Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Two engines were originally offered in the Pathfinder range, a 265bhp 4.0-litre V6 petrol and a 174bhp 2.5dCi diesel, both of which deliver acceptable Nissan Pathfinder performance.

Diesel engine

Out of the two, the diesel with its lower running costs has proved to be the most popular choice. It offers plenty of low-down power, but performance times aren’t that impressive. From standstill to 62mph it takes 11.7 seconds and tops out at 109mph.

From May 2010, the 2.5-litre diesel benefited from a power boost. With 190bhp, the 0-62mph time fell fractionally to 11 seconds for the six-speed manual while the top speed increased to 115mph.

Interestingly, the five-speed automatic does a better job at shuffling through the gears to 62mph – taking 10.7 seconds.

Parkers recommends

The 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine is the sole engine choice in the Nissan Pathfinder now and it’s the sensible one for economy and emissions.

The cost of all that off-road and towing prowess is, unfortunately, paid on the road – Nissan Pathfinder handling isn’t that good. The big 4×4 feels exactly like the old-school off-roader it is. That means anyone accustomed to the new breed of ‘soft roaders’ will come away a little shocked at the levels of roll, imprecise steering and, in the manual, truck-like gearchange.

Expect the automatic to be a better match for the 2.5-litre diesel’s low-down go. The engine feels hard work getting particularly harsh when revved. The Toyota Land Cruiser is substantially better to drive, although still suffers lots of body roll and is significantly more expensive.