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Nissan Pathfinder crossover SUV review: Photos, details

Our 2018 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum four wheel drive check automobile.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

  • The fourth technology Nissan Pathfinder has been on sale since overdue 2012.
  • It’s the primary Pathfinder to be a front-wheel-drive crossover.
  • Nissan up to date the Pathfinder in 2017 with contemporary styling, extra energy, and extra tech.
  • Business Insider took the Pathfinder on a protracted avenue day trip and used to be inspired by way of its clean trip, at ease cabin, and strong engine.

For greater than 3 many years, the Nissan Pathfinder has been one of the vital fashionable SUVs in America. But in 2012, Nissan shook up the method and became its rugged pick-up truck-based SUV right into a front-wheel-drive circle of relatives crossover. (Four-wheel-drive is a $1,700 choice.)

A car some critics have derisively known as the Mall-Finder.

In spite of the furor from off-roading purists, the four-generation Pathfinder has generated tough gross sales. In its first complete yr, gross sales greater than doubled to 88,000 devices in the USA.

Half a decade in into its manufacturing run, the present Pathfinder is the longest-serving member of Nissan’s SUV circle of relatives in the USA. (Nissan’s full-size Y62 has been on sale since 2010 in more than a few portions of the sector because the Patrol and in the USA as an Infiniti. But the Y62 did not arrive in the USA with a Nissan badge till 2017 because the second-generation Armada.)

A moment technology 1996 Nissan Pathfinder SE.


Which is why Nissan remodeled the Pathfinder in 2017 with up to date styling, extra energy, and extra tech.

Business Insider had the chance to pattern an up to date Pathfinder overdue closing yr within the type of 2018 type yr Platinum four wheel drive version. The base front-wheel-drive “S” version begins at $31,040 whilst out totally optioned, top-of-the-line- check automobile left the showroom at $47,840.

Our week with the Pathfinder incorporated in-town riding in addition to a 1,200-mile road-trip from Northern New Jersey to Charlotte, North Carolina and again.

The Pathfinder is huge and classy

In 2012, the fourth-gen Pathfinder swapped its ruggedly good-looking strains for graceful car-like curves. Even with an up to date entrance finish, the curvy strains at first penned by way of Nissan design boss Alfonso Albaisa stays just about unchanged.

The present type’s graceful and elongated frame additionally redefines the Pathfinder’s challenge. The quick overhangs and large tires of earlier generations of the Nissan SUV make it absolute best for plowing via jungles and up mountains. Things are very other now. This Pathfinder’s challenge in existence is as a three-row circle of relatives hauler.

But, that does not imply it is utterly inept in the case of the tough stuff.


According to Nissan, the Pathfinder provides an ok seven inches of minimal floor clearance. Paired with a sophisticated four-wheel-drive gadget, the Pathfinder must be capable to maneuver its manner out of a sticky scenario. But I nonetheless would not counsel taking up Jeep Wranglers in a place of rock mountain climbing.

Inside, the Pathfinder’s cabin provides a top rate enjoy in an excessively usable package deal. As same old, Nissan used to be somewhat beneficiant with the characteristic content material. Even the bottom type comes same old with an eight-inch touchscreen, again up digicam, triple-zone local weather keep an eye on, and Nissan’s Rear Door Alert System. More on that later. Our Platinum check automobile loaded with a litany of chocolates together with heated energy leather-based seats, adaptive cruise keep an eye on, a top rate Bose sound gadget, a motion-activated rear liftgate, and a dual-screen rear-seat leisure gadget.

The Pathfinder’s tech options all labored as supposed. The Nissan infotainment gadget, whilst a bit of antiquated in really feel, used to be efficient and simple to be informed. In spite of its age, it is simply the most productive of the Japanese infotainment techniques we now have come throughout. Nissan’s adaptive cruise keep an eye on additionally labored flawlessly. It allowed the Pathfinder to chunk up freeway miles comfortably on our 1,200 mile-trip.

The Rear Door Alert gadget took a bit of a get used to and proved to be extra of a nuisance than a lend a hand. The RDA is designed to provide you with a warning by way of honking the horn for those who depart one thing within the again seat and fail to remember to retrieve. The common sense at the back of the gadget is sound. After all, we now have all observed the tragic penalties of leaving youngsters and pets at the back of in locked vehicles. However, it does not take into accounts the days while you put one thing again as a result of you need to go away it there like baggage or buying groceries. The gadget can also be deactivated, however it may be jarring for those who fail to remember to show it off.


While the total styling, execution, and subject matter high quality don’t seem to be at the identical degree as one thing from a luxurious logo like a Lexus or Mercedes-Benz, our Pathfinder Platinum inner appointments felt high quality and solidly put in combination.

Its luxurious would possibly not blow you away, however the cabin is sweet sufficient to make residing with the Pathfinder every day a nice enjoy. At the similar time, it is plebeian character would possibly not fill you with overwhelming anxiousness if on a regular basis existence occurs to blemish the leather-based or picket.

The cabin could also be definitely cavernous.

At 16.five ft lengthy, the Pathfinder has room to seat as much as seven occupants with ease. In truth, even the 3rd row will simply grasp two reasonable sized adults. A job many different three-row crossovers combat to perform.

There’s additionally quite a few room for stuff.


The large crossover can swallow up a colossal 79.eight cubic ft of shipment with the second one and 3rd rows folded. That quantity falls to 47.eight cubic ft with simply the 3rd row folded and 16 cubic ft of all 3 rows of seats are upright. These figures fall in keeping with the phase leaders such because the Ford Explorer and the Toyota Highlander.

It’s nice freeway cruiser, however there may be something missing

Under the hood, you can discover a three.five liter, 284 horsepower VQ35DD V6 engine. Simply put, the Nissan VQ collection one of the vital best possible engines on the planet. And it’s been for greater than twenty years. It’s silky clean, tough, and rock forged dependable. (I say this as the landlord of an 18-year-old VQ-powered Nissan Maxima that also get 29 mpg at the prime manner.)

Here, the VQ engine is mated to Nissan’s X-TRONIC incessantly variable transmission. Herein lies my greatest grievance with the Pathfinder. The CVT spoils the riding enjoy. While CVTs are nice at boosting gasoline economic system — we controlled to hit 25 mpg at the freeway in four,700-pound SUV— they infamous for dulling down energy supply.

And it is this sort of disgrace for the reason that Pathfinder’s engine is an absolute gem this is able and prepared to accomplish. But upload a CVT to the equation and you might have successfully shot up your racehorse with tranquilizers. Step at the gasoline exhausting and the engine traces to ship acceleration. Speed builds through the years as a substitute of that rapid burst we’re acquainted with in a conventional automated or handbook transmission.

Yes, XTRONIC is most often regarded as to be one in every of best possible CVTs in the marketplace, however that is like being the captain of the group that could not shoot immediately.

Apart from the CVT, I totally loved my time at the back of the wheel of the Pathfinder. The trip used to be clean and the cabin proved to be remarkably quiet. Making it a actually wonderful freeway cruiser.

Sure, the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder might not be the superstar of Youtube rock crawling movies. But as a circle of relatives crossover for on a regular basis existence, Nissan’s Pathfinder is an absolute rock superstar.


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