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.
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.
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.
The Pathfinder uses a fixed suspension, but Nissan did an excellent job tuning it for comfort and handling.
With the third-row seating up, the cargo space is still expansive, although probably not large enough to hold weekend luggage for seven people.
Cargo room increases substantially with the third row folded down.
Fold the third and middle rows down, and the Pathfinder boasts almost 80 cubic feet of cargo space.
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.
The middle row offers some manual adjustment for the convenience of passengers.
The middle row slides forward, actually making it possible to step into the third row, rather than climb over.
The navigation system is not available in any trim except Platinum.
The turning radius in the Pathfinder is about average, but the boost is very good from the electrohydraulic power-steering system.
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.
In the automatic all-wheel-drive mode, this display shows which axles have torque.
The navigation system shows maps with good detail, but they could use a style refresh.
Weather information comes in courtesy of satellite radio.
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.
The now-playing screen shows full track information, plus album art.
At the rear of the console, middle-row passengers can control climate and access auxiliary ports for the rear-seat entertainment system.
The headrest monitors seem a little quaint in this age of tablets.