Find your special place with the Nissan Pathfinder

Many SUVs will never feel the dirt between their tyre treads and some are simply not designed to do this. But the Nissan Pathfinder is not that kind of SUV, it wants to get off the beaten track and explore what is around the next corner. If this sounds like your kind of weekend adventure then read on…

The Nissan Pathfinder Ti is a realistically sized seven seat SUV that will actually fit adult-sized humans in all of the seats comfortably. Adults can even easily get in the back without too many groans or expletives because they have hit their head on the roof or kicked their knee on the seat because the second row of seats moves forward all the way to create a large gap.

Starting from the back and there is a good plastic step to put your foot on when accessing the third row of seats, this would prevent wear on the carpet in the long-run. The third row of seats has enough head and legroom for adults and has one rear tether child seat restraint point on the driver’s side of the car. So you don’t feel claustrophobic there are side air vents and to keep you hydrated there are twin drink holders in each wheel arch. Both the third row and the second row have an easy to remove mat so that it can be vacuumed or shaken out when needed.

But the second row is where the fun is at thanks to the screens mounted in the back of the front seat headrests that come with cordless headphones so the parents in the front don’t have to listen to that movie for the 1000th time! Two second row seat passengers can select their own media source (DVD, AUX, USB or HDMI) and listening volume. The system even comes with a remote control so the children can navigate the system from the back seat if they are old enough with no assistance from adults, yay! Should someone forget to replace the batteries in the cordless headphones there is also a socket for standard headphones.

To keep your smart devices charged there is one mini USB port and two standard sized USB ports in the back of the centre console between the two front seats. Here you will also find the third zone air temp and fan speed control for all rear passengers and this can be controlled from the front if your children are too young to operate it.

The second row outer seats are heated and have two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points and the size is such that two adults could sit comfortably in the second row with the seats forward enough so that two adults could sit in the third row comfortably. The central fold down armrest has two drink holders and a section to store the remote control. There are another three drink bottle holders, each a different, size in the door cubbies.

With the third row of seats in place there is ample room in the boot for a row of school bags. When you fold down the third row of seats manually with a two-step process there is a large amount of space for the weekly shop and a pram. The boot has four tie down points when the third row of seats is flat and there is one 12V outlet for a car fridge. The Pathfinder Ti even has a gesture open boot for when you have your hands full with toddlers and shopping.

All the seats in the Pathfinder are leather-accented meaning they are hard wearing and easy to wipe down in case of spills. My interior was black, but an Ivory colour is also available. The front seats were comfortable but lacked lateral support. The driver gets 6-way power adjustable with lumbar support and two memory positions and the passenger has 4-way adjustment with no memory positions. The front seats are heated and cooled and this is controlled by a really nice knob at the front of the centre console.

Under the central arm rest is an upper and lower storage cubby for your bits and bobs. There is also one SD card slot, two USB ports, one AUX, one video-in and one 12V outlet. At the front of the centre console is another two 12V outlets and a DVD player, which just about cover every possible media source you would want in a SUV.  All of which can be enjoyed through the Bose premium audio system with 13 speakers.

The 8-inch touch screen colour display includes access to satellite navigation with traffic monitoring, but there is no Apple CarPlay/Android Auto or DAB. The voice control button on the steering wheel works well for making calls.

You can select to drive the Pathfinder in 2WD, auto 4WD or lock in 4WD when you take the SUV off-road, not something I did on this particular occasion. The drive in the Pathfinder is more truck-like than car-like, but it is not unpleasant just lacks refinement. To get all your stuff to your favourite place in the Australian bush there is a 2,700 kg towing capacity and ‘Tow Mode’ to assist with towing. Should you be unlucky enough to get a flat on your adventure the Pathfinder comes with a space-saving spare wheel with tyre repair kit.

The V6 petrol engine offers good power for this with 202kW @ 6,400 and 340Nm @ 4,800 Nm of torque connected to a Xtronic Continuously Variable transmission. The official combined fuel consumption is 10.1L/100km and when driving the Pathfinder I achieved 12.8L/100km.

The Pathfinder Ti I drove had blind spot assist, adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, and rear cross traffic alert. It also had a 360o camera with front and rear sensors for parking. The Pathfinder does not have lane change warning or lane keep assist though. Passive safety includes front, front-side and side curtain airbags. All of which adds up to a 5-star ANCAP safety rating for all current Pathfinder models.

All new Nissan vehicles come with a 5-Year Unlimited Kilometre warranty and five years of 24-Hour Roadside Assistance. Nissan Capped Price Service applies for the first six services according to your vehicle’s service schedule. To keep your Nissan running smoothly and reliably, your vehicle must be serviced every 10,000km or 12 months. Price guide for first six services is between $290 and $502 for the Pathfinder.

I really enjoyed my week with the Nissan Pathfinder, not least because it was among the quietest the children have ever been in the car apart from when they were fighting over the remote control. The only thing that annoyed me on the Pathfinder was the foot operated park brake as I am not used to one and continually forget to disengage it when I set off.

My 4WD Pathfinder Ti was $66,390 plus on-road costs and metallic paint incurs an additional charge of $595. If you are looking for a full-size seven seat SUV that is capable of getting you out into nature I suggest you check out the Pathfinder range at your preferred Nissan dealer.

Pros Cons
It’s a full-sized seven seat SUV Foot operated park brake
Dual rear screens with cordless headphones Truck-like driving feel
Nice knob for heated/cooled front seats No Apple CarPlay/Android Auto

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.