From December 2010 issue

List price when tested: £31,595
Kerbweight: 2285kg*
85% match: 1942kg
Max towing weight: 3000kg
Towball limit: 120kg
30-60mph: 12.6seconds
30-0mph: na
*Includes 75kg for the driver, and so differs from Nissan’s published kerbweight

THE NISSAN Pathfinder won’t win any prizes for ride comfort or refinement, but if you accept a few compromises this big 4×4 makes a competent tug.

With a kerbweight the lardy side of two tonnes, the Nissan will tow just about anything. It has the strength to cope, too, thanks to a 2.5-litre diesel engine with 332lb.ft of torque. We hitched up to a Sprite Quattro and headed to the test track. In our 30-60mph test, designed to mimic the acceleration you might make joining the motorway, the Pathfinder hit the legal limit after 12.6 seconds.

It’s a noisy engine, though, and makes its presence felt whenever your right foot gets near the floor.

No stability issues on motorway

Through the lane-change manoeuvre the Pathfinder leaned quite heavily and ran out of grip early, but the caravan never felt like it was taking charge. On the public road the modest road-holding was less of an issue, and at motorway speeds we had no stability issues.

Leave the tourer on your driveway and the Pathfinder accelerates strongly, but the ride is unsettled, especially around town. Compared with more expensive seven-seat 4x4s like the Land Rover Discovery the Nissan feels unsophisticated.

With all seven seats upright there’s not much space for luggage, but it doesn’t take long to fold away the third row. As a five-seater there’s a lot more space for your holiday suitcases. Fold the middle row away and there’s a van-like 2091 litres of space to fill.

In spite of our reservations, there’s something likeable about the Pathfinder. It may be rough, but it is ready.

We say
Towing: 3/5
Solo: 3/5
Practicality: 4/5
Buying & owning: 3/5

Verdict: 3/5 – A strong engine, four wheel drive and seven seats, but a little rough around the edges.

Find out more about this car at