Nissan Pathfinder

The Essentials

  • Price from £32,445
  • What Car? says: 2 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 33.2mpg
  • What is it? The Pathfinder is a well equipped and rugged workhorse, but its talents definitely lie off-road rather than on it.


  • It's genuinely capable in the rough
  • Cabin offers seven-seat versatility
  • Every version gets reasonable equipment


  • It rides and handles like the pick-up truck it's based on
  • The engine is noisy and inflexible
  • Residual values are weak
  • Drive

    Great off-road, but pretty rubbish on it.

  • Inside

    Looks and feels thoroughly dated.

  • Safety

    Side and curtain airbags, stability control and active headrests are standard.

  • Reliability

    Some owners have reported big reliability problems.

  • Space

    Seats six and seven are best left to the kids, but five will fit with lots of luggage.

  • Standard and extras

    Reasonably well equipped.

  • What's it like to drive?

    The only engine on offer is a 2.5-litre diesel that produces 187bhp and 332lb ft of pulling power. Unfortunately, it disappoints in real-world driving because the engine feels weak at low revs and doesn't like to be revved. It's raucous above 3000rpm, too, and clattery at idle. Surprisingly, wind noise is pretty well isolated considering the Pathfinder's blunt-nosed shape, and road noise is rarely an issue, either.
    A switchable four-wheel-drive system, low-ratio transfer box and separate chassis give the Pathfinder genuine off-road ability. On the road, however, the Pathfinder drives like the pick-up truck it's based on. Dramatic body lean and slow steering make it feel its size through corners, and the ride is very unsettled even on smooth roads.
    A six-speed manual gearbox, which has a rather vague shift, is standard while an automatic is available as an option with the top spec.

  • What's it like inside?

    The dashboard layout is reasonably straightforward, and although the cabin materials are unappealing, the interior looks likely to stand up to hard use. All Pathfinders have a driver's seat that adjusts for height, although it's easier to fine-tune your driving position with the electric seats of higher-spec cars. The steering wheel also moves up and down, but there's no reach adjustment. All-round visibility is fine.
    The Pathfinder doesn't offer as much room as some rivals, but there's still enough space for five adults. It also has an extra pair of seats that fold up from the boot floor, but these are only big enough for children, and small ones at that. The boot is huge when the third row of seats are folded flat, and positively van-like when all five rear seats are down, while a split rear tailgate adds further practicality.
    Lower Acenta trim includes dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and 17-inch alloys while upper Tekna spec adds 18-inch alloys, sat-nav, leather upholstery and cruise control. Options include a rear parking camera and a Bose premium sounds system.

  • How reliable is it?

    The Pathfinder looks likely to stand up to hard use, but while Nissan came 10th out of 36 manufacturers in What Car?'s latest reliability survey, some Pathfinder owners have reported reliability issues. The Pathfinder comes with stability control, while front-, side and full-length curtain airbags are fitted as standard. Deadlocks, locking wheelnuts and marked parts are also included.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Pathfinder is little more than a prick-up truck that's been converted to take passengers, but it is well equipped. It undercuts many of its key rivals on price, but resale values are weak for the class (which isn't strong to start with) . As with any big 4x4, running costs are high. Average fuel economy is little more than 30mpg for the manual and less than that for the auto.