2017 Nissan Pathfinder Review
- Original MSRP$30,290 - $43,760
- Fuel Economy (MPG)20/27 City/Hwy
- Body StylesSUV
By Chris Brewer (Last Updated 12/14/2017)
Thanks to a significant refresh, the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder is improved both inside and out. Under the hood, Nissan’s three-row crossover gets a significant power boost, enhancing performance and towing capacity without diminishing fuel economy.
The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder is available in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum. A V6 engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are standard, and paired with front-wheel drive or an available all-wheel drive system.
For 2017, Nissan refreshed the Pathfinder’s front and rear fascia. Its headlights and “V-Motion” grille help the Pathfinder fall in line with the rest of the manufacturer’s recently adopted design language. The new design adds a slightly boxier flavor.
Pathfinder S, SV and SL models are fit with 18-inch alloy wheels, and Platinum models receive 20-inch alloys. Base S models come with halogen headlights that are complemented by standard LED daytime running lights and power-adjustable sideview mirrors with turn-signal indicators. Base models also come with a roof rack and rear privacy glass.
SV models up the ante with fog lights and automatic headlights. The SL trim adds a motion-activated tailgate and heated outside mirrors.
Top-trim Platinum models include a dual-panel panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, chrome body side moldings and a standard tow hitch receiver with trailer wiring.
The Pathfinder’s interior is spacious, welcoming and comfortable. Our test Pathfinder Platinum called to mind premium offerings from the related Infiniti brand, albeit with a few reminders of its considerably lower price tag. Fit and finish are excellent, and the Pathfinder’s thoughtful interior design provides an excellent driving experience. Controls are within easy reach and straightforward to use.
The Pathfinder’s standard three-row seating sends its utility almost into minivan territory. While larger families will find its cargo capacity limited when compared with a minivan’s, the Pathfinder will likely be adequate for families with two to four children. The second-row bench seat is comfortable and slides back and forth, allowing occupants to configure the vehicle’s legroom based on the number of occupants. The third row’s low-profile seats help maximize available headroom.
The Pathfinder excels at providing comfortable transportation for family road trips, especially if the family is comprised of five people or less. Folding down the third row to accommodate extra luggage converts the tight seven-seater with 16 cubic feet of cargo space into a spacious five-passenger SUV with 47.8 cubic feet of capacity. Lowering both rear rows opens up a maximum of 79.8 cubic feet of cargo space.
Features like power-adjustable front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering column and a heated steering wheel are available.
Nissan knows how to build a V6 engine. The company has been perfecting the Pathfinder’s gutsy 3.5-liter V6 for years, and the newly designed version is better than ever. The Pathfinder’s V6 cranks out 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque. The new numbers best those of the outgoing model by 24 horsepower and 19 pound-feet, a difference that is notable on paper and tangible on the road.
Our Pathfinder’s CVT did a nice job of supporting this crossover’s performance. It provided a solid driving experience that was entertaining, even when the throttle was nearly buried to the floor on highway entrance ramps or in passing situations.
The 2017 Pathfinder’s suspension is a nice blend of comfort and performance. It’s firm enough to communicate with the driver, but soft enough that it doesn’t grow tiresome during daily commuting. Nissan boasts that the increased spring rates and a sharper turning ratio add to the sporting nature of the Pathfinder, a fact we confirmed time and again during our week-long review period.
Fuel economy is strong, especially for the segment. Front-wheel drive models achieve an EPA-estimated 20/27 mpg city/highway. All-wheel drive models are rated at 19/26 mpg.
With 7 inches of ground clearance, the Pathfinder can tackle snowy roads or light trails. Towing capacity stands at 6,000 pounds.
The Nissan Pathfinder offers a premium level of standard equipment. All models include an 8-inch touch-screen display and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player. Base-model Pathfinders also come standard with a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio, tri-zone automatic climate control and push-button start/stop.
Available tech features include navigation, an upgraded 13-speaker Bose audio system and a rear-seat entertainment system.
In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests, the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder earned a perfect five star score for its overall performance.
The Pathfinder comes with a rearview camera, battery of air bags, antilock brakes and a tire pressure monitoring system. Available driver-assistance features include blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Platinum models add forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder S starts at $29,990, not including a $940 destination charge. The all-wheel drive Pathfinder S starts at $31,680, while SV models start at $32,680 and $34,470 with front- and all-wheel drive, respectively.
SL models start at $37,390. We’d recommend choosing this trim for its useful standard features, which include blind spot monitoring, heated first- and second-row seats and a heated steering wheel.
The top-trim Platinum model starts at $41,870, and the all-wheel-drive Platinum begins at $43,560. The Platinum provides premium features for a very reasonable cost.
With a spacious and comfortable interior, strong curb appeal and a capable, efficient power plant, the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder is a family-friendly crossover SUV that won’t break the bank.
Many midsize crossovers offer superb value. However, if you like its styling and appreciate comfort and versatility, the 2017 Pathfinder will make an excellent purchase.
