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Will the real Nissan Pathfinder please stand up?

Nissan Terra, or is it Pathfinder?
Nissan Terra, or is it Pathfinder?

When the R51 Nissan Pathfinder was replaced in 2013, we all let out a collective sigh. No chassis rails, no proper 4WD, no ground clearance, no transfer case. The Nissan R52 carried the Pathfinder badge in name only. Sure, the R50 was a softroader as well, but it sucked.

When it was winding up, the R51 Pathfinder was a really well sorted out 4WD wagon. It was available with a nice, gutsy turbodiesel V6 that Nissan sourced through their alliance with Renault. It was called the V9X, and was also fitted to the Navara. Making 170kW @ 3,750rpm and 550Nm @ 1,750rpm, the Ti550 had 3.5 tonne towing and was an awesome seven-seat 4WD. If your pockets didn’t run deep enough, the well-known YD25 made a tidy 140kW @ 4,000rpm and 450Nm @ 2000rpm under the bonnet.

But most importantly, it was all based on the D40 Navara. That meant good off-road bones: ladder chassis and transfer case. It had the Navara’s IFS suspension up front, and a multi-link independent rear end.

We reckon this should say "Pathfinder"
We reckon this should say “Pathfinder”

Interestingly, Nissan Australia’s press machine is giving some serious coverage to a 4WD wagon releasing in Southeast Asia. It’s called the Nissan Terra, but we all recognise it as the true Pathfinder. It’s based on the current Navara we have in Australia, using the coil-sprung rear end and ladder chassis with a wagon body whacked on top. It’s being launched in the Philippines at the moment for the broader region, and is already available in China.

Let me say what everyone reading this is thinking: Why isn’t this thing available in Australia? It’s a good question, and it doesn’t have an answer. Nissan media have told other motoring journos that they really want this vehicle, but they don’t have anything in terms of a timeline or plan for getting it into Australia showrooms. But promoting the Malaysian release of the vehicle shows their intent to a degree.

Underneath the Nissan Terra is a similar picture, it's practically identical to a Navara.
Underneath the Nissan Terra is a similar picture, it’s practically identical to a Navara. But we’d like to see some extra underbody protection around that front diff and engine sump.

If it does land, it will be taking on Isuzu’s MU-X and Ford’s Everest as current leaders in the segment. Mitsubishi’s Pajero Sport, Toyota’s Fortuner and Holden’s Trailblazer trail these two in sales numbers, but are all solid 4WDs in their own respect. Haval’s H9 is also now playing in this space.

Read the Unsealed 4X4 Mid-sized 4X4 wagon comparison right here. 

 

We reckon the Nissan Terra should definitely land in Australia, and return the Pathfinder name back to 4WD contention. I don’t know about you, but I reckon there are plenty enough soft-roading SUVs available already.

What do you think? Should Nissan bring this ‘Terra’ Pathfinder 4WD wagon into Australia? Let us know in the comments below.

18 Comments

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  • I have had Nissan wagons all my life from navaras to pathfinds to my favourite a GQ 4.2 shorty patrol diesel then a GU diesel ute but Nissan lost me when they dropped the 4.2 diesel in favour of the 3litre rubbish they replaced the indestructible 4.2 with ..I will never own another Nissan.

  • Just muddying the water really. I have an R51 and I love it. But if I was going to trade up, I don’t know if the Terra would have enough to sway me over the current range. The R51 was ahead of its time as far as I am concerned. The R52 is a copy of what is already on the market.

  • I own a 2011 Pathfinder & it has been good for us towing our small van with relatively good fuel economy. Also, we have got to see many places that we could not prior to buying this vehicle, heading off road in search of new horizons. Nissan dealers have been off my list for some time with their inept service & some outrageous pricing.
    For some time I watched to see how the Pathfinder might evolve. Nissan completely ignored the motorists of this country, and like Microsoft, gave us what they think we wanted, not what we demanded. As such, my Pathfinder is soon to be moved on as I wave goodbye to Nissan who can sit back & sook about missing the boat by procrastinating too long.

  • My 2006 Pathfinder was a good vehicle. Nissan removed Southern Cross group which I purchased it from which was a stupid move. Lack of concern for remote clients so I severed my dealings with Nissan.

  • I think that Nissan needs to work on its after sales service and sort out some of its dealers. I have an R51 and although it is a great truck, my dealings with Nissan and the dealerships have put me off Nissan. Nissan have a problem with their dealers milking warranty claims and as a result are hesitant to honour such claims essentially taking it out on the customer who has to fight for what should be an easy process. Nissan buyers beware.

