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PATHFINDER VAN HIGHLIGHTS
AT A GLANCE
As a spacious 4x4 with MPV-like versatility, the Nissan Pathfinder has proved particularly popular with customers who appreciate its mix of family car comfort and mountain goat agility.
Now its class-leading qualities of a Tardis-like body and go-anywhere ability are available to the commercial sector in the form of the newly revised Pathfinder Van, a model from Nissan's extensive range of ‘Good To Go' conversions. Available ‘off the shelf', it is fully type approved as a van for VAT and Road Fund Licence purposes.
Given the spacious accommodation afforded to occupants in passenger vehicle guise, it comes as little surprise that in van form the Pathfinder proves to be an eminently capable load carrier. It will hold up to 2.17m3 in its practical cargo bay and can now carry a useful 740 kg payload (previously 650 kg). What's more, access is particularly good, since the load bay can be reached either through the two rear doors, which open to an unusually wide angle of 73 degrees, or via the top hinged tailgate.
Like that fitted to the standard Pathfinder, the Van's tailgate features a separately opening glass section, providing an easy means of quickly dropping items into the back.
The flat load floor is constructed from a steel frame and plywood covering and finished in grey carpet with five lashing rings enabling loads to be secured. A half steel bulkhead is provided behind the front seats and the resulting load length is 1975mm, while minimal intrusion from the wheelarches means that it is possible to place a load up to 1128mm wide between them.
LOAD BAY VERSATILITY
Added flexibility comes in the shape of an optional secondary mesh bulkhead which can be placed just behind the rear side doors, effectively dividing the load area and enabling animals, for example, to be safely contained.
Underfloor high security lockable compartments have also been provided in the conversion, enabling smaller items to be stored out of sight. These are complemented by ample storage for oddments in the split level glove box and large double deck centre console.
Two models of Pathfinder Van are available. The Obscured Glass Van, as its name suggests, has blacked out rear windows to deter prying eyes, with rear side windows deactivated to comply with Type Approval regulations. The second variant is the Panelled Van in which the side glass of the second two rows is replaced with aluminium outer and steel inner panels, the outer panels naturally colour coded with the rest of the vehicle. A roof mounted aerial replaces the window antenna in this model.
WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH...
It's not just its load-swallowing abilities that make Pathfinder stand out in the LCV market, however. The Pathfinder Van is a superb towing vehicle, capable of pulling a 3000kg braked trailer - and if necessary off-road and in awful weather. Standard ESP stability control keeps you safe when things get slippery, while selectable low-range gears with the ALL-MODE four-wheel drive system mean this is one light commercial vehicle that can take care of itself when the road runs out.
ALL-MODE is backed up by a highly efficient new engine. The potent and refined 2.5-litre dCi diesel engine produces 190 PS (up from 171 PS in previous Pathfinder Van) and an awesome 450 Nm of torque.
The result is an exceptional combination of drivability with economy. Pathfinder Van has a top speed of 115 mph, takes 11.0 seconds to reach 62 mph from rest and yet returns 33.2 mpg over the combined cycle. That's a 15% fuel efficiency improvement over the outgoing model, helping the latest Pathfinder Van to achieve a CO2 output of only 224 g/km.
ALL MODE ELECTRONIC FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE AND TRACTION CONTROL
Pathfinder Van's tough body-on-frame design and some of the most sophisticated four-wheel drive technology available anywhere underline its rich SUV heritage. Its advanced ALL MODE 4x4 system gives on-road strength and stability at the same time as giving owners the reassurance that it can cope with the most challenging off-road terrain. As well as incorporating ESP and traction control, the system has added dexterity thanks to a low ratio mode for more grip and manoeuvrability in extreme off-road conditions.
One reason for ALL MODE's success is its simplicity (at least as far as the user is concerned). With grip and stability constantly being monitored electronically, it's a set-and-forget system that gets you out of trouble before you know you're in it. Faster reacting than some other automatic four-wheel drive systems, it anticipates low traction situations and ensures drive is transferred between wheels and axles the instant a problem arises.
And selection of any of the four modes (2WD, Auto, 4WD (Hi) and 4WD (Lo)) is via an easy to use rotary control on the dashboard. The first, rear-wheel drive only, is designed for driving around town. The keener driver will select mode two, Auto, for maximum security (and fun) on-road, as well as traction for the 10 per cent of the time the Van goes off-road. In this setting, ALL MODE 4x4 apportions torque to each axle based on a number of sensor inputs, ranging from 100 per cent rear (with 0 per cent to front), or up to 50 per cent front (50 per cent rear) almost immediately and as required. Left in Auto, the system will automatically compensate for unexpected slippery conditions on-road, such as wet leaves in autumn, early morning winter ice or loose gravel at any time of the year - and all the benefits of two-wheel drive including improved fuel economy and less wear and tear.
