EFTM, in case you don’t know is an acronym that stands for “Every Thing For The Man”. Hence the copious amount of gear we talk about that’s aimed at blokes. One product that’s not is cars, especially SUVs. In fact, just today I looked around at the number of women driving them. They love them or at least their better halves think they do. I’ll get to my wife and her thoughts after 12 weeks with our six month long “simulated owner’s” test in just a sec. But over the weekend I again had the chance to cast my own eye over the top of the tree Nissan Pathfinder Ti.
The Pathfinder is a big, burly machine capable of handling seven humans if you don’t need the cargo space. The Ti model we have is covered in cream leather and cream dash panels that while aren’t at the cutting edge of extravagance, still give it a certain appeal that creams all over my neighbour’s entry level ST model.
A trip out west over the Blue Mountains to Grenfell via Bathurst gave me a good feel for why people love these cars. In fact we’ve now done this twice in recent weeks so I’m pretty familiar with the big Nissan. First up it’s just comfy, quiet and secure. With on-demand AWD it feels safe enough to handle the wet and cold twisty roads out that way. Plus with a newborn in-tow it also easily absorbs all the gear previously foreign to us and the in-laws, who of course I am familiar with.
The Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) isn’t a highlight for me, or in any car for that matter. While the 3.5-litre V6 with 202kW has plenty of go it does feel a tad gruff and strained combined with the CVT.
But after around 700-kilometres I was impressed by the fuel economy. I drive so many cars and tend to just get a feel early on for what kind of figure is coming my way. At 8.2L/100 I was impressed, that was with a 73-litre full tank of 98 RON.
The ride is mostly plush on the highway but with the extra-large 20-inch rims on the Ti model and subsequent lower profile tyres, things are a little harsher on typical Aussie country roads than you’d like for a long drive. It was also a pretty extreme run for our faithful Pathy, conditions dipped at least a few degrees below zero on occasions. One small issue that Nissan is aware of is a problem with the outside temperature gauge. Once you tick over 100km/h and only when on cruise control the figure becomes pixelated. But only when displaying single digit figures, Nissan tell me they’re working on a fix.
But overall, on this my first chance to experience the car myself I walked away happy. It was efficient for a heavy petrol V6, never felt underdone on power and drove with manners you’d expect for a car of this nature.
It’s been twelve weeks of the Nissan Pathfinder for me, early on I didn’t get much of a go due to caring for our newborn son, but in recent weeks I’ve been impressed.
I’ve enjoyed the height of the seats in the back as it means Henry’s car seat is up higher and it’s better for my back when getting him in and out.
It’s a comfortable drive and I feel confident and safe behind the wheel. There’s plenty of useful tech that I’ve now come to terms with. I am looking forward though to the time I turn the car on remotely to warm it up before I get in! And the heated seats are amazing. I enjoy using cruise control and like the fact it maintains a gap with the vehicle in front. I have been disappointed with the navigation system though – I used it on one of my first drives to get to an appointment for Henry and it tried to suggest I turn across a median strip into a one-way street! And that median strip and street have been that way for years. I reckon if manufacturers can’t guarantee up to date maps in a brand-new car then they shouldn’t bother. And how does a new car these days not have automatic wipers?! Clearly, I’ve become a car snob or lazy 😉
Regarding car space, it’s a nice ride as a passenger although I didn’t enjoy one of my first trips in it – I was in labour!! The back is also comfortable and it’s useful being able to set the temperature for Henry a little warmer than for me up front. The boot is also nice and big but it would be tight for space if you needed to make the car a 7-seater. Speaking of the boot, while the height of the car is good for the height of the car seat, it means the boot is also high and lifting our pram up into the back is challenging. I’m now encouraging the husband to give the flick to our Toyota Camry and upgrade to a car of this nature. The size of our pram obviously plays a role. It’s also taking up a lot of space in the back which cuts down room for groceries but that will also change when we no longer require the bassinet attachment.