2024 Nissan Pathfinder review

Nissan has overhauled almost its entire SUV range over the past few years, after letting some models wither on the vine.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

2024 Nissan Pathfinder review

The Nissan Pathfinder was the most neglected. The previous generation was launched in Australia in 2013, but the current model didn’t arrive here until late in 2022.

It rides on a revised version of the old car’s platform, and continues to be built in the US. It’s been developed primarily for the North American market, and goes up against other North America-focused crossovers like the Toyota Kluger and Hyundai Palisade.

The Qashqai and X-Trail are Nissan’s volume-selling crossovers in Australia, with the entry and flagship models of the brand’s SUV lineup being considerably less popular.

The poor Pathfinder has been hamstrung by supply issues, which led to Nissan removing more than half of its lineup and leaving only the two most expensive – and, apparently, most popular – variants: the all-wheel drive Ti and Ti-L.

Nissan’s flagship SUV therefore has one hand tied behind its back, with only a single V6 engine, no optional hybrid or diesel powertrains, and no price-leader front-wheel drive model.

That helps explain why its sales are well below those of rivals like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Palisade, Kia Sorento and Toyota Kluger – should it be on your consideration list?

How much does the Nissan Pathfinder cost?

The 2024 Nissan Pathfinder lineup consists of two variants, both with standard all-wheel drive.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

Prices exclude on-road costs

To see how the Pathfinder compares with its rivals, use our comparison tool.

What is the Nissan Pathfinder like on the inside?

The Pathfinder’s interior will be familiar if you’ve sat in an X-Trail, with lots of common switchgear and a strong family resemblance.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

The X-Trail has one of the more impressive interiors in its segment, but the Pathfinder’s – at this much higher price point – doesn’t impress as much.

It’s not helped by the black colourway that’s the only one on offer in Australia. While there’s some attractive metal-look trim for contrast at either end of the dashboard, it’s used sparingly while gloss black trim is slathered across the centre stack – it doesn’t really make for much contrast, and it just attracts dust and smudges.

Material quality is hard to fault. There are plenty of soft-touch surfaces, including the door tops front and rear, as well as the sides of the centre console.

Speaking of the doors, they open nice and wide but some of my passengers observed they feel a little light. The approach locking and unlocking system however, works excellently.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

The tech is good. A 9.0-inch touchscreen isn’t all that large in 2024, but the infotainment system is easy to navigate and the interface is satisfactory in presentation, if not as modern as rivals like the Kluger.

The surround-view camera has decent if unexceptional resolution.

There’s a 7.0-inch screen in the instrument cluster, as seen in lower versions of the X-Trail, allowing you to view trip information and adjust settings. It’s bracketed by a pair of simple, legible analogue gauges. You don’t really need to look at these though, thanks to the handy head-up display.

A 13-speaker Bose sound system offers good sound quality, but the air-conditioning behaved strangely at times with reduced airflow out of one vent and extra air coming out of another.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

The layout of the cabin is user-friendly.

The climate controls are a simple array of buttons and knobs, positioned nice and high; the touchscreen juts out of the dashboard without looking like a tacked-on iPad; and there are handy physical shortcut buttons underneath the screen.

But overall, the interior doesn’t feel considerably nicer than an X-Trail’s, nor does it look dramatically different. The yellowish interior lighting also feels low-rent.

Up front, there’s a deep centre console bin; large, easily accessible cupholders; a storage slot and wireless charging tray on the console itself; a rubberised shelf in front of the front passenger good for a mobile phone; and a handy shelf underneath where you can put a smaller handbag. There are also large bottle holders in the doors.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

Step into the back through the wide-opening doors, and there’s a flat floor, plus large cupholders in the doors and another pair in a fold-down armrest. There are separate climate controls back here, as well as a USB-C and a USB-A outlet and heated seats.

There are top-tether anchor points for child seats across all three seating positions too, as well as ISOFIX points for the outboard seats.

There’s ample room here, and the second-row seats helpfully slide to give third-row occupants more room. To get back there, press a button on either side of the split second-row bench and each section will tilt and slide forward.

I’m 180cm tall, and unlike in a Hyundai Palisade I’m unable to sit in the third row without my legs firmly up against the second-row seatbacks.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

But all you need to do is slide the second-row seats forward slightly, and you can get a comfortable seating position for most adults across both rows.

