Blazing a new trail

by Anonymous Author

Back in 1985, with the SUV industry in its infancy and the world in general only just switching on to the idea that large families could better fit in something outside the station wagon mould, Nissan took one of its light commercial platforms and created a bit of a sensation.

The original Pathfinder was to go on to sell in huge numbers, over an entire decade, with an evolving line-up of engine options charting the rise of the modern turbo diesel. Pathfinders of this vintage were also built tough — you can still see many of them on the road today, or even in the back blocks or on the beaches as truly recreational SUVs.

Fast forward to 2017, and Nissan is justifiably proud of a more polished, more grown-up new generation of the Pathfinder. 

The more refined seven-seater has lost the angular and brutal look of its forebears, in the same way a modern gentleman has lost the mug of his caveman ancestors. 

Now looking sleek and curved, in line with Nissan’s 21st-century design aesthetic — think GT — the Ti 4WD model Pathfinder boasts leather trim, tri-zone climate control, in-headrest monitors for computer games and movies, a panoramic moonroof and 13 powerful Bose speakers. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s gone soft, though. This comfortable urban living room can be transported neatly to just about anywhere by the power under the hood and the engineering under that sculpted steel body. 

While a two-wheel-drive model is available for those who want to exclusively cruise the urban jungle, the four-wheel-drive iteration of this machine stays true to its roots — and then some. With a big V6 under the hood developing 202 kilowatts and 340 Newton-metres of torque, this is no faux off-roader. 

While the Pathfinder in its modern guise may not be subjected to the hard knocks of those rural generation-1 models out there, it will certainly carry and tow even a very large family and their gear to outdoor holidays and adventures. All while still being an eminently comfortable ride around town. The new pathfinder lands in April at your local Nissan forecourt.