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Nissan as a brand has only existed in Australia since around 1984. Before that it was Datsun, a highly regarded Japanese brand that created some legends of the car world, from the 1600 to the 180B. Read More
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From its arrival late in 2013 the Pathfinder (with a model code R52) has had size on its side. It's a large seven-seat SUV that easily accommodates equally large families.
Loads of storage inside, too, with binnacles splashes throughout the spacious cabin. Sometimes that quest for space comes at the expense of functionality, such as with the park brake that has to be activated with your foot.
No shortage of equipment, though, and much of it centres around keeping lots of people content. There’s tri-zone ventilation, for example, allowing those up front to set their own temperatures while those in the rear can also dial up something different.
Smart key entry and alloy wheels are also part of the deal, even on the entry-level ST model.
An ST-L version adds heated front seats, 360-degree overhead camera, dual sunroof and partial leather trim.
The top-of-the-range Ti picks up a Bose sound system, power-operated tailgate, ventilation for the front seats and 20-inch wheels.
An ST+ model was added towards the end of the Pathfinder’s model life, adding a few more bits and bobs. Plus Nissan has offered styling packs such as the N-Trek and N Sport that included black wheels.
Under the bonnet is a punchy 3.5-litre V6 engine that can be mated to either a front-wheel drive system or all-wheel drive, the latter focused on traction on slippery surfaces rather than heading to the outback.
Nissan also offered the Pathfinder as a hybrid. Instead of a V6 it used a 2.5-litre supercharged four-cylinder in concert with an electric motor. Performance is almost identical to the V6 but fuel use drops slightly, moreso around town.
While the Pathfinder isn’t as sharp as some when pointed at a corner it fights back with added suspension softness to help cushion bumps.
And it’s an easy car to hit the road in come holiday time.