In the third setting, 4WD (Hi), the centre clutch locks to divide drive 50:50 (front to rear) for serious off road use. Finally, 4WD (Lo) is intended for extreme conditions such as when starting off on an incline covered in deep snow or driving through deep mud.
The electronic wizardry doesn't stop there, because Pathfinder Van also incorporates ESP+, the traction and stability aid, which automatically monitors wheel grip and adjusts a spinning or slipping wheel using a combination of the brakes and engine torque. Fully integrated with ALL MODE 4x4, this adds a significant dynamic benefit - particularly off-road - on top of the safety benefits traditionally associated with stability systems. The ESP+ is linked to an electrically controlled active brake limited slip differential, as well as to the latest generation anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution (ABS+EBD), Nissan Brake Assist and traction control (TCS). This applies selective braking to a spinning wheel, thus ensuring torque is delivered to its opposite number to maximise traction.
The convenient Uphill Start Support feature allows easy starting on steep ascents: the brakes hold the vehicle for up to three seconds after the brake pedal has been released, allowing the driver to apply the power smoothly to prevent roll-back.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
The Pathfinder Van is no utilitarian load lugger and the cabin retains many of the creature comforts of the latest Pathfinder. Upgrades for the latest Van include a new centre console and a range of improvements to trim quality. That means occupants can enjoy all the comfort and convenience of Nissan's conventional 4x4 in a rugged LCV package. The Van also comes equipped with dual zone climate control allowing occupants to choose their own individual temperature settings, front power windows, electric mirrors, a CD radio with four speakers and Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phone connection. Added convenience is provided by remote central door locking and 12V power sockets, while leather trim fitted to the steering wheel and gear knob add to the high-quality, premium feel.
On the outside, Nissan's latest commercial vehicle looks the part too. Adopting the Pathfinder's facelifted front-end styling, the Van gets a new look for its bonnet, grille, bumpers and headlamps to bring it in line with its passenger car cousin. The Pathfinder's rugged, yet stylish design is further enhanced by an 80mm increase in nose length to provide a sportier front-end appearance.
There's also plenty of in-built safety, and as well as the standard ESP+ system, a full complement of airbags - front and side - and active seat head restraints that reduce the risk of whiplash, maximise occupant safety.
EXTERIOR - RUGGEDLY HANDSOME
AT A GLANCE
The Pathfinder Van has unashamedly purposeful 4x4 styling with good ground clearance and short overhangs. Ground clearance is 233mm while approach and departure angles are 30 and 26 degrees respectively.
Gently curving sides that are narrower at roof and chassis level and wider at the belt-line help to create extra interior space at elbow level.
This cylindrical theme is repeated at the tailgate and on the wheel arch blisters but contrasts with the practical squared-off roof line.
The profile is dominated by a strong horizontal shoulder/window line that is broken by a sharply angled C-pillar. Formed by the rear door frame, the C-pillar incorporates the handle for the back door, while the distinctively styled, six-sided tailgate glass opens separately from the rear door.
At just 0.38, Pathfinder Van's Cd figure is exceptional for an SUV-based vehicle.
AT A GLANCE
The Pathfinder Van now benefits from a new engine that offers greater efficiency across the board. Potent, yet refined, the 2.5-litre turbo diesel is matched to a six-speed manual transmission. With huge reserves of torque, the Pathfinder Van is a strong performer on or off road.
A version of Nissan's highly acclaimed ‘YD' engine, it features twin overhead camshafts with 16 valves, common rail direct fuel injection and displaces 2,488cc. Turbocharged and intercooled, it develops 190PS and an arguably more significant 450 Nm of torque, which peaks at a low 2,000 rpm ensuring the Pathfinder Van always has ample pulling power available.
With an increase in power of 11% over the Pathfinder Van's previous engine, the new 2.5 dCi also achieves a 15% improvement in combined economy. Combined cycle consumption of is 33.2 mpg is highly competitive, while CO2 emissions are only 224g/km.
