Tuesday, 30 January 2018
I recently got to do an extended test of Nissans latest 2018 Pathfinder and learnt a fair bit about the advances of this model in the process.
We’ve had a few pathfinders amongst our work and family vehicle stable over the years and have enjoyed good performance, features and reliability. One of my Pathfinders, the 2006 model has clocked up a couple of hundred thousand kilometres across a wide range of environments that work and leisure have thrown up and has performed well with remarkable reliability.
The pathfinder was one of the first vehicles to feature flat folding seats in the rear which created both 7 seat capacity and huge storage capacity at the same time...so this vehicle has always had families and adventure as a priority.
The latest pathfinder is a stylish car with individual good looks that parents proudly park at school drop off amongst brands that cost a whole lot more. The mod cons are pretty cool too such as all round reversing cameras, 8 inch sat nav, dvd players at the back of each headset, remote tail gate opening, and even remote start up so you can kick in the AC or heater before you get inside. As the test progressed we found a range of usable features a country mile longer than the various SUV makes we get to test.
The central console has all the bells and whistles for blue toothing music, hands free phone, etc and there’s settings you can play with to your heart’s content. The Tri Zone entertainment system is a hit with the whole fam, and allows kids to watch movies with wireless headphones while mum and dad drive to the beat of their fav tunes. Engage a kid if need help working all the settings out and you have a handy little co-pilot on each trip thereafter.
Storage room is class winning with the range of seat up/down positions available making camping and family trips pure bliss.
The 8 way adjustable driver’s seat is great and even made it possible to sit down low in ‘pimp’ mode or jack it up high for a panoramic ‘parent’ view of the world.
Safety wise the vehicle had amongst other things intelligent emergency braking. It also has the super cool intelligent cruise control that allows you to set a distance to the car in front so you slow down as the traffic in front does. (It’s also means the car to tells other test drivers to stop tailgating instead of you having to say it ...Canberra drivers take note!) It scores a full 5 stars in the ANCAP safety rating test.
Performance wise the 3.5 litre V6 version I tested had some 202 kilowatts of power and 340 NM of Torque. It is quite zippy around town with plenty of power for overtaking on the highway and zipping up hills. A 20 minute hill climb up a steep coastal escarpment during a heat wave, air con on high, was passed with flying colours, the engine heat gauge never flinched over a third! Economy was great for a vehicle of this power, with around 10 litres per 100 kilometers on the Highway.
(NB - The vehicle also comes in a 2.5 litre 188 kilo watt/330 NM Torque Hybrid petrol/electric version with a battery that recharges during engine braking. This motor averages 8.6 litres per 100 kilometers. I did not test this model)
Our test vehicle was blissfully quite on the highway at 110 kph, this made it even more fun catching up on all the quality family chat a holiday drive inspires. That being said at times the Bose Premium Sound System was engaged to our advantage.
Towing capacity is 2,700 kg which meant moving a medium to large (ish) sized boat to the coast was a good experience. NB on private property we often test the Nissans at 2 to 3 times their legal towing limit (my father makes trailers). I didn’t quite get this far on this test but if this
Pathfinder is anything like earlier models–towing is in its genes.
As far as 4WD capacity goes this is not a serious four wheel drive but it is fine for medium degree of difficulty farm, bush and beach driving. The model I tested had highway tyres but I still got away with a lot more than you would with many of the supposed ‘all wheel drives’ made by manufacturers without the experience or 4wd pedigree of Nissan. Clearance is a little limited at around 18cm.
Pathfinder ranges from approximately $45k to $75k , the one I tested was a top of the range Ti supplied by Lennock Nissan in Canberra and it received a proper 2 week test over various terrain...and my wife and kids loved it too.
In summary this is a brilliant family car that parents love around town. This dad enjoyed that I could wack a yak on the roof and head off the semi beaten track, and also tow a good sized boat when needed. It certainly defines what a modern family SUV should be capable of. And there’s always that famous Nissan reliability which puts peace of mind behind every adventure.
There’s loads more features, options and accessories to numerous to mention here, I recommend a visit to your local dealer for a test drive if you wish to learn more. Dealers can be found at www.nissan.com.au