Displaying items by tag: Nissan
It uses the same platform and engine as its predecessor, but the new Pathfinder looks like the brawny SUVs of old.
We already put the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder three-row SUV with all-wheel-drive through its instrumented paces. Now it's time to get the front-wheel-drive version of Nissan's latest Pathfinder in the hands of MotorTrend's test team so consumers know what to expect from the rest of the lineup.
The Pathfinder has had an interesting history and is unique in its path to reinvention, having flipped from body-on-frame to unibody repeatedly during its lifecycle. It started as a two-door SUV in 1986 on Nissan's compact truck body-on-frame platform and added a four-door in 1989, discontinuing the two-door a year later in North America. The second-gen Pathfinder went on sale in 1995 with unibody construction. Then the third-generation SUV made a surprising return to body-on-frame in 2004 for the '05 model year, only to pivot back to unibody for the fourth-generation Pathfinder in 2012, sharing a platform with the Nissan Altima, Maxima, and Murano, among others.
For this fifth generation, the Pathfinder actually stays unibody on the same platform, but it drops the milquetoast design in a return to the squared-off, brawny looks we've come to associate with this SUV, regardless of its underpinnings. The styling changes inside and out are in keeping with a resurgence in design among new Nissan offerings of late.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder Competitively Priced
The two-wheel-drive Pathfinder starts at $47,340, and at $49,865, our test model didn't ring in much higher. That price reflects the addition of $730 running boards, a $745 two-tone premium paint scheme, a $795 lighting package with illuminated kick plates and welcome lighting, and $255 carpeted floormats. A comparable 2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum trim FWD starts slightly higher at $48,755, and a 2022 Honda Pilot Elite costs about $2,000 more but only comes in AWD.
Nissan also carried over the previous Pathfinder's 3.5-liter V-6 engine, which generates 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque, but the previous model's CVT has been replaced with a new nine-speed automatic transmission with a meaty shifter. It can tow 6,000 pounds and comes with a tow hitch and harness as standard equipment.
Although the pleasant-sounding V-6 feels more powerful and the new transmission snappier at propelling the lighter FWD model, the test numbers don't bear out our seat-of-the-pants observations. The front-drive Pathfinder required 7.1 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph and 15.5 seconds to do the quarter mile. The Pathfinder with AWD was a shade quicker at 7.0 seconds to 60 mph, making it a strong performer in the segment. The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 (293 hp/260 lb-ft) and AWD needed 7.3 seconds and 15.5 seconds, respectively.
Road test editor Erick Ayapana found the Pathfinder FWD "super-tricky to launch" because the engine easily overwhelms the tires. "With traction on, it'll cut power to reduce wheelspin. With traction off, any hint of wheelspin results in a 1-2 upshift. Manual mode isn't much of a manual mode because it'll upshift to second automatically. So getting the launch right is pretty much a guessing game."
Behind The Wheel
Ironically, the lighter, front-drive Pathfinder felt heavier to drive at times on our winding test track, and the stability control can often be too aggressive. However, tire squeal and head toss were kept to a minimum, even during hard cornering. The suspension provides a smooth ride over rough surfaces, and there is little body motion over bumps.
Out on the figure-eight course, the Pathfinder completed the loop in 28.4 seconds at an average of 0.59 g, performing better than road test editor Chris Walton expected, though he did find its steering to be unnecessarily heavy during his looping. "The chassis is quite good, but you can't go to the power early because the front-wheel-drive system doesn't have any sort of limited slip other than traction control, which kills the exit," Walton noted. The all-wheel-drive Pathfinder rounded the course a full second quicker at 27.4 seconds, and the Grand Cherokee L (also with AWD) essentially split the difference at 27.9 seconds. When it comes to stopping power, the FWD Pathfinder needed 130 feet to haul itself down from 60 mph to 0. That's slightly longer than the Grand Cherokee L at 127 feet but a ways off of the AWD Pathfinder's impressive 114 feet, which is difficult to explain with both Pathfinders using the same tires. Ayapana found the Pathfinder's brakes to have "adequate bite and good body control." Walton said the medium-firm brake pedal offers "good feel and easy modulation."
