Want a rugged car that can handle city driving and go off-road? The Classic Pathfinder should be on your shortlist, says Kate Ginn
They say: “A real head turner” We say: “Get active, get a Pathfinder”
I like anything that’s labelled “classic”. It has a reassuring ring to it with a hint of promise that whatever you’re buying, it’s going to be a vintage of its kind and, therefore, highly desirable.
Does the Nissan Pathfinder live up to – or indeed, deserve – such a billing?
After all, the family SUV has only been around since 1985 and some might say it doesn’t qualify for the “classic” tag for at least another 20 years. Lovers of the big beast, however, would no doubt beg to differ.
The unveiling of the Classic Pathfinder in Oman this year was a significant step forward in the brand’s repositioning – it is aiming to attract a new breed of customers looking for a stylish and premium SUV.
Purists might not be so pleased. They prefer the more rugged, stripped-down, basic look, but times change and cars have to adapt too, or they risk falling by the wayside where they are left to rust.
To be honest, they need not feel hard done by.
The Classic Pathfinder retains all the good bits of old – rugged truck frame, four-wheel drive and hard as nails exterior – but with extras, such as improved luxury and comfort.
In other words, it’s the sort of car that could chew up the kilometres on a trip to Dubai with ease, take you up Jabel al Akhdar for a mountain trip, or happily deposit the children safely at school before being loaded up with shopping from the mall.
Whatever the terrain or situation, it lives up to its reputation as an authentic adventure vehicle ready to tackle whatever the driver throws its way.
There’s a powerful 4.0L V6 engine under the bonnet. A neat touch is the rotary switch in the cabin, which enables a seamless move from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive and auto, depending on the driving conditions.
There’s plenty of opulence and gadgetry too.
The Classic comes with full auto AC with dual-zone climate control and rear AC controls – vital for those suffocating Omani summers – and a state-of-the-art CD player and speakers.
If you want more, opt for the SE T-2, which comes with a cargo net, roof rails, sunroof and steering wheel controls for cruise control, audio, Bluetooth and the drive computer.
You also get 16-inch alloys and a rear-view camera, along with a super-duper audio system with six thumping speakers – perfect for playing mum and dad’s favourites or the children’s Disney songs at full blast.
Anyone who buys this car is looking for space. The Pathfinder is huge, with three rows and seven seats, plus exceptional storage space. The third row seat folds down, as does the second row separately with a 40/20/40 split, allowing for all sorts of seating configurations depending on the passengers.
Safety – a priority for parents – is good. It’s loaded with air bags, while standard on all Pathfinder models is the four-sensor anti-lock braking system (ABS) and power-assisted steering.
Versatility is where this SUV really wins hands down. Two of my friends have Pathfinders – one a busy mum, the other a newlywed who loves nothing more than getting off the beaten track with her husband and their pet dog.
Both love their Pathfinders for different reasons, but with the same depth of passion.