tle hold­ers, four 12v power out­lets and an un­der­floor stor­age com­part­ment be­hind the third row of seats.

The sec­ond row also in­cludes ISOFIX child re­straint an­chor­age and the right side of the sec­ond row can be tilt and slid on the right-side of the sec­ond row with an ISOFIX- com­pat­i­ble child seat in place to keep ac­cess to the third row.

The third row seat­ing also in­cludes re­cline ad­just­ment and now comes with a rear tether point for child re­straints.

The foot op­er­ated park­ing brake is old- hat when many to­day of­fer elec­tric or elec­tronic but­tons in the cen­tre con­sole.

Vis­i­bil­ity is su­perb due to low win­dow frames and an ar­row Dpil­lar, plus re­vers­ing sen­sors and an around- view cam­era with pre­dic­tive guide­lines make park­ing eas­ier.

Sec­ond-row ac­com­mo­da­tion is im­pres­sive, with a firm but com­fort­able pew, and there is loads of head, knee and legroom.

There is a clever plas­tic step into the flat sec­ond row floor that helps avoid messy car­pet on a wet day and a rub­ber seal on the wheel arch to pre­vent dirty pants when load­ing kids or shop­ping into the back door.

The Pathfinde ri s a t rue seven seater.

Get­ting into the third row is easy thanks to the slide and tilt sec­ond- row seats, which can even be moved when there is a child seat at­tached.

There is am­ple room for young ones to sit in the third row for longer jour­neys and the abun­dance of glass – in­clud­ing the panoramic roof in ST-L and Ti – means it doesn’t feel claus­tro­pho­bic.

DRIV­ING

The big Nis­san is pow­ered by a worked-over ver­sion of ven­er­a­ble 3.5-litre V6 that de­liv­ers an ex­tra 12kW/15Nm for an out­put of 202kW/340Nm.

Nis­san has tweaked the sus­pen­sion tune to make it a bit stiffer than be­fore.

There was never a huge prob­lem with the V6, but the Pathfinder is heavy so an ex­tra bit of grunt is wel­come.

In a straight line the Nis­san is no slouch, with good ac­cel­er­a­tion and over­tak­ing is a breeze.

The changes to the sus­pen­sion have made a sub­tle dif­fer­ence to the ride and han­dling with the SUV not feel­ing quite as floaty as be­fore.

It’s a bit more tied down now, but with­out im­pact­ing ride com­fort.

It still feels big, but push­ing the Pathfinder through the twisty Ku­randa range road and down the Palmer­ston High­way there seems to be less body­roll than be­fore.

The steer­ing is mainly sharp and nicely weighted.

The new-gen Xtronic con­tin­u­ously-vari­able trans­mis­sion ( CVT) paired with the V6 is stepped now so feels more like a tra­di­tional torque con­verter auto, and not sound­ing or feel­ing like a sewing ma­chine.

It’s quiet at 100km/h and only coarse bi­tu­men sur­faces up­set the am­bi­ence.

The brakes were more than able of bring­ing the 2.7 tonne

wagon to a rea­son­able halt.

Fuel use was good, con­sid­er­ing it’s a heavy car with a big V6. I achieved 9.2L/ 100km over 340kms. Nis­san sug­gests 9.9.

DE­CID­ING

The Pathfinder is big and roomy and ideal for soc­cer mums.

It is one of the more com­plete of­fer­ings in the seg­ment.

It drives and rides well and has solid stan­dard fea­tures for the price.

But its prac­ti­cal­ity as a re­al­world seven-seat fam­ily SUV is what makes it at­trac­tive.

RE­VIEW VE­HI­CLE COURTESY OF WESTCO NIS­SAN, MUL­GRAVE RD, WESTCOURT.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.