The Nissan Pathfinder used to be an adventurous, off-road sport-utility vehicle, then one day Nissan decided to switch gears. For better or worse, depending on who you talk to, it’s no longer the same vehicle as it was before 2013; had Nissan renamed it, in fact, I don’t think it would have had any arguments. What was once a rugged icon in the automotive industry has evolved into an everyday people hauler. That means it’s definitely roomier and more comfortable for the kids in the back, but what is it like for the person actually behind the wheel?
Nissan improved the 2017 Pathfinder’s single engine option, a 3.5-liter V6, but still pairs it with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). They’ve added new pistons, a revised air intake, direction injection, variable intake-valve timing, a higher compression ratio, and low-friction cylinder coating, all helping to squeeze out 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft. of torque (up from 260 and 240 respectively).
Despite the increased power, Nissan managed to keep fuel economy the same at 20 mpg for city and 27 mpg for highway on the front-wheel drive model, and 19/26 mpg for the all-wheel drive. That’s actually mighty impressive, and should put the Pathfinder at the top of its class.
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