The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder Is a Disappointing Family Vehicle

Back in the eighties, Nissan introduced the rugged and capable Pathfinder. Since then this SUV has undergone a number of changes. In 2020 it emerged with the Rock Creek edition, a salute to its all terrain history. But the Nissan Pathfinder is just an average modern family crossover.

The Pathfinder offers luxurious trim options and all-wheel drive capabilities that will get you there. Why Nissan chose to move away from its boxy SUV style of the past is beyond me. Now it looks much the same as other popular crossovers that have adopted the unibody design such as the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. And there isn’t much that makes the Nissan Pathfinder stand out against the competition.

The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder

The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder hasn’t changed much since 2017. The Rock Creek Edition, new for 2020, tips its hat to its boxier body on frame Nissan Pathfinder predecessor. Intuitive 4WD drivetrain options and the durable leatherette and cloth trim are reminiscent of the Pathfinder’s tough history.

The trim levels for the 2020 Pathfinder start at $31, 680. Compared with the Ford Explorer which starts at $32,765 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee at $32,240 the Pathfinder price is competitive. But when it’s put up against the Hyundai Tucson that starts at $23, 550, you begin to wonder if what the Nissan Pathfinder has to offer is really worth the sticker price.

It’s not backed by an ultra-competitive warranty like Hyundai’s Owner Assurance, and the Pathfinder really doesn’t offer anything special. The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder runs in the middle of the pack with a sticker price on the high end.

It’s not that bad, but it’s not that good either

The comfortable cabin is one of the 2020 Pathfinder’s selling points, but the interior feels a bit dated. It comes loaded with technology that contributes to its user-friendly family car status. The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder boasts stock features including an 8-inch touch screen, plenty of USB ports, and a host of other modern amendments like a rearview camera and forward collision warning safety features.

The 2020 model hasn’t made that many changes since the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder.

But the 2020 Pathfinder falls short with its low predicted reliability rating. According to U.S. News, Car and Driver, and Consumer Reports, the Pathfinder’s overall ratings place it somewhere on the lower end of the list among others in its class. It’s a bumpy ride that drives much like a minivan dressed up in a crossover costume.

Sure, it gets plenty of power from its V6 engine, but the Consumer Report shows a fuel economy that could use improvement. The 13mpg in the city and 25mpg on the highway isn’t that bad, but it’s not that good either. The 2020 Pathfinder sings this same tune in other areas like cargo space -– unless you pay extra for a factory installed cargo package –– and emergency handling. The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder disappoints.

Family friendly?

The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder is a third row SUV with a second row that slides forward, giving easier access to the rear seat. But car seats are troubling to install and the third row is anything but roomy. While it may come in options that give drivers the freedom to hit the back roads and explore off the beaten path, the third row is really just for kids –– so you can forget about loading the 2020 Pathfinder down with a carpool of grownups.

It may find a find a few paths that keep it from being the worst, but the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder is still on the path of disappointment. It’s adaptive all terrain options and Rock Creek edition just aren’t quite enough to put the Pathfinder in the top of its class.