SHOP ON-LINE AT
OPTICAL AND HEARING
6th July, 2005
Nissan Australia has announced the release of the all-new 2005 Pathfinder, a go-anywhere four-wheel drive wagon which now offers both petrol and diesel engines, handsome design cues and a flexible 7-seat interior.
Retaining the rugged four-wheel drive ability and on-road driving comfort its predecessor was renowned for, the 2005 Nissan Pathfinder boasts generous levels of standard equipment and unrivalled versatility, meeting all the requirements of the modern, adventure-oriented family.
The 2005 Pathfinder now offers dynamic performance with the choice of two responsive powerplants. The potent 4.0-litre DOHC V6 petrol engine generates 198kW @ 5600 rpm and 385Nm @ 4000 rpm and is mated to a smooth shifting five-speed automatic transmission with manual sequential shift function. The flexible yet refined 2.5-litre common-rail turbo diesel engine generates 128kW @ 4000 rpm and a massive 403Nm of torque @ 2000 rpm and is available with a new six-speed manual or the five-speed automatic transmission.
Offering impressive off-road ability, the 2005 Pathfinder has a body-on-frame construction with a sturdy, fully boxed all-steel ladder chassis and the latest generation of Nissan’s highly sophisticated, electronically controlled ALL MODE 4x4 control system with rock-hopping low range gears.
Excellent on-road driving dynamics are enhanced by the front double wishbone and rear multi-link independent suspension and anti-roll bars.
Sure-footed braking is supplied by ventilated discs front and rear, anti-lock braking system with brake assist and electronic brake distribution.
Styled in Japan and North America and manufactured in Spain, the 2005 Pathfinder offers the ruggedly handsome exterior expected of a Nissan four-wheel drive.
Based on the Dunehawk concept vehicle unveiled at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, the 2005 Pathfinder bears Nissan’s signature four-wheel drive family grille and gently curving sides, narrower at roof and chassis level but wider at the belt-line to create extra interior space at elbow level. The distinctive side-profile is dominated by a strong horizontal shoulder/window line that is broken by a sharply angled C-pillar. Short front and rear overhangs provide an approach angle of 33 degrees, departure angle of 26 degrees and excellent ground clearance of 211mm, highlighting the 2005 Pathfinder’s four-wheel drive heritage.
Inside, the clever design of the body provides generous shoulder and elbow room and an airy and comfortable, yet flexible cabin. An ergonomically designed, soft-touch dashboard and instrument cluster complement the interior finish, while the three rows of seats allow easy access and provide an extraordinary 64 different seating/cargo configurations.
Storage solutions abound, with a potential cargo length of 2.8 metres, two front-passenger glove boxes, under-seat storage boxes and a luggage capacity of 190 litres with all the seats in place, rising to 2091 litres with the second and third rows of seats lowered.
The 2005 Pathfinder provides a flexible range of specification gradients. The entry-level ST is available with either diesel or petrol powerplants and is generously equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, ABS anti-lock brakes, dual airbags, air-conditioning, remote central locking, electric mirrors and windows, cruise control and CD/Tuner.
The mid-level ST-L – again available with both engines - adds 17-inch alloy wheels, Nissan’s Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system, luxury cloth seat trim, leather trim to steering wheel and gear shift, dual zone automatic air-conditioning, roof rails, side steps, fog lamps and a 6-stacker CD/Tuner with steering wheel mounted audio controls.
Topping the 2005 Pathfinder’s line-up is the luxurious Ti model, available only with the petrol engine, which adds several features to the vehicles specifications, including side and curtain airbags, a tilt-slide sunroof, rear air-conditioning, rear seat DVD/MP3 player, wood grain trim, leather heated power seats and rear parking sensors.
Pricing on the 2005 Pathfinder starts at $44,990* for the manual Pathfinder ST turbo-diesel, the automatic is a $3000 option on all diesels. The Pathfinder ST V6 is priced from $47,990*, the higher specified ST-L diesel is priced from $48,990* and the V6 petrol $51,990*. The range topping Pathfinder Ti V6 petrol is priced from $58,990*.
At the launch of the vehicle, Nissan’s product marketing manager, Michael Hayes, said that the 2005 Pathfinder now provides a real alternative for the adventure-oriented, active family.
“With its spacious seven-seat interior, generous levels of standard equipment and the choice of two impressive engines, the 2005 Pathfinder is the ideal lifestyle solution for energetic families seeking a vehicle to live, play and work in,” Mr Hayes said.
