Nissan has taken some bold steps with their new fourth generation Pathfinder. Gone is the 4x4 low range capability; likewise the diesel option. However, the newbie is larger all round, styling has been upgraded to a more conventional, smoother look and there are some terrific seating options in its very spacious interior.
Nissan has obviously noted the wide acceptance of 2WD models in today’s SUV market because they are offering the new Pathfinder in either 2WD or 4WD. Buyers of the 2WD model get the appropriate savings.
Owners wanting a bit more traction, for example at the boat ramp or when towing a heavy trailer or caravan, can opt for the AWD model. It transfers power from front to all wheels, on demand, via a rotary dial on the centre console. It’s a proven system and does allow just that bit more grunt when push turns to shove.
Understand, though, that whatever drive option you choose, the new Pathfinder’s offroad capability is limited by the greatly reduced ground clearance from the spoiler up front, rather than by sheer traction distribution.