Nissan Pathfinder Ti 4WD 2017 review

I’ve never been interested in big cars for my family of four. Didn’t see the need in all that metal, how wrong I was.

Nedahl Stelio
Family reviewer

12 Jan 2018 • 14 min read

“So, this is a big car,” was my first thought when spotting the Nissan Pathfinder Ti in the garage, waiting for me to take it for the week. I’ve never been particularly interested in big cars for my family of four. Didn’t see the need in all that … metal, taking up space on suburban roads. 

How wrong I was. And how I immediately loved the space that the Pathfinder gave us. Instead of cramped up and squashed in, we were spread out. Space, I realised, actually equals luxury. It was lucky because this was the week I was tasked by my husband to buy plants for our backyard (we’ve embarked on a garden reno), so I needed a large car to ship the plants around. Here’s what I thought of the Nissan Pathfinder Ti V6 (which is top of the range and the AWD petrol version). 

How did it drive?

It was smooth, quiet and easy. The V6 has power and you can feel it, which made me feel quite strong on the road. Coupled with the height and the size of the car and I felt quite formidable. This was a car I could drive the kids around in and feel seriously safe and secure while doing it. Don’t underestimate that feeling. For me, that was one of the things I loved most.

It steamed up the hill near my house where I test all cars on without taking a breath, and wasn’t slow off the mark either. Heavy? Yes slightly, but I even liked the heaviness - it added to the rock solid feeling. 

The only time it was stiff was when I trying to squeeze into a parallel park and turning the steering wheel all the way got a bit tough. Same when I had to do a tight three-point turn. You do also feel the size if you are trying to squeeze into a small park as it is a big car. But it does give you seven seats, so, there’s that.

How safe is it?

It has all the fancy modern stuff you’re expecting. The reverse parking camera, the front and back parking sensors, it even beeped if I got too close to the car in front of me and of course has Auto Emergency Braking which means it brakes if you’re cruising along in traffic and get distracted. There are blind spot warning lights, front, side and side curtain airbags which extend all the way to the back row, plus a total of four tether points and two ISOFIX points. It gets a 5 star ANCAP rating

How easy is to use everyday?

I found it extremely practical. The two seats in the third row pull up easily, there is no struggling, sweating or swearing when you’re moving the middle row forward to get into the back row. And there are cupholders galore, with two in the front, four in the second row and four in the third row. Holy guacamole, that’s 10 cupholders! Plus there are six bottle holders. Let there never be arguments between the children again as to whose cupholder is whose!  

Also way down in the back second and third rows are air vents and they’re not those weak vents either. You can feel the air strongly - important if you’ve been lumped in the back. The car actually has tri-climate control so you can have three different temperatures going if you like. Then there’s a huge sunroof which is purposely placed down the back half of the car and brings much loved natural light to the third row. 

Plenty of natural light gets to the third row thanks to the sunroof. Plenty of natural light gets to the third row thanks to the sunroof.

I’m obsessed with automatically opening boots, because who else here has been holding the children, shopping bags, toys, possibly a scooter and dragging a blanket then had to struggle to put everything down and open the boot? Yes, that would be me. This week it was actually plants I was carrying, but with this car, as long as you have your keys out, you can hold the button down and hey presto, the boot lifts easily. Thank you, inventors of snazzy car features. 

It’s got a swanky two-levelled front centre storage bin, and storage envelopes on the back of the front seat. All in all, I would say this is a very easy and practical car to use. 

How spacious is it?

It’s a big step to get up and my mother actually complained about it, but if you’re okay with that then get ready to step into space. It’s positively breezy, with a tonne of room in the front seats, loads of leg room, lots of space between the passenger and the driver and everything is laid out beautifully. 

In the second row, my daughters (four and six), literally thought it was a playground and they were swinging around in all the space they had. Cue party in the backseat. And in the third row, I climbed in and sat for quite a while, quite comfortably. At 5”4 I’m not exactly tall, but just don’t go putting a giant back there. It was decent enough space and the second row seats do move forward so you can find the right amount of space for all rows. 

And the boot. Oh the boot! With the third row down there is a whopping 1354 litres. With the second row down (in case you need to transport, gosh, maybe a bed?) it grows to 2260 litres. Even with all seats up there is still space enough to lay a suitcase on its side in the back, or load up with groceries or school bags.

The Boot space is rated at 1354 litres. The Boot space is rated at 1354 litres.

 

What’s the tech like?

Um, it works. Is that a letdown? Yes, I would say it is. Look there’s nothing technically wrong with the multimedia screen, I mean, it’s eight inches! It has a decent enough sat nav and I was able to sync my phone easily, but there is no Apple Carplay/Android Auto, or even a digital radio which you would expect at this price. 

However (sound the trumpets here), there are the two screens on the back of the front seats for the passengers in the second row. Winning. My girls thought it was just amazing and even though the only DVD I could find was an old David Attenborough animals documentary, they loved it. Yes, there were other outlets to play different types of things but I am always going to tell them we must only watch animals in the car. No Disney movies. 

It also comes with two sets of Bluetooth headphones which also meant I could play my own music up front while they listened to the movie. Alone time. Get it while you can.

How does it look?

The interior feels luxe and as soon as you step in you can tell you’re in a top of the range car. Leather accented seats feel great, the shiny centre console is stylish and everything in sight has been well thought out. I did think the leather steering wheel felt a bit hard, as did the top dash, but all round there is a fair bit of swank going on. The seat remembering and moving into position and the steering wheel too, certainly helps.

The Pathfinder is a solid looking vehicle. The Pathfinder is a solid looking vehicle.

On the outside, the Pathfinder isn’t going to win best dressed at the Oscar’s, but it won’t be on the worst dressed list either. It’s a solid looking vehicle. But look, it’s big. It’s like your friend that will always stand in front of you in a fight ‘cause they’ve got size on their side. Does it matter what they’re wearing? Not really. And it has a brand-new front for 2017 so it looks modern, curvacious and does the job.

How much fuel does it use?

Nissan claims 10.1L/100km on the combined cycle which is more than a 5-seater but you would expect that with a V6 AWD.

What does it cost to own? What is the warranty offered?

The car I drove has a list price of $66,190, before on-road costs.

Nissan covers the Pathfinder with a three year/100,000km warranty with roadside assist for the duration.

Service intervals for the petrol are every 12 months or 10,000km. 

Over the first five years you'll realistically be paying around $360/year for servicing if you do the average 15,000km.

After a more detailed review? Click here.


The Wrap

I gave it 7 1/2 stars out of 10, taking points off for stiff steering and multimedia, but I loved the boot space and practicality. My children adored it, they gave it 9 Elsa dolls out of 10, mainly for the screens and all that space.

What features are important to you in a seven-seater? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Likes

So much space
Feels Luxe
Power and size

Dislikes

Stiff steering
Multimedia
Size for parking

Scores

Nedahl:

3.8

The Kids:

4.5

$47,888 - $68,880

Based on 11 car listings in the last 6 months

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