2017 Nissan Pathfinder – Test Drive, Review, Ratings, Specs

2017_nissan_pathfinder_18A Full Size Family Voyager Built Like a Tank

Practically a mini-van on steriods, the Nissan Pathfinder offers seating of up to 7 and built tough enough to take you to places you never thought your wheels could handle. The all new debuted 2017 Nissan Pathfinder continues to mark its strong statement in the Sports Utility segment. What you can expect new for this year’s model is a freshened facelift, enhanced safety and entertainment features, and better performance capability. While this all looks good on paper, the question of whether the heavyweight purebred sports utility vehicicle can still show higher merits than the more modernized cross-over SUV’s. That said, you can expect sportier looks and performance on the 7-passenger Mazda CX-9. Still, the armour-like integrity of its structural chassis and the plethora of room space are key characters that stand out against its rivals.

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Trims and Purchse Options

The base S and SV Pathfinder models configured with 2WD configuration are very well priced for new buyers especially considering the amount of car you’re getting. However, the fully loaded Platinum model as per our tester model is where the fun starts. It offers softer and more comfortable leather seats, and plenty of luxury features that that won’t make you regret the higher price you’re paying for. We’re talking about second row individual LCD entertainment screens with dedicated climate controls, electrical-actuated rear lift gate, full AM/FM/XM radio and voice-navigation control, and all the usual safety tech features.

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The Drive

The meaty DOHC 24-Valve 6 cylinder engine offers a decent amount at 284 horsepower and 259 lb.ft of torque. As decent as these numbers sound, there’s no escaping from the fact that the Pathfinder is just simply a big and heavy car. Being longer, wider, and heavier, its road practice translates to a fairly sluggish response on the steering and handling front. There is also a fair bit of body roll happening as well when cornering with the Pathfinder and the weight being thrown around can be felt. Acceleration feels capable thankts to its V6 power, but falls behind in capability compared to its cross-over rivals. But what you can prize the Pathfinder for is its ultra rugged construction. Driving the Pathfinder feels as if it can handle practically anything you throw at it, though I wouldn’t say it’s as off-road savvy as the Jeep Cherokee, but the amount of ground clearance and wheel size gives faith to handling the harsh roads and climate conditions. There is also a sense of safety and security and shelter from the road when within the cabin space thanks to the classical rugged design of the SUV chassis. Fuel economy scores in at 19 mpg in city, 23 on the highway and 21 combined. It’s not the greatest, and its curb weight and massive size is mostly to be blamed. The classical SUV design is old. As a matter of fact, the Pathfinder brand has floated around for nearly 60 years. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad – that is, if you’ve got the use for its rugged capability, cargo space and shear size, and its tough towing capcity of 6,000 lbs. If not, you’ll be paying extra at the pump each time for not too many practical reasons.

Specifications

  • Vehicle : 2017 Nissan Pathfinder
  • Model : Platinum SL (AWD)
  • Vehicle Type : Cross-over SuV
  • Seating Capacity : 2+3+2
  • Powertrain Configuration : AWD
  • Engine : DOHC 24V 3.0L V6
  • Transmission : Continuous Variable Transmission

Pros

  • Modernand Sharp Styling
  • Plethora of space for driver and passenger
  • Flush-folded 2nd row rear seats for added cargo space
  • Relatively affordable for its size and convenience
  • Rugged design not found in Cross-over alternatives

Cons

  • Low ride quality
  • Slow steering and handling response
  • Noticeable body roll when cornering even at lower to medium road speed
  • Heavy curb weight adds to lower fuel economy and drive performance