NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder has been named one of the “12 Best Family Cars of 2017” by Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com. It is the fourth consecutive year that Pathfinder has been included on the website’s annual evaluation and selection of vehicles that “best meet the needs of today’s families.”
Editors credited Pathfinder for “playing a great inside game,” writing: One of the most critical factors when considering a family-focused vehicle is its ability to please the people it carries. The Pathfinder scores high marks in that area thanks to a well turned-out and invitingly roomy cabin that’s designed to facilitate quick, convenient transitions. Arguably the most notable feature on that front is Nissan’s benchmark EZ Flex and Glide System. Standard on every model, it allows a child seat latched to either the Pathfinder’s second-row split-bench or captain’s chairs to remain in place when they’re slid forward, greatly assisting access to the third-row bench.
KBB.com recommends that family car buyers take their children’s car seats and boosters along when shopping to see how they fit and their ease of use with prospective vehicles.
“In a 3-row SUV like Pathfinder, access to the last row is critical in everyday use, both getting in and out of and negotiating around a child seat in the 2nd row,” said Dan Mohnke, vice president, Nissan Chief Marketing Manager & Marketing Operations. “Our innovative 2nd row seat system, which tilts forward with a child seat still in place1, gives Pathfinder a big advantage over other 3-row designs, even before shoppers get behind the wheel for a test drive.”
The “12 Best Family Cars of 2017” evaluation team also noted Pathfinder’s recent major redesign that includes a revised 3.5-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) V6, producing 284 horsepower while maintaining 26 mpg highway fuel economy and class-leading3 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity (when properly equipped).
About the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder
Pathfinder, one of Nissan’s best known and most popular nameplates in its nearly 60-year history in the United States, was reborn for the 2017 model year with more adventure capability, a freshened exterior look and enhanced safety and technology – pure Pathfinder taken to an even higher level of performance, technology and style.
The changes for the new model year began from the A-pillars forward – both with revised sheet metal and the re-engineered 3.5-liter V6 under the new hood design. The new Pathfinder engine utilizes more than 56 percent new or new-to-Pathfinder engine parts and components – including combustion chamber design, pistons, intake manifold and e-VTC (fully electronic on intake).
Pathfinder’s refreshed exterior for 2017 provides a stronger sense of adventure character and presence by adding Nissan signature design elements, such as the new “V-Motion” grille and boomerang-shaped headlights with LED daytime running lights. Another significant addition for 2017 is the available Motion-Activated liftgate with liftgate position memory, which is standard on SL and Platinum grades.
Pathfinder’s stylish, adventure-ready interior includes comfortable seating for seven, enhanced user friendliness and updated connectivity features. As in previous years, every 2017 Pathfinder interior is anchored by Nissan’s innovative EZ Flex Seating System™ with LATCH AND GLIDE™, a 2nd row tilt and glide seat that allows easy 3rd row access with a child safety seat still installed1.
For 2017, Pathfinder adopts new-generation information technology. The standard 8.0-inch touch-screen monitor, mounted in the middle of the instrument panel, provides intuitive interaction and control of a variety of driver-selectable vehicle systems and settings – including the available NissanConnectSM Navigation. Also available is NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM®4, which features automatic collision notification, emergency call and stolen vehicle locator, customizable alerts, dealer service scheduling and maintenance alerts.
The 2017 Pathfinder’s wide range of available convenience features and driving aids also includes standard Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio4, Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control, RearView Monitor, and available 13-speaker Bose® Premium Audio system, Family Entertainment Package with dual headrest 8.0-inch DVD monitors, Nissan Intelligent Key® with programmable settings, Remote Engine Start5, Dual Panorama Moonroof and Easy-Fill Tire Alert.
Advanced Driver Assistance technology includes new Forward Emergency Braking (FEB)6 and Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC)7. For 2017, Moving Object Detection has been added to the available Around View® Monitor (AVM)8. Also offered are Blind Spot Warning (BSW)9 and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)10.
The new 2017 Pathfinder is available in 4WD and 2WD drive configurations and in four models: S, SV, SL and Platinum. It is assembled in Tennessee.
There’s no mistaking when Nissan Pathfinders undergo a complete redesign. With every generation, there are massive, unmissable changes to the styling, body structure and even its general purpose. The changes made between the 2016 and 2017 Nissan Pathfinder don’t represent one of those dramatic transformations, but nevertheless, significant updates were made to Nissan’s 3-row family crossover. Let’s take a look at the changes.
You’ll be forgiven if you have a tough time telling between the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder and its 2017 replacement, but when you start carefully looking at them side by side, you may notice the differences. For instance, the grille has been reshaped and is now separated from the redesigned headlights that feature a signature LED running light strip. The taillights are also a bit different, while the front and rear bumpers have been reshaped. Besides looking different (Nissan says it was going for a more masculine look), the new styling reaps an improvement in aerodynamics for better fuel economy.
Changes to the cabin were less substantial but could prove more significant on a daily basis. The front cupholders have been redesigned to include a channel between them, allowing for a greater variety of containers to fit within. More importantly, the Pathfinder gains the latest Nissan touchscreen, which is bigger than before and offers improved responses. The 2016’s was one of the easier touchscreens to use, and the 2017 version only builds upon the ease of use.
Other changes include new metal and wood finishes, as well as new cloth upholstery. Otherwise, the Pathfinder’s seating and overall packaging remain unchanged. Seating for seven is standard, although the third row isn’t quite as accommodating as those of some competitors.
This is where the big changes show up for the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder that may ultimately lead you to choose the newer version. There’s a new V6 engine that produces 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque, a far more competitive figure than the old V6, which managed only 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. The result is a noticeably more muscular SUV that can better handle the rigors of lugging about a full family load. Plus, towing capacity has raised from 5,000 to 6,000 pounds, bringing the Pathfinder from average to better than all competitors not named Dodge Durango.
The new engine even produces a nice growl that doesn’t get drowned out by the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). For the 2016, the transmission causes prolonged droning noises when under heavy throttle. For the 2017, Nissan introduced more pronounced artificial shift points (a CVT does not have traditional gears to work through) that eliminate much of this droning and create a normal driving experience.
Fuel economy is a bit of a complicated story. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) changed the way it measured fuel economy for 2017, which resulted in a lowering of most cars’ mile-per-gallon figures. Therefore, the 2016 Pathfinder’s fuel economy estimates of 20 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg combined (with front-wheel drive) would’ve gone down had Nissan not changed the engine. Since the engine did change and is more efficient, the figures are actually the same. More simply, the 2017 Pathfinder receives better fuel economy, even though the EPA figures don’t indicate it.