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Pathfinder, from off road to luxury

Published:Tuesday | September 1, 2015 | 12:00 AMKareem Latouche

The 2015 Pathfinder has abandoned its traditional, rugged look for something more family oriented. With an obese body. It looks like a hybrid of a SUV and a saloon.


Who is it for


- Someone who likes the feel of a luxury SUV without the hefty price tag.

- Someone who has a big family and frequently travels far distances, for example, Mobay to Kingston.

- With its refined interior, versatility and exterior curves, I can easily see a female executive driving this.


What I learnt from driving the 2015 Pathfinder


- Power - Don't let the size of this vehicle fool you, as soon as it reaches 2000 rpm you immediately feel the power. The 3.5L V6 makes overtaking effortless. While driving along the Palisadoes road, I had it weaving in and out of lanes like a sports car.

If you desire more power, there is a sports button on the right of the gear lever. When this is activated, the engine makes an initial growl, as if it's making you know 'I'm ready'. The drawback to all this is the gas usage. This is a guzzler but, to be fair, SUVs this size usually are.

Cost to fill gas tank: $9,990 (octane 90 @ $135*)

Fuel usage on average 5.9 km/1L

Gas tank size: 74 Litres

- Cameras everywhere: With a vehicle this size, a rear camera would not be enough, hence, there are four cameras for 'around view' monitor. This allows you to see the front, sides and back of the vehicle, simultaneously, on the centre-console display unit. Admittedly, this does take some getting used to for two reasons. One, the camera lens are 'fish eyed' to give better arial coverage, hence, it looks a little altered from the real thing. Second, you will constantly be shifting your eyes from the monitor to the rear-view mirror.

- Vehicle dynamic control: It must be noted that it's not as high off the ground as a Toyota Prado so it corners extremely well for its size. Body roll is minimal at high speeds, which also adds to its ability to perform nimbly.

- Cooling seats: Finally, there is a feature that caters to our tropical needs. Buying a vehicle with heated seats for our climate is pointless, but if the seats can be cooled, then that's something to write about. This vehicle is equipped with options for both front seats to activate a seat cooling mechanism. You will immediately feel the change in temperature at the base of the seat, then it slowly creeps to the back.

- Buttons and Display - The interior is loaded with everything you would want in a vehicle but some things felt a bit redundant. For example, the information displayed in the instrument cluster can also be seen on the centre console display. In addition, the figure for the gas usage is shown but it's visualised through a bar chart which can be challenging to read at time.

Price: $8.5 mil*

Tested Model: Pathfinder (Platinum - Fully Loaded)

Basic specs: 3.5L, 7 passenger seating capacity, Bose audio system with 13 speakers, head rest monitors

Competitions: Toyota Prado, BMW X5

Data as at July 2015

You can check the video online at our website or our JamaicaGleaner page on Youtube

Vehicle provided courtesy of Fidelity Motors, 948-5459.

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