The Nissan Pathfinder seats up to seven passengers across three rows. Legroom is generous in the first and second rows, but the last row will be tight for adults. Seating material is cloth or leather. We're fans of the charcoal coloring of either seating surface that is contrasted by white stitching. Thankfully, Nissan passed on the finicky, all-touch infotainment systems used by others. Here, you can easily tune the radio or turn up the volume with the twist of a dial. The same goes for setting the temperature and fan speed. Other features we like include a hidden storage bin aft of the third row, built-in tie-downs, and flip-out coat hooks.
No longer the squared-off utility vehicle it used to be, the 2014 Pathfinder is all windswept curves and rounded edges. A large, upward sloping grille and two large headlight housings convey toughness, but for the most part the latest Pathfinder projects a friendly image. Roof racks can add functionality to the Pathfinder, and an available dual-panel moonroof does a great job of opening up the cabin, even for 3rd-row passengers. With just 6.5 inches of ground clearance, today's Pathfinder isn't meant for hard-core off-roading. Hybrid Pathfinder models look largely the same as regular versions, only subtly distinguished by LED taillights and hybrid badging.
Notable Standard Equipment
The Pathfinder is available in six trims (S/SV/SL/SL Premium/Platinum/Platinum Premium), with each getting its own roster of standard features. Spend the least on a base S model, and you still won't feel like a pauper with features such as 3-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, in-dash 6-disc AM/FM audio, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Climbing trims brings amenities such as leather seating, a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, Bluetooth streaming audio, navigation, and a power liftgate. Top trims bring a 13-speaker Bose premium audio system, the Around View Monitor, 20-inch wheels, and a panoramic moonroof.
Notable Optional Equipment
Aside from the option of all-wheel drive, most other extras for the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder come as packages, which themselves are limited since many of the trims bundle the features. Among the offerings are a tri-zone entertainment system, a panoramic moonroof, Bose audio, and navigation. A tow hitch receiver is also available for those who plan to haul their toys.
Under the Hood
The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder uses a V6 engine that has a good balance of power and fuel economy. It can tow up to 5,000 pounds and returns up to 26 mpg. The sole transmission is a CVT automatic. New for 2014 is the first hybrid setup used in a Pathfinder. While it won't attain the 50 mpg of a Prius, the Pathfinder Hybrid is estimated to average 27 mpg, not bad for a 3-row SUV. Instead of a V6, the Pathfinder Hybrid pairs a supercharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. In all, the system generates 250 horsepower and can still tow up to 3,500 pounds. The regular and hybrid Pathfinders come in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
260 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
240 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 mpg (front-wheel drive), 19/25 mpg (all-wheel drive)
2.5-liter inline-4 + electric motor/generator
250 horsepower (combined)
240 lb-ft of torque (combined)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/27 mpg (estimated)
The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) that spans from just under $30,000 for a base S model with front-wheel drive to over $44,000 for a loaded, all-wheel-drive Platinum Premium version. The Pathfinder's starting price is similar to those of the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Chevy Traverse, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, and Dodge Durango, making this a very competitive segment. If you're looking for an inexpensive way to carry a big family in an SUV, the Dodge Journey and its sub-$20,000 starting price is tempting. The smaller Kia Sorento, meanwhile, starts around $25,000 and also has three rows of seats. To make sure you're getting the best deal, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price before buying. On the resale front, the Nissan Pathfinder is expected to hold its value very well, though not quite match the lofty residuals of the Toyota Highlander.
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