Posted on October 19, 2014

The Nissan Pathfinder has won ‘Midsize SUV of the Year’ in the Automan Magazine awards, bringing another prestigious trophy to the Japanese automaker’s bulging showcase.

“For the Pathfinder to be awarded the title of Midsize SUV of the Year is a tremendous honour for Nissan,” says Samir Cherfan, Managing Director, Nissan Middle East. “This is a highly-competitive segment which makes the Automan award even more noteworthy.” Automan is the leading automotive publication in Oman. Its annual Car of the Year awards are held in high regard throughout the Middle East. The award was received by Katib Belkhodja, Brand Manager for SUVs and Crossovers in Nissan Middle East during the Award Ceremony that was held in ‘On the Rocks’ restaurant in Muscat.

Judges have noted that Nissan has achieved its goal with the fourth generation Pathfinder of not just satisfying the faithful customers but attracting new buyers to the famed vehicle and the brand. The all-new vehicle has enjoyed ultra-high levels of popularity since its launch in 2013 with Pathfinder sales more than doubling for financial year 2013 compared to the previous 12 months. The GCC countries, a heartland for the Pathfinder and Nissan vehicles generally, saw 5,936 Pathfinders leave the showroom floors during the 2013 financial year as opposed to 2,827 for the previous generation Pathfinder in financial year 2012, a 110 per cent increase.

In the wider Middle East Pathfinder sales notched 6,393 for financial year 2013, a 121 per cent hike on the 2,887 for the previous generation Pathfinder units in financial year 2012. A breakdown of sales throughout the GCC states for financial year 2013 compared to the previous 12 month shows that while in UAE and Kuwait sales more than doubled, for Oman sales increased by 43%, in Qatar sales shot up by 74% and sales in Bahrain were up by 38%. Cherfan says the Pathfinder is maintaining its impressive momentum in 2014.

“With fresh design and improved levels of standard technology, the all-new Pathfinder is all about generating new wave of Middle Eastern buyers looking for a stylish, premium and authentic SUV while staying true to the roots of this extremely popular vehicle,” says the automaker’s Middle East chief. “The Middle East loves the Pathfinder and it’s getting more popular by the day. Maybe it’s the allure of a weekend out of town aided by generous ground-clearance and outstanding cabins, maybe it’s the elevated driving position for peering past the traffic on our region’s increasingly bustling roads or maybe it’s the sense of safety of while travelling in a large tall vehicle.

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“Sales of SUVs are booming and our best-in-class Pathfinder is at the forefront. The just-announced award from Automan bears testimony to this. “It boasts seven full-sized seats, vast cabin space, good fuel economy, cruising comfort and more. We have said from the outset that our goal is for the current Pathfinder to not only be the best in its class, but also to advance the entire SUV segment,” says Cherfan. The Automan award joins some other prestigious honours for the Pathfinder. It has been named ‘Best Mid-size SUV’ by Automobile TV in the Middle East, ‘Best Family Car’ by Kelly Blue Book in the United States and among the ‘10 Best family cars’ by Edmunds.com and Parents Magazine, both also in US.

Nissan aims to sell 8,200 Pathfinders per year in the GCC in the next two years. The Pathfinder’s new unibody platform gave the designers an opportunity to create a more aerodynamic exterior without compromising headroom or cargo capacity. The vehicle also comes with reduced weight. Exterior details include a wide chrome grille and large aerodynamic headlights, hidden front windshield wipers, chrome door handles and large rear combination lights. There’s an available dual panoramic moonroof with sliding opening front panel and fixed rear glass panel.

Thoughtful technology is also found throughout the Pathfinder interior, starting with the instrument panel, which includes the Advanced Drive-Assist Display in the centre of the instrument cluster in front of the driver. The Pathfinder also features Nissan’s advanced, class-exclusive Around View monitor, which provides the driver a virtual 360-degree image of the area around the vehicle. Advanced Drive-Assist display comes standard on every model and can be customised, is easy-to-use and integrates key information in front of the driver.

The Pathfinder utilises a refined new drivetrain featuring a 3.5-litre DOHC V6 engine mated to a next-generation Xtronic continuously variable transmission. The new combination maintains nearly the same horsepower as the previous generation’s larger displacement 4.0-litre V6 – 254 horsepower versus the previous 266. Pathfinder is the only vehicle in class with selectable 2WD, auto or 4WD lock modes for its intuitive All-Mode 4x4-i system. The system lets the driver choose full-time 2WD for maximum fuel economy, Auto mode to automatically monitor conditions and adjust the balance of power between front and rear wheels for best traction, or 4WD lock mode when the confidence of full-time 4WD is desired.

The all-new Pathfinder also boasts a significant improvement over the previous body-on-frame design – a weight saving of up to 227kg. The vehicle has best-in-class standard towing capacity of up to 1,500 kgs.

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