“Add to that Pathfinder’s envious four-wheel drive ability, great driving dynamics, rugged styling, seemingly endless interior flexibility, and you have the ultimate freedom machine.”
*Pricing excludes dealer delivery and on-road costs.
The engine is a member of the VQ family which includes the 3.5-litre V6 found in the 350Z sports coupe, Murano and Maxima sedan where the refinement, responsiveness and wide spread of instant, usable torque have proven very popular.
This engine, codenamed the YD25, provides increased performance and economy, with lower emissions and greater refinement.
Closely related to the acclaimed 2.2-litre engine found in European variants of the popular X-TRAIL compact four-wheel drive, the YD25 diesel engine is virtually all new. It features twin overhead camshafts with 16 valves, common rail direct fuel injection and displaces 2,488 cc. Turbocharged and intercooled, it develops 128kW and 403Nm of torque, which peaks at a low 2,000 rpm ensuring Pathfinder always has ample pulling power available.
The adoption of a second generation common rail system with an electronically controlled high pressure fuel injection pump operating at 180 Mpa for greater efficiency provides more power, low emissions and low levels of NVH.
A turbocharger with variable nozzle turbine (VNT) enhances the engine’s responses and also helps lower emissions, while an intercooler, mounted ahead of the radiator, helps increase power. The compression ratio is 16.5 to 1.
Such huge reserves of torque also ensure Pathfinder is a highly able tow car, capable of towing up to 3 tonnes (with electric brakes).
The YD engine features Nissan’s own Modulated Fire (M-Fire) technology, which ensures low fuel consumption and emissions. M-Fire combines three techniques: exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), strong cylinder swirl and optimisation of fuel injection timing.
Recirculating exhaust gases through the air intake lowers both the temperature and oxygen concentration of the mixture resulting in a reduction of NOx emissions while a strong combustion swirl, especially under light and medium loads, ensures complete burn of the fuel with virtually no unburned soot. Optimising the fuel injection timing allows for later combustion than is usual in a direct-injection diesel.
The transmission has been designed to have a light, easy shift action and incorporates double and triple cone synchronisers on the four lower ratios (double on first, third and fourth, triple on second) to achieve this. Single cone, iron sintered balk rings have been adopted on fifth, sixth and reverse.
Gear shifts follow a conventional ‘double H’ pattern with reverse situated next to sixth and accessed after first pushing down on the lever to avoid accidental selection.
Pathfinder is also available with a smooth five-speed automatic transmission. This electronically controlled transmission has been given wider ratios and has been tuned to provide excellent performance and fuel economy, together with exemplary shift action.
As well as a conventional PRND shift pattern, the new automatic has a manual override option as standard. By moving the transmission lever sideways when in ‘D’, the five ratios can be selected manually either by pushing the lever forward to go up a gear or backwards to shift down. When in manual mode, the transmission always defaults to first when the car comes to a halt.
But beneath that exterior lies a true all-rounder, a car that’s as capable on road as it is off the beaten track: an adventurer ready and willing to accompany active families in the pursuit of their goals.
Pathfinder’s chassis combines the best of both on- and off-road technology. Following 4x4 tradition, it employs body-on-frame construction with a sturdy, fully boxed all-steel ladder frame.
Fully independent suspension front and rear provide the on-road handling, stability and ride comfort expected from a car. The result is dynamic on-road performance and sure-footed ability off-road.
Pathfinder corners flatly with little pitch or roll. The suspension optimises ride comfort while the adoption of power assisted rack and pinion steering provides good feedback and linear response.
Ventilated disc brakes
ALL MODE 4x4
Developed by Nissan, the ALL MODE 4x4 system allows secure and relaxed driving under all conditions, both on- and off-road, with advanced electronics taking care of all traction needs and low range gears for serious off-road work.
Activated via a rotary dial on the dashboard, the four modes are Auto, 2WD, 4WD (Hi) and 4WD (Lo). All modes can be accessed on the move, except 4WD (Lo) which should be activated when the vehicle is stationary.
For everyday use, ALL MODE can be left in either Auto or 2WD modes. When locked in 2WD or when the roads are dry and the system is in Auto, Pathfinder operates in rear-wheel drive only, which reduces energy losses and saves on fuel.
The most often used mode is Auto, in which sensors linking the engine’s ECU with the four-wheel drive and ABS controller constantly monitor wheel slippage and automatically send signals to the hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch mounted ahead of the rear axle to apportion torque correctly. When no slippage is detected, the system distributes the torque 0:100 front to rear, but this can change in any proportion up to 50:50 if the going gets slippery.
