Friday, June 09, 2006

Nissan Pathfinder 4x4 review and specs

Nissan South Africa recently showed off their new Nissan Pathfinder 4x4, a mid
sized SUV, at George's valley near Tzaneen.

The Pathfinder is a bit pricey but seems to be very competent in the entry level
SUV market.

It claims the best ground-clearance in its class and has a new traction system
that pretty much guarantees it will beat rocks, mud, sand and pure gravity no
matter how unskilled you might be off-road.

The pathfinder is the latest great release from nissan, next to the
stunning convertable 350Z coupe and is one of 15 new products that they will be
releasing in the next three years, with two more cars to be released this
year .

They are the Murano and an as-yet unidentified bakkie,two vehicles that, Nissan
says, "will explore new segments of the South African market to broaden the
company's local sales".

Later launches, a spokesman added, will help Nissan to cover 78 percent of
South African market niches in the next three to five years and do its bit to
help the company to achieve 4.2-million sales worldwide by the end of 2007.
Such is the company's sales success in South Africa that a second production
shift has been added at its Rosslyn, Pretoria, factory along with 200 new jobs
and R400-million in investment that includes revamps in company identity at its
120 dealers nationwide.

An amazing turnaround for an international company that, just three years ago,
was technically bankrupt but has been rescued thanks to the diligent effort of
its new boss Carlos Ghosn and severe cost-cutting .

The four-litre petrol Pathfinder offers 198kW at 5600rpm and 385Nm at 4000rpm .
Nevertheless, no expense seems to have been spared on the new
Pathfinder and will now challenge vehicles such as the even more expensive
Land Rover Discovery.

How expensive is the Pathfinder?

Well, you'll need pretty deep pockets to afford these wheels that made light
work of the tough George's Valley off-road course.

Here they are the:

  • Pathfinder 4.0 V6 4x4 auto at R424 200
  • Pathfinder 2.5 cDi 4x4 five-speed tiptronic auto at R418 800
  • Pathfinder 2.5 cDi 4x4 six-speed manual at R398 800

Apart from the engines, the specifications are the same on each of the three
models – specifications that are high and comprehensive and designed to provide
seven seats for the large family. All but the one used by the driver fold flat
on to the floor to make a giant load bed capable of taking items as long as
2.8m and even have drawers beneath them for extra storage on an extended
off-road excursion.

The diesel auto looks like the best bet at R418 800 – the motor reads as
pretty small with a displacement of only 2.5 litres but turbocharging has given
it 128kW at 4000rpm and serious grunt with 403Nm of torque on tap. It made easy
work of the severe gradients, some you'd have a tough time walking up, on the

The four-litre petrol offers 198kW at 5600rpm and 385Nm at 4000rpm.

The Pathfinder is based on the Dunehawk concept vehicle that was shown at the
2004 Auto Africa show. It's big and imposing with broad and comfortable front
seats, a three-seater central folding bench seat and two smaller seats that
most folk will leave folded beneath the cargo bay floor. No room for size

A note of caution here: the bench seat, though well-upholstered and extremely
versatile in its folding ability and with large head restraints, is low and
that means tall adults will sit with the bones of their backside taking their
weight while their knees high ride high in the air – and there's no space for
size nines under the two front seats. Frankly, I wouldn't like to do a long
trip back there! Kids, of course, will be far more comfortable.

The Pathfinder rides on a rugged ladder chassis and big 17" alloy rims that help
lift the wagon to a ground clearance figure of 234mm – claimed as
best-in-class. Nissan adds that it has a 450mm wading depth and can climb a
39-degree gradient. Approach and departure angles are 33 and 26 degrees
respectively and the ramp-over angle is 24 degrees. All pretty impressive for a
wagon that also has excellent road manners and a maximum lean angle of 48.7

Nissan has also taken pure off-road ability to a new level with its four-mode,
electronically controlled all-wheel drive system that beats other top-end 4x4's
that are really designed only for American and European cruising and to beat
snow and ice.

