Nissan’s Pathfinder evolved from a pickup-truck-based SUV to a large family-minded crossover when this fourth-generation model bowed for 2013. Available in either front- or all-wheel drive, the Pathfinder received a mild facelift for 2017 that included a new direct-injected V6 with 284 horsepower along with an updated continuously variable transmission.
Today’s Pathfinder isn’t our favorite-driving three-row SUV, and it trails the class in terms of infotainment tech, but it’s comfortable and capacious, plus Nissan has done a fine job keeping this model updated with new safety features. Starting at $31,040 before options and delivery, the 2018 Pathfinder remains in the hunt against rivals like the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Escape, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander and Volkswagen Atlas.
You never really appreciate a good HVAC system until it's 111 degrees Fahrenheit outside and you're stuck in notorious Los Angeles stop-and-go traffic.
I'd been behind the wheel of the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder for a few hours, driving from Venice Beach in Los Angeles eastward to what's known as the Inland Empire. The further I got from the ocean, the higher the summer temperatures climbed and the more cars crowded onto the freeway.
For 5 hours the Pathfinder kept its engine temperature at precisely a tick below the gauge's midpoint while blasting out immense amounts of cold air. I arrived at my destination cool as a cucumber and ready to tackle whatever the rest of the day could throw my way.
The Good The Pathfinder can tow 6,000 pounds. The V6 provides strong acceleration and the continuously variable transmission acts more like a traditional automatic.
The Bad No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The infotainment system can be finicky when switching between media and phone. The steering does not return to center easily.
The Bottom Line The Nissan Pathfinder is a fair choice, but in the crowded three-row SUV segment, you could find a more engaging ride and better technology.
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