So flat is the diesel's torque ‘curve' that it has been matched with a slick six-speed manual transmission as standard. Five close-ratio lower gears (fifth is direct) are topped by a ‘long' overdrive top gear for optimum motorway cruising, where the resulting low engine speeds mean better economy and less noise.
The transmission has been designed to have a light, easy shift action and incorporates double and triple cone synchronisers on the four lower ratios (double on first, third and fourth, triple on second) to achieve this. Single cone, iron sintered baulk rings have been adopted on fifth, sixth and reverse.
Gear shifts follow a conventional ‘double H' pattern with reverse situated next to sixth and accessed after first pushing down on the lever to avoid accidental selection.
The huge reserves of torque available from the engine means Pathfinder can tow up to 3000kg with impunity.
AT A GLANCE
Even if it weren't called Pathfinder, there would be no doubting the purpose behind this particular Nissan. The tough stance, generous ground clearance and rugged looks can mean only one thing: an off-roader.
And yet, appearances can sometimes be deceptive. To consider the Pathfinder Van as merely an off-roader would be to celebrate only a portion of its ability. Beneath that handsome body lies a true all-rounder, a car that's as capable on road as it is off the beaten track.
Pathfinder's chassis combines the best of both on- and off-road technology. Following 4x4 tradition, it employs body-on-frame construction with a sturdy, fully boxed all-steel ladder frame.
To this, however, is attached fully independent suspension front and rear to provide car-like levels of on-road handling, stability and ride comfort. The result is dynamic on-road performance capable of matching the best in class and sure-footed ability off-road.
DOUBLE WISHBONE SUSPENSION
Pathfinder Van features compact double wishbone suspension with coil-over shock absorbers and an anti-roll bar at the front and a similar double wishbone and anti-roll bar arrangement at the rear. To ensure the load area remains uncompromised by suspension intrusions, however, the shock absorbers and coil springs at the rear are mounted separately.
It corners flatly with little pitch or roll. The suspension optimises ride comfort while the adoption of power assisted rack and pinion steering provides good feedback and linear response.
VENTILATED DISC BRAKES
The brakes are similarly car-like in their feel and ability. Featuring ventilated discs front and rear, the latest generation anti-lock system plus brake assist and electronic brake force distribution (EBD), the Pathfinder Van's brakes deliver short stopping distances in an emergency and have excellent resistance to fade.
ALL MODE 4x4
With ground clearance better than rivals and with highly competitive angles of approach and departure, the Pathfinder Van is ready to deliver.
Strong off-road performance is helped by the huge reserves of torque from the diesel engine but perhaps the biggest contribution is made by the highly sophisticated, electronically controlled ALL MODE 4x4 control system.
Developed by Nissan, the ALL MODE 4x4 system allows secure and relaxed driving under all conditions, both on- and off-road, with advanced electronics taking care of all traction needs. The low ratio crawler gear makes it ideal for serious off-road work.
In essence, ALL MODE 4x4 ensures the Pathfinder Van has grip at all times on- or off-road and no matter how severe the conditions. But unlike some other automatic four-wheel drive systems, ALL MODE uses advanced electronics to ensure drive is transferred between wheels and axles the instant a problem arises. Via the electronic throttle control, the system is able to anticipate low traction situations, and engage four-wheel drive before traction is lost.
Only by using electronic sensors can this happen instantaneously: other systems might sound similar on paper, but usually operate via a dual pump system, whereby the slipping of one pair of wheels pumps up the system to bring in the other pair. Because a wheel has to slip for anything to happen, there's a delay of several wheel rotations before traction is restored by which time the car could well be stuck.
Nissan's ALL MODE system anticipates loss of traction meaning that it only takes a few degrees of a single wheel rotation for torque to be reapportioned.
Activated via a rotary dial on the dashboard, the four modes are Auto, 2WD, 4WD (Hi) and 4WD (Lo). All modes can be accessed on the move with the exception of 4WD (Lo) for which the vehicle must be stationary. Also, for safety reasons, 4WD (Hi) should only be selected at speeds of 50mph or less.
The system shifts from 2WD to 4WD or Auto in just 0.1 seconds. This change is accompanied by an audible confirmation ‘beep' and a change to the 4WD pictogram in the instrument cluster showing which mode the selector is in.
For everyday use, ALL MODE can be left in either Auto or 2WD modes. When locked in 2WD or when the roads are dry and the system is in Auto, the Pathfinder Van operates in rear-wheel drive only, which reduces energy losses and saves on fuel.