Specs & Features
- Magnetic Black
- Midnight Jade
- Cayenne Red
- Brilliant Silver
- Glacier White
- Caspian Blue
- Gun Metallic
Available exterior features
- Rear Bumper Color: Body-color
- Mirror Color: Body-color
- Rear Spoiler: Roofline
- Rear Spoiler Color: Body-color
- Grille Color: Chrome
- Front Spoiler
- Window Trim: Black
- Front Bumper Color: Body-color
- Door Handle Color: Chrome
Wheel and tire type
- Wheel Diameter: 18.0 X 7.5 Inches
- Tire Type: P235/65r18
- Ground Clearance: 7 Inches
- Angle Of Approach: 14.7 Degrees
- Width: 77.2 Inches
- Length: 198.5 Inches
- Height: 70.2 Inches
- Wheelbase: 114.2 Inches
- Break-over Angle: 16.2 Degrees
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 5985 Pounds
- Rear Track Width: 65.7 Inches
- Curb Weight: 4292 Pounds
- Angle Of Departure: 22.3 Degrees
- Front Track Width: 65.7 Inches
- Rear Air Conditioning Zones: Single
- Armrests: Rear Center Folding With Storage/Rear Center With Cupholders
- Air Filtration
- Power Locks: Auto-locking
- Shift Knob Trim: Urethane
- Front Air Conditioning: Automatic Climate Control
- Steering Wheel Trim: Urethane
- Interior Accents: Chrome
- Rear Air Conditioning: Automatic Climate Control/Independently Controlled
- Front Air Conditioning Zones: Dual
- Floor Material: Carpet
- Electronic Messaging Assistance: Voice Operated/With Read Function
- Wireless Data Link: Bluetooth
- Radio Data System
- Auxiliary Audio Input: Bluetooth/USB/IPod/iPhone/Jack
- In-Dash CD: MP3 Playback/Single Disc
- Total Speakers: 6
- Satellite Radio: SiriusXM
- Antenna Type: Diversity/Element/Mast
- Speed Sensitive Volume Control
- Radio: AM/FM/HD Radio/Touch Screen Display/Voice Operated
- Infotainment: NissanConnect
- Bucket Front Seats
- Upholstery: Cloth
- 4-Way Manual Passenger Seat Adjustments
- Rear Seat: Sliding
- Third Row Seat Folding: Fold Flat Into Floor
- Adjustable Rear Seats
- 60-40 Split Rear Seat
- Flat-Folding Rear Seat
- 6-Way Manual Driver Seat Adjustments
- Third Row Seat Type: 50-50 Split Bench/Split-folding
- Passenger Volume: 157.8 Cubic Feet
- Max Seating: 7
- Front Hip Room: 56.8 Inches
- Front Shoulder Room: 60.7 Inches
- Rear Hip Room: 56.1 Inches
- Cargo Volume Third Row Down Only: 47.8 Cubic Feet
- Interior Volume: 173.8 Cubic Feet
- Hip Room 3rd Row: 42
- Leg Room 3rd Row: 30.7
- Rear Legroom: 41.7 Inches
- Cargo Volume All Rear Seats Down: 79.8 Cubic Feet
- Front Legroom: 42.3 Inches
- Front Headroom: 41.1 Inches
- Rear Headroom: 38.5 Inches
- Head Room 3rd Row: 36.5
- Shoulder Room 3rd Row: 57.1
- Standard Seating: 7
- Seating Rows: 3
- Cargo Volume: 16 Cubic Feet
- Rear Shoulder Room: 60.4 Inches
- Axle Ratio: 5.25
- Fuel Type: Gasoline
- City (MPG): 20
- Highway (MPG): 27
- Combined (MPG): 23
- Transmission Type: Cvt
- Type: Cvt
- Gears: 0
- Engine Type: 6 Cylinders
- Displacement(liters): 3.5
- Horsepower: 284
- Torque: 259
- Maximum Towing Capacity: 6000 Pounds
- Aerodynamic Drag: 0.33
- Turning Circle: 38.7
- Rear Suspension Type: Multi-link
- Front Suspension Type: Lower Control Arms
- Rear Suspension Classification: Independent
- Front Stabilizer Bar: Diameter 26 mm
- Front Shock Type: Twin-tube Gas
- Rear Spring Type: Coil
- Rear Stabilizer Bar: Diameter 26 mm
- Front Suspension Classification: Independent
- Rear Shock Type: Twin-tube Gas
- Front Spring Type: Coil
- Front Struts: MacPherson
- New Car Basic Warranty: 36 Months/36,000 Miles
- Powertrain: Drivetrain/Powertrain: 60 Months/60,000 Miles
- Corrosion Perforation: Rust: 60 Months
- Small Overlap Front - Driver SideG
- Small Overlap Front - Passenger SideA
- Moderate Overlap FrontG
- Side ImpactG
- Roof StrengthG
- Head Restraints and SeatsG
- Front Crash PreventionSuperiorwith optional equipment
- HeadlightsMonly certain trims
- Child Safety Door Locks
- Electronic Stability Control: Standard
- Energy Absorbing Steering Column
- Rearview Monitor: in Dash
- Side Impact Airbags: Standard
- Child Seat Anchors: LATCH System
- Crumple Zones: Front/rear
- Camera System: Rearview
- Body Side Reinforcements: Side Impact Door Beams
- Anti-lock Brakes Four Wheel: Standard
- Front Driver Airbags: Standard
- Daytime Running Lights: Standard
- Front Passenger Airbags: Standard
- Brake Assist: Standard
- Side Curtain Airbags: Standard