As far as fuel efficiency goes, the 2022 Pathfinder adds stop-start, which helps improve its EPA numbers slightly to 21/27/23 mpg city/highway/combined. The heavier Grand Cherokee L is predictably thirstier at 19/26/21 with RWD.
Nissan's ProPilot Assist (adaptive cruise, steering assist, traffic sign recognition) provides excellent lane-centering steering assist. Once adaptive cruise is engaged, simply press the ProPilot button for full capability. Rest your fingers lightly on the steering wheel and feel it make minor adjustments as you're speeding down the highway. With Navi-Link, the vehicle slows for freeway curves and exit ramps, and the system alerts the driver to changes in the speed limit. It's without question one of the best driver assist systems on the market.
More Upscale Interior
The 2022 Pathfinder's cabin feels premium for a vehicle that costs less than $50,000 and comes with a dose of industrial toughness: Everything is big and square and blocky. Our test model had great-looking saddle-brown seats and accents on the door and dashtop, which contrast well with the black interior; white and gold stitching help complete the upscale look. The Platinum trim comes with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a head-up display, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a motion-activated power tailgate, and 20-inch alloy wheels.
Open the wider-opening rear doors and climb into the heated second-row captain's chairs fitted to this model (making it a seven-passenger family vehicle instead of eight), and you'll find them comfortable with ample thigh support. To get to the third row, there are buttons on the base of the second-row seat and the seat back. Press one, and the seat tilts and then flies forward—even with an empty car seat installed. It's easy enough for kids to use, but make sure they stand back while it performs its spring-loaded gymnastics. It creates a large opening for easy access to the third row, which now seats three. Space is decent in the third row, and the passengers have access to air vents and USB charging ports.
The third-row seats also fold completely flat, and the cargo area is augmented by a deep well under the floor. The rear cargo space also comes with tie-downs, bag hooks, and a 12-volt socket.
The Pathfinder faces a lot of competition, with stalwarts such as the Highlander, Pilot, and Ford Explorer, not to mention relative newcomers, including the Hyundai Palisade, the 2020 MotorTrend SUV of the Year Kia Telluride, and the newest entrant, the Jeep Grand Cherokee L. Nissan has reinvented the Pathfinder many times over the years in order to assert leadership in the segment. This time around Nissan kept the Pathfinder's carlike platform but returned it to a truckier look in an attempt to remix the best of its past efforts. The result, as summarized by Walton: "Not bad for a grocery getter and better than it probably needed to be."
|2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum Specifications|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$49,865|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||3.5L direct-injected DOHC 24-valve 60-degree V-6|
|POWER (SAE NET)||284 hp @ 6,400 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||259 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||4,536 lb (55/45%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||197.7 x 77.9 x 69.7 in|
|0-60 MPH||7.1 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||15.5 sec @ 92.3 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||130 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.76 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.4 sec @ 0.59 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||21/27/23 mpg|
The fourth-generation Nissan Micra is one of the city's little ones, which was not easy to fight in the used car market. The competition is numerous, and the market is traditionally in favor of European models. Rare are those who have decided to market this model guided by reliability statistics in which the Micra stands better than the European competition.
The design outside the conservative framework of the classic customer also contributes to a slightly lower popularity. Still, the Micra doesn’t look bad at all. It is true that the eye of the observer needs a little time to accept the five-door puffy form with the sympathetically sad look of the front and rear, but overall the design fits quite well into European urban scenes.
Inside, the Micra pleasantly surprises anyone who isn’t too familiar with it. Considering the dimensions under four meters, there is an unexpected lot in the rear, the trunk is decent, and the likable and practical driving environment with a lot of handy compartments in more expensive equipment packages like the one in the photos, offers a small dose of prestige.
According to the Auto Club, you can count on comfortable seats and comfortable fabrics, but also hard, albeit flawlessly processed plastic, which is typical for small Japanese cars from ten years ago. Finishing is at a high level so there should be no prejudice towards the location of production in India.
The high body on the one hand offers a lot of space, but on the other hand on the highway it creates a noticeable noise of air flow. Only two 1.2-liter three-cylinder engines are available, but the atmospheric 80 hp and 98-horsepower turbo realistically cover all the needs of using a city car. Both engines are adorned with smooth and quiet operation, they are comfortable and quiet in normal driving, but they also like revs, when the unpleasant sound of the three-cylinder breaks through the sound insulation more strongly.
