The Pathfinder is the latest to face the interior design team.
Launched last year, the Land Rover Discovery rival maintains its preference for rocks, ruts and mud – Nissan makes no secret that this is an off-roader first – but has improved road manners thanks to the All Mode 4x4 system and independent double wishbone suspension. All Mode monitors grip and stability to boost driver confidence.
Inside, a soft-touch dashboard, stitched seamed two-tone interior, and higher quality cabin fixtures and fittings underline the car’s family credentials – even the weight of the carpets has been increased. In addition, with all seats folded, including front passenger, the Pathfinder has a totally flat floor.
The seven-seat Pathfinder is no match for Discovery’s on/off-road performance combination, although Nissan’s reputation for quality build and maintenance-free cars puts it at an advantage over its UK-built counterpart, despite Land Rover’s production improvements.
Pricing also puts the Pathfinder ahead of the sector leader. The 4.0-litre V6 petrol tested starts at £33,960, compared to almost £38,000 for the 4.4-litre Discovery and £34,350 for the Toyota Land Cruiser, although what is arguably its closest rival, the 3.5-litre V6 Mitsubishi Shogun, shaves £2,000 off Nissan’s price.
Engine: 4.0-litre V6 265bhp petrol
Performance: 0-62mph 8.9sec; top speed 118mpg
Transmission: Five-speed auto
Efficiency: 20.9mpg combined; 327g/km CO2
CAP RV 3yr/30k: £12,900 (42%)
Strengths: Off-road ability, build quality, reliability
Weakness: Still wobbly on-road
Opportunity: Raise SUV sales
Threat: Strength of rivals
USP: Well priced mud-plugger