2024 Nissan Pathfinder Review: Deserves More Attention Than It Gets

By | December 22, 2023

Pros: High-quality interior; first-class safety; easily accessible third row; competitive prices; above-average towing capacity; cool Rock Creek edition

Cons: Worse to drive than rivals with strange steering response and strange ride with 20-inch wheels; less space in the third row

The 2024 Nissan Pathfinder doesn’t get the attention it probably deserves, but it’s understandable. In the three-row family crossover segment, it’s overshadowed by sales hits (Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot) and critical darlings (Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade). It also replaced two years ago a vehicle that was so uncompetitive and unmemorable that it managed to erase the word “Pathfinder” from the collective consciousness of potential buyers, and frankly, car reviewers. Ultimately, the fact is that the Pathfinder is not rather as solid as those critical darlings and others means it falls short as a class leader, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a chance.

There’s a lot to love. It looks great, especially with its available contrasting black roof and selection of bold, modern colors. The rugged Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition takes the style game even further, while adding more capabilities than most such outdoor adventure gear. Maybe you can even find some paths with it! But ultimately the Pathfinder is a family car, and for that purpose it impresses with a modern, high-quality interior with easy-to-use controls and useful storage. Third-row space and cargo capacity aren’t as generous as those of the competitors mentioned above (minus the Highlander), but it’s still a three-row family crossover, and we’re ultimately talking degrees of ‘large’ here ‘. In the same way, the competitors are usually slightly better to manage.

So that’s basically what we’re talking about here. The Pathfinder doesn’t do that rather make it to the podium, but it delivers a performance so solid that chances are you might like what it brings to the table more than the others. There’s also the matter of price: the Pathfinder tends to ask less for similar trim levels and since it flies under the radar, we wouldn’t be surprised if better deals can be found.

Interior & Technology | Passenger and cargo space | Performance and fuel consumption

What it’s like to drive | Prices and equipment levels | Crash ratings and safety features

What’s new for 2024?

The Pathfinder remains unchanged for 2024.

What does the Pathfinder interior and in-car technology look like?

This is the Pathfinder’s best feature. While the top Platinum trim level, pictured above in brown, puts its best foot forward, complete with handsome two-tone leather/leather throughout, even lower trim levels benefit from the same handsome design, thoughtful storage and easy-to-use technology. . The overall material quality is average for the segment, which indicates how good the segment is.

The center console features a large pad to charge your smartphone, both wired and wireless, on upper trims, plus a smaller pocket to store your phone if you wish. The cupholders are large and versatile, the underarmrest and door pockets are large, and there’s extra storage under the console. You can also get a removable center console between the available second-row captain’s chairs.

A 9-inch touchscreen is standard on the SL and Platinum trim levels, and features a user interface that’s a really good combination of aesthetics and functionality. There are hard buttons and knobs, plus a steady row of on-screen menu icons, which are always appreciated. The display itself has high resolution and vibrant colors with attractive, readable graphics. It may not be ultra-wide (like in the Palisade and Telluride) or tall (Explorer), but it’s big enough, easy to see and works well. The 8-inch screen found in the S, SV and Rock Creek trims (pictured below with black interior) has fewer functions to operate and is obviously smaller, but the functionality is essentially the same.

How big is the Pathfinder?

The 2024 Pathfinder is basically the same size on the outside as the Palisade, Telluride, Subaru Ascent, etc. However, the differences inside are more noticeable, especially in the third row, where the seat is a little closer to the floor than you might find in the above mentioned and therefore less spacious and comfortable. Nissan’s way of getting back there is better than most, though, as the second row not only slides forward at the touch of a button (that’s quite common), but it does so in a way that offers more room to get back push to the third row. row and allows forward-facing child seats to be installed. That could easily be a deal-sealer for some.

Cargo space behind the raised third row is 16.6 cubic feet. On paper that would hardly make it better than the disappointing Toyota Highlander, but in practice the Pathfinder’s boxy shape and useful underfloor storage mean it can carry more stuff than its specs indicate. We could fit four medium-sized suitcases there plus an underfloor duffel bag, but that’s still a mid-pack for the segment. Here you can view all our real-world freight tests for this segment. Otherwise, the Pathfinder’s cargo area measures 45 cubic feet with the third row lowered and 80.5 cubic feet with both rear rows lowered, which is big enough that the differences from the competition shouldn’t matter much.

What are the Pathfinder’s fuel economy and performance specs?

