The fourth-generation Nissan Pathfinder arrived in 2013 and was refreshed in 2017. The 2017 update included new front and rear styling. Other than a new Rock Creek Edition and some feature shifting, the Nissan Pathfinder has remained mostly unchanged since its 2017 revamp. We expect the same in the 2021 Pathfinder.
The latest-generation Pathfinder is a far cry from its roots as a relatively rugged truck-based SUV, as it's now a soft-roading crossover with sleek lines and a lower ride. This design gained a new V-Motion grille, headlights, taillights, and more in 2017 to bring it up to date with the competition in its class. It also gained a Rock Creek Edition option in 2019 that added unique 18-inch wheels, a black mesh grille, black roof rails, black door handles, black mirrors, and other black accents. We expect the 2021 Pathfinder to arrive with the same exterior design.
Inside, the current Pathfinder shows its age with its older-looking cabin that includes all the Nissan styling cues from years’ past. These cues include a vanilla four-spoke steering wheel, plenty of black with chrome accents, an in-dash infotainment screen, and a whole mess of buttons on the center stack. We expect this dated look to remain the same in the 2021 Pathfinder.
Standard features on the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder include 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition, seating for up to seven, cloth upholstery, up to six USB ports, and an 8-inch touchscreen. Unfortunately, that 8-inch touchscreen includes Nissan's older infotainment software, which lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities. We expect these standard features to remain the same in the 2021 Pathfinder.
The Pathfinder will likely keep the same 3.5-liter V6 with 284 horsepower. This power will continue to flow through a continuously variable transmission and out to the front wheels or all four wheels with optional all-wheel drive. We also expect its towing capacity to remain at a respectable 6,000 pounds.
The current Pathfinder comes standard with automatic emergency braking, which received a "Superior" rating. It also received "Good" ratings in all crash tests other than the passenger-side small-overlap test, which is received an "Acceptable" rating in. This was enough to score a 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick designation. Unfortunately, that won't be enough to hold that designation in the 2021 Pathfinder, as the latest IIHS Top Safety Pick criteria require "Good" scores in all crash tests. We expect the standard safety gear to remain the same in the 2021 Pathfinder.