Estimated reading time:3 minutes, 31 seconds
Photography by Jaze Haze Photography
FEATURED TRIM $44,685 … MSRP $43,560
For 2017 Nissan has made some minor revisions to the Pathfinder line. The SUV comes in 5 trim levels, S, SV, SL, Platinum, and the new Midnight Edition. Notably, for 2017 mechanical revisions to the engine, trim upgrades and the addition of aforementioned Midnight Edition are the highlights for 2017. For this review we have the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder AWD Platinum Edition, it is finished in as Nissan calls; Sandstone with Perforated Charcoal leather. For us laymen, lets call it a metallic gold like exterior with black leather interior. My first impression of the vehicle was how the Pathfinder has grown and matured from a petulant 2 door off-roader of the early ’90’s to a more refined family hauler. There is no pretense this vehicle would be more at home spending hours upon hours navigating smooth highways and city streets. My tester did have AWD, which can be switched to 2WD, Auto, AWD engaged permanently and Hill Descent also available. Now, although I did not get an opportunity to test the AWD mode, I would surmise it be more suited for inclement weather conditions, with an occasional foray into the backwoods.
With the mechanical upgrades, the 2017 Pathfinder gained about 24hp and 19ft/lbs of torque, bringing the total output of the 3.5L V6 to 284HP/259lb/ft respectively. The engine is mated to interestingly enough, a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). Typically, CVT’s are found on smaller sedans with the intent of delivering overall better fuel economy. I found the CVT to be decent on the highway, gear shifts were simulated and were pretty smooth. I took a trip about 200 miles up to the Tennessee mountains and the gas needle barely nudged the halfway mark, not bad! In city street situations, however, I barely managed 17mpg! Its overall weight of over 4500 pounds could be a contributing factor? The Platinum Edition adds, LED lights, 20″ wheels, heated and cooled front seats with heated rear seats.
For my tester, the Platinum AWD is finished in a nice black leather. And I have to say, I have found Nissan leather seats to be some of the most comfortable seats, I have sat in! The leather is soft and supple, not hard unlike some other makes. The fake wood and chrome trim pieces do take points away from the interior plushness, however. There is a 13 speaker BOSE audio system which very welcomed for those long trips – and lots of power outlets (4), one 120V outlet and USB inputs to keep those electronics powered up. An 8-inch screen is now available upgraded an inch from previous models. It is touchscreen, with pinch and zoom, BT Audio streaming, phone connection, etc. Safety features include BSM with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Forward Emergency Braking, among other safety features which are almost all commonplace on today’s modern vehicles.
The vehicle seats seven with an easy to operate second-row slide and tilt function for access to the 3rd-row seats. Probably best reserved for smaller humans for any lengthy ride at least. My kids, however, did enjoy it on our trip.
The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder AWD Platinum Edition, drives rather like a truck than the sedan platform it is based on. Which I found not unwieldy, but unexpected. The steering as well, was heavy with little assist at slow speeds. I attribute this to how the vehicle is calibrated, perhaps to convey a rugged feel and drive? Up in the twisty mountain roads, this was even more evident as you could feel the weight transfer as you maneuvered from left to right. Once on a decent patch of straight highway, it performed amicably, with little road noise and enough grunt down low for passing slower traffic.
If your requirements are a 7 seater with some offroad functionality, the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder AWD Platinum should fit the bill. If however, it is that you desire crave, and not so concerned with AWD capabilities, but prefer a more sporty, more maneuverable vehicle, there are others. See my other GearHead reviews…
- Price as tested: $44,685
- MSRP: $43,560
- HP: 284HP
- Fuel economy: 19/26
- Vehicle Provided by Nissan Motors USA
Photography by Jaze Haze Photography