Highlights: The vehicle offers a dual panoramic roof. The vehicle also provides audible alerts of weather conditions.
Test vehicle’s MSRP: $42,475 (base model $30,730)
Seating Capacity: 7
Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; traction control; vehicle stability control; hill assist system; and a tire pressure monitoring system
Standard Equipment (Base S model): 18-inch wheels; duplicate steering wheel audio controls; a tri-zone climate control system; a remote keyless entry system; dual visor vanity mirrors; manual folding power exterior mirrors; a roof rack with side rails; a manually operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; and cloth manually operated seats
Standard Equipment (SL model): a blind spot monitoring system; a rear traffic cross alert system; leather seats; power front seats with a memory (driver) setting; a heated steering wheel; heated front and second row seats; a push-button ignition starter system; a remote engine start system; satellite radio; a 7-inch infotainment screen; a rear view camera; a rear audible back up sensor; and a power liftgate
Optional Features On Test Vehicle: carpeted floor mats; a 13-speaker BOSE system; a navigation system; a dual panoramic roof; a tow hitch receiver with an integrated finisher; and a trailer harness
Other Trim Level:
Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM with 6-disc cd changer
Bluetooth Connectivity: Available on some trims.
USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder/260-hp
Recommended Fuel: Regular
Standard Fuel Mileage:
What’s New: With the exception of a few package tweaks, the 2016 Pathfinder is virtually a carryover for the model year.
Why: The Pathfinder is available in a 2-wheel drive or a 4-wheel drive configuration in several trim packages. The three-row passenger vehicle is available in several trim levels. While the Pathfinder is comfortably disguised as a crossover, the vehicle has many of the attributes of a minivan. It offers comfortable seating, great visibility, cargo room for up to seven and utility space, when the seats are folded flat.
And unlike most vehicles with a third-row, it’s simply a breeze to access the rear seat in the Pathfinder. In order to access the third-row, the engineers designed a second-row seating that easily slides on a track rail. This simplistic system allows the rear occupants easy access to the third-row 50/50 folding seats.
Another standout feature is that during cool mornings or balmy afternoons, the optional remote engine start system allows the driver to warm-up or cool off the interior of the Pathfinder prior to entering the vehicle.
Moreover, the Pathfinder is outfitted with a standard 6-cylinder engine, which is more than capable of guiding the people mover, whether the vehicle is solo or in towing upwards of 5,000 lbs.
Price conscious consumers will be able to find a trim level suitable for every budget. We had an opportunity to review a well-equipped SL model, which is positioned right below the top of the line Platinum model. Our SL model offered what seemed like wall to wall leather, from the well-padded seats to the leather-like wrapped instrument panel to the door panels.
And for those looking to step up their game, a Platinum model is available. The high-end trim enhances the vehicle by offering 20-inch wheels and ventilated front seats, along with a few other standard features such a dual panoramic skyroof.
Lastly, with this being a family vehicle, the seven-passenger crossover offers an optional family entertainment package, which adds a DVD system, wireless headphones, a wireless remote and rear headphone jacks. This optional feature is great for short or long haul commutes.
But: The Pathfinder exterior styling isn’t as cutting edge as its five-seater sibling, the Murano. There are competitors in this segment that have been able to up the ante in the exterior design department. Nissan has been known for breakout designs. Also, why doesn’t Nissan offer center captain chairs? Yes, we realize it would slightly limit the vehicle’s passenger carrying capabilities, but it could offer peace and mind for kids and teens seeking out their independence.
Furthermore, the vehicle lacked some of the latest safety driving aids like a radar-activated cruise control system and a forward-collision braking system.
Lastly, offering a peppy 4-cylinder model could also help pull down the starting price of the Pathfinder below the $30,000 threshold.
Verdict: With the crossover field being such a competitive segment, Nissan offers a great seven-passenger alternative for buyers looking for a roomy and well-equipped utility vehicle to navigate most weather conditions. Thus, the vehicle lives up to its name, the Pathfinder. So, for those who can live without such autonomous features as radar-activated cruise control system and a forward-collision braking system, Nissan offers several trims to suit one’s budget.
Competition: Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Highlander