The most frequently used mode, however, is likely to be Auto, in which the system is left to its own devices. Sensors linking the engine's ECU with the four-wheel drive and ABS controller constantly monitor wheel slippage and automatically send signals to a hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch mounted ahead of the rear axle to apportion torque correctly.
When no slippage is detected, the system distributes the torque 0:100 front to rear, but this can change in any proportion up to 50:50 if the going gets slippery. Because torque is provided to the front wheels only when and in the amount needed, the ‘binding' condition that occurs when turning a vehicle with part-time four-wheel drive engaged is eliminated. Left in Auto, the system will automatically compensate for unexpected slippery conditions on-road, such as wet leaves in autumn, early morning winter ice or loose gravel at any time of the year.
SERIOUS OFF-ROAD WORK
The two 4WD lock modes are designed for more serious off-road work. 4WD (Hi) is intended to be used over rough, sandy or snow-covered roads, conditions when traction can easily be broken.
The low ratio option is intended to be used when driving up or down steep gradients or over treacherous passes when grip is more important than speed. With a reduction ratio of 2.596, Pathfinder Van has one of the lowest crawler ratios in its class, providing excellent hill descent controllability as well as ample grip under virtually all conditions. In both cases, torque distribution is split 50:50.
HOW IT WORKS
When operating in 2WD engine torque is transferred to the transmission and to the transfer case from where drive is directed straight to the rear wheels via the rear propellor shaft. In Auto and 4WD (Hi), the system uses a multi-disc clutch pack operated by hydraulic pressure and located inside the transfer unit to apportion some of the torque to the front wheels.
Even where no slip occurs during Auto mode operation, the sophistication of ALL MODE is such that the system will distribute some torque to the front wheels under certain conditions. Thus, under acceleration and when cruising at high speeds, torque is transferred to the front wheels to increase stability. Also, when accelerating in a turn, torque is transferred to the front wheels in proportion to the acceleration rate to prevent a rapid increase in oversteer tendency and thus to enhance controllability. And under normal braking, when ABS is not activated, the engine braking effect is distributed to the front wheels by engaging the multi-disc clutch with a pressure proportional to the difference between front and rear rotating speeds, to increase stability. In that case, the amount of torque transmitted to the front wheels is proportional to vehicle speed.
The Auto mode is also integrated with the ABS operation via a two-way communication system, for enhanced vehicle stability. When ABS is activated in a normal four-wheel drive vehicle, all of the torque is diverted to the rear wheels. This abrupt transfer can disturb the rear of the vehicle, causing instability. When the ALL MODE system is in Auto, its computer control redistributes the torque to the front wheels and then progressively transfers it to the rear, thus providing a better front/rear balance, enhancing the performance of the ABS and reducing ‘bobble' at the rear wheels.
ACTIVE AND PASSIVE SAFETY
As the system is electronic, ALL MODE 4x4 is fully integrated with the Pathfinder Van's ESP+ stability system.
The ABS sensors, steering angle sensor, G-sensor, yaw rate sensor, ALL MODE 4x4 controller and drive-by-wire throttle all communicate with each other to detect a loss, or potential loss of traction on any wheel. ESP+ works by determining the intentions of the driver through the steering wheel position sensor on the steering column and through the wheel speed sensors at the wheels. It then calculates how the car should ideally be behaving, and compares this with what it's actually doing monitored through the yaw rate sensor (measures turning velocity about the vertical axis of the vehicle), wheel speed sensors and the lateral acceleration sensor, and then calculates what needs to be done to marry the two. Stability is restored by varying any, or as many as is necessary of the following: brake pressure to individual wheels (using the ABS and EBD), the mode of four-wheel drive and engine output.
An Active Brake Limited Slip Differential, also controlled by the ABS sensors, applies the brakes to any wheel that has lost traction and, in so doing, transfers drive to the opposite wheel on the same axle.
As a result of this integrated approach, ESP+ can either apply the brake or redirect torque to any individual wheel independently, thus controlling understeer and oversteer on the road and ensuring maximum traction is maintained off-road or when the going gets slippery.
In simple terms, at the onset of understeer the rear wheel on the inside of the bend is braked which turns the vehicle back in the direction of the bend; since the front wheels have insufficient grip, ESP mostly uses the rear brakes since more grip is available here.
During oversteer, the rear end needs to be brought into line and this is achieved by braking the front wheel on the outside of the bend. Again, ESP mostly uses the front brakes as more grip is available here.
