Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- A practical and versatile cabin
- A big car providing sufficient space
- Better off-road abilities than a crossover
- Suspension can make life difficult at high speeds
- Design will not suit all tastes
- An impractical petrol engine option
The current Pathfinder has very little in common with the original Pathfinder of 1986. To be more precise, the only two things that they share are the name and the fact that both classed as 4x4. The original Pathfinder was much lighter, 6 inches narrower and its wheelbase was 8 inches shorter. The 3rd generation Pathfinder was built on an entirely new platform that is currently shared with several light commercial and civilian trucks. It's an impressive car, for the high price tag it may lack off-road ability.
Exterior and Interior
It is quite a chunky car, but it is still quite handsome in a way. The designers have done a great job perfecting the front end of the car. Some people are quite apprehensive about the boxy rear side of the car, but since the 3rd row of seats was introduced soon after the debut, the big, comfortable exterior somehow makes sense.
Taking inspiration from the 1st generation Pathfinder, the new car features a hidden rear side door handle to fake an appearance of a two-door car. It's a wide and spacious car, which is able to accommodate 5 adults and 2 children. It's not a proper 7-seater, though. If the rear row of seats is removed, the car provides an impressive luggage space.The materials used in the interiors are quite good quality even on the lower-level trims. The bulky/boxy theme continues throughout the car, including the interior.
There are several trims available for the Patfinder and the majority of them are delivered with diesel engines only. The 4.0-litre petrol monster is available only with the most expensive trims ‐ T-Spec and Aventura.
Performance and Economy
The petrol version is a little excessive. Although its 265BHP sound impressive, the dynamics are quite disappointing, taking 9 seconds to reach 60mph and only managing a top speed of 108mph, which is electronically limited due to the large size of the car. More advanced competitors, like Mercedes for example, are achieving much more from the same displacement engine. So, the 20mpg fuel efficiency cannot really justify the petrol engine.
The situation is much better with the diesel ‐ it provides comparable dynamic abilities to the 4.0-litre petrol engine, only the fuel will last much longer achieving 31mpg. To sum it up, the Pathfinder doesn't cater for petrol enthusiasts. The car is not that expensive to buy, however, the only petrol option being so impractical, it will put off customers that are not keen on diesel engines.
Like to Drive
It's a decent car for people who enjoy driving big cars. The Pathfinder is more of a status car and less of an off-roader. It does have the technology (such as lower gear range) to venture off the road but it's not as capable as a Land Rover.
Because the Pathfinder has such a big backside, its suspension had to be kept stiff; and you can feel that when driving on a bumpy road. At normal speeds the car is comfortable, although body roll hasn't been entirely eliminated.
Faults and Repairs
Being such a flashy car, it is surprisingly reliable and will not cost a fortune in maintenance. The diesel unit and the transmissions are reliable and long-lasting. Buying used off-roaders is always tricky. When it comes to the Pathfinder, same rules apply, check the underfloor and check the suspension. If you get that element right, and avoid cars that have an excessive mileage for their age, you'll be a rare guest at a service station.