Every Pathfinder comes with a 3.5-liter V6 and a nine-speed automatic transmission. It produces 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque in most trims, but the Rock Creek Edition gets a little more oomph with 295 hp and 270 lb-ft. Front-wheel drive is standard on all trims except the Rock Creek. It comes standard with the same all-wheel drive system that is optional on the other trims.

Fuel consumption depends on the powertrain and equipment level. Front-wheel drive models get 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined, while the AWD S, SV and SL curiously get just a little better on 21/27/23. I can’t see that we’ve seen that before. The Platinum goes to 20/25/22 with AWD, while the Rock Creek is in the basement at 20/23/21. There’s a price to pay for its cool all-terrain tires and roof rack.

Towing capacity is 6,000 pounds with AWD (3,500 pounds with FWD), which is significantly better than the segment norm of 5,000 pounds or less. The standard tow bar on AWD models is also useful for tow bar-mounted bike racks and equipment solutions.

How does the Pathfinder drive?

At best, the Pathfinder delivers what is expected of the segment. It doesn’t stand out, but it also doesn’t have any annoying habits like its boring, squishy predecessor. In particular, it’s hard to find fault with the naturally aspirated V6 that delivers solid power and the nine-speed automatic transmission that fades into the background.

However, the steering effort and response never feel quite right – perhaps a little too slow considering the amount of effort. The Platinum’s 20-inch wheels also deliver a normal ride, combining firm response to heavier impacts with relaxed response to big bumps and undulations. We’d avoid that equipment, but honestly, we haven’t tested an S, SV or SL to see how much difference there is. However, we’ve driven a Rock Creek and can report that the all-terrain tires keep ride and cabin noise well within the range of comfort, even if there are deteriorations in both areas. You’ll also find it much more civilized on the road than, say, a Toyota 4Runner.

Off-road, that old Toyota will make a mockery of its former apples-to-apples competitor that has since become a three-row crossover. Nevertheless, the Rock Creek’s upgrades are certainly improvements over what you’d get in other Pathfinder trims if you frequent campsites or other outdoor spots. It will also not bother you if you are mainly attracted to the cooler appearance.

What other Nissan Pathfinder reviews can I read?

2022 Nissan Pathfinder First Drive Review | Automatically better; still not the best

Read this to learn more about everything that’s changed in 2022, plus a deeper dive into what it’s like to drive.

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition road test

Details on what you get with the new-for-2023 Rock Creek Edition

Nissan Pathfinder luggage test

See how much room fits behind the raised third-row seat, plus comparisons with most competitors.

What is the price of the Pathfinder 2024?

The Pathfinder generally costs slightly less than its rivals. The Rock Creek Edition in particular is much cheaper than comparable outdoor adventure trim levels like the Honda Pilot TrailSport, Ford Explorer Timberline and Kia Telluride X-Pro. As such, it is the most competitive version of the Pathfinder.

The Rock Creek Edition is also the most distinctive version, as all other trims represent the usual ladder-like escalation of equipment and upgrades with each version. The Rock Creek is ultimately a mid-range model in terms of equipment, but gets a modest ground clearance of 0.6 inches to 7.7 inches, an off-road-tuned suspension, beadlock-style 18-inch wheels, all Toyo Open Country. all-terrain tires, lots of matte black body cladding and a platform-style roof rack. Oh, and lots of Rock Creek badges.

All prices below include the $1,365 destination charge. All-wheel drive is a $1,900 option for all trim levels except the Rock Creek, which includes it standard.

S: $37,345
SV: $40,165
SL: $43,765
Rock Creek: $45,165
Platinum: $50,315

What are the Pathfinder’s safety ratings and driver assistance features?

Every 2024 Pathfinder features forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking that detects pedestrians and cyclists; rear automatic braking (a rare feature); blind spot and rear cross traffic alert (usually optional); and lane departure warning. Steering intervention for the blind spot and the lane departure system have been added to all models except the base S. The top three trims also come with Nissan ProPilot Assist, the advanced adaptive cruise control system that adds a well-executed steering assist system. You have to keep your hand on the wheel, but the car does most of the work.

The NHTSA gave the Pathfinder five out of five stars for overall and side-impact protection, and four stars for frontal-impact and rollover protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Pathfinder a Top Safety Pick+ for the best possible scores in all crash test and crash prevention categories. The headlights were rated ‘Acceptable’.

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