With an almost 30-year history, the Pathfinder has undergone more changes than most car models, going back and forth between body-on-frame and unibody construction. The latest iteration leaves behind the truck frame and adopts a modern crossover style.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Losing its trucklike styling, the new Pathfinder looks more like a minivan, especially at the front fenders. As a crossover, it combines a range of capabilities that should make it suitable for large families.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Nissan's engine is pretty standard stuff from the previous decade, a 3.5-liter V-6 making 260 horsepower. Its saving grace is the continuously variable transmission tying it to the wheels, which makes that power more usable than in many fixed-gear vehicles.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

The Pathfinder uses a fixed suspension, but Nissan did an excellent job tuning it for comfort and handling.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

With the third-row seating up, the cargo space is still expansive, although probably not large enough to hold weekend luggage for seven people.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Cargo room increases substantially with the third row folded down.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Fold the third and middle rows down, and the Pathfinder boasts almost 80 cubic feet of cargo space.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

In Platinum trim, the Pathfinder gains a very nicely appointed cabin. The front seats, power-adjustable and covered in leather, also feature heating and cooling.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

The middle row offers some manual adjustment for the convenience of passengers.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

The middle row slides forward, actually making it possible to step into the third row, rather than climb over.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

The navigation system is not available in any trim except Platinum.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

The turning radius in the Pathfinder is about average, but the boost is very good from the electrohydraulic power-steering system.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

This dial controls the four-wheel-drive system. It takes the Pathfinder from economical two-wheel drive all the way to a differential-locked four-wheel drive.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

In the automatic all-wheel-drive mode, this display shows which axles have torque.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

The navigation system shows maps with good detail, but they could use a style refresh.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Weather information comes in courtesy of satellite radio.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

This file and folder interface shows up when you plug a USB drive into the car. For music from the Pathfinder's own hard drive or an iOS device, it would show music categorized by album, artist, and genre.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

The now-playing screen shows full track information, plus album art.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

At the rear of the console, middle-row passengers can control climate and access auxiliary ports for the rear-seat entertainment system.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

The headrest monitors seem a little quaint in this age of tablets.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
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