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The 2016 Nissan Pathfinder lost its way in the heart of its drivers. The three-row SUV wasn’t plagued with an abundance of problems, as some might think. However, the Nissan Pathfinder’s questionable reliability and shortcomings in significant areas have soured its occupants.

The Nissan Pathfinder hasn’t really ever been a fan favorite. According to Consumer Reports, it earned low owner satisfaction scores most model years, but owners especially disliked the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder. Only 32% of 2016 Pathfinder owners said they would repurchase the vehicle, which is the lowest number in its class.

Where did Nissan go wrong with this midsize SUV? After all, Nissan redesigned the SUV in 2013, so it shouldn’t have been too outdated at the time of release.

The 2016 Nissan Pathfinder is relatively comfy but incredibly clunky

The 2016 Nissan Pathfinder, parked and looking out toward the water.
The 2016 Nissan Pathfinder parked near the water | Photo via Nissan

The Pathfinder’s minivan-like qualities make it an intriguing option as a family vehicle. It features three rows of seating, and Consumer Reports noted the first and second rows were quite comfortable. The last row is somewhat cramped, although that is to be expected with a midsize SUV.

This SUV offers some available premium amenities, such as leather seats, a rear entertainment system, a navigation system, and a 13-speaker sound system.

However, much of the praise ends there. Nissan made some questionable decisions when configuring the base trim of the 2016 Pathfinder. For instance, it lacks Bluetooth and USB ports – features car shoppers expect as standard equipment on a 2016 model.

Meanwhile, the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder’s moving parts were often distracting to drivers. One reviewer from Consumer Reports said, “About 10% of the time there is a hesitation in pressing the accelerator pedal where there is no response. No acceleration occurs. I must pump the accelerator to get a response from the vehicle.” 

This cautionary review raises eyebrows and puts into question the reliability of the 2016 Pathfinder overall. 

Can you depend on this family SUV?

Safety and reliability are two factors to consider when operating a vehicle with your family in tow. The 2016 Nissan Pathfinder performs admirably in some areas, but it significantly misses the mark in other aspects.

The NHTSA gave the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder a five-star overall safety rating, and it only issued one recall for the vehicle. However, it doesn’t come standard with any driver-assistance features or a rearview camera. You’ll have to pay extra for features like rear cross-traffic alert, bilnd spot monitoring, and rear parking sensors.

Additionally, Consumer Reports gave the vehicle a 2/5 score in emergency handling and routine handling situations. While this vehicle can protect its occupants in a crash, it doesn’t do much to help prevent one.

The 2016 Nissan Pathfinder’s long-term reliability rating doesn’t do it any favors either. Consumer Reports rated it 1/5, with crucial concerns in body integrity, paint/trim, and brakes.

Alternatives to the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder


These Years of the Nissan Pathfinder Are Ticking Time Bombs

The 2016 model year wasn’t an outlier. Most of the fourth-generation Pathfinder has suffered in predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. However, these ratings have been trending up since the SUV got a facelift for the 2017 model year. 

So, those who intend to drive a Pathfinder would do best to choose a newer model year. Otherwise, your best bet is to select a more well-rounded three-row SUV.