REVIEW: 2017 Nissan Pathfinder – Seven Passenger Seating, Plenty of Power

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The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder is a three-row SUV with room for 7 passengers and a well-equipped interior. It received a refresh this year that included new exterior styling and a more powerful engine.

On the styling front there are new front and rear fascias that take this in a different direction from many other SUVs. Rather than trying to make the Pathfinder look more elegant and streamlined, its new look is boxier and more truck-like. It’s a welcome change and makes the Pathfinder stand out from its competition.

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That brash exterior might have you expecting the same inside, but the opposite is true. Inside, the Pathfinder is elegant and refined with plenty of space and comfortable seating. We spent six hours behind the wheel of the Pathfinder in one day and never felt stiff or tired. It’s also a quiet interior so outside noises stay outside and don’t wear on the driver or passengers.

We drove the Platinum four-wheel drive, which is the highest trim level and it looked the part. There is leather seating and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. Front seats are heated and cooled and there’s also a heated second row and heated steering wheel. The driver has an 8-way power seat with lumbar while the front passenger gets a 4-way power seat. This may look like a rugged SUV, but the interior is all about comfort.

Infotainment features NissanConnect with navigation and an 8-inch color touchscreen. The Platinum trim also features a 13-speaker Bose audio system that sounds wonderful and fills the whole cabin with rich sound. The system is easy to use, but there are too many buttons on the dashboard. It needs a bit of simplification to be more intuitive.

The Pathfinder has a 3.5-liter V6 that isn’t technically new, but Nissan’s engineers gave it a little attention to improve its performance. It now boasts 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The makes the Pathfinder light on its feet despite its size with strong acceleration.

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During highway driving it effortlessly merges into traffic and happily provides an extra burst of speed when you press on the gas to pass slower vehicles. The CVT is quiet overall and only becomes intrusive during aggressive acceleration. The powerful engine is complemented by good handling and minimal body roll.

When it comes time to do work, the Pathfinder has 16 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row, 47.8 cubic feet behind the second row, and 79.8 cubic feet behind the first row. It can also tow up to 6,000 pounds when properly equipped.

The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder is an attractive and comfortable SUV with plenty of room for cargo and good towing capability. Pricing starts at $30,290 for the base Pathfinder S with front-wheel drive and tops out at $43,760 for the Platinum with four-wheel drive.