If you happen to be shopping for a compact, mid-size or even full-size SUV – and a lot of people are – be prepared to be overwhelmed with the plethora of excellent choices and eye-popping level of creature comforts.
The 2018 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum three-row SUV, which a had a major redesign last year, simply slathers on more, more, more with its latest effort.
Pathfinder, one of Nissan’s best known and most popular nameplates in its nearly 60-year history in the United States, was reborn last year with more adventure capability. This year they have added more safety features and aesthetics.
The seven-passenger Pathfinder is offered in 2-wheel-drive and 4-wheel-drive configurations and a choice of four well-equipped grade levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum. My tester was the Platinum with four-wheel drive.
One new innovation is a rear-door alert system that helps remind the driver of anything that may be forgotten in the rear seat – pets, valuables, dry cleaning, groceries and more.
Other new goodies include standard automatic emergency braking, with the Midnight Edition adding exclusive black 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, black mirror caps, black spoiler, black roof rails, black grille surround, black front and rear fascia accents.
My tester also included an optional Nissan mobile entertainment system package ($1,700) that adds dual eight-inch DVD screens behind the front seat headrests to keep the kiddies happy. Two wireless headphones, one wireless remote, HDMI and a USB are also included. But ultimate control is given to the parents.
That’s just the start of the creature comforts — the Pathfinder is loaded with them. Highlights include leather seats all around, heated and cooled front- and second-row seats, heated steering wheel, 10-way power driver’s seat, push-button start, remote ignition, tri-zone climate control, motion-activated lift gate, Bose premium audio with 13 speakers, navigation system with rear-view camera, Bluetooth, satellite radio, six USB ports, one VTR jack, three 12V outlets and one 120V outlet.
Platinum models also include unique 20-inch machined aluminum-alloy wheels, LED headlights, woodgrain finishers, dual panorama moonroof and a trailer tow package (6,000 pounds).
Overshadowed by all that is a 3.5-liter V6 direct-inject engine mated to an automatic, Xtronic continuously variable transmission. The duo generates 284 horsepower and 259 lb.-ft. of torque while earning a 26-miles-per-gallon EPA rating down the highway.
The Pathfinder literally glided down I-5 on a sales call to Mount Vernon. Not only was the ride smooth, the cabin was quiet, allowing for conversation without raising your voice.
Safety features also figure prominent with Nissan, making the Pathfinder a reliable ride regardless of terrain or road conditions. That list includes intelligent 4×4, hill-start assist and descent control, intelligent cruise control, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, vehicle dynamic control, traction control and a security system.
Base Price: $44,010
Price As Driven: $47,840
Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.