Review: 2013 Nissan All New Pathfinder

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

The Nissan Pathfinder is a legendary name that has traditionally been associated to a tough off-roader. In its latest generation launched recently, the Pathfinder seems to have taken a slightly different direction - that of a road friendly SUV.

From a design perspective, the new look Pathfinder reflects the current Nissan design theme, and on the inside, brings some new and comfortable additions to the standard cabin. 

Available in the Pathfinder range are a number of different spec vehicles. At the base, you have the ST, ST-L, ST-L + Option Pack, and the TI. All of these are available in either 2WD or 4WD. We are reviewing the 2WD ST. 

Powering the Pathfinder ST model is a 3.5litre, V6 petrol engine that produces 190kW of power and 325Nm of torque. To put the power down to the ground is a CVT automatic transmission and its front-wheel-drive system.

Despite the ST being the entry-level model, there is still a third row of seats, infotainment system, tri-zone climate control, 18” alloy wheels and reversing camera, plus rear parking sensors.

There are a great number of options as standard. Let’s jump behind the wheel, and see what we discover

Initial Impression​

Pulling up next to the all-new-Pathfinder in a regular sedan will leave you feeling quite small. This Pathfinder is one long SUV.

The design, unlike some other Nissan models including the Juke, is quite understated and doesn’t seek much attention. It feels like it understands its role and sticks to it.

The interior is spacious, providing all of the room you saw from the outside. The dash layout is simple and easy to read.

Looking into the rear of the Pathfinder will reveal that even with the third row of seats, there is still a respectable amount of boot space for school bags or sports equipment.

Target Market

Unlike previous Pathfinders, this time it takes a real focus on being a great family car on the road.

This is reflected with the 2WD models in the line up. Most buyers won’t be needing a 4WD, but still want the visibility and space of one. This gives the best of both worlds. 

Access to the third row of seats is easy with Nissans “EZ Flex” seating system. Meaning the struggle to get into that third row isn’t the pain is used to be. 

The EZ Flex system is new to the Pathfinder and moves the entire seat in the second row forwards and then down. No longer do you have to squeeze into the rear.

In higher-spec’d models you’re also able to have entertainment systems that will do a good job at keeping everyone in the 2nd and 3rd rows entertained.  Add that with the Tri-Zone air-con and you’ll also avoid stuffiness, with fresh air being pushed to where it is needed.

Practicality

Usually the question that gets asked for a family sized SUV is how much can be fit into it for a week away during the school holidays.

In the Pathfinder, you shouldn’t have many problems with the cabin and storage space being one of the most spacious of all current SUV’s. It would be nice to have a 40/20/40 split, rather than the 60/40split seats though to squeeze some longer items in between the kids. 

Drivability

When out on the road, the Pathfinder is more capable than ever before. The ride is smooth and comfortable across a wide range of surfaces, including not-so-smooth pothole ridden roads. It’s great for keeping everybody comfortable and relaxed.

The V6 gives plenty of satisfying power that won’t leave you feeling stuck on the highway when overtaking or needing to get the jump at the lights. Even in the 2WD, it didn’t feel like a lot of power was being lost as the weight shifts to the back.

A nice addition to the all-new-Pathfinder is the electronic power steering that is speed sensitive. Meaning that the slower you are driving, the easier it is to turn the vehicle, very handy for tight shopping centre car parks.

Fuel economy is on par with the rest of its competition sitting at the 9.9liters per 100km mark. It would have been nice to see this number lower for general driving and if you drive it economically, you can certainly see lower fuel usage. 

We did notice when reading over the numbers that this generation is slightly lower than the old Pathfinder. Sitting at 165mm compared to the 235mm. So if you are upgrading from the old model, keep it in mind if you will be venturing off road.

Cost​

When it comes to the cost of the all-new-Pathfinder, the ST 2WD we drove starts at a reasonable $44,000 drive away, whilst the most expensive TI 4WD model will set you back just over $70,000 drive away. In addition to a nicer finishing trim, you do pick up larger alloy wheels, a tri-zone entertainment system, four-wheel-drive, around view monitor, satellite navigation along with some other enhancements.

There is an option pack available, and we’d highly recommend this for any lover of music. As part of the pack the sound system gets upgraded to a premium Bose sound system, plus a 9GB hard drive, satellite navigation and 8inch touch screen. The approximate cost of this is $3,000.

Looking at the warranty and servicing, there is a 3 Year/100,000km warranty and of course Nissan Capped Price Servicing is available. You can find details here.

Overall, compared to the highly competitive SUV segment, including the Toyota Kluger, which are smaller when it comes to space, the Pathfinder ends up being a worthy consideration at this price.

Conclusion

Whilst the hardcore Pathfinder might not be so hardcore, the Pathfinder in its new guise seems to do a really good job at what it wants to be, a family car.

After seeing and experiencing how capable it is in having a full car of people and cargo, and also getting both in and out, it’s hard to knock it much anywhere.

Whilst its looks won’t cause any whispers amongst parents at the school gate, it certainly isn’t a bad looking car either. It feels modern and ultimately capable in what you want it to do. Add the Capped Price Servicing and it makes it that much less of a strain on the wallet.

If you’re in the market for a family sized SUV, or have been a previous owner of a Pathfinder, be sure to check out the all-new-Pathfinder for yourself at Motorama Nissan. We think you will be impressed.

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