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Nissan Pathfinder 2023: watch out Palisade, Nissan’s three-row large SUV is arriving this year with captain’s chairs

John Law

Nissan has revamped its entire monocoque SUV range in Australia, culminating in the US-built Pathfinder with a higher-quality cabin and seating for up to eight

The much-anticipated fifth-generation Nissan Pathfinder – thanks partly to its delayed arrival – will finally launch in Australia later this year to compete with the Hyundai Palisade and Toyota Kluger, among other large SUVs. 

The previous Pathfinder landed here in 2013 and was the first to be sourced from the US – replacing the body-on-frame construction of its predecessor (and the original 1980s Pathfinder) with a monocoque design – and the latest iteration continues that theme, still underpinned by a development of the Nissan D platform.

Nissan Pathfinder 2022-4
The new Nissan Pathfinder promises to return to its tough roots

Under the Pathfinder’s bonnet is a carryover 202kW/340Nm 3.5-litre direct-injection petrol V6, though the new-gen model ditches its CVT in favour of a new nine-speed automatic transmission. The 2.5-litre supercharged four-cylinder is no longer available.

Like before, the new Pathfinder is built in North America for our market, which is one of the few to receive the vehicle in right-hand-drive along with New Zealand. 

It will be the largest of Nissan Australia’s recently-revamped SUV range – sitting above the Juke, Qashqai and X-Trail, with the Patrol still carrying the crown of true 4WD.

Speaking about the Pathfinder, Australian managing director Adam Paterson said “the all-new Pathfinder has been reinvented from the ground up, improving the family friendly formula right across the board.”

Nissan Pathfinder 2022-3
The new Pathfinder is gearing up to launch later this year

Nissan will disclose the Pathfinder’s final pricing closer to its Australian release date in the second half of the year. 

What variants of Pathfinder will be offered?

Nissan retains a similar grade structure as before with ST, ST+, ST-L, and Ti grades. The N-Trek limited edition (based on the US-market ‘Rock Creek’ edition) does not carry over. 

For the new Pathfinder, the ST scores a much larger 9.0-inch touchscreen, a 10.8-inch head-up display and 7.0-inch semi-digitised gauge cluster. The driver also gets an electric driver’s seat with lumbar support, automatic LED headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The ST+ scores a power tailgate, roof rails and LED fog lights, as well as a 360-degree camera, among other safety features.

Nissan Pathfinder 2022-2
At the back the third-row of the Ti is available with Captain’s chairs

Inside, the ST-L gainsa leather-accented upholstery, heating for the outboard rear seats, wireless smartphone charging and a premium 12-speaker Bose stereo.

As the flagship, the Ti gets 20-inch alloy wheels, underbody protection, a panoramic sunroof, and ventilation for the front seats, along with the option of a pair of captain’s chairs in the second row as seen recently in the Mazda CX-9 and Hyundai Palisade.

How safe is the new Pathfinder? 

Despite the previous Pathfinder carrying a five-star ANCAP rating, its safety package was dated compared to rivals.

From ST+ up, the new Pathfinder is equipped with adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane-keep assist, and a 360-degree camera supplementing front AEB with pedestrian, cyclist  and junction detection, reverse AEB and rear parking sensors on the base ST. 

Nissan Pathfinder 2022-1
There is more safety kit fitted to the latest Pathfinder

Nissan has not finalised pricing for the new Pathfinder but its more complete safety package, greater cabin finesse and luxurious captain’s chair option suggests an increase over the outgoing car. 

That means we’re unlikely to see a repeat of the old ST’s $44,240 (before on-road costs) asking price. Instead, expect the 2023 Pathfinder to run from $48-80,000, depending on specification.

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