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Nissan Pathfinder ST-L 2014 review

Nissan have walked away from Pathfinder as a genuine 'fourbie' taking the new R52 model unequivocally down the soft roader route and without a two range transfer.

Nissan now has only two real 4WD vehicles in its local lineup -- the Navara ute and the gargantuan Patrol. They have walked away from Pathfinder as a genuine 'fourbie' taking the new R52 model unequivocally down the soft roader route and without a two range transfer.

It won't wash with a legion of Pathfinder enthusiasts who have bought the mid-size wagon over three generations and 28 years. But Nissan thinks it has the right car for the age as people opt for less hard-core vehicles for everyday transport and recreation. The assumption is... why pay and put up with an old school fourbie when a car-like SUV is a better lifestyle fit.

The Pathy is offered in seven seat, V6 petrol engine configuration only and there's a front wheel drive.... It was developed in the US as a competitor for the Toyota Kluger (also developed in the US) and comes in a six variant range in 2WD and all wheel drive using Nissan's handy AllMode 4x4-i system that can lock in 50:50 front to rear drive bias. Three grades are available reflecting Nissan's current model nomenclature - ST, ST-L and Ti.


Pricing for the base ST 2WD starts at $39,990 which is thousands less than the previous model's price kickoff. No diesel engine option is available with Nissan putting its "alternative" powertrain eggs in the Pathfinder Hybrid basket due soon.

This is a huge departure from the all diesel lineup of the previous R51 Pathy. So to is the adoption of a passenger car based monocoque (integral chassis/body) design over the previous body on ladder chassis. It is built on a version of the new Nissan Altima sedan platform with a longer wheelbase and a five star safety rating.

Engine / Transmission

The 3.5-litre V6 and CVT transmission is out of Nissan Murano and the donk is nearly as old as Noah's Ark. No direct fuel injection, no cylinder deactivation, no friction reduction, no deactivating ancillaries but the old plonker is still good for 190kW/325Nm output and a best of 9.9-litres/100km fuel economy in the base 2WD.  This is better than most of the competition if achievable.


Also welcome is the EZ Flex seat folding system on the middle and third rows. It facilitates access to the rear pew and provides a fold flat floor with one latch per row to create a large load space. Various driver assistance features are available through each model including Nissan's Advanced Driver Assist Display (all grades) and Around View Monitor (Ti grade).

Pathy's suspension is strut front and multi-link rear and all models are capable of towing 2700kg braked. Ground clearance is 165mm. Spec' is generous with the base ST getting cloth upholstery, three-zone climate control, reverse camera, seven-inch multi-media screen, Bluetooth phone and audio, rake and reach steering adjustment, power front seats, automatic head lights, four 12v outlets, hill assist, proximity key and 18-inch alloys. Leather starts in the ST-L and a 2WD version of the top end Ti is available.


It's much more car-like and better than the competitors in this regard. The engine is OK as long as you don't expect too much in terms of acceleration without flicking down a ratio or two which would dent fuel economy. It would be an interesting exercise to drive it with seven aboard and the aircon at full blast.

New Pathy would be good for sealed roads, dirt roads and in 4WD variants, possibly beach driving and in the snow. The spare is a space saver but a puncture repair kit is also provided.

It has a lot in common with other Nissans in terms of styling apart from Juke. The frontal treatment is heavy handed with over emphasis on the slanted grille side bars and large headlights. But the overall look won't offend.

Inside is revitalised and practical version of generic Nissan design with plenty of technology available depending on the model and how much you are prepared to spend. It's aerodynamic to a point and the new body contributes to generous interior space which sees new Pathy at the head of the segment for room.

Pricing guides

Based on 113 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

ST (4X2) 3.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO $14,900 – 21,010 2014 Nissan Pathfinder 2014 ST (4X2) Pricing and Specs
ST (4X4) 3.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO $16,700 – 23,320 2014 Nissan Pathfinder 2014 ST (4X4) Pricing and Specs
ST Hybrid (4x2) 2.5L, Hyb/PULP, CVT AUTO $16,200 – 22,550 2014 Nissan Pathfinder 2014 ST Hybrid (4x2) Pricing and Specs
ST-L (4X2) 3.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO $17,900 – 24,860 2014 Nissan Pathfinder 2014 ST-L (4X2) Pricing and Specs
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