FAMED for its unbustable reliability honed over many years performing in some of the toughest environments throughout the globe, the Nissan Pathfinder SUV was always something of a class act.
This rugged seven-seater, four-wheel-drive machine received its mid-term workover and facelift in 2013, and became reliant solely on Nissan's highly-capable 2.5-litre DCi four-cylinder diesel engine which had been tweaked and improved over the years to give a punchy performance, lowering emissions and improving fuel economy in the process.
The result was a super-safe, highly-capable, easy-to-drive machine with bags of space for a multitude of requirements.
Practical touches meant that the door storage bins happily held an A3-sized map book as well as a one-litre bottle, while the rear door bins were also large enough to hold an array of goodies that always seem to accumulate out of nowhere.
While perhaps more suited as a workhorse to the construction, engineering and oil industries, the Pathfinder was also loved by the more adventurous of families for the way it swallowed up all the necessary equipment needed for weekends away to the great outdoors.
Bikes, tents, skis, paragliders and canoes posed no problem to this big sports utility and for those who have to tow heavier loads, then you could hitch up a trailer, horse box or caravan weighing up to 3,000kg.
And as for those occupying the inside, then they were certainly transported in a fair bit of style.
Inside the cabin, the Pathfinder's quality and attention to detail couldn't be faulted. The fittings and seat fabrics proved top notch and were designed to withstand all the rigours a hard-working SUV had to withstand over a long lifetime.
And comfort was also to the forefront. The big seats make you feel like you were at home as they soaked up the worst of the bumps should the vehicle be taken off the black stuff.
An array of electronic gismos, such as a 40GB hard drive-supported integrated communication and music system, which incorporated a 3D birdview sat nav, could keep the technically-minded front passenger entertained for hours.
Another major plus for the Pathfinder was its fuel economy. Officially set at 33.2mpg, we all know that these figures can be something of a joke, but the big Nissan I tested back then returned just a tad over 30mpg. Not too far off the mark, so fair play to Nissan.
However, you have to remember that this was no high-speed flying machine and noise levels could rise when the car was pushed hard.
That said, it could cruise all day and perform up there with the best in its class with a top speed of 115mph, while the gear ratios were set to give it plenty of oomph for safe overtaking.
All in all, the Pathfinder was a well put together piece of kit which certainly stood the test of time and when the going got tough - and I mean really tough - this was one machine on which you could rely.
A 2013 13-plate Pathfinder in Acenta trim with around 40,000 miles should cost between £12,350 and £15,260, while a similar-aged model in range-topping Tenka spec will set you back between £14,210 and £17,560.
Newer 2014 14-plate examples showing 30,000 miles will have price tags of between £14,435 and £17,835 and £16,959 and £20,500 respectively, while automatic versions, which will carry a £500 to £800 premium, are available in top Tenka trim.