Nissan USA has revealed its first major update for the Pathfinder range, with a number of mechanical and cosmetic upgrades applied to the Japanese-automaker’s large SUV to improve performance, handling and in-car technology.
Exterior changes include a new set of boomerang-shaped headlamps, revised bumper plastics, new 18- and 20-inch alloy wheel designs and a grille that more closely conforms to Nissan’s latest ‘V Motion’ corporate identity.
A motion-activated power tailgate is also available on some US-spec grades, and in interior sees an updated infotainment display in the centre of the dash, new music and driver assistance “pages” for the trip computer and moving object detection for the Pathfinder’s 360-degree parking camera.
The most substantial update occurs immediately behind that new grille.
By mixing and matching components from Nissan’s extensive inventory of powertrain parts, power from the Pathfinder’s 3.5 litre petrol V6 has increased to 212kW from 194kW, with torque rising to 351Nm from the current model’s 325Nm.
That puts it well ahead of its primary competitor the Toyota Kluger, which makes 201kW and 337Nm from an identically-sized petrol V6.
Among the changes that helped gift the Pathfinder with more muscle were the addition of direct injection,new pistons and an increase in compression ratio to 11.0:1. Compared to the engine currently in use, the 2017 Pathfinder’s motor is 32 percent new.
An Xtronic CVT automatic continues to be the sole transmission offering, but receives a revised calibration to improve shift feel and reduce “flaring” under acceleration.
There’s a retuned suspension underneath, as well. Front shock absorbers stiffness has been increased by 11 percent while the rear suspension is now seven percent stiffer.
Rebound springs have been added to the front struts to help assist with roll balance and body control too, while rear spring rates have been upped by 25 percent.
Local specifications and pricing have yet to be announced, but Nissan Australia has confirmed a domestic debut sometime in the first half of 2017.
There’s no word as yet whether the Pathfinder Hybrid will continue to be a part of Nissan Australia's Pathfinder range.