X

Nissan Pathfinder brings minivan comfort to SUV (pictures)

A new, radical update to Nissan's Pathfinder turns it into a comfortable family hauler with a good tow rating and a flexible four-wheel-drive system.

Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

See full bio
35485352_prev_SS16.jpg
1 of 20 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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.
2013_Nissan_Pathfinder_35485352-6778.jpg
2 of 20 Josh Miller/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.
35485352_SS02.jpg
3 of 20 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.
35485352_SS03.jpg
4 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The Pathfinder uses a fixed suspension, but Nissan did an excellent job tuning it for comfort and handling.
35485352_SS04.jpg
5 of 20 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.
35485352_SS05.jpg
6 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
Cargo room increases substantially with the third row folded down.
35485352_SS06.jpg
7 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
Fold the third and middle rows down, and the Pathfinder boasts almost 80 cubic feet of cargo space.
35485352_SS07.jpg
8 of 20 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.
35485352_SS08.jpg
9 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The middle row offers some manual adjustment for the convenience of passengers.
35485352_SS09.jpg
10 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The middle row slides forward, actually making it possible to step into the third row, rather than climb over.
35485352_SS10.jpg
11 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The navigation system is not available in any trim except Platinum.
35485352_SS11.jpg
12 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The turning radius in the Pathfinder is about average, but the boost is very good from the electrohydraulic power-steering system.
35485352_SS14.jpg
13 of 20 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.
35485352_SS15.jpg
14 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
In the automatic all-wheel-drive mode, this display shows which axles have torque.
35485352_SS17.jpg
15 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The navigation system shows maps with good detail, but they could use a style refresh.
35485352_SS22.jpg
16 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
Weather information comes in courtesy of satellite radio.
35485352_SS24.jpg
17 of 20 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.
35485352_SS25.jpg
18 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The now-playing screen shows full track information, plus album art.
35485352_SS28.jpg
19 of 20 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.
35485352_SS27.jpg
20 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The headrest monitors seem a little quaint in this age of tablets.

More Galleries

Our Favorite Google Doodles Through the Years

More Galleries

Our Favorite Google Doodles Through the Years

49 Photos
2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
The 42 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 42 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

43 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

82 Photos
Czinger 21C Hypercar Is the Future of Auto Manufacturing

More Galleries

Czinger 21C Hypercar Is the Future of Auto Manufacturing

64 Photos
Dodge Hornet Is a New Compact Crossover Focused on Affordable Performance

More Galleries

Dodge Hornet Is a New Compact Crossover Focused on Affordable Performance

21 Photos
59 Weird Objects Seen on Mars, Explained

More Galleries

59 Weird Objects Seen on Mars, Explained

62 Photos