Pathfinder Van offers particularly short stopping distances thanks to ventilated disc brakes front and rear are controlled by the latest generation four-channel, five-sensor ABS system which incorporates Nissan Brake Assist for maximum emergency stopping power and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution for even braking under all conditions.
The combination of ALL MODE 4x4 and ESP+ means Pathfinder Van has one of the most advanced active safety systems available on any light commercial vehicle. It is backed up by a computer-analysed structure giving excellent passive safety protection with highly effective crumple zones front and rear. Twin front SRS airbags are standard along with head and thorax side bags, while both seats are equipped with active headrests, three point belts with pretensioners and load limiters.
UPHILL START SUPPORT
The Pathfinder Van is equipped with Uphill Start Support, allowing easy starting on steep ascents. The brakes will hold the vehicle for up to three seconds after the brake pedal has been released, allowing the driver to apply the power smoothly to prevent roll-back.
The frame has been reinforced and features six strengthened cross members. The body has also been reinforced at critical points - notably the sills, roof side rails and A and B pillars - while steel bars have been fitted in all side doors to offer extra protection in a side impact.
SERVICE, WARRANTY & INSURANCE
AT A GLANCE
Both Pathfinder Van models have an 18,000 mile service interval and are covered by a three-year/ 60,000 mile warranty. There's also a six-year anti-perforation and three-year paint warranty.
Pathfinder Obscured Glass Van - 9E/T1
Pathfinder Panelled Van - 10E/T1
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR QUESTIONS CONTACT: NISSAN PRESS OFFICE ON 01923 899930
SPECIFICATION BY GRADE
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
2.5 dCi 190
6-speed manual gearbox
ALL MODE 4x4
ABS with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake force Distribution
Driver, passenger and front side airbags
Front active seat head restraints
Electronic Stability Program (ESP+)
Uphill Start Support
ISOFIX (when second row seats fitted)
40/20/40 split flat-fold reclining seats (when second row seats fitted)
Remote central locking
Thatcham Category 1 ultrasonic and perimetric alarm
16" Alloy wheels (x 4)
Body coloured front and rear bumpers
Power door mirrors
Door mirrors with indicator and puddle lamp
Flat wiper blades
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
12V power sockets
Double decker centre console with lid
Rear heater duct
Bluetooth phone integration
Metallic finish for centre console
Chrome finish for cup holders
Leather trimmed gear knob
Leather trimmed steering wheel
Manual tilt steering wheel
5 Lashing rings
Carpeted cargo area
Underfloor storage areas
Fold down passenger seat
Secondary mesh bulkhead located behind C-pillar
Tailgate window security grille
CD radio and 4 speakers, Bluetooth and AUX input
Steering wheel audio controls
Window integrated antenna (Obscured Glass Van only)
● = standard, O = optional
No. of cylinders, configuration
4, in line
Valves per cylinder,
Air intake system
Cylinder block and head
Bore x stroke
15 : 1
Valve size (intake/exhaust)
Combustion chamber shape
Diesel/ Biodiesel (B10 max)
Direct injection + Common rail
Emission control system
EGR + Catalyst
Electronic Glow Plug Control Unit
Oil capacity (min/max)
lb.ft (Nm) rpm
Dry plate mechanical
6 speed M/T
Transfer ratio (in 4Lo mode)
4WD (Part time)
Maximum speed (Vmax)
Fuel tank capacity
CO2 mass emission (combined)
Driving noise level
Standing noise level
Overall width (excl. mirrors)
Overall height (with roof rails)
Width between wheelarches
Door opening angle
Effective interior length
Passenger head room
Passenger knee room
Passenger shoulder room
Passenger hip room
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)
Permissible axle weight
Permissible axle weight
Max. trailer weight braked @ 12%
Max. trailer weight unbraked
Permissible vertical force on hitchball
Max. roof load
2 circuits; front & rear distribution;
ABS, EBD, BA (ESP with
HSA, FBS and HDC standard)
Vented disc 320 x 28
Drum in vented disc 308 x 18
Rack & pinion power assisted
Turning circle, 15/16" wall to wall - actual
Turning circle, 15/16" kerb to kerb - actual
Overall steering ratio
20 : 1
Linear steering ratio
Lock to Lock
Independent, double wishbone
with coil over shock
with coil spring
WHEELS & TYRES
OFF ROAD CAPABILITY
Maximum climbable gradient
Minimum ground clearance (between axles)
Maximum wading depth
Pathfinder Obscured Glass Van - 9E/T1