3/4 Front Glamour 2014 Nissan Pathfinder

Expert's Rating

4.5Excellent

MPG 20 City / 26 Highway
, Automotive Editor -
The Nissan Pathfinder isn't as rugged as it used to be, but it delivers the sport and utility most SUV buyers really use.

Introduction

While not as rugged as in former generations, the Nissan Pathfinder takes aim at a mainstream market with cleaner lines, more efficiency and enhanced comfort.

What's New

The 2014 Pathfinder is little-changed from the all-new model that debuted in 2013. It does offer a wider range of models -- six, up from four -- and a supercharged hybrid variant will join the line-up later in the year.

Interior/Exterior

The Pathfinder has edgy styling that stops short of becoming polarizing. The front fascia bears a strong resemblance to the last Saabs -- no bad thing.

Slipping inside, anyone familiar with a Maxima or 370Z will recognize the layout of the center console. Smooth shapes complement tasteful wood and metal accents, combinations that work especially well with lighter interior hues. Materials are among the most pleasing available from Nissan.

Parents will appreciate a second-row seat that's engineered to slide forward for third-row access even when there’s a car seat tethered in. Adults will be less than comfortable, though, in rear seats that are placed low to the floor. The Pathfinder has 16 cubic feet of cargo room with all seats up; both second- and third-row seats fold flat for cavernous space.

Under the Hood

Another familiar friend is Nissan's ubiquitous 3.5-liter V6. It's good for 260-horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque in this application, and mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). A knob allows drivers to select permanent front- or four-wheel drive, or an automatic setting that activates four-wheel drive when needed.

Performance

This Pathfinder can't tackle the same off-road trails as its predecessors, but the only difference most buyers will notice is a smoother ride and easier maneuverability.

Which Style To Buy?

2014 Nissan Pathfinder
Starting price
$27,617
Shopper Popularity
13%

2014 Nissan Pathfinder S

Recommended for: Those who want a basic (but still well-equipped) model.

The base S model Pathfinder is still well-equipped. Tri-zone climate control and rear privacy glass keeps everyone’s comfort in check, and the stereo has a six-disk CD changer and six standard speakers. The driver gets handy features like a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and an advanced information system. All-wheel drive is optional; features like the towing package, fog lights, leather upholstery and dual-panoramic sunroof are not.

2014 Nissan Pathfinder
Starting price
$30,583
Shopper Popularity
12%

2014 Nissan Pathfinder SV

Recommended for: Those who want the basics, but with towing and parking assistance.

This is the least expensive model for the tow package and its 5,000-pound capacity. The SV also adds a Rear Sonar System and camera for easier reversing, Bluetooth and Intelligent Key, which can unlock everything and has memory settings.

2014 Nissan Pathfinder
Starting price
$33,326
Shopper Popularity
46%

2014 Nissan Pathfinder SL

Most Popular
Recommended for: The bargain hunter who wants luxury and technology.

Added luxuries include leather upholstery and a power liftgate. Seats in the front and middle rows are heated. Remote start also becomes available. SL models have two notable packages notable packages: Premium and Tech. Either upgrades the sound system to 13 Bose speakers. The Tech Package adds navigation, DVD, and streaming capability; the Premium Package, meanwhile, includes a panoramic sunroof.

2014 Nissan Pathfinder
Starting price
$37,696
Shopper Popularity
29%

2014 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum

Recommended for: Those who want a Pathfinder with lots of toys.

Platinum adds some curb appeal with 20-inch wheels. (Tire width stays the same, so other than a little less squish from the tire sidewalls, there shouldn’t be much performance gain.) All Pathfinders have standard tilt/telescoping wheels, but the Platinum is electrically operated for added convenience. Around View monitoring surpasses the Rear Sonar System and rear-view camera by offering a bird's-eye composite. Middle-row passengers can have head-rest mounted flat screens through the Tri-Zone Entertainment System, but only with the Premium Package.

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