While it may not be the first large crossover to come to mind, Nissan's Pathfinder embodies all the traits that are desirable in a large, family-friendly vehicle. It's spacious on the inside with loads of cargo and people room, available with clever convenience features, and is quiet and comfortable on the move.
Little has changed with the Pathfinder since it launched late in 2012 as a 2013. 2016 sees it carry over without any changes.
Longer than the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, but smaller than the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave, the Pathfinder offers a flexible interior with seating for seven. Unlike some of its rivals, an eight seating position is not offered. Families with young kids should take note that all trims receive Nissan's EZ Flex Seating System, which has a second-row bench that can tilt and slide for third-row access even with a full child seat installed.
Powering the Pathfinder is a 3.5-litre V6 engine that develops 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. It drives a CVT transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on the base S trim, with four-wheel drive standard equipment on all other trims. Buyers can upgrade the S to 4WD. While the Pathfinder's engine may seem underpowered on paper, out on the open road it's fine. Pathfinders are tow-rated at 2,267 kg (5,000 lbs), and the powertrain combo delivers fuel economy figures that are good for the class. The Pathfinder FWD is rated at 11.9 L/100 km city and 8.6 L/100 km highway, with the 4WD version rated at 12.1 L/100 km city and 8.9 L/100 km highway. Opting for the Platinum package with its larger wheels bumps consumption up to 12.7 L/100 km city and 9.0 L/100 km highway.
Pathfinders equipped with four-wheel drive include hill descent control, and a rotary control knob with 2WD, 4WD, and an automatic mode that switches between the two depending on road conditions. You won't, however, find locking differentials, a transfer case, or skid plates like Pathfinders of the past.
Beyond its space, the Pathfinder is available with the sorts of amenities that make daily life better. Equipment on the S trim is fairly basic; the cloth-upholstered seats are manually adjustable, and while tri-zone climate control is included, Bluetooth hands-free phone integration and a reverse camera don't appear until the SV trim grade. It is worth noting that the S trim is priced more like a compact crossover than a full-size one with a starting price of $31,598. It might surprise you to learn that this is less expensive than a Rogue fitted with a third row of seats, although it’s nowhere near as well equipped.
At $38,098 the Pathfinder SV gets Bluetooth, reverse camera, rear parking sensors, plus heated power front seats, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, proximity key, power tailgate and more. The $41,198 SL trim adds a 120-volt power outlet, driver seat memory, blind spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert, remote starter, and leather upholstery. The optional SL Premium Tech package adds navigation with 8.0-inch touchscreen display, dual sunroofs, around-view parking camera, Bluetooth Audio and a Bose stereo system.
The Platinum trim makes a good Infiniti impression, including all of the above equipment, plus rear-seat entertainment system, power tilt and telescoping steering column, ventilated front seats, and 20-inch wheels. Opting for Platinum will set you back $47,398.