The basic engine is a bit lazy at lower revs, and a stronger engine can pull quite seriously. The Micra is also quite comfortable for such a small car, and women will appreciate the light and comfortable steering wheel, soft pedals, precise transmission and a small turning circle of only 9.3 meters.
What do the services say, what are the pains of Micra? There are no significant recalls or omissions in the archives, and the maintained copies with normal mileage are, as a rule, flawless. At the EuroNCAP test, the then four stars were won.
Nissan delivers a midsize pickup that can hold its own against any direct competitor.
It has been a long 17 years, but the much-awaited Nissan Frontier is finally on its way to dealerships, and just prior to their arrival, we were invited out to drive the newest midsize pickup. Continuing Nissan's 62 years of pickups in America, the 2022 Frontier puts a focus on being rugged, capable, utilitarian, and modern.
2022 Frontier Chassis
The new Frontier uses a heavily modified version of the outgoing truck's F-Alpha architecture that it shares with the Titan. "Why not an entirely new one?" you might ask. Because the Frontier platform was already competitive to begin with, and instead of spending a billion dollars on a new platform, Nissan upgraded the chassis and spent its money in areas people would appreciate, such as design, interior, technology, and powertrain.
Some of the platform's new features include over 40 parts to improve NVH, including hydraulic cab mounts to further isolate the occupants from the rough-and-tumble world outside. The Frontier also switches to urethane jounces, adds a dynamic steering damper, and retuned rack-and-pinion with a steering gear ratio that has been increased by 16 percent.
By now the direct-injected 3.8L DOHC V-6/nine-speed combo should be familiar since it debuted in the previous truck for the '20 model year and stuck around in '21. It has a class-leading 310 horsepower, 281 lb-ft of torque, and it's more fuel efficient than the old four-cylinder. No manual transmission will be offered.
One area of the new truck that seems to resonate well with just about everyone we've talked to is the Frontier's exterior design. From the taller shoulders and chiseled body to the new face, the Frontier has a great stance and looks tough. The bedsides were brought up 1.4 inches, giving the new Frontier more bed volume and additional depth that is helpful for keeping the tops of coolers and fridges below the bed rail. Nine exterior colors will be offered.
Interior Is More Upscale
Now sporting one of the best interiors in the class, the Frontier feels premium with a dash that is fit for a truck, and not something borrowed from an economy car. The big 9-inch display (standard on the PRO-4X) is borrowed straight from the Titan. With its high resolution and inky blacks, it's the centerpiece to the Frontier's new push to be a real contender in this class once again.
With a wrapped and stitched dash and door panels, Lava Red interior accents, and soft-touch panels, the Frontier feels more upscale than ever before. Front-seat passengers are treated to the supportive and comfortable Zero Gravity chairs, and thanks to a impressively quiet interior, they can rock out to the 10-speaker Fender Premium audio system that sounds more crisp and clear than anything else in the segment.
From a layout standpoint, most of the controls are right where you expect them to be, with only a few buried to the left of the wheel. The Frontier is easy to operate and has a fair amount of storage for its size, plus niceties, such as wireless phone charging and eight cupholders, four of which can hold 32-ounce bottles. Finding a good seating position is easy, but the addition of a telescoping steering wheel would make it that much better.
Nissan did a good job of making the Frontier interior as space-efficient as possible without growing the truck. Two full-size guys can sit in the front without touching shoulders, and the back seat remains big enough for all but the longest trips. The rear seat even has an armrest, and the 60/40 seat cushions fold up stadium style, or can fold down, depending on your cargo needs.
Nissan wants technology and safety to be accessible, so the Frontier is packed with standard and optional features including the first application of Nissan Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Nissan Safety Shield 360, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, multiple USB-A and USB-C charging ports, 120V outlet with 400-watt capability (one in the rear and one in the bed), Intelligent Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Driver Alertness, rear sonar and Rear Door Alert. The Frontier features eight standard airbags.
All the NVH improvements are apparent, and the solid thunk of the doors closing gives you an idea of what to expect from behind the wheel of the Frontier. Steering feel is exceptional, albeit with a little too much effort required for a truck that is likely to spend most of its life traversing the urban landscape and wheeling into tight parking spots. A little additional assist would be nice. Steering effort aside, we do need to point out just how directionally stable the Frontier is, easily holding a heading without much pilot input.