  • As the very happy owner of a 2011 R51 Pathfinder, I was extremely disappointed when Nissan discontinued this 4WD line. Its practicality, versatility and fuel economy made it a pleasant vehicle to own and drive.

    I have grudgingly swapped to Holden Trailblazer now, and with a few small niggles, am pretty pleased with the way it performs, particularly towing.

    Nissan has lost me I’m afraid, after owning six of their vehicles over the past almost 50 years.

    Cheers,
    Warren G.

  • Have said all a long Nissan need a new pathfinder. I drive a 2012 pathfinder and love it, travelled only 118,000kms towing a 22ft caravan for about half of them k’s with no problems. 2:5 diesel turbo has all the pulling power I need,and yes I am a bit of a grey nomad .

  • Terrano is what the Japanese market version of the pathfinder was called back in the day and yes Nissan Australia should insist on constant 4×4 or at least the auto 4×4 mode of previous pathfinders

  • Nissan, Has lost it way, they stopped listening to the public years ago.
    Once Nissan had an exciting range for both 4X4 owners, Rev heads and those on a budget. (Patrols, Skylines, Pulsar, etc)

    Having owned two R51’s Pathfinders, 2006 and 2013, I am now turning my back on Nissan, and walking away.

    I will no longer have a Nissan badge in my driveway again. Nissan have for too long, told us what we want, and not listened to what we were saying.

    The R51, was the most versatile family 4×4 on the market, great for camping, good off road, fold flat seats, good fuel economy. While it seemed to be shunned in favour of the Prado, it was more versatile, comfortable.

    Then the V6 CVT, replacement, the customer service, the demise of the patrol ute, the V8 petrol, CVT only patrol wagon, weird styling of their small cars.

    While the Terra maybe a suitable replacement, Nissan Australian inability to get the Terra on Aussie shores, shows just how little value Nissan places on Aussies.

    All to much for this once Nissan fan.

  • Will Nissan please stop with the flared up bonnet… It serves no purpose except styling and makes it so much harder to see the outer dimensions of the car. I like the idea of this new car if it doesn’t carry over the numerous flaws from the Navara.

  • Bring it Nissan. Don’t muck around, just do it now. Otherwise promoting a vehicle you are not actually selling is going to do you more harm than good.

  • As someone who laments the day they traded in the 100,000km old Y61 Patrol and settled for a Qashqai for the last three years, rather than jumping ship to another brand, this is akin to the relief felt when taking a pee after a really, really long drive… Ahhhhhhh, about bloody time!.
    Nissan’s GM has been sending all the WRONG messages about this vehicle and telling us it isn’t suitable or saleable for Australia for the last 2 years (even while it was in development) and yes, he’s the same guy that said the Y62 Patrol would sell in BIG numbers in petrol only in Australia. Honestly?
    It will probably take Nissan a year to get this to Australia by this time NEXT year, especially if they want to sort the suspension and and NVH for Australia (like Ford did with the Everest).
    But I”l be waiting by the door of the dealership, like a faithful Collie, ready to trade in my Qashqai in on day one… And it’ll save me from jumping ship… and buying an Everest.

  • The reality is, the last 10-15 years, Nissan Australia, run by morons, I hope they bring the Terra here, I am the first one to buy one, but I doubt it

  • The marketing and engineering people are too busy telling us as consumers what they think we want, rather than listening to what we actually want. Ford Ranger Raptor anyone? You don’t want a V6 Diesel or petrol, have a 2.0 four pot instead. Diesel Patrol, nah, you don’t want that. There was a market here in Australia for years for a mid size 4×4 like the Fortuner yet Toyota didn’t bother bringing that in when they could have. The Prado was it and for many it was too expensive. How many import 4 Runners and Surfs we’re running around?! Now they’ve finally done it the Toyota executives are all patting themselves on the back for a job well done. Seems ridiculous to me that Nissan would not bring in this vehicle in such a competitive market for these types of vehicles. Not everyone wants a dual cab. They were happy bringing in the ugly as sin Nissan Juke…… bet that has sold really well, not.

  • Yes definitely bring the Terra/Pathfinder/Navara wagon to
    Australia, l want 1. Would be a good tow vehicle and tourer. The grey nomads would love this vehicle. Nissan would do well with these here.

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