Nissan\'s Oldest SUV Is Still One Of The Best Money Can Buy — But A Small Change Would Make It Perfect

Inside, the Pathfinder's cabin offers a premium experience in a very usable package. As usual, Nissan is quite generous with the feature content. Even the base model comes standard with an eight-inch touchscreen, back up camera, triple-zone climate control, and Nissan's Rear Door Alert System. More on that later. Our Platinum test car came loaded with a litany of goodies including heated power leather seats, adaptive cruise control, a premium Bose sound system, a motion-activated rear liftgate, and a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system. 

The Pathfinder's tech features all worked as intended. The Nissan infotainment system, while a bit antiquated in feel, was effective and easy to learn. In spite of its age, it's easily the best of the Japanese infotainment systems we've come across. Nissan's adaptive cruise control also worked flawlessly. It allowed the Pathfinder to chew up highway miles with ease on our 1,200 mile-trip.

The Rear Door Alert system took a bit a get used to and proved to be more of a nuisance than a help. The RDA is designed to alert you by honking the horn if you leave something in the back seat and forget to retrieve it. The logic behind the system is sound. After all, we've all seen the tragic consequences of leaving children and pets behind in locked cars. However, it doesn't take into consideration the times when you put something back there because you want to leave it there like luggage or shopping. The system can be deactivated, but it can be jarring if you forget to turn it off. 

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Nissan Pathfinder 2017

NissanWhile the overall styling, execution, and material quality aren't on the same level as something from a luxury brand like a Lexus or Mercedes-Benz, our Pathfinder Platinum interior appointments felt quality and solidly put together. " data-reactid="117">NissanWhile the overall styling, execution, and material quality aren't on the same level as something from a luxury brand like a Lexus or Mercedes-Benz, our Pathfinder Platinum interior appointments felt quality and solidly put together. 

Its luxury won't blow you away, but the cabin is nice enough to make living with the Pathfinder on a daily basis a pleasant experience. At the same time, it's plebeian personality won't fill you with overwhelming anxiety if everyday life happens to blemish the leather or wood. 

The cabin is also positively cavernous. 

At 16.5 feet long, the Pathfinder has room to seat up to seven occupants comfortably. In fact, even the third row will easily hold two average sized adults. A task many other three-row crossovers struggle to accomplish. 

There's also plenty of room for stuff. 

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Nissan pathfinder platinum interior seven seats original

Nissan

The big crossover can swallow up a colossal 79.8 cubic feet of cargo with the second and third rows folded. That number falls to 47.8 cubic feet with just the third row folded and 16 cubic feet if all three rows of seats are upright. These figures fall in line with segment leaders such as the Ford Explorer and the Toyota Highlander. 

It's a great highway cruiser, but there's one thing lacking

one of the best engines in the world. And it has been for more than two decades. It's silky smooth, powerful, and rock solid reliable. (I say this as the owner of an 18-year-old VQ-powered Nissan Maxima that still get 29 mpg on the high way.)" data-reactid="144">Under the hood, you'll find a 3.5 liter, 284 horsepower VQ35DD V6 engine. Simply put, the Nissan VQ series is one of the best engines in the world. And it has been for more than two decades. It's silky smooth, powerful, and rock solid reliable. (I say this as the owner of an 18-year-old VQ-powered Nissan Maxima that still get 29 mpg on the high way.)

Here, the VQ engine is mated to Nissan's XTRONIC continuously variable transmission. Herein lies my biggest complaint with the Pathfinder. The CVT spoils the driving experience. While CVTs are great at boosting fuel economy — we managed to hit 25 mpg on the highway in a 4,700-pound SUV— they are notorious for dulling down power delivery. 

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Nissan Pathfinder VQ engine

NissanAnd it's such a shame because the Pathfinder's engine is an absolute gem that is ready and willing to perform. But add a CVT to the equation and you've effectively shot up your racehorse with tranquilizers. Step on the gas hard and the engine strains to deliver acceleration. Speed builds over time instead of that immediate burst we are accustomed to in a traditional automatic or manual transmission. " data-reactid="166">NissanAnd it's such a shame because the Pathfinder's engine is an absolute gem that is ready and willing to perform. But add a CVT to the equation and you've effectively shot up your racehorse with tranquilizers. Step on the gas hard and the engine strains to deliver acceleration. Speed builds over time instead of that immediate burst we are accustomed to in a traditional automatic or manual transmission. 

Yes, XTRONIC is generally considered to be one of best CVTs on the market, but that's like being the captain of the gang that couldn't shoot straight. 

Apart from the CVT, I thoroughly enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the Pathfinder. The ride was smooth and the cabin proved to be remarkably quiet. Making it a truly amazing highway cruiser. 

Sure, the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder may no longer be the star of Youtube rock crawling videos. But as a family crossover for everyday life, Nissan's Pathfinder is an absolute rock star. 

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Source : https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/nissan-apos-oldest-suv-still-181251056.html

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