Throttle tip-in is good, although the nine-speed automatic could shift a little quicker and firmer (a fix Nissan engineers tell us is already being addressed). We do think the V-6/nine-speed is a good combo, well matched to the truck, and delivers solid acceleration. On the "whoa" side, the Frontier's brakes have great pedal feel and are easy to modulate.
The PRO-4X has a 6,270-pound max towing limit and standard trailer sway control. We tested the truck with a 5,800-pound boat with inertia brakes on the trailer, and the Frontier handled the load much better than its size would imply.
The Frontier feels stable, solid, and treats the driver to excellent outward visibility. This is a truck we wouldn't hesitate to take on a 1,000-mile road trip right now.
On the trail, the Frontier's perfect size allows it to get into tight spaces, and we like the tuning on the Bilsteins, although it could benefit from a hair more travel for those who like to push it. That being said, the Frontier is a fun, tossable little truck that has a traction control system that keeps the truck moving in 4-Hi, where the rear locker can't be actuated (it's still 4-Lo only).
Thanks to its low First gear of 5.425, the little Nissan has a solid crawl ratio of 54.42, and if that's not enough, the hill descent control system is very effective, without any of the loud solenoid firing of the competition.
Overlanders and car campers will agree that the Pro-4X's 1,230-pound payload capacity will allow a fair amount of gear and passengers to go along on the next adventure.
If there were any suggestions we'd make to Nissan, it would be to offer a more aggressive tire to give us more confidence in tougher terrain, because the chassis is good for it, especially with full underbody skidplating. We'd also ask that Nissan allow the off-road camera system to work at higher speeds. The threshold of 6 miles per hour is just too low to be useful in many situations.
We do love that the Frontier is still a driver's vehicle, with none of the preset drive modes offered in other trucks. It's still an honest little pickup that puts the driver in charge.
With a starting price of $37,240 for the PRO-4X in its sole Crew Cab configuration, the Frontier offers good value for the money. Only three option packages are available (Technology, $990; Convenience, $1,990; and Premium, $2,790), so fully loaded the Frontier comes out to $43,010, before a destination charge of $1,175.
The new Frontier is the truck we'd hoped it would be and more. It raises the bar in design and amenities and is a good value with a lot of content for the price, along with the capability you've come to expect from Frontier. While it won't dominate the higher end of the off-road segment, it can challenge any direct competitor and hold its own. If our experience out on the road is any indication, the design alone will bring in more potential customers. For those looking for a bit more out of the Frontier, NISMO has a line of accessories available, including the Bilstein 6112/5160 performance shock package. We are hopeful this means Nissan has the appetite for an even higher-capability model to go toe to toe with the TRD Pros and ZR2s of the world in the near future.
2022 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab PRO-4X (as tested)
Base price: $37,240
Price as tested: $43,010
Engine: VQ38 3.8L DOHC DI V-6
Rated hp/torque (lb-ft): 310/281
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
4WD system: 2-Hi, 4-Hi, neutral, 4-Lo
Low-range ratio: 2.717:1
Frame type: Ladder
Suspension, f/r: Independent double wishbone with Bilstein monotube shocks/Overslung Dana 44 solid axle with multi-leaf and Bilstein monotube shocks
Axle ratio: 3.692:1
Max crawl ratio: 54.42:1
Steering: Speed sensitive power rack-and-pinion
Brakes, f/r: 11.7x1.1-in vented disc with 2-piston caliper/11.2x0.7-in vented disc with single-piston caliper
Wheels (in): 17x8
Tires: LT265/70R17 Hankook DynaPro AT2
Wheelbase (in): 126.0
Length (in): 210.2
Height (in): 72.9
Width (in): 74.7
Base curb weight (lb): 4,708
Approach/breakover/departure angles (deg): 32.3/19.6/23.0
Minimum ground clearance (in): 9.4
Payload (lb): 1,230
Max towing capacity (lb): 6,270
Fuel capacity (gal): 21.0
Fuel economy (EPA mpg, combined/city/hwy): 19/17/22
Nissan has confirmed plans to electrify its operations in British Sunderland, with a billion pounds earmarked for the production of batteries and a brand new electric car.
