Skip navigation
31905 Visits Today

Nissan Pathfinder Ti 550 review

  • image

    The evolutionary shape has been around for about six years and remains purposeful and functional. Photo Gallery

Neil Dowling road tests and reviews the Nissan Pathfinder Ti 550

Nissan Pathfinder Ti 550 3.5

ROCKETING SUV sales seem to have left sales of the genre's originator, the 4WD, stuck in the mud. Australians - and I suppose Americans - want to be seen as having a sense of motoring adventure without the inconvenience of flies, dust and a lack of fast-food outlets.

But that's not to say the proper 4WDs are dead, just that in comparison with SUVs they are specialised to be competent in the dirty world away from bitumen.

They are also comparatively expensive. The new Nissan Pathfinder Ti550 costs $75,990. I don't have to tell you that's a serious amount of money and probably a lot more than you expected to pay.

Is it worth it?

VALUE

The big price is relative. The Spanish-made Pathfinder is sister to the Navara dual-cab ute and now - as the Ti550 model - gets the option of the Renault 3-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and dual-range, part-time 4WD system.

Clearly, that all costs money. Add leather, the latest music storage unit within the extensive infortainment and navigation system, plus treats like the sunroof, and the dollars add up.

The Pathfinder is about $11,000 more than a similarly-equipped Navara ute but is price comparative with what true offroaders buy - Prado, Discovery and Pajero.

DESIGN

This is an evolutionary shape and has been around for about six years. It's purposeful and functional but because of this, looks dated compared with more edgier designs from most rivals.

The "hidden" rear door handles, for example, follow Alfa Romeo's concept and while cleverly decluttering the lines of the body, can be awkward to use for adults and impossible for some children. Cabin treatment is simple but, look closely, and it's packed with features.

The seven seats, which fold flush into the cargo floor, are irreplaceable for hauling friends of the family. The full-size spare is tucked under the chassis so no unloading the car when you get a flat. It's all very well designed.

TECHNOLOGY

Big news is the Renault engine that - we hope - should now be fitted to the Patrol. This V6 diesel with a single-turbo has been floating around in the Nissan-Renault alliance models and proven to be a durable unit. The 550Nm of torque is huge and impressively kicks in at a mere 1750rpm.

Better is the seven-speed sequential automatic that has enough cogs for brisk acceleration and long legs for touring. The drive system is part-time - it's a rear-drive layout - with an electric dash switch to allocate 4WD High and 4WD Low.

On top of the mechanical features, this Ti550 model has an impressive audio and sat-nav package with telephone link, Bluetooth and lots more.

SAFETY

The Navara version of the Pathfinder Ti550 has a three-star rating but this wagon gets four stars. It adds six airbags, electronic stability control with all the other aids. It also has the presumed safety advantage of seating occupants higher than most other traffic.

DRIVING

The sparkling engine and the ability of the gearbox to quickly get power to the ground is pretty impressive. What could be judged a big, bulky and slow 4WD wagon is actually remarkably quick. The slow steering ratio - lots of turns lock to lock for the benefit of dirt driving - is about the only thing that dulls the Pathfinder's on-road verve.

It's also quiet and relatively comfortable, though seat comfort - particular a lack of lateral support in the front and a low seat-to-floor height in the back that cramps the occupant's body - isn't its strong point. But there's enough room to stretch out so passenger's shouldn't be too uncomfortable on long trips. Off the road it's like the bitumen never ended.

The big boots, gobs of low-end torque and the effective drive system make beaches and gravel pits too easy. Fuel consumption on test was 10.6L/100km which gives a pleasing 760km range.

VERDICT

Get over the sticker shock and the Ti550's space, 3500kg towing ability, offroad competence and reasonable economy can make a strong argument against its rivals, particularly the Prado.

The V6 is arguably less-stressed than the $16,000-cheaper four-cylinder Pathfinder diesel and is therefore recommended for heavy duty work.

Nissan Pathfinder Ti 550

image

Price: $75,990
Warranty: 3 years, 100,000km
Resale: 58%
Service Interval: 15,000km or 12 months
Economy: 9.5 l/100km; 256g/km CO2
Equipment: six airbags, ESC, ABS, EBD, EBA, TC.
Crash rating 4 star
Engine: 170kW/550Nm 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel
Transmission: Seven-speed auto; 2-speed transfer; part-time 4WD
Body: 5-door, 7 seats
Dimensions: 4813mm (L); 1848mm (W); 1784mm (H); 2853mm (WB)
Weight: 2212kg
Tyre size: 255/65R17 Spare tyre Full size

WE LOVE Features, offroad ability, performance
WE LOATHE Expensive, formless seats, poor rear seat comfort

Others to consider

DISCOVERY TDV6

image

PRICE: $68,490
ENGINE: 2.7-litre, V6 turbo-diesel, 140kW/440Nm
TRANS: 6-spd auto, 4WD
BODY: 5-door wagon
THIRST: 10.2L/100km, CO2 270g/km
"Brilliant allrounder at the right price but may inherit dark clouds of poorly-built predecessors"

MITSUBISHI PAJERO EXCEED

image

PRICE: $76,790
ENGINE: 3.2-litre, 4-cyl turbo-diesel, 147kW/441Nm
TRANS: 5-spd auto, 4WD
BODY: 5-door wagon
THIRST: 9.0L/100km, CO2 243g/km
"Lavishly-equipped wagon works well but styling and dynamics clearly shows behind the mascara"

TOYOTA PRADO VX

image

PRICE: $75,404
ENGINE: 3-litre, 4-cyl turbo-diesel, 127kW/410Nm
TRANS: 5-spd auto, 4WD
BODY: 5-door wagon
THIRST: 8.5L/100km, CO2 230g/km
"Outback's preferred steed that is only marginally better than its predecessor."

Comments on this story

Displaying 1 of 1 comments

  • Hello.
    $60 000 cash gets u one of these impressive suv’s today in WA.
    Plenty of power but, $900 gets u a module that u fit yourself and delivers 199kw and 633nm. Yes its overkill but just shows how much power these engines can develop reliablely.
            It is well priced today and I have no doubt that its capable of 400 000kms on the standard engine. The 2-5ltr is only good for around 200 000kms. Do the maths and enjoy a gr8 motor car. I prefer this shape as the new Pathfinder is more like the Murano.
          Dave.

    David Roach of Perth Posted on 11 February 2013 9:04pm

Add your comment on this story

Indicates required

We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Please provide your full name. We also require a working email address - not for publication, but for verification. The location field is optional.

Share your feedback