The Pathfinder, Nissan insists, was designed for those situations but also to
take on African conditions – the only SUV of its type that can claim that. All
three models have the same drive train. The driver can choose from four driving
modes through a rotating switch on the fascia: rear-wheel drive only, 4x4 high
which locks the power split 50/50 front/rear for gravel roads, 4x4 low-range
for serious climbing or automatic – leave the decision-making to the car and
just get on with steering while the car's computer selects the best rear/front
drive torque distribution for the type of terrain being crossed.

Improved traction, Anti-lock brakes are standard and backed up by an emergency
stopping pressure reserve. There's also traction control and an electronic
stability programme that uses the brakes to keep the car on track should over
or understeer be encountered.

Off-road traction has been improved by using the same system to brake a spinning
wheel, perhaps in mud or soft desert sand, while the electronic system
shifts torque to the opposite wheels to get things moving again. The F-Alpha
platform (fitted to all new Nissan SUVs) is a fully boxed, all-steel,
ladder-frame chassis riding on front and rear independent double wishbone
suspension with coil springs in front and multi-link with coil springs at the
rear. It adds up to a particularly rigid SUV that doesn't twist on tough
terrain and not a rattle or squeak make itself hear as we trundled through
George's Valley.

Safety equipment includes pre-tensioning seatbelts (they haul in tight during a
collision), side-impact anti-intrusion bars and six crash bags, front, side and
curtain, the last designed to remain inflated longer than normal to cushion
should the car roll.

Leather upholstery is standard, along with automatic air-conditioning with
individual controls for front and rear passengers, cruise control, a premium
audio system with a six-CD front-loading radio and six speakers with remote
control on the steering wheel.

There are reading lights over the front seats, an electro-chromatic rear view
mirror with a digital compass direction display in the edge nearest the driver,
outside temperature display and, of course, four power windows and electrically
adjustable exterior mirrors.

The fifth door features a horizontally opening window, handy for dumping
in shopping in underground parking, and two adjustable roof rails that can
carry up to 100kg frame a big sunroof.

Nissan has added totally unnecessary and rock-vulnerable side steps as
well as mud flaps and front foglights.

The car is rated for an unbraked trailer of up to 3000kg. The Pathfinder offers
superior towing capability of 3000kg (unbraked). The 17-inch alloy wheels
fitted with 255/65 profile R17 tyres.

The Nissan Pathfinder is covered by Nissan’s three-year or 100 000 km warranty.

Nissan Pathfinder Specifications
Make: nissan
Model: pathfinder
Variant :4.0 v6 tiptronic
Price : R 424,200
Release Date : 2005 - 06

Styling and Look

Body Style : station wagon
Leather : yes
Body Coloured Bumpers : yes
Metallic Paint : option
Body Coloured Mirrors : yes


Acceleration 0-100 Final : 8.8
Consumption Annual Average : 13.5
Fuel Capacity : 80
Fuel Consumpsion - Highway : 10.5
Towing Capacity (KG) : 3000
Turns Lock to Lock : 3.6
Fuel Supply : electronic multi-point
Fuel Type : unleaded
Power Output : 198kw@5600
Limited Slip Diff : no
Auto Traction Control : yes
Top Speed Final : 190 km/h
Torque : 385nm@4000
Turning Circle (Meters) : 11.9

Wheels, Brakes and Steering

ABS : yes
Front Track : 1570 mm
Front Brakes : 296mm vented discs
Rim Size - Rear : 7jj
Wheel Base : 2850 mm
Handbreak Position : between front seats
Rear Brakes : 308mm solid discs
Front Suspension : independent double wishbone coil over shock
Rear Suspension : independent multilink, coil spring
Tyre Size - Front : 255/65 r17
Number of Wheels Driven : 4
Alloy Wheels : yes
Brake Hydrolics : vacuum boost, 2xcircuit, 4 ch.abs,ebd,bas
Rim Size - Front : 7jj
Drive Wheels : all
Rear Track : 1570 mm
Tyre Size - Rear : 255/65 r17
Steering Type : rack and pinion power assisted
Steering Column Reach Adjust : Unknown
Steering Column Height / Rake Adjust : Unknown
Full Time 4x4 : no