According to Autocar, the new EV36Zero production initiative is jointly funded by Nissan, its battery manufacturing partner Envision AESC and Sunderland City Council. It will, the brand says, bring together "electric vehicles, renewable energy sources and battery production, setting the stage for the future of the automotive industry".
The project involves about 6,200 jobs on site and across the supply chain. EV36Zero's announced plans coincide with the 35th anniversary of the Sunderland factory.
Nissan recently unveiled plans to expand its battery manufacturing plant in Sunderland, managed by engineering partner Envision, to supply more batteries for the Leaf, which is being made in the UK, in line with foreign trade rules after Brexit. Now the completely new plant will supply units for all Nissan EV models, while Nissan is working on creating "the first ecological system for the production of electric cars in the world."
The new battery factory will far exceed the 1.9 GWh capacity of the existing plant with a final capacity of 35 GWh - which corresponds to the output of Tesla's location in Nevada. Nissan has announced that it will ship batteries for up to 100,000 of its EVs a year.
Production of the new units in the UK will also make them cheaper, resulting in “EVs being available to a growing number of customers in the future,” Nissan said.
According to the BBC, the investment of the British government in that location is estimated at "tens of millions of pounds", but the specific figure has not been announced.
The inclusion of the Sunderland City Council in the scheme expands the development of the "micro network" of "100% renewable" electricity. Building on the renewable energy sources already in place at Sunderland, Microgrid plans, valued at around £ 80m, could install up to ten new solar farms and implement a direct link to "renewable energy from the UK grid".
In the meantime, some £ 423 million will be allocated for the production of a new electric crossover that "promises the design, efficiency and technology of next-generation batteries, making the transition to electric driving even more affordable".
Nissan has not yet released details about the new electric crossover, although the announcement images suggest it will be slightly smaller than the Ariya model, but will adopt a similar coupe-style silhouette. It will use the same CMF-EV platform that Nissan Aeiya has and the new Renault Megane E-Tech.
The start date of production is not specified, but the current generation Leaf will go out of production around 2024, suggesting that the new model could be a replacement for Nissan's pioneering EV.
The Sunderland plant will produce a new EV for the European market, which will result in the creation of 909 new jobs.
When SUVs first arrived on the American scene, they were purpose-built, off-road adventure and utility vehicles. They weren’t luxurious and they weren’t comfortable; they were work wagons used by forest rangers and farmers. Somewhere along the way, they became eight-seat family vehicles, replacing the station wagon and minivan in most driveways. But the trend we’ve spotted for the 2020s seems to be an effort by automakers to recapture some semblance of that off-road adventurism after decades of moving toward making them glorified tall wagons.
The latest automaker to do that is Nissan, which has redesigned the latest 2022 Pathfinder three-row to be more rugged, more outdoorsy and slightly more capable in the dirt than its solidly street-oriented predecessor without giving up any of the luxury, safety and connectivity that modern families expect in an SUV. I drove the new ’22 Pathfinder through Southeast Michigan recently to see if Nissan’s moves to butch up the new Pathfinder have paid off.
The Family Resemblance Is Strong
The fourth-generation Pathfinder was a generic blob-shaped thing that bore no family resemblance to the chunky original 1986 model at all. This new fifth-generation model is a complete departure that incorporates some styling cues from the original Pathfinder, such as the forward-swept C-pillar, three-slot grille and overall squared-off, thick body styling. It’s actually a little shorter than the outgoing model, but changes its proportions by being taller and wider.
I have to say it looks much, much better than the last Pathfinder, with definite family resemblance to the latest angular Nissans like the larger Armada and smaller Rogue. The slim headlights taper into the wide and prominent fenders, with the taillights stretching across the rear to again emphasize the Pathfinder’s width. Its geometric looks make the new Pathfinder feel like a larger vehicle than the one it’s replacing, but the overall dimensions don’t change all that much. Suffice it to say, it both looks and feels big — this was not an effort to slim down the SUV, this was an effort to make it look more rugged and aggressive, and it worked well.
