- Completely redesigned in 2013 to ride on a crossover platform, instead of a traditional SUV frame
- Much improved gas mileage over the previous model
- Available AroundView Monitor and two-screen rear entertainment system
The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder returns fresh off of last year’s complete redesign.
2013 brought big changes for the Nissan Pathfinder, which not only got brand new styling, it also added a new type of body-frame which changed the nature of the SUV. The Pathfinder no longer uses a body-on-frame design, instead opting for a unibody platform. Simply put, the Pathfinder now rides on a car-based wheelbase instead of a truck’s. This shift offers benefits when it comes to ride and fuel economy.
The Pathfinder’s new look reflects this change, opting for smooth lines over rugged edges. The new face dips low in the front and the curves undulate as you move down the sides of the now-crossover. The large front headlamps push all the way up against the front grille and then thin out as you move towards the front fenders. 18-inch aluminum wheels are standard (20-inch wheels available), as is a rear spoiler. A dual-pane panoramic moonroof, one of our favorite features, is optional.
Under the hood, there is only one engine option, a 260-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 240 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to a standard 2-speed CVT. Front-wheel drive is standard, while selectable four-wheel drive is optional.
One of the reasons for moving to a car-based frame is fuel economy gains. The new Pathfinder also went on a 500 pound diet compared to the previous model which added up to a 30% improvement. The 2014 Pathfinder checks in at 20/26 mpg city/highway (19/25 for 4WD models).
Inside, the 2014 Pathfinder offers three rows of seating for up to seven passengers. Nissan proudly claims best in class passenger volume and a class exclusive reclining third-row. Also of note is the second-row “EZ Flex” seating system, which allows the second row to slide forward and back for easier entry to the third row even if a car seat is installed. The standard features list includes push-button start, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, cruise control, and auxiliary audio input. There are also plenty of available upgrades, including heated and cooled front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, a backseat entertainment system with two 7-inch screens (one in each front headrest), and a touch-screen navigation system.
The Pathfinder offers antilock brakes, front side-impact and three-row side curtain airbags, and an electronic stability system as standard safety features. Also standard is the handy Easy-Fill tire alert system, which honks the horn when the tires have been inflated to the correct pressure. Rear parking sensors and a backup camera are optional, but the star of the show is Nissan’s Around View Monitor technology. It uses cameras places around the vehicle to display an overhead, 360-degree view of the Pathfinder which makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces.