Nissan Pathfinder ST-L automatic Review

Overall Rating

  • Interior

  • On The Road

  • Ancap

  • Value For Money

  • See Full Specs

What’s Hot

Something good about the Pathfinder

What’s Not

Something bad about the Pathfinder

X Factor

Some kind of "X" factor

  • Country of Origin
  • Price
    $59,490 (plus on-road costs)
  • Engine
    4 Cylinders
  • Output
    140 kW / 450 Nm
  • Transmission
    Sports Automatic
  • ANCAP Rating
  • Airbags
  • L/100 km
  • C02
    238 g/km
  • Luggage Capacity
    705 L
  • Towing (braked)
    3000 kg
  • Towing (unbraked)
    750 kg
Tony O'Kane | Jan 3, 2011 | 3 Comments

Earlier in 2010, Nissan updated its Pathfinder range with some subtle exterior and interior refinements and a more powerful 2.5 litre turbo-diesel engine.

The ST-L model sits in the middle of the Pathfinder range. Roomy and versatile, it comes well-equipped for families with 'active' lifestyles.


  • Quality: Cabin plastics are hard wearing and feel durable; our tester was rattle-free both on and off road.
  • Comfort: The leather-trimmed front seats are comfortable on-road, but prove slippery off-roading. The second-row bench is quite flat in both the squab and backrest. On the plus side, the third-row seats have enough legroom for smaller adults and teens.
  • Equipment: The Pathfinder ST-L gets leather seating (heated and power-adjustable up front), an iPod-compatible 6-CD stereo system, Bluetooth, a trip computer, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone climate control, foglamps, 17-inch alloys and reverse parking sensors.
  • Storage: There's enough room for the weekly shop with the third row raised and plenty of space for a large pram with the third row seats stowed. The second row seatbacks fold flush with the boot floor, accommodating a huge amount of cargo.


  • Driveability: The extra power and torque of the new 2.5 litre turbo-diesel is immediately noticeable on the road. It has no trouble keeping the 2.1-tonne Pathfinder moving.

    The automatic gearbox is a good unit too, with minimal gear-shuffling on inclines and well chosen ratios. It also subtly blips the throttle to smooth out down-changes (a nice touch).
  • Refinement: You'd expect a bit of engine clatter from a diesel, and the Pathfinder is no exception. Still, the cabin is reasonably well isolated and the Pathfinder's engine noise is not as intrusive as some of its competitors.
  • Suspension: With independent suspension front and rear, the Pathfinder possesses good on-road handling and a comfortable ride. Steering effort is not excessive, and neither is its 11.9 metre turning circle.
  • Braking: Ventilated disc brakes are fitted to both axles, and slow a fully-laden Pathfinder down. On gravel, the ABS calibration works well.
  • Off-road: The Pathfinder's greatest off-road limitation is its independent suspension, which doesn't allow as much articulation as some other models in the segment.

    On the plus side, the tractable diesel engine, dual-range transfer case, clever traction-control system and smooth automatic make the Pathfinder easy to pilot on rough trails.


  • ANCAP rating: 4-Stars (pre-update model)
  • Safety features: Standard on the ST-L are six airbags (front, front side and curtain), three-point seatbelts on all seats, ABS, EBD, stability control and traction control.


  • Warranty: 5 year/130,000km vehicle warranty, and a 10 year/160,000km powertrain warranty.
  • Service costs: Servicing costs are capped for the first 120,000km or six years. Before purchase contact your local Nissan dealer, as capped prices may vary.


  • Mitsubishi Challenger XLS ($56,390) - The Challenger's live-axle rear suspension gives more off-road wheel articulation than the Pathfinder – at the expense of on-road comfort – however its interior has less appeal and its engine has less power and torque. (See Challenger reviews)

    Spec levels for the Challenger XLS far exceed the Pathfinder ST-L though, making the Mitsubishi a better value buy.
  • Toyota Landcruiser Prado GXL ($64,400) - The Prado has outstanding off-road abilities, but feels barge-like to drive and is the heaviest of this bunch. It's down on power and torque compared to the Pathfinder, and, at the price, a poor value-for-money proposition. (See Prado reviews)

    Note: prices are Manufacturer's List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.


If you need a tough tow vehicle, it's hard to go past the Pathfinder. The Mitsubishi Challenger may offer better value and the Toyota Prado may have better resale prospects, but the gutsy Pathfinder can haul 500kg more than either.

It's a competent off road wagon that's also easy to live with in suburbia and, thanks to its versatile interior, can handle the school run as easily as a trip to the timber yard.

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Filed under: Featured, review, Nissan, reviews, 2011, suv, medium suv, nissan pathfinder, family, medium, nissan pathfinder st-l, Advice, special-featured

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  • super matthew
    Super Mattthew says,
    5 years ago
    It's a good looking unit I reckon, especially considering its age.
  • says,
    5 years ago
    Even updated model. R51 Pathfinder is dated.
    (Still prettier than Prado or Pajero, I think ).
    I really want to know a review of these three cars with Bull bar and 2 inch lifted OEM suspension (and coil?).
    Drive ability of on and off road, towing ability, fuel consumption, and etc...
    This would be a great review and lots of people might appreciate that.
    Well I don't mind add Hyundai/Kia and LandRover, but I guess that's a wasting time....
    Anyway TMR, you guys have done great job last year and keep work hard this year.
    I will be watching you very often.
  • ruralreg says,
    4 years ago
    Why do you keep getting the warranty wrong ? Nissan is 3 years not 5

Get a deal on this car