Nissan Pathfinder Ti AWD 2014 Review

Nissan Pathfinder Ti AWD 2014 Review

Nissan’s seven-seat Pathfinder Ti comes with all-wheel drive to get the 190kW and 325Nm of power from the 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine via the CVT gearbox to the ground. It’s a big beast, and you can tow 2700kg on a braked trailer, which gives plenty of options for the large family to have large adventures.

nissan-pathfinder-ti-2014-sidenissan-pathfinder-ti-2014-rear-quarterAt just over 5m long, just under 2m wide and almost 1.8m tall you should check it will fit in your garage or parking space. But what that means is that inside the Pathfinder it is spacious and comfortable. It feels large to drive, though, with steering inputs seemingly delayed a fraction until the beast responds – something that many SUVs suffer from, and this one is two tonnes, so has some weight that can shift arround.  The driving position itself is commanding. There is excellent forward visibility.

nissan-pathfinder-ti-2014-front-interiorThe Pathfinder comes with a five-star ANCAP safety rating and features hill start assist, vehicle dynamic stability control (VDC), traction control (TC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA), plus six airbags. Tyre pressures can be monitored, along with a host of other vehicle settings.

Quoted fuel economy is 10.2l/100km. I got 9.5l/100km on a trip from Auckland to Hamilton and back that started in rush hour traffic, had around half an hour of slow city driving in Hamilton, then returned late at night. It drinks 91 octane fuel and you can fit 73 litres in the tank.

nissan-pathfinder-ti-2014-reversing-cameraIn the centre of the dash is a 7-inch colour display which serves double-duty as the screen for the reversing camera. Reversing sensors are also supplied. Sensors on the front would have been welcome as the Pathfinder is big and the bonnet falls away over the headlights into a nicely sculpted front bumper, but one that’s difficult to judge the position of.

nissan-pathfinder-ti-2014-lightThe chrome grille surrounds and fog lights stylistically match the chrome trim on the side skirts and the rear bumper. These are separated by the 235/65R18 tyres that wrap around 18-inch alloys that are a more muted brushed-effect.

There are multiple air conditioning zones and even the passengers in the third row get their own air vents. However, you can’t see the currently selected temperature in the front unless you turn the temperature dial. Legroom in the third row is predictably tight if you’re an adult, but would be fine for kids under 10.

nissan-pathfinder-ti-2014-rear-seatsIn the boot there is no cargo blind which means you can’t conceal luggage. There’s a small compartment under the boot floor which will fit small items like a laptop. While the Pathfinder has privacy glass, you can still see through it. I would be nervous about leaving this in a remote location with luggage visible in the back, as I would with any car. There is an extremely large glove box which will take fairly long objects.

The entertainment system doesn’t support Bluetooth audio streaming, but does support Bluetooth phone integration, and it comes with a 2Gb hard disk, CD player with MP3 capability, VTR jack, radio and USB connectivity for music players. The graphics seem a little dated, and the buttons on the dash underneath the screen seem like they are wasting space – controls for brightness and contrast should be hidden in menus, not taking up valuable dashboard real estate. I mean, why have two ‘back’ buttons right next to one another on the dashboard? Surely just one would suffice.

The only other surprise for a vehicle like this is continuing to use a manual foot brake rather than a hydraulic push button hand brake. It comes with keyless entry, push button start and (on the top-of-the-line Ti model that we’re testing) electronically adjustable steering wheel position, so why not include a more convenient hand brake option?

This Ti model also comes with a compass built into the rear-view mirror, and auto anti-dazzle mode, heated wing mirrors, leather trim, front sunroof and rear panoramic glass sunroof (which does make the rear feel particularly spacious).

If we look at the main strengths of the Pathfinder it’s in its capacity to carry either people or loads. The seating configuration is highly adjustable, and its sheer size gives you options, especially as you can fold all the seats down and make a flat load space. The towing capacity is excellent, too. A few minor design foibles aside, the Pathfinder is worth testing if you have a large family and something large to tow like a boat or caravan.

Price: $65,990

Pros

  • Spacious
  • Lockable diff for all-wheel drive

Cons

  • No cargo blind, therefore you can’t conceal much
  • No Bluetooth audio streaming
  • A few unusual usability/design issues

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