It Expects You to Drive Like the Family’s in There
Powering the 2022 Pathfinder is the same 3.5-liter V-6 that’s in the outgoing model — it makes 284 horsepower and 259 pounds-feet of torque, which is unchanged from the previous Pathfinder. What’s new is what that engine is connected to: a conventional nine-speed automatic transmission, replacing the unloved continuously variable automatic transmission in the old Pathfinder. That change is meant to improve the Pathfinder’s off-road ability, its towing durability, its driving dynamics and more — and in most ways, it delivers. It doesn’t sacrifice gas mileage, which is up 1 mpg combined in AWD versions over the 2020 model (the last model year sold). Lower trim levels increased from an EPA-estimated 22 mpg to 23 mpg, and the AWD Platinum is up from 21 to 22 mpg. The combined rating remains 23 mpg for front-drive Pathfinders, but the city/highway distribution has changed slightly to 21/27 mpg city/highway.
Driving the new Pathfinder is best done at a relaxed pace, as if the whole family is on board for a ride and you don’t want kids dropping juice boxes or Grandma to stress any joints. With moderate acceleration, the V-6 is perfectly adequate, the new nine-speed auto-shifts smoothly and calmly, and the whole experience is that of a big, heavy SUV doing what it does best: ferrying the brood to soccer practice or the mall in quiet comfort. The transmission does hunt a lot for its gears, but with nine speeds to play with, this is to be expected — only occasionally does it feel like it’s missing the beat and not keeping up with the driver’s anticipated moves. For example, when coasting down to a stop but then deciding to give it some more power as traffic has cleared from a light, it gets a little confused and might select a gear lower than it needs to. But overall, the powertrain is smooth, refined and perfectly adequate to the task of powering the Pathfinder.
The Pathfinder’s overall feel is of a heavy SUV, however, especially when negotiating tight turns and roundabouts or performing hard acceleration and braking maneuvers. Body movement is pronounced in such situations, squatting hard on its rear haunches under full acceleration, diving noticeably under hard braking and plowing through quick turns with considerable understeer. It doesn’t like being hustled along quickly, lacking the athletic feel that a Ford Explorer has with its tightly controlled body motions and punchy turbocharged engines. Slipping the drive mode selector into Sport mode does improve steering feel and feedback, but it becomes clear to the driver that this is the equivalent of a family minivan, not a sports wagon, and that you (and your passengers) are going to be happiest keeping the Pathfinder at a simmer rather than a full steaming boil.
Comfort and Style Aplenty
But the Pathfinder will happily simmer along all day, with a truly comfortable ride even on high-spec models that have big wheels and low-profile tires. Road noise does make it into the cabin, again thanks to those big wheels and tires, and it’s made even more noticeable by the lack of wind noise to mask it. But the overall serenity of the Pathfinder’s completely redesigned cabin is barely affected by the outside world. The new look inside is excellent, with a modern feel and updated electronics that combine with solid material choices and build quality to create a well-updated cabin.
Seat comfort is good, but we’re still not seeing the “magic” of the so-called Zero Gravity Seats. They just feel like seats — no better or worse than any others, really (except, perhaps, for the aforementioned Explorer, which has seat bottoms that feel too short). There’s noticeably plentiful passenger space, however, with tons of room up front or in the sliding second row, both for width and legroom. The third row in many three-row SUVs is often best used only for children, with a few notable exceptions (like the Volkswagen Atlas and Hyundai Palisade). The additional width that comes with the new 2022 Pathfinder makes the third row here a usable size for adults, as well, especially given the second row’s sliding ability, allowing for passengers in the second and third rows to negotiate available legroom among themselves. Third-row ingress and egress is easy, too, thanks to Nissan’s one-touch EZ Flex Latch and Glide button that slides and tilts the second row, even with child-safety seats attached.
The updated interior electronics are welcome, with an available 9.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system that’s located high on the dash for easy visibility and use. It’s accompanied by an available 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster that provides all sorts of information, some more useful than others, and two different configurations that look slick. There’s also an available 10.8-inch head-up display that puts all the relevant information up in the driver’s sight line but features an oddly offset speedometer readout. Still, everything is clear and easy to read, and after some experimentation with configurations and settings, you’re sure to find a setup that provides all the information you want without having to hunt through menus. As with most new vehicles these days, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, and Wi-Fi connectivity with wireless charging is available.
