Nissan on right Pathfinder

Iain Dooley checks out Nissan's purposeful and practical Pathfinder sport utility vehicle.Engines - With a big sport utility vehicle like the Pathfinder the sensible option is to choose a diesel engine.

Iain Dooley checks out Nissan's purposeful and practical Pathfinder sport utility vehicle.

Engines - With a big sport utility vehicle like the Pathfinder the sensible option is to choose a diesel engine. The gutsy 2.5-litre unit offers all the pulling power you'll need for a range of duties, while the quieter, but less frugal six-pot petrol engine, will likely appeal to those seeking greater refinement.


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Exterior - With its rugged looks and chunky stance, there's no chance of confusing the Pathfinder for a 'soft-roader'. With its traditional high-rise SUV appearance, rugged terrain is unlikely to cause you any problems.

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Interior - The Pathfinder's sombre interior is perhaps at odds with its bold exterior but think about it: if you're going to put this car to work the last thing you need is a fancy cabin that you'd hate to get dirty. Everything is pure Nissan, which means solid construction and plenty of space.

Driving - Sturdy rather than speedy, the Pathfinder delivers the kind of experience that you need from a genuine 4x4. With its ability to blend into the city and cope well with rugged and slippery off-road terrain away from the urban crawl, there's virtually nothing that it can't do. And with the torquey diesel engine there's (almost) nothing it can't pull, either.

Ownership - A thoroughly decent, practical and easy to drive car, the Pathfinder offers a pain-free SUV ownership experience. Factor in durability, all-weather versatility plus a surprisingly agile on-road ride and there's a lot to like.

What to look for - With any serious 4x4 it's always wise to look for underbody damage resulting from over-enthusiastic off-roading or towing. On such a new car its general condition should be first rate, while a current service history is a must. General wear and tear is acceptable but evidence of damage to seats or trim should be avoided.

Model history - 2005, Nissan launches a mid-size SUV, the Pathfinder. Positioned to compete with both 'soft-roaders' and utility 4x4s, the Pathfinder offers a car-like cabin and genuine rugged terrain capabilities. Diesel and petrol engines offered from launch, plus a good level of standard equipment.

Reasons to buy - Good value, solid build, capable of-road, diesel engine option.

Reasons to beware - Lacks refinement on-road, thirsty petrol engine.

Pick of the range - Pathfinder 2.5 dCi Sport.

What to pay - 2006 56 �14,600; 2007 07 �16,000; 2007 57 �16,525; 2008 08 �18,200; 2009 09 �20,125. Figures relate to showroom prices for cars in A1 condition.

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