Nissan is rethinking its 4×4 line-up for Europe to better separate the brand’s off-roaders from its crossovers.

The changes have already started to take effect with the large Patrol dropped from many European markets due to poor sales. In the UK the toughest of Nissan’s 4x4s registered just 20 units last year and only 58 in 2008.

While the Patrol was facelifted last year, the closest it now gets to Europe is Russia and the Middle East.

However, the seven-seat 4×4 gap left by Patrol will be filled by the Pathfinder. Nissan’s general manager for product strategy and planning in charge of 4x4s, Christopher Lee, told just-auto: “There will be a mid-year facelift for Pathfinder which will also include a revised 2.5-litre diesel with 224g/km CO2 emissions and the three-litre diesel from Infiniti will be added.”

The 2.5dCi is understood to be the power plant recently announced for the Murano with 190PS. Lee added that there was no point putting the 231PS 3.0 dCi engine in the Murano as it had not been engineered to take the 550Nm of torque this unit produces and it would have to be limited to nearer 450Nm.

“The three-litre diesel with 550Nm will also go in the Navara to give us a rival for the Toyota Hilux, and others, in the pickup market. It’s only available with a seven-speed automatic gearbox,” said Lee.

Following the facelift of Pathfinder, the X-trail will also be updated late this year.

“X-trail was the least favorite Nissan in an internal worldwide survey, the facelift will give the X-trail a more Pathfinder-style look,” added Lee.

However, in the longer term the Pathfinder will go the way of the Patrol and be dropped from Europe at the end of its current life cycle due to a shrinking market for large 4x4s that “has been dominated by luxury brands; there are CO2 reasons too”, concluded Lee.