The Toyota Fortuner's stranglehold over the bakkie-based SUV segment is coming under increasing threat. Last year Chevrolet introduced a direct rival in the form of its Trailblazer and now Nissan has launched a more affordable version of its Pathfinder that leaps right into the Toyota 4x4's turf.
Previously the Pathfinder was only available in LE trim, starting at R551 900. Now there's a generously-specced SE 4x4 model that sells for just R450 900, undercutting the R461 300 Chev Trailblazer 2.8 LTZ and R464 700 Fortuner 3.0 D-4D.
The SE employs the same 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine as the LE, and it's endowed with 140kW and 450Nm, allowing for a class-leading 3000kg towing capacity. The SE can be ordered with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic gearbox. The former version, says Nissan, achieves consumption of 8.5 l/100km on the combined cycle with the auto posting a figure of 9.0 l/100km.
The Nissan has a 232mm ground clearance, independent suspension at all corners, and it's fitted with Nissan's All-Mode four-wheel drive system, which includes low-range, and Nissan's Active-Brake Limited-Slip system. Other safety features include Vehicle Dynamic Control and six airbags.
Standard comfort features include dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control.