Nissan's largest crossover follows up last year's styling makeover with the addition of some new standard features, including forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and a rear seat alert designed to help avoid forgetting valuables, pets and children back there when you park the car.
A new Midnight Edition package migrates down from the Platinum trim to be offered on the SL model, where it adds trim-specific wheels and all kinds of black exterior accent bits and pieces.
Otherwise, the Pathfinder carries over as a comfortable and spacious mid-size crossover that packs in three rows of seating and the ability to tow up to 2,700 kg when properly equipped.
Hauling power comes from a 3.5L V6 that makes 284 hp and 259 lb-ft and is connected to a continuously variable (CVT) automatic transmission. Trims include S, SV Tech, SL Premium and Platinum; all but S come with all-wheel drive.
Pathfinder's practicality is punched up with a second-row seat that tips and slides to allow access to the third row, a trick it can perform even with a child seat installed. The dash is built around an eight-inch touchscreen that controls the car's infotainment functions and displays navigation and 360-degree camera views in models so equipped; all Pathfinder trims get a regular backup camera as standard.
Nissan competes in this class against a number of enviable vehicles, like the Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, Ford Explorer and the GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse twins. A notable addition to the class for this year is the Volkswagen Atlas, an all-new model that boasts one of the roomiest interiors in the group, including a third-row seat spacious enough you'll owe your passengers no apologies.
The Pathfinder is very pleasant to drive, but its performance leans toward the relaxed side of the ledger for this class. Honda and Mazda's offerings are more engaging drivers, as is the smaller Ford Flex, despite its aging design.
The Platinum trim is the Pathfinder's most luxurious offering, adding a power-adjustable steering column, ventilated front seats, rear-seat entertainment system and LED headlights to the list of items available in lesser trims. That includes three-zone climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, navigation, leather seating with eight-way driver and four-way front passenger power adjustments, heated front and second-row seats, blind spot warning with rear cross traffic alert and a panoramic sunroof.
If you want like the Pathfinder but want something more upscale, Nissan's Infiniti brand sells just the thing in its QX60.
Fuel consumption estimates start at 11.6/8.5 L/100 km (city/highway) with front-drive and go to 12.1/8.9 in the AWD SV and SL trims and 12.4/9.2 for the Platinum model.
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