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One of the biggest changes happened a few years ago when Nissan made the switch from body-on-frame to a unibody construction. This reduced the overall weight, which makes a big difference in the fuel efficiency. The shape and design characteristics of this truck have changed, much smoother lines, and more aerodynamic. I remember the first Pathfinder introduced in 1986 to in an attempt to capture some of the Toyota 4runner market. It looked promising but just never completely took off. I think the focus was more on the off-road when it should have been more on-road with the ability to travel off-road. This version has done it, taking design and style from the Nissan Rogue they created a larger cross-over that can comfortably transport 7.
My tester for the week was the Platinum and it came fully equipped. Heated and cooled leather seats with 8-way power adjustability, 4-way power for the front passenger, EZ flex seating system with 2nd row 60/40 split fold-flat bench seat, and 3rd row 50/50 split fold-flat reclining bench seat. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is heated and is a nice feature in our cold Canadian winters. There was plenty of wood tone trim that was not overdone and gave it a rich feel. Bose audio system with 13 speakers, AM/FM/CD, auxiliary audio input jack, USB connection, streaming audio via Bluetooth, steering wheel mounted audio controls and speed-sensitive volume control and just some of the comforts you will find in the Pathfinder Platinum. The around view monitor uses four cameras to create a composite image from above and displays it on the touchscreen monitor. This helps show the vehicle’s position relative to the lines around the parking space and guides you into the tightest locations easily.
Nissan’s advanced airbag system includes dual-stage front airbags, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side impact, and roof-mounted curtain side-impact airbags along with a rollover sensor. Traction control (TSC) and vehicle dynamic control (VDC) is standard on all models. Rear cross traffic alert, automatic emergency braking are some of the latest technologies added.
The engine is a 3.5 L, 24 valve, DOHC V6 that produces 284 horsepower mated to a CVT transmission (continuously variable transmission) The All-mode 4×4 I-system allows selectability between 2WD, Auto, or 4WD lock. An independent front strut and multi-link rear give the vehicle a comfortable ride. It is also equipped with hill descent to help with those steep roads.
This vehicle does remind me of the Nissan Rogue. It is larger but feels very similar and that’s a good thing. I think Nissan is heading in the right direction with this vehicle. If studies show limited off-road use, then why spend money making this an off-road vehicle. Have the capabilities to drive down a gravel road or up to the ski hill but concentrate on making it as comfortable and fuel efficient as you can. May the force be with you?
Price as tested $49,298