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Review: Nissan maintains price stability on loaded Pathfinder

In recent years the price of Nissan’s Platinum model has remained stable.

In 2015, the asking price for the costliest model in the Pathfinder portfolio was $43,100. Today, the 2017 Platinum is priced at $42,070. The same features are in or on the 2017 Platinum model, including 20-inch wheels; three rows of reclining leather seating, with the front operating by power; a trizone DVD entertainment system; panoramic sunroof serving three rows; and an engine with slightly more horsepower, 284 today versus 260 in 2015, but with the same 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a continuously variable transmission. The horsepower increase ups towing ability from 5,000 to 6,000 pounds.

The second row moves forward and backward up to 5½ inches. The second row’s movements make for easier access to the third row, where two adults can stretch out the legs a bit more compared to much of the three-row midsize SUV competition on the market.

Interior cargo and leg room measurements are the same this year as in 2015. Exterior measurements are virtually the same. Length has moved from 197.2 inches to 198.5 inches. Platinum weight has increased by 18 pounds.

Pathfinder pricing begins at $30,290 with the S model. Additional trim levels are the SV, the SL and the Platinum. Pathfinders are front- or all-wheel drive. A recently tested Platinum model was AWD with a selectable transmission. The selectable transmission is a big plus as, on smooth highways, it can be operated in two-wheel-drive. If snow is heavy and road conditions have deteriorated, the operation will be in four-wheel-drive. The axles can be locked in place for more drive power forward in heavy snow conditions.

On the four-wheel drive models, sensors automatically switch to four-wheel-drive on rough terrain or if there are bad weather conditions on the roadway, then it reverts to front-wheel-drive for better mileage when road conditions are more favorable. An intuitive mode senses slippery roads or rough terrain and automatically adjusts power to each wheel. When things smooth out, the mode switches back to front-wheel-drive. There are hill ascent and descent modes.

All-wheel drive translates into more fuel usage. During the test week, the Platinum model averaged 22.2 mpg of unleaded regular fuel with two adults aboard in combined highway and suburban driving. The Environmental Protection Agency rates the vehicle at 19 mpg city, 26 highway, 21 combined.

Since it is a Platinum model, besides the usual airbags (front, front sides, overhead), four-wheel antilock braking system, and traction and stability controls, it also has blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, forward emergency braking and intelligent cruise control systems.

The ride is plush and superb, and this can be attributed to a sensitive suspension system that adjusts quickly to road imperfections. Insulating factors are excellent as road and engine noise are kept to a minimum. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph has been tested by automotive media in eight seconds. With vented disc brakes for four wheels, the vehicle can brake from 60 mph to a stop in a distance of 124 feet, which is about the norm for a midsize SUV.

The infotainment system includes the latest amenities. For example, all data on cellphones is stored in the vehicle’s memory. If a smartphone, that personal data also moves into the Pathfinder’s memory. Voice commands can be used for the navigation and sound system.

The most expensive Pathfinder is the $43,265 Midnight Edition. All the Platinum features are included plus it has black wheels, rear spoiler, outside mirrors and splash guards. Kick plates are lighted.

FAST FACTS

Vehicle: Platinum model of 2017 Nissan Pathfinder

Type: three-row, seven-passenger, midsize sport utility vehicle

Price: $43,560

Delivery: $900

Engine: 3.5-liter, 284-horsepower V6

Transmission: continuously variable

Towing: 6,000 pounds

Fuel tank: 19.5 gallons

Fuel: regular unleaded

Weight: 4,660 pounds

Wheelbase, length, width, height in inches: 114.2, 198.5, 77.2, 70.2

Turn circle: 38.7 feet

Cargo: 79.8 cubic feet maximum, 47.8 cubic feet third row flat, second row upright, 16 cubic feet behind upright second and third rows

Leg room: 42.3 inches front, 41.7 inches second row, 30.7 inches third row

Suspension: struts front, multilinks rear, stabilizer bars

Brakes: discs

Tires, aluminum alloy wheels: 20-inch

Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles with roadside assistance, 5 years/60,000 miles powertrain

Information: www.nissanusa.com/Pathfinder

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