A crossover SUV, the Nissan Pathfinder entered the market in 1986. Taking inspiration from the compact pickup truck platform Nissan has, the Pathfinder has been in production since. It finds its place in Nissan’s lineup between the Murano and the Patrol or Armada in terms of size. In terms of price, it sits between the Xterra and the Murano. The most recent Pathfinder, its fourth-generation model, came out towards the end of 2012 tagged for the 2013 model year. This new Pathfinder is also only available with a 3.5-litre V6 engine that churns out 260hp.
For an SUV, the Nissan Pathfinder is unpretentious. It’s rugged, solidly built, and rigged with real off-road ability (thanks to its low-ratio transfer box and four-wheel drive system option) but at the same time it features reasonable refinement compared to other vehicles in its class. It’s pretty similar to the Land Rover Discovery, actually. However, they differ in that the Pathfinder is cheaper by nearly £4,000. That’s a lot of savings if you’re looking at the two for a high-performing SUV. The Pathfinder also isn’t exactly cheap and it admits to playing second fiddle in terms of features to other SUVS. However, pit it against more rugged vehicles like the likes of the Toyota Land Cruiser or the Mitsubishi Shogun and you’ll realize it’s got quite a competitive price tag on it.
There are two trim levels available so feel free to pick out whatever will address your needs more. However, whatever you choose, both trims offer plenty of equipment that complement the spaciousness of the cabin. Entry-level Acenta, for example, features electric windows, Bluetooth connectivity, and dual-zone climate control. The Pathfinder is also practical, accommodating seven seats, a split-opening tailgate, and large door bins big enough to hold maps A3 in size and a one-litre bottle. For added space in the boot, seats on the third row can also be folded flat. Should you choose to, you can have a rear parking camera installed as well, available as an option alongside a Bose premium sound system.
As for safety and security, Nissan does its best with the Pathfinder by installing a stability control system that will aid you in regaining control should road conditions cause the vehicle to slide. There are also front, side, and full-length airbags, while deadlocks, marked parts, and locking wheel nuts to deter theft.
A lockable diff and a full set of low-ranging gears makes the Nissan Pathfinder pull off impressive roughness. However, it also offers a rough ride, making you feel every bump and imperfection on the road despite your best efforts. Not that you can do your best because its steering makes that difficult to achieve.
And for a vehicle that can handle abuse from off-road pursuits, the Pathfinder does very poorly when it comes to driving on-road. You’ll definitely feel its size as you deal with dramatic body leans too and, again, the steering does nothing to help you out. How is it not possible to have a smooth ride when you’re driving on a smooth road?
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