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Nissan Pathfinder 2023 review: Ti

The Nissan Pathfinder has been revamped; are the new looks enough to set it above the pack?

Oh, how I have longed for the Nissan Pathfinder to be revamped and reshaped!

You could be forgiven for confusing the predecessor with its smaller sibling, the X-Trail but the newly released Ti has metamorphosed from a rather plump and (boring) caterpillar to a handsome butterfly.

It’s now modern, fresh and has enough bells and whistles to satisfy even the most discerning family car buyer. It’s also an eight-seater. Yep, eight, so there’s plenty of room for growing families.

I’ve been driving it for a week with my family of three to see if the looks match the performance. 

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What does it look like?

The Pathfinder is a good-looking and serious family-mover. With that eighth seat, you could argue it’s really a mini-van masquerading as an SUV. This redesign sees a fuller, squared-off shape but the edges are sleek enough to deter any images of ‘bricky-ness’.

The large LED lights are nicely tapered and there’s a generous amount of black plastic moulding along the bottom of the car, which looks good on our model’s ‘Deep Ocean Blue Pearl’ paintwork, but it could be too much of a contrast on a lighter colour.

  • The Pathfinder is a good-looking and serious family-mover. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The Pathfinder is a good-looking and serious family-mover. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
  • Our Pathfinder Ti was finished in ‘Deep Ocean Blue Pearl’ paint. (Image: Glen Sullivan) Our Pathfinder Ti was finished in ‘Deep Ocean Blue Pearl’ paint. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
  • The redesign sees a fuller, squared-off shape, yet the edges are still sleek enough. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The redesign sees a fuller, squared-off shape, yet the edges are still sleek enough. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
  • There's a generous amount of black plastic moulding along the bottom of the new Pathfinder. (Image: Glen Sullivan) There's a generous amount of black plastic moulding along the bottom of the new Pathfinder. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

The interior is a far cry away from the dated look of previous models. The boxy shaping of the dashboard is proportional and looks solid. All of the sleek controls and dials are well-placed for easy-to-reach access.

There's a sense of refinement, too, with the softly padded touchpoints and shiny black accents found throughout the car. 

All of the sleek controls and dials are well-placed for easy-to-reach access. (Image: Glen Sullivan) All of the sleek controls and dials are well-placed for easy-to-reach access. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

How does it drive?

Large and long, this car is. It feels clumsy at lower speeds and occasionally you can feel like you’re almost bunny-hopping because it’s so heavy.

It’s not until you get onto the open road that you appreciate the powerful 3.5-litre, V6 engine (202kW/340Nm).

It cruises once it gets going but don’t expect to be zipping through traffic in this.

Under the bonnet of the Pathfinder Ti is a powerful 3.5-litre, V6 engine. (Image: Glen Sullivan) Under the bonnet of the Pathfinder Ti is a powerful 3.5-litre, V6 engine. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

The four-wheel drive drivetrain offers flexibility for families wanting it and it’s simple to switch it on via a rotary dial. 

The ride comfort is great and passengers will be cushioned even on a bumpy road. The Pathfinder can feel clumsy in turns at low speeds because of the weight that makes it feel like you’re really leaning into a corner.

The 360-degree view camera is much-needed on a car this size and I like how clear the image is. The dynamic guidelines and parking sensors also help take out any anxiety when you’re in a small car park.

The Pathfinder features a 360-degree view camera. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The Pathfinder features a 360-degree view camera. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

How spacious is it?

Got it any bigger? No, seriously, the cabin is very roomy and the only row that doesn’t benefit from that sense of space is the third one (which, I would save just for the kids).

There’s ample headroom and legroom, so even the taller members of the family will be comfortable.

The Pathfinder's cabin is very spacious. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The Pathfinder's cabin is very spacious. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

I love the storage throughout this car. There are deep drink bottle holders in the doors, multiple cupholders in each row, pockets, shelves, cubbies… you name it, and you’ll probably find it.

The boot has an okay amount of space when all three rows are in action (205 litres) and will suffice for the odd shopping trip but when you pop that last row down, it jumps up to 554 litres and that’s ample room for all of your gear. 

  • The Pathfinder's boot capacity measures in at 205 litres when all seats are in use. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The Pathfinder's boot capacity measures in at 205 litres when all seats are in use. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
  • With the third row of seats down, boot capacity increases to 554 litres. (Image: Glen Sullivan) With the third row of seats down, boot capacity increases to 554 litres. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

How easy is it to use every day?

