Nissan Pathfinder Review. Wintonsworld.

5 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Nissan Pathfinder Review. Wintonsworld.
Nissan Navara

And A First For Wintonsworld #150; Claimed Fuel Economy Is Spot On

31.4 Mpg Is Pretty Impressive For This Big Machine

If you fancy a Land Rover Discovery and can’t afford one, the Nissan Pathfinder might be the SUV for you.

From the rear the Pathfinder looks suspiciously like a Discovery, although the white painted version I drove had people saying it reminded them of Star Wars. I’m not sure why, but the picture might give a hint. Nissan says its styling is derived from the 2003 Dunehawk show car, which must have passed me by.

What is unquestionable however is the ruggedness of the Pathfinder, and its uncompromising good value.

I drove the 2.5 litre diesel version with a six-speed manual gearbox which has 7 seats and prices which start at £24,000. The Land Rover Discovery starts at £27,000, but you would need to spend closer to £30,000 for a decent specification.

Nissan says the Pathfinder will take the Discovery sector by storm, just like it did with the excellent X-Trail in the Freelander segment. In a segment where most of the competitors are on the butch side, the Pathfinder’s down to earth ruggedness makes then all look a bit effeminate. The 171 bhp common rail turbodiesel is a bit noisy when accelerating and the six-speed gearbox feels on the heavy side.

Once you get to cruising speed on the highway the Pathfinder feels firm and safe, although there was some wind noise and plenty of rattles and squeaks. In town it is less than reassuring and feels bouncy and a bit ungainly on roundabouts.

I didn’t get to drive the beast off-road, but the way it demolishes sleeping policeman as if they weren’t there suggests it will be the business. You can select two-wheel drive for regular driving and go into 4×4 mode in the mud. Or you can, like I did, just select Auto and let computer decide when to switch on the high-tech stuff.

Workmanlike, Practical

ESP+ is standard. This automatically monitors wheel grip and adjusts a spinning or slipping wheel. Alloy wheels, dual zone climate control, CD Audio and a full set of airbags are also included. The interior is impressive – workmanlike and practical.

The seats, including the third row, all fold into the floor without any fuss. The rear door handles are recessed into the bodywork, a la Alfa Romeo. Loading area is cavernous. This thing is big.

Nissan Navara

There are four trim levels. The S has climate control and a CD player. The SE adds fog lamps, roof rails, and a separate opening rear window, CD changer and a third row of seats. SVE includes leather, cruise control, electric front windows and keyless entry.

T-spec includes xenon headlamps, an electric sunroof, sat-nav and a rear-view camera.

What It Says On The Can

Perhaps the most impressive statistic about the Pathfinder was its fuel consumption. I managed 31.4 mpg over a couple of tank-fulls. Amazingly, this is exactly what Nissan claims the car will achieve. That is a first, and compares with the Range Rover Sport’s 2.7 litre diesel which did only 23.2 mpg.

If you want more sophisticated power, there’s a 4.0 litre 270 bhp V-6 petrol engine for you with a five-speed auto box or a six-speed manual.

With the Pathfinder, Nissan now has an impressive range of SUVs, starting with the X-Trail, the Navarro, Terrano, Murano and Patrol. If the anti-SUV Gestapo ever get to win the day, Nissan will be in trouble.

You could argue that the Pathfinder’s lack of sophistication is a demerit in this company (Land Rover Discovery, BMW X5, Volvo XC-90, Mercedes M Class, VW Touareg, Lexus RX300 to name but a few), but many buyers will view this bonus; its obvious practicality and seriousness, combined with its keen pricing will win over the falterers.

Neil Winton #150; November 5, 2005

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