That’s right, the third row can actually fit adults with the second row adjusted thusly. Headroom is surprisingly ample back here due to the Pathfinder’s boxy body.

There are fewer amenities back here, though you still get air vents (in the roof), more cupholders, and a single USB outlet. Most importantly, there’s curtain airbag coverage.

You can fit a child seat back here using either a top-tether or ISOFIX anchor point, but only for the left seat.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

Open the power tailgate and you’ll find 205L of boot space behind the third row, enough to fit a large suitcase. There’s also a giant storage space underneath the boot floor, which was handy when I was transporting some plants I didn’t want to tip over.

Drop the third row and the space expands to 554L, and we were able to easily accommodate three large suitcases for an airport run. The third row seats fold flat, too. Drop the second row, and there’s 782L of space, and a 12V outlet can be found in the boot area.

What’s under the bonnet?

The Nissan Pathfinder is available with just one powertrain in Australia

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

How does the Nissan Pathfinder drive?

It’s strange that Nissan dropped the Pathfinder hybrid right as hybrid sales surged, and we can only hope the company eventually drops one of its excellent e-Power setups in its flagship crossover.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

We’d also bet Nissan is looking at popping a turbocharged four-cylinder engine in this, given the Chinese-market Pathfinder offers just that and this segment is moving away from V6s.

The Toyota Kluger swapped its V6 for a turbo four, while the new Hyundai Santa Fe is launching here as a hybrid but may well gain a turbo four down the line to replace the current V6 – something we expect the Palisade to eventually offer, too.

Even the Jeep Grand Cherokee is rumoured to be ditching its V6 for a turbo four. That’s making the Pathfinder look a little old-fashioned, even if the V6 isn’t a bad mill – though it is thirsty.

We averaged 13.1L/100km over the course of a week of mostly urban driving, though on a loop comprising inner-city, suburban and highway driving we managed 11.7L/100km.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

Most of the cars I’ve owned have had naturally aspirated six-cylinder engines mated with torque-converter automatic transmissions, so the Pathfinder feels comfortably familiar to me, making the noises and sensations I’m well-accustomed to.

In past testing, we’ve managed a 0-100km/h time of 8.1 seconds in the top-spec Ti-L. It definitely feels like an 8.0-second car – the V6 is naturally perkier than a turbo four, so you have to rev it more with peak torque available at 4800rpm.

It doesn’t feel slow, mind you, but nor is it as effortless as some turbocharged rivals. All the while, it makes the kind of raspy sounds you’d expect of an atmo V6. Again, comfortably familiar, but not cutting edge.

The Pathfinder’s cabin stays pretty hushed even at highway speeds or on coarse-chip roads. Engine noise isn’t too loud, either, and it’s not a bad soundtrack to listen to.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

Continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) have their place, though I’d argue a large V6 engine isn’t the right one. So I was pleased to learn when this Pathfinder was revealed that Nissan had swapped the old car’s CVT for a nine-speed auto.

The nine-speed does have a habit of holding gears for a touch too long, even in the standard drive mode, lending a slightly slurring sensation to the car – almost like Nissan didn’t want to alienate owners of CVT-equipped Pathfinders.

Overall, it’s not the slickest shifting unit, but it gets the job done.

Ride quality is average. Rivals like the Santa Fe feel tighter and more pliant, with the Pathfinder transmitting expansion joints and patchwork surfaces into the cabin.

It’s unusual, as the ride doesn’t feel all that stiff, it just can’t seem to iron out these aspects of the road surface all that well and ends up feeling quite busy on a lot of roads. The tyres were at the placarded pressures, too.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

I was surprised by how much wheelspin the Pathfinder has, particularly for an all-wheel drive vehicle. It’s quite easy to chirp the tyres with a heavier throttle input, while a drive through the mountains had the tyres howling in some corners.

We wonder how much these issues could be addressed by simply changing the tyres – the Kumho rubber on this is disappointing, particularly for a large family SUV.

Grip is poor, and on a couple of wet corners we felt the Pathfinder lose traction. The electronic stability control was a bit slower to intervene than we would like, as well.

It’s not as though we were driving this like it was on a race track, either. Mind you, rubber aside, the Pathfinder’s dynamics are competitive if not segment-leading.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

The steering lacks the progressive feel of rivals like the Santa Fe and dearly departed Mazda CX-9, though the weighting strikes a good balance for the segment and the Pathfinder is easy to park.

