The Pathfinder’s new 3.5 L DOHC V6 engine adds Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG), revised intake system, Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System, and Mirror Bore Coating.
Horsepower has been increased to 284 from the previous 260. Likewise, torque is increased to 259 pound-feet from its previous 240.
Maximum towing capacity is now a class-leading 6,000 pounds (when properly equipped), an increase of a whole 1,000 pounds.
Nissan has equipped the new Pathfinder with a third-generation Xtronic CVT. The transmission includes D-Step Shift Logic, which simulates conventional gear changes to provide a more natural feel when accelerating.
The Pathfinder has nearly 60-years of history in the United States. With the 2017 model, Nissan has freshened the exterior styling while enhancing the performance.
The exterior provides a rugged character look with the “V-Motion” design language—a chrome grille and boomerang-shaped headlights with LED daytime running lights. This is supplemented by a new front bumper, fog lights, side mirrors with integrated turn signal, and new 18-inch and 20-inch aluminum alloy wheel designs.
In the rear, changes include new tail lights and bumper designs. Front and rear door handles and front and rear fascia accents add to Pathfinder’s good looks.
The best new feature personally is the available Motion Activated Liftgate with position memory, which is standard with the SL and Platinum grades. A simple wave of the foot under the center of the gate activates the power opening function. This is great for loading or unloading groceries.
Completing the exterior makeover are two new exterior colors—Sandstone and Caspian Blue. Exterior colors are offered in nine total choices.
Pathfinder has a wide range of seating and cargo combinations. There is the second-row 60/40 split seat with manual slide and recline flat fold, plus third-row 50/50-split seat with manual recline/flat fold. New cloth seat fabric is added for S and SV grades along with interior finishes for SL and Platinum models. Leather-appointed seating is standard on SL and Platinum models.
Heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and heated steering wheel are also available. I liked the new console design with an illuminated front storage bin and redesigned cup holders, especially their size.
Pathfinder has something called NissanConnect Services package powered by SiriusXM, which includes an extensive array of connectivity and notification features, such as Automatic Collision Notification, Emergency Calling, Stolen Vehicle Locator, customizable alerts, dealer service scheduling, and maintenance alert. It comes standard with the Platinum grade while optional on SV and SL grades.
Safety-focused advanced features include Around View Monitor, Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning, and Rear Traffic Alert, which are all standard features on the SL trim. Moving up one notch to the Platinum model adds Intelligent Cruise Control and the new Forward Emergency Braking.
The standard eight-inch touch screen mounted in the middle of the instrument panel provides interaction and control of a variety of systems and settings—including NissanConnect described earlier.
Pathfinder is quiet and comfortable that gets good gas mileage while offering an array of technological advances and safety features.
2017 Pathfinder MSRP:
S 2WD $30,290
SV 2WD $32,980
SL 2WD $36,100
Platinum 2WD $42,070
Add about $1,500 for 4WD
36-month/36,000-mile Limited Vehicle Warranty
60-month/60,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at email@example.com