Left in Auto, the system will automatically compensate for unexpected slippery conditions on-road, such as wet leaves, snow, ice or loose gravel.
ALL MODE 4x4 is linked to an array of electronic traction aids, The ABS sensors, G-sensor, yaw rate sensor and ALL MODE 4x4 controller all communicate with each other to detect a potential loss of traction on any wheel. Depending on the conditions, the system will engage the ABS system to brake a slipping wheel, engage four-wheel drive or activate the traction control system (available on ST-L and Ti).
An Active Brake Limited Slip Differential (available on ST-L and Ti), also controlled by the ABS sensors, applies the brakes to any wheel that has lost traction and, in so doing, transfers drive to the opposite wheel on the same axle.
As a result of this integrated approach, the ALL MODE system can either apply the brake or redirect torque to any individual wheel independently, thus controlling understeer and oversteer on the road and ensuring maximum traction is maintain off-road or when the going gets slippery.
Disc brakes all round are controlled by a four-channel, five-sensor ABS system which incorporates Nissan Brake Assist for maximum emergency stopping power and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution for even braking under all conditions.
STYLING - EXTERIOR
Many of Dunehawk’s styling features have translated directly from show car to production vehicle. The body has gently curving sides that are narrower at roof and chassis level and wider at the belt-line to create extra interior space at elbow level.
This cylindrical theme is repeated at the tailgate and on the wheel arch blisters but contrasts with the practical squared-off roof line. Integrated roof rails (ST-L and Ti models) and the purposeful nose dominated by Nissan’s four-wheel drive family grille have also made the transition intact.
The Pathfinder has a distinctive side profile dominated by a strong horizontal shoulder/window line that is broken by a sharply angled C-pillar and set off by a shallow rear side window.
Formed by the rear door frame, the C-pillar incorporates the handle for the back door, a feature seen not only on Dunehawk but also on previous versions of Pathfinder.
The distinctively styled, six-sided tailgate glass – which opens separately from the door – is another carry over from the show car.
Pathfinder’s four-wheel drive heritage is evident from its good ground clearance and the short front and rear overhangs, designed to enhance hill ascents and descents when off road. Ground clearance is 211mm while approach and departure angles are 33 and 26 degrees respectively.
But while clearly an imposing vehicle, Pathfinder is not so large as to be unwieldy. Despite the seven-seat interior, its overall length of 4740mm is comparable to a large passenger sedan, though its 2850mm wheelbase is longer to help maximise interior space.
At just 1853mm high (including roof rails), the Pathfinder is not nearly as tall as its obvious rivals and has an aerodynamic efficiency at just 0.38.
The versatility of the interior starts with the seats. The second row of seats folds on a 40/20/40 basis while the third row, where fitted, has a 50/50 split.
With all the seats folded, Pathfinder has a totally flat floor. To add even more practicality, the front passenger seat can also be folded flat to provide 2.80m of cargo length.
Folding the third row of seats can be done from outside the vehicle when the tailgate is open. Each seat back has a simple release handle which when pulled allows the seat back to be folded forwards onto the seat squab.
The middle row is equally easy to fold. To access the rear seats, the seat back of either outer seat is folded onto its squab and then the entire assembly tumbled forward to create a walk in entry to the rear.
To create a flat load space, the squab is lifted first and then the seat back folded. In all, there are eight possible seat/cargo configurations for the middle seats alone, all of which can be achieved without having to remove the head restraints first.
Storage and cargo solutions
Pathfinder has a potential luggage area of 190 litres with all the seats in place, rising to 515 litres with the third row folded and to 2091 litres with rows two and three lowered.
Two glove boxes ahead of the front passenger offering a total of 6.4-litres of space, a 6.0-litre storage box within the centre console complete with double deck lid and a small storage box on the dashboard.
Coin, cup and card holders can also be found in the centre console, while there’s a sun glasses holder in a practical overhead console in the roof.
Under the second row of seats is a large hidden under floor storage area with a split lid and moveable interior divider. The box measures 405 x 135 x 100mm (length/width/depth) with the central portion accessible from either outer seat once the central squab has been raised.
Additional storage is found in the rear luggage area, with a small under floor load area for the jack and tools. And in the event of a puncture, luggage doesn’t have to be removed: the spare is mounted underneath the rear floor but released from within for security reasons.
The clever design of the body provides generous shoulder and elbow room, and even though Pathfinder is notably less tall than comparable SUVs, head, knee and leg room in the front two rows of seats is more than ample.