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Journeys : Oct Nov 2011
Darren Moody He says Nissan Pathfinder Ti 550 Pathfinder has a class-leading V6 diesel delivering 170kW and a thumping 550Nm of torque, coupled to a seven-speed automatic transmission all capable of tow ing up to 3500kgs (braked) – so you have one hell of a unit to haul that big boat or van anywhere you want to go! Under the skin, Pathfinder is largely Navara, and the driving dynamics ref lect that. Ride comfort is marginally better than you might expect, but steering is a little slow and feels quite vague. Despite bigger brakes than the standard Pathfinder, the pedal is a bit wooden, although it pulls up this not inconsiderable sized SUV without any issues and I’m sure would do so with a boat or van as well when required. Fuel consumption from the grunty oil bur ner hovered around 14 L/100km in the city and 400km on the open road netted 10.1L /100km, despite the official combined cycle saying 9.3 L/100km. Expect numbers closer to 14 L/100km when towing. As much as I love the performance and drivability of moder n turbo diesel engines, you just can’t get rid of that diesel smell on your hands after filling up, so I recommend a full-ser vice station or a pack of disposable latex gloves. (Now I sound like ‘she’!) Having the Pathfinder in the middle of the coldest week of the year had its positives and negatives. A plus was the heated seats, but the negative was the time it took for the heater to war m up. This is actually quite common among diesel engines, largely due to the more substantial construction of the diesel engine block and its lack of ability to heat quickly. Also useful on those frosty mor nings were the heated exterior mirrors. While I didn’t manage to find the time to use the 4WD system, having driven Navara in the bush, I have little doubt Pathfinder would match it, despite carr ying a little more weight. Pathfinder uses Nissan’s All- Mode 4x4 system that allows you to select the appropriate dr ivetrain mode to suit your current circumstances, from 2WD only to maximise fuel consumption, auto mode that chooses the best option or a hi or low-range 4WD setting, all by tur ning a knob on the dashboard. Add to that hill descent and hill start assist, it is a formidable off-road package. Nissan has listed ABLS (Active Brake Limited Slip) as a safety feature, and in a way I suppose it is safety-related, but it appears its predominant use is to apply a braking pressure to a slipping/spinning wheel and reduce engine output, transferr ing dr ive to a non-spinning wheel – sort of an off-road traction control system. With the standard features list as long as your arm, an industry leading drive-train and huge towing capacity, Pathfinder doesn’t come cheap – try just on $76,000 plus on roads. But don’t let that hold you back from taking one for a test drive, especially if you have long-haul towing w ith some off-road recreation in mind. Life on the move 46 October / November 2011 Driver training for all .drivers. Modern vehicles Expert instructors Individual driving lessons for learners and driver assessment RACT Driver Training graduates receive special discounts on joining RACT Roadside membership. Low-Risk Driver Training with both private and business courses. Hobart 6232 6399 Launceston 6335 5612 Devonport 6421 1918 Burnie 6434 2913 6609 www.ract.com.au
MNJ Aug Sep 2011