Introducing the Nissan Pathfinder for 2017.
Source: Victoria Mason
This week we have the chance to take a look at a car that I hold near and dear to my heart. The Nissan Pathfinder. I own a 2005 myself. Her name is Chloe and she is our one and only family car. We bought her a few months before our first baby was born and this week that girl turns eleven. The Pathfinder is still going strong each day and I still love her like I did on day one. Chloe has undergone a few changes by me over the years and the 2017 Pathfinder is no different.
My 2005 Silver Pathfinder and the 2017 Pathfinder in Caspian Blue.
Then and Now
What’s new for 2017 is a more rugged and powerful Pathfinder. After a big redesign a few years ago that created a crossover out of the truck-like SUV Pathfinder we now see a family car that can tackle light trails and snow and a few camping trips with the kids. Gone is the body on frame build from Chloe’s day. Now it is less aggressive in both look and feel. It offers owners a polished side inside and out that illustrates how Nissan has stepped up their game.
The 2017 version is a better drive too. Nissan gave more power to the Pathfinder with its V6 engine with more horsepower, more torque (19 pound-feet) as well as the ability to tow up to 6,000 lbs. The steering and suspension have changed to provide a more refined drive. All that and there are still changes to the exterior and inside.
There are four trim packages with the Pathfinder. I tested the Platinum trim level. It includes the towing package, adaptive cruise control, 20-inch wheels, forward collision warning, heated and ventilated seats and wood trim on the interior. You can add the Family Entertainment package which consists of two 8-inch headrest-mount displays in the second row as well as USB and HDMI ports and a DVD player.
What I Love
I fell in love with the comfort and ease that the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder provides. Stepping inside the cabin with its soft leather, chrome accents and wood trim relaxes you. There is only a 7-inch ground clearance on this crossover SUV so you never feel too high up or awkward climbing inside. The second row is roomy with plenty of seat and leg room and offers easy access to the third row. The interior is filled with light with the three-panel panoramic sunroof.
The dashboard is easily visible from the driver’s seat and from behind the steering wheel. The touchscreen display is 1-inch larger this year and the centerstack feels intuitive. I particularly liked the upper and lower storage space in the console.
What I Missed
The 2017 Pathfinder lacks a third row that goes beyond elementary school age. Put a teenager back there and they might never want to ride with you again. The third row simply can’t compete with its class competitors and the same goes for the cargo and utility.
If you are looking for lots of storage and a legitimate third row then the Pathfinder is not going to make your list. There is average cargo capacity on the Pathfinder with 47.8 cubic feet behind the second row and 79.8 cubic feet when the second and third row are both down. With all rows up I could fit a single line of groceries bags into the storage area.
Driving the Pathfinder was easy. It no longer handles like a truck and with the added horsepower you feel confident on all sorts of roads. It’s a comfortable ride with less road noise than previous models and there is a less cumbersome feel that I liked. You can definitely feel the new steering and suspension on this model. I found that the week I had the Pathfinder I never wanted to be out of it. Despite it not fitting our family of five any more it still works for the day-to-day and getting behind the wheel always felt good.
Safety-wise the Platinum Pathfinder is loaded with all the bells and whistles like Blind Spot Warning, Forward Emergency Braking, Intelligent Cruise Control, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, a Rear Cross Traffic Alert and more. All things that families want and can feel good about as well as the five-star government safety rating.
In the End
When my week was up I felt sad. I liked getting to know the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder. It definitely felt like getting reacquainted with an old friendship, but one that had gotten better with age. With good mpgs ranging from 26 mpg highway/19 city and 21 combined it won’t suck gas like previous generations and it is a comfortable, stylish and safe family crossover you can feel confident driving for many years to come. MSRP starts at around $30,000; as tested $44,685.
*Disclosure: TMC was not paid for this post. All opinions are my own. Products received by ESI. All photos are by Victoria Mason.