Engine and Gearbox

Bore / Stroke : 95.5x92
Capacity : 3954
Engine Layout : transverse v 6
Ignition Type : solid state digital
Number of Gears : 5
Manual / Automatic : automatic
Cylinders : 6
Valve Gear : dohc 4valves per cylinder
Aspiration : natural
Compression Ratio : 9.7:1
Gearbox Details : 5 speed automatic with manual shift mode
Hybrid / Clutchless : yes

Peripherals and Accesories

Automatic Air conditioner : yes
Auto Dip Mirrors : yes
Electric Seat Memory : yes
Cruise Control : yes
Headrests - Front : yes
Heated Seats : no
Park Distance Control - Front : yes
Sliding Rear Window (LDV) : no
Auto Headlamps : no
Auto Windscreen Wipers : yes
Rev Counter : yes
Electric Seat Adjustment : yes
Remote Side Mirrors Electric : electric
Electric Windows : yes
Fog Lamps - Rear : no
Hands-Free Phone Pre-Wiring : no
Radio And / Or Tape : yes
Radio : yes
Rear Screen Wiper : yes
Remote Side Mirrors : yes
Tape : no
Tinted Side Windows : yes
Tinted Windscreen : yes
Air conditioner : yes
CD Player : yes
Electric Seat Adj Detail : driver, 2xmem
Climate Control : yes
Central Locking : remote
Code Start : no
On Board Computer : yes
Cup Holders : 6
Rear Screen Demister : yes
Electric Window Detail : all
Electric Window One-Touch : driver
Fog Lamps - Front : yes
Headrests - Rear : yes
Keyless Entry : yes
Remote Electric Mirror Memory : no
Multi Function Steering Wheel : yes
Park Distance Control - Back : yes
Hands-Free Phone : no
CD Shuttle : yes
Sliding Roof : yes
Satelite Navigation : no
Number of Sliding Roofs : 1
Xenon Headlamps : no

4x4 Specific

Altimeter : no
Approach Angle : 33
Compass : yes
Compass Detail : digital display
Departure Angle : 26
Ramp Angle (Break Over) : 24
Ride Height Control : no
Self Leveling Suspension : no
Diff Lock : no
Gradient (Incline) : 39
Low Range : yes
Rollover Angle (Slant) : 0
Wading Depth : 450
Decent Control : no

Security and Safety

Air Bag - Number : 6
Air Bag - Passenger : yes
Gearlock : no
Hi Level Brake Light : yes
Power Steering : yes
Impact Tensioning Seat Belts : front
Air Bag - Side : yes
Air Bag - Detail : driver,passenger;side,curtain
Immobiliser : yes
Alarm : no
Air Bag - Driver : yes
Incline Meter : no
Roadside Assistance Time : 0
Security System : yes
Side Impact Protection : yes

Maintenance and Warranty

Maintenance Distance : 0
Service Intervals : 15000 km
Service Indicator : no
Warranty Period : 36
Warranty : 3year/100000km
Maintenance Exclusions :
Maintenance Plan Time : 0
Maintenance / Service Plan :
Oil Change Intervals : 7500 km
Warranty Distance : 100000

Dimensions and Weight

Gross Laden Mass : 2195
Licencing Mass : o
Boot Capacity : 0
Load : 0
Lenght : 4740
Ground Clearance : 234
Height : 1865
Width : 1850


Class : l
Type : recreational vehicle
Doors : 5
Seats : 7
Wipers : yes
Stability : yes


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