Besides the sense of ‘this-is-huge’, it’s fairly easy to get around in. Everyone will enjoy the space and you might even reduce some of the in-house squabbles that can happen when siblings sit too close together!

The amenities in each row are most welcome. Up front, you have a lot of storage, dual-zone climate control and heated front seats. In the middle row, there are retractable sun blinds (my son’s favourite), map pockets, heated outboard seats, climate control and directional air vents.

Passengers in the second row will enjoy plenty of head and legroom. (Image: Glen Sullivan) Passengers in the second row will enjoy plenty of head and legroom. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

Even the third row isn’t forgotten, with four cupholders and directional air vents. There are also multiple USB ports in each row, so everyone can stay charged up if they need to.

The powered tailgate is a handy feature, as is the level load space. I really like the underfloor storage, too – perfect for when you have small loose items that you don’t want rolling around in the back. Or just a handy spot to store wet wipes, sunscreen, umbrellas… anything that will make a roadie or sports day that much easier.

The third row features four cupholders and directional air vents. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The third row features four cupholders and directional air vents. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

How safe is it?

The Pathfinder comes with some a healthy safety features list, like: AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection and junction assist; forward collision warning, lane keeping aid, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and trailer sway control.

It has nine airbags, including a front centre airbag and curtain airbags that cover all three rows. It has a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating from testing done in 2022 – so it’s nice and fresh.

On the middle row, there are ISOFIX mounts on the outboard seats plus three top tether anchor points and with the right seats, you should be able to fit three side-by-side. You’ll also have no issue fitting a 0-4 rearward facing child seat.

The third row also features an ISOFIX mount on one outboard seat and a top tether anchor point, which adds some flexibility for growing families.

The Pathfinder has a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating from testing done in 2022. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The Pathfinder has a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating from testing done in 2022. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

What’s the tech like?

The tech has been modernised inside, and it elevates the overall driving experience. The 9.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system is simple to use and has built-in satellite navigation (always a plus), wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto.

The instrument panel isn’t super customisable but the head-up display was a great feature this week.

Upfront of the Pathfinder is a 9.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system. (Image: Glen Sullivan) Upfront of the Pathfinder is a 9.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

There are multiple USB-A and USB-C ports in the car, plus two 12-volt sockets. Front seat occupants also get to enjoy the wireless charging pad, which means one less cable to worry about!

The luxury comforts are there, too, with heated seats in the front and the outboard positions in the middle row. The 13-speaker Bose audio system includes a dual subwoofer and it has such a crisp sound quality. You’ll be tempted to throw the windows down for a free-to-air concert. 

How much does it cost to own?

There are four models for the Pathfinder and our version is second from the top and has 4WD capability. The Ti will cost you $70,030, before on-road costs, and for all of its features, it’s competitive for the market. 

And it does have a stack of features! Our model has also been fitted with an optional tow bar, which adds $1911.23 to the price tag.

This is a bit of a gas guzzler, though. The official combined fuel cycle is 10L/100km but I managed 10.8L and that was after a lot of open-road driving.

The optional tow bar will add $1911.23 to the price tag. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The optional tow bar will add $1911.23 to the price tag. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

I imagine urban dwellers will cough up more at the bowser, but I guess that’s the compromise for the size and power!

The Pathfinder comes with Nissan’s five-year/unlimited km warranty, whichever comes first, which is standard for the market.

You can pre-purchase either a three-, four- or five-year capped-price servicing plan and services average $516 on the five-year plan, which is competitive for this class. Servicing intervals are reasonable at every 12 months or 20,000km, whichever occurs first.

The Pathfinder comes with Nissan’s five-year/unlimited km warranty. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The Pathfinder comes with Nissan’s five-year/unlimited km warranty. (Image: Glen Sullivan)


The Wrap

The Nissan Pathfinder Ti offers flexibility with that eighth seat and the creature comforts should excite passengers and drivers alike. I love the plushness and space of the interior but the clunky driving experience around the city dampened some of my enthusiasm. It’s great on the open road and would be a fun road trip car but is a bit thirsty, so I give this an 8.0/10.

My son had a ball going through each row and sussing out what each feature did. The amenities in the middle row kept him happy and he gave it a 9.5/10. 

Likes

Stylish finish
Flexibility for families
Huge cabin space

Dislikes

Clumsy at lower speeds
A bit thirsty
Feels big to drive

Scores

Emily:

4

The Kids:

4.8

$59,990 - $88,073

Based on 48 car listings in the last 6 months

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