The Nissan Pathfinder | Part Four

Top-of-the-range Pathfinder is the T-Spec model, which adds £2,400 to the cost of the SVE, but adds equipment worth far more. As well as an electric tilt and slide sunroof and xenon headlamps with headlamp washers, T-Spec models have a full complement of advanced equipment led by a DVD satellite navigation system with new generation Birdview technology and a seven inch full colour screen.

There’s a colour rear view camera to simplify parking while the audio system has been upgraded with MP3 compatibility. Bluetooth phone integration is also standard, as is voice operation for the navigation and phone systems.

With such full standard equipment lists, options are very limited. You can have metallic paint (£400) and, if you’re an SVE buyer, you can specify the £2,000 communications pack which incorporates DVD satnav, rear view camera, Bluetooth phone integration and MP3 compatibility. And that’s it.

A few sales facts and figures…

Pathfinder is aimed at the medium/large SUV sector of the market currently occupied by rivals such as the Land Rover Discovery, Mitsubishi Shogun, Volvo XC90 and Toyota Land Cruiser. Its arrival coincides with the demise of the long serving Nissan Terrano five-door, but Pathfinder is not a direct replacement. The Terrano three-door continues probably to outlive us all.

As the third new Nissan 4x4 in almost as many months, Pathfinder will have to fight for showroom space with two other new all-wheel drive models - Murano and Patrol - when UK sales start in the week beginning 21 March. If all goes according to plan, the trio will help to propel Nissan to third place in the UK 4x4 market by the end of 2005.

And that’s just the beginning. Within two years, Nissan could have the widest 4x4 range of any European manufacturer following the launch of a new crossover model based on the QASHQAI concept shown at the 2004 Geneva motor show. Production of the new model will start at Nissan’s highly efficient factory in Sunderland at the end of 2006.

Last year, 2004, marked the third in a row that Nissan’s 4x4 sales rose spectacularly in the UK. In 2002, the company sold 9,871 units, a figure which rose by more than 60 per cent to 2003’s figure of 15,926.

In 2004, including Pickups, Nissan sold 21,292 4x4s - up more than 30 per cent compared with 2003 - to claim fourth slot in the UK market.

Nissan’s target for 2005 is 24,500 4x4s, a figure than includes 1,000 Muranos, 2,650 Pathfinders and 750 Patrols, with the ever popular X-TRAIL, Pickup and Terrano accounting for the rest.

Published 11 February 2005 Melanie Carter

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