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by Tim Beissmann

The all-new Nissan Pathfinder is now on sale in Australia, with the newly urban-focused SUV representing a distinctly different proposition to its ute-based predecessors.

The fourth-generation Pathfinder trades the previous model’s Navara-sourced ladder-frame underpinnings for a more sophisticated monocoque chassis, substitutes an all-diesel engine line-up for a single petrol engine (and a hybrid in Q2 2014), introduces an entry-level front-wheel-drive option, and features more car-like styling.

A new $39,990 starting price for the Pathfinder ST 2WD – almost $9000 cheaper than before – now makes Nissan’s large seven-seat SUV a direct rival for the Hyundai Santa Fe ($37,990), Ford Territory ($39,990) and the Toyota Kluger ($40,490).

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Powering the new Nissan Pathfinder is a 190kW/325Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine that is teamed with the brand’s new ‘Xtronic’ automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT). Nissan claims combined cycle fuel consumption of 9.9 litres per 100km for the 2WD variants and 10.2L/100km for the 4WDs, the latter weighing an extra 65kg (2WD: 1920-2000kg; 4WD: 1985-2065kg).

The Pathfinder’s 2700kg braked towing capacity is 300kg down on the old 2.5-litre four-cylinder diesel and 800kg short of the old 3.0-litre V6.

At 5008mm long, 1960mm wide, 1768mm tall and riding on a 2900mm wheelbase, the fourth-generation Pathfinder is 195mm longer, 112mm wider and 13mm lower than the third-gen model and 47mm shorter between the wheels.

With both rear seating rows folded forwards, the Pathfinder offers 2259 litres of cargo space, up 168L from the old model. Interior practicality is further enhanced by the standard fitment of 10 cup holders, six bottle holders, four 12-volt outlets and an underfloor storage compartment beneath the third seating row.

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Three specification levels are offered – ST, ST-L and Ti – and each one is available in both front- and four-wheel drive.

Standard on the Pathfinder ST are 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, rear-view camera with guidance lines and rear parking sensors, keyless entry with push-button start, cruise control, three-zone climate control with vents for all three rows, eight-way power driver’s seat, leather-bound steering wheel and gear knob, seven-inch colour screen, and a six-speaker audio system with 2Gb music hard drive, USB port and Bluetooth phone connectivity with audio streaming.

For roughly $10,000 more, the Pathfinder ST-L adds fog lights, heated mirrors, front sunroof and rear panoramic glass roof, auto anti-dazzle rear-view mirror, heated front seats with electric lumbar adjustment, power passenger seat, leather upholstery, and an electronically adjustable steering column.

Another $10K buys the Pathfinder Ti, which over the ST-L gains larger 20-inch alloys; power tailgate; cooled front seats; memory settings for the steering column, driver’s seat, and door mirrors; eight-inch display screen with satellite navigation and Around View monitor; tri-zone entertainment system with screens in the front headrests; and a 13-speaker Bose audio system with 9Gb music hard drive.

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Models equipped with four-wheel drive (a $4000-$4300 option) feature Nissan’s All Mode 4×4 system that allows drivers to select between 2WD (all drive to the front wheels), Auto (distribution of torque to all wheels as required) and Lock (splits torque 50:50 front to rear at speeds up to 40km/h).

The Nissan Pathfinder earned the maximum five-star safety rating from ANCAP earlier this month, coming standard with six airbags (dual front, side and curtains) and electronic stability control, among other features.

The new Pathfinder is manufactured at Nissan’s plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, in the US.

Read CarAdvice’s Nissan Pathfinder Review.

 

Nissan Pathfinder manufacturer’s list prices:

  • ST 2WD – $39,990
  • ST 4WD – $44,290
  • ST-L 2WD – $50,290
  • ST-L 4WD – $54,290
  • Ti 2WD – $60,790
  • Ti 4WD – $64,890



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