The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder N-TREK SUV is an all-round great choice for a big family all-wheel drive.
I tested the five-door, seven-seat Pathfinder on a 20-hour round trip that covered more than 1500km from Sydney to Byron Bay over the space of a week. Here are the five things it gets right and one thing it gets wrong.
1. Driver comfort
The driver’s seat is really comfortable – perfect for a long trip. It allows for a range of adjustments, including adjustable lumbar support and temperature.
The steering wheel also adjusts through a wide range. Unsurprisingly for such a big car, you sit high with a great view of the road.
It has well-designed centre console storage that splits neatly into an upper and lower compartment and plenty of storage compartments for drink bottles, phones, keys and wallets. The glove box is huge, too.
The family four-wheel drive is a relatively daggy category of car but, at the price point, the Pathfinder is a great looking vehicle.
With contrasting black on the front grille, door handles, wheel arches, roof rails and door mirrors and a silver lower bumper guard, it has a suave look notwithstanding its boxy body. Contrasting black and silver alloy wheels add to that style.
Sitting high on the road, with a smooth ride and relatively good acceleration for such a big car, it’s ideal for the highway.
However, it was also surprisingly good on the undulations and windy roads around Myall Lakes.
4. Back row access
Nissan has come up with a clever folding solution for the middle row of seats that provides good access to the rear row of seats.
The seat folds up and the now compact unit slides forward. Unlike so many third rows that are strictly child-only, a reasonably lithe adult could easily slip into the third row.
Add to that relatively good legroom in both the second and third rows, a large rear sunroof and separate climate control in all three rows, and you have a very comfortable passenger experience, even with a full car.
I’ve already mentioned the huge glovebox and deep centre console. On top of that, there are (an almost over the top) thirteen cup holders throughout.
The boot fills out the generous storage options with a mammoth 1164 litres with the third row folded down and 2004 litres with both the second and third rows folded down. Perfect for hauling around gear for the kids.
The one thing it gets wrong
The infotainment system. First, the centre panel has a bewildering array of buttons and knobs in addition to the touch-screen display. It’s an overly busy and confusing set-up.
Second, the screen technology – in particular, the map – feels dated and not just because it doesn’t allow Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The infotainment system gets the job done but it’s a real contrast with the slick exterior.
All in all, tough, the Nissan Pathfinder is a great car for a long drive with the family.
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