Although it still bears the name of its SUV ancestors, today's Pathfinder is a pavement-friendly crossover with room for the whole family. There's also plenty of luxury and technology available for buyers seeking the ultimate suburban hauler.

Pricing and Equipment

  • The lineup starts at $29,830 with the S model. Standard features include tri-zone automatic climate control, a six-CD changer, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a sliding and reclining second row.
  • The $33,150 SV adds a wealth of popular features, including a rearview camera, a power driver seat, keyless ignition, rear parking sensors, and an upgraded sound system with Bluetooth and satellite radio. The Cold Weather package provides a heated steering wheel and heated front seats and mirrors for $400.
  • Stepping up to SL at $36,410 gets you an upgraded interior with leather upholstery, a power liftgate, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The SL Tech package ($2,030) adds surround-view cameras, a towing hitch and harness, and a Bose sound system. The $3,330 SL Premium package includes all that, plus dual sunroofs and a navigation system.
  • The $41,610 Platinum comes standard with everything you can get on the other trims, plus ventilated front seats and 20-inch wheels.

Performance Pros

Nissan Pathfinder

All Pathfinders are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 260 horsepower, matched to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). As expected in this class, the Pathfinder is a front-driver with all-wheel drive available across the board ($1,700).

Performance highlights include:

  • Fuel Efficiency: The Pathfinder achieves 23 mpg in combined city and highway driving, pretty good for a large V6 crossover that seats seven.
  • Towing Capacity: You can pull up to $5,000 pounds with the Pathfinder. That's almost as much as some truck-based SUVs.
  • Ride Quality: We're impressed by the Pathfinder's plush, sedan-like ride.

Performance Cons

  • Comfort is the theme here, not agility. The Pathfinder's size and ride-tuned suspension discourage any spirited maneuvers.
  • Low-rolling-resistance tires are used to bolster fuel efficiency, but they don't grip the pavement as tightly as conventional tires.

Interior Pros

Nissan Pathfinder Interior
  • Nissan has worked hard to engineer noise and vibration out of the cabin. Passengers travel in near silence.
  • The Pathfinder offers up to 80 cubic-feet of cargo space, plus a useful storage compartment under the floor.

Interior Cons

  • Both the second and third rows sit a lot closer to the floor than you would expect given the massive headroom available.
  • With all seats in use, there's only 16 cubic feet of cargo space available, no more than the average trunk.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The Pathfinder's hushed accommodations and rolling smoothness remind us of a luxury sedan.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The interior layout and materials are rather uninspired, almost dull. Nissan's smaller Murano crossover looks much more sophisticated inside.

The Bottom Line

The Pathfinder is the comfy cruiser of the family crossover bunch.