Body roll is well-controlled, with the Pathfinder staying fairly flat in corners. Overall body control is decent, with the Nissan not bobbing too much on undulating roads.

The driver assists are well-calibrated. Lane-centring, for example, does a commendable job of keeping you within your lane without constantly feeling like it’s trying to countermand your steering inputs.

If you are heading off the beaten, err… path… you can choose between a selection of terrain modes for snow, mud and sand.

What do you get?

With no ST or ST-L currently available, the Ti is the base model in the local Pathfinder range. Despite its price tag, however, it misses out on rain-sensing wipers.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

Standard equipment includes:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Space-saver spare
  • Tyre pressure monitoring
  • Automatic LED headlights
  • Automatic high beam
  • LED front fog lights
  • Power-folding exterior mirrors
  • Power tailgate
  • Remote start
  • Proximity entry with push-button start
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Built-in rear door sunshades
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Satellite navigation
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Wired Android Auto
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • 10.8-inch head-up display
  • 7.0-inch instrument cluster screen
  • Wireless phone charger
  • 13-speaker Bose sound system
  • Tri-zone climate control
  • Leather-accented steering wheel
  • Tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment
  • 8-seat configuration, incl. second-row three-seat bench
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • Black leather-accented upholstery (leatherette in third row)
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated outboard second-row seats

For an extra $10,000, the Ti-L adds:

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • 7-seat layout incl. second-row captain’s chairs
  • Quilted leather-accented upholstery (leatherette for third row)
  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 4-way power passenger seat
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Digital rear-view mirror

Is the Nissan Pathfinder safe?

The Nissan Pathfinder has a five-star ANCAP safety rating, based on testing conducted in 2022.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

It received an adult occupant protection rating of 86 per cent, a child occupant protection rating of 93 per cent, a vulnerable road user protection rating of 78 per cent, and a safety assist rating of 85 per cent.

Standard safety equipment includes:

  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Junction assist
    • Pedestrian and cyclist detection
    • Reverse AEB
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • ProPilot (adaptive cruise + lane centring)
  • Blind-spot assist
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Surround-view camera
  • Dual front airbags
  • Front centre airbag
  • First- and second-row side airbags
  • Curtain airbags for all three rows

How much does the Nissan Pathfinder cost to run?

The Nissan Pathfinder is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

Servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000km – whichever comes first.

2024 Nissan Pathfinder service pricing:

2024 Nissan Pathfinder service plans:

Even with the discount in pre-paying for services, the Toyota Kluger is still cheaper to maintain than the Pathfinder, as it is with everything else in this segment. The Kluger’s first five services are capped at $265 each.

CarExpert’s Take on the Nissan Pathfinder

The Nissan Pathfinder isn’t the most economical vehicle in its segment; nor does it have the most upscale or spacious interior, the greatest performance, or the most comfortable ride.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

That makes its circa-$70,000 base price a tough pill to swallow.

Not only can you get a mid-range, all-wheel drive Kluger GXL for around $3000 less, even the hybrid version undercuts the Pathfinder Ti.

You get a larger touchscreen but miss out on a head-up display, though otherwise the equipment lists of these two Japanese-branded rivals look pretty similar.

The mid-range Elite version of the new-generation Hyundai Santa Fe also undercuts the Pathfinder, while offering a thrifty hybrid powertrain and a spacious third row.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

If you want a large, all-wheel drive crossover with a more traditional feel, however, the Pathfinder will appeal.

Not everybody wants a turbo or a hybrid, and the Pathfinder is one of the last vehicles in its segment to combine a naturally aspirated V6 with all-wheel drive. We also appreciate Nissan dropping the CVT for a conventional auto.

It mightn’t have the largest third row, but you can still get a whole complement of adults comfortably on board and the quiet cabin has plenty of storage – and a plethora of cupholders.

Throw in handsome styling and decent handling and the Pathfinder still makes a case for itself. We’d advise you to check out rivals like the Hyundai Santa Fe, Palisade and Toyota Kluger though, before signing on the dotted line.

android, 2024 nissan pathfinder review

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MORE: Buy a Nissan PathfinderMORE: Everything Nissan Pathfinder

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