2017 Nissan Pathfinder SV First Test Review

by Heather Platt | Posted on Monday, May 8th, 2017

Nissan gave its midsize three-row crossover more than just a modest refresh for the 2017 model year. Revised styling and a noticeable power boost prompted us to revisit the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder. Previous tests of the current generation model included our long-term 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4WD and a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4WD during our Big Test comparison of 2014 three-row crossovers.

2017 Nissan Pathfinder SV

For our latest test, the Japanese automaker sent us a 2017 Nissan Pathfinder SV 4WD. The SV model sits above the base S model and below the SL and top-spec Platinum and limited-production Midnight Edition.

EPA-rated fuel economy remains the same as the pre-refresh 2016 model, with the 2017 Pathfinder at 19/26 mpg city/highway for all-wheel-drive models and 20/27 mpg for front-drive models. The 2017 Pathfinder’s tow rating is now at 6,000 pounds—that’s a 1,000-pound increase.

Those ratings are more competitive in the segment, which includes the Honda Pilot (280 hp and 262 lb-ft), Toyota Highlander (270 hp and 248 lb-ft), and Ford Explorer with the base 3.5-liter V-6 (290 hp and 255 lb-ft).

At the track, the 284-hp 2017 Nissan Pathfinder SV 4WD hit 60 mph in 7.4 seconds and finished the quarter mile in 15.7 seconds at 91.8 mph. In our previous tests, the 260-hp 2013 and 2014 models accelerated in 7.37.5 seconds and 15.615.7 seconds at 90.991.5 mph. The 2017 Pathfinder stopped from 60 mph in 125 feet, and the older models stopped in 116117 feet.

In addition to more power, Nissan also retuned the suspension with stiffer front and rear dampers, 25 percent stiffer rear springs, and revised front rebound springs. Steering ratio was also increased by 11 percent.

The 2017 Pathfinder lapped the Motor Trend figure-eight course in 28.1 seconds at 0.60 g (average) and pulled 0.77 g around the skidpad; the 2013 and 2014 models did it in 28.7 seconds at 0.590.60 g and 0.76 g. Our 2017 Pathfinder SV tester rode on 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/65R18 tires, the 2013 Platinum rode on 20-by-7.5-inch wheels with 235/55R20 tires, and the 2014 SV rode on 18-by-7.5-inch wheels with 235/65R18 tires.

Interior updates for 2017 include a revised center stack, new metallic and wood accent options, and new cloth seating for S and SV trims, though with a decent amount of hard plastics, including the dashboard. New tech includes a larger 8.0-inch infotainment screen (up from 7.0 inches) standard, a foot-activated power tailgate, and an optional around-view camera.

Our all-wheel-drive 2017 Nissan Pathfinder SV tester starts at $35,270. Standard features on the SV trim includes hill start assist, hill descent control, 18-inch alloys and spare tire, 60/40-split second-row and 50/50-split third-row seats, an eight-way power driver’s seat with manual lumbar support, keyless entry with remote start and push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth seating, an 8.0-inch color touchscreen, a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, two USB ports, one VTR jack, and four 12-volt power outlets.

The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder is a more competitive foul-weather family crossover, but with its unibody construction and only 7.0 inches of ground clearance—as with other similar crossovers—don’t expect to stray too far off the beaten path. With many midsize three-row crossovers being updated, the 2017 Pathfinder is ready for another comparison test.

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