Back in the day, the Nissan Pathfinder was once known for its rugged exterior and truck-like performance. Flash-forward to 2020, and the Pathfinder is now a bona fide family vehicle that can carry up to seven passengers. While the 2020 Pathfinder isn’t a shining star in this year’s midsize SUV class, it gleams for its practical nature.
What does the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder do well?
The Pathfinder is basically a minivan in disguise. Depending on what you’re looking for, that could be a bad thing. But at the same time, the Pathfinder can appeal to those who want minivan creature comforts without the look of one. Furthermore, reviewers at Consumer Reports recognize the Pathfinder for its sensibility and easy access. And while it’s not the most thrilling option in its class, the Pathfinder is a relaxed, gentle ride.
The Pathfinder isn’t a bad vehicle by any means, but the SUV’s 2020 rankings will lead you to think otherwise. Critics like CR rank the Pathfinder toward the bottom of the pack because it doesn’t do much to stand out as the Kia Telluride does. That said, the type of driver who should get the Pathfinder will favor a low-key driving experience over a sportier one, like the Mazda CX-9.
Shuttling around in the Pathfinder
As Car and Driver put it, the 2020 Pathfinder doesn’t excite in any way, but despite this, it’s undoubtedly capable and comfortable. Each Pathfinder features a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 284-horsepower. You’ll find that this Nissan provides sufficient power, and its CVT contributes to its overall smoothness.
There are some drawbacks to be aware of here, though. The Pathfinder falls slightly behind some competitors regarding its fuel economy ratings. And while CR gave the Pathfinder a four out of five for its braking performance, its handling isn’t as sharp. At times, the SUV turns corners awkwardly, almost as if it were a large SUV and not a midsize one.
You’ll appreciate the Pathfinder for its ample cabin space, but its interior does look dated. The Pathfinder’s standard plastic trimmings give it a Jurassic Park Explorer type of vibe, but some drivers might be into that. Still, this Nissan’s cabin materials work just fine, and if you’re interested, you can replace the standard cloth seats with leather.
The Pathfinder pleases with a few standard active safety features, including automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning. It also comes with an 8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a CD player. The Pathfinder’s display screen isn’t very sharp, though. And what’s a real bummer is that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t available at all on any of the Pathfinder’s trim levels.
So, if you want a new three-row SUV that’s mild-mannered, the Pathfinder has a case here. However, many other options can also accommodate large families while delivering on more modern technology. For the best of both worlds, we suggest that you also consider the Subaru Ascent or the Toyota Highlander.