About That Ruggedness …
Nissan felt it important to demonstrate that the new Pathfinder is a capable off-roader, as the changes made to amp up its rugged image are more than just cosmetic. That’s why the company booked some time at Holly Oaks ORV Park north of Detroit for a brief romp through the dirt and mud to show off the Pathfinder’s terrain select function.
Rotating the selector through the options to the Mud and Ruts function changes a host of vehicle attributes, while a quick push of the central button engages the automatic hill descent control. And with that, the Pathfinder was off to tackle terrain that it’s unlikely to see in the hands of typical buyers — loose gravel ascents, steep and slippery slopes — which it did without complaint or difficulty, it must be said. We didn’t do any serious rock crawling, but let’s be honest here: Despite the Pathfinder’s looks, this is not a proper off-road machine. It does feature a new clutch that allows for predictive all-wheel drive (no longer waiting for front-wheel slip to be detected before engaging the rears, the computer makes the call before that happens now), but the all-season tires, lack of underbody skid plate protection and no locking transfer case mean this is still a soft-roader, and that’s perfectly fine. You can option up a Pathfinder with accessories that make it a bit more capable, but anyone serious about going further off-road is likely looking at a Nissan Titan pickup in Pro-4X trim instead. Suffice it to say that the Pathfinder will handle rutted dirt roads and family off-grid camping duty just fine thanks to its softer suspension, but you’re not likely to ever see one out overlanding across the Arizona desert.
Nissan has kept the trim levels and pricing for the new Pathfinder simple with four trim levels. Two option packages are available, as well, so finding a Pathfinder that has a specific option you want (like the panoramic moonroof or leather interior) means finding the required trim level. The starting price is $34,560 for a front-wheel-drive S trim, which is roughly $1,400 more than the outgoing 2020 Pathfinder, while a Platinum 4WD rings in at just less than $50,000. That’s a healthy jump over the outgoing model, but it does reflect considerable added standard equipment, the most important of which might be the updated Nissan Safety Shield 360 system that brings automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot warning, high-beam assist and class exclusive rear automatic braking — that last one being a key feature for a family car, where kids may be running around the vehicle. The Pathfinder also features a driver alertness sensor, rear door alert and rear sonar as standard, with blind spot intervention, lane intervention and traffic sign recognition as optional. Nissan’s latest ProPilot Assist cruise control is also available, which helps steer the vehicle on the highway but doesn’t let you remove your hands from the steering wheel, unlike GM’s Super Cruise system.
So in the end, yes, the new Pathfinder is indeed a bit more rugged and a bit more capable off-road. But honestly, I think the areas that will matter more to its intended buyers are the better interior space, top-notch connectivity, smooth and quiet ride, and its ability to be an even more comfortable and capable family vehicle. The trend toward being more outdoorsy after enduring pandemic lockdowns will match well with the Pathfinder’s new image and abilities, but it’s good to know Nissan hasn’t sacrificed the aforementioned areas in which the Pathfinder needed to be good in favor of new areas where it really didn’t need to go at all.
Nissan announced earlier that it plans to close its factory in Barcelona, which basically means that Navarra will be withdrawn from sale. At least in Europe.
According to Nissan, the decision reflects the shrinking pick-up market in the Old Continent, where only 116,280 sales were registered last year. The Renault Alaskan and Mercedes X-Class, sister models of the Navarre, were also made in Barcelona, but were discontinued for the same reason.
"Production of the current-generation Nissan Navara for European markets will end when our Barcelona plant closes in December 2021, and sales will be completed during 2022," Nissan said in a statement to Automotive News. "This reflects the declining segment of trucks in Europe and the shift that many consumers are taking from trucks to our range of modern and efficient vans."
Nissan had an alternative solution to import Navarre from Thailand to Europe, although the board of directors has already decided not to do so.
Navarra was first launched in 1985, and was even produced in Greece for the local market. The 2004 model is still considered very important for the European segment of the truck, as it has revolutionized it with a more comfortable cabin, new features and more refined driving quality. Mercedes also tried to steal sales from segment leaders Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux in Europe with the X-Class, which was closely linked to the Navarre. It was discontinued in May last year due to poor sales, and was followed by Renault Alaskan.