2018 Nissan Pathfinder

#54
in Midsize SUVs
2018 MODEL
$30,790 - $44,010 See Inventory Prices

7.7

Overall Rating

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Detailed Review

The midsize SUV segment is filled with old tuff mountain goats softened to modern city runabouts. The Nissan Pathfinder is one of them. The 2018 Nissan Pathfinder is now fully adapted to its modern role as a daily workhorse with a spacious cabin that can seat eight people and unlike many of its competitor, the Pathfinder third row can accommodate adults in relative comfort.

The cabin packs plenty of gadgets ; an 8-inch touchscreen, heated seats, heated steering wheel, and a suite of advanced driver assistance systems. The cabin is adequately insulated (although, road noise filter in). However, in 2017, Nissan stiffened the spring rate for better body control but the suspension continues to pamper occupants.


7.6/10
Features

 

6.9/10
Engine

 

7.1/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.1/10
Interior

 

6.9/10
Exterior

 

8.1/10
Safety

 
 
 

The Pathfinder comes with a single engine-transmission pair, a 3.5L V6 mated to a CVT. The duo performs adequately for its intended role and more importantly, delivers exceptional fuel economy. The Pathfinder is available with 4-wheel drive for handling those occasional tricky situations. All versions of Pathfinder can tow an impressive 6000 pounds – highest in the segment.

2018 Nissan Pathfinder Features

7.6/10

The Pathfinder starts at $30,790 for the base trim while the top end Platinum trim retails at $42,320. The powertrain remains same throughout the range with an optional 4-wheel drive ($1600) available on all trims. What you pay decides the interior appointments and exterior cosmetics.

Trims S SV SL Platinum
MSRP $30,790 $33,480 $37,500 $42,320
Features
  • 3.5-liter Direct Injection Gasoline
  • SiriusXM Travel Link with 3-year complimentary trial access
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Tri-Zone Automatic Temperature Control System
  • EZ FLEX Seating System featuring latch and glide

Includes S features plus:

  • Fog lights
  • Nissan Intelligent Key
  • Remote Engine Start System
  • Rear Sonar System

Includes SV features plus:

  • Motion Activated Liftgate
  • Leather-appointed seats and door trim
  • Intelligent Cruise Control

Includes SL features plus:

  • 20-inch Aluminum alloy wheels
  • LED low-beam projector headlights
  • 13 Speakers Bose Premium Audio System
  • Climate-controlled front seats (heated and cooled)

We Recommend

Even the base Pathfinder S is good enough but SL trim provides a delightful package with features like power passenger seats, heated front and second-row seats, blind spot monitoring and a power lift-gate. The Pathfinder Platinum is handsomely equipped but those large 20-inch wheels compromise ride quality.

2018 Nissan Pathfinder Engine

6.9/10

If you want a 3-row SUV that focuses more on refinement and sedan-like handling, the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder deserves a spot at the top of your shopping list. –Kelley Blue Book

Only a single engine-transmission option ensures the performance stays the same across the lineup. The suspension hits the balance between offering supple ride quality and controlling body motions. The steering is not as eager as the Mazda CX-9 but offer effortless driving characteristics and can take on sharp bends with aplomb.

Engines and Transmission

The Nissan Pathfinder get only one engine and transmission option – a 3.5L V6 engine mated to a CVT. The 3.5L V6 develops 284 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 259 pounds-feet of torque at 4800 rpm. This combination provides sufficient power for day to day driving including merging with freeway traffic and overtaking.

Models Nissan Pathfinder Ford Explorer Honda Pilot Mazda CX-9
MSRP $30,790 $31,990 $30,900 $31,520
Engine 3.5L V6 3.5L V6 3.5L V6 2.5L Inline 4
Fuel type Gas Flex-fuel gas gas
Transmission Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic
Power 284 hp @ 6400 rpm 290 hp @ 6500 rpm 280 hp @ 6000 rpm 227 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque 259 ft-lbs @ 4800 rpm 255 ft-lbs @ 4000 rpm 262 ft-lbs @ 4700 rpm 310 ft-lbs @ 2000 rpm

The Nissan Pathfinder is slowest among the competitors we compared, doing the 0 to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds while the next slowest competitor is Mazda CX-9. For comparison, the Ford Explorer can rocket to 60 in 5.8 seconds thanks to its throaty 3.5L EcoBoost engine.

Models Nissan Pathfinder Ford Explorer Honda Pilot Mazda CX 9
0-60 MPH 7.4 seconds 5.8 sec 6.1 sec 7.1 sec
Quarter mile 15.7 sec 14.4 sec 14.7 sec 15.5 sec
Engine 3.5L 3.5L 3.5L 2.5L
Emission

Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year

7.6 9.8 (Est) 8.0 7.6 (Est)

Ride and Handling

The SUV rides with composure and it absorbs the bumps well. However, in 2017, Nissan stiffened the springs for increased body control and that has compromised the ride quality a bit. This shortcoming is especially pronounced in the Pathfinder Platinum with 20-inch wheels.

Braking

The Pathfinder stops within 170 feet from 70 mph. That’s the best performance among the rivals here. Ford Explorer trails closely taking 174 to stop from 70 mph while the slowest Honda Pilot takes a scary looking 198 feet.

Model Nissan Pathfinder Ford Explorer Honda Pilot Mazda CX 9
Brakes Front(in) 12.6 12.6 12.6 12.6
Brakes Rear(in) 12.1 12.8 13 12.8
Curb weight(lbs.) 4293 4901 4288 4361
70-0 MPH (ft.) 170 174 198 177

Hauling and Towing Capacity

At 6000 pounds, the Nissan's towing capacity is highest among competitors here. And owing to the same powertrain across the lineup, even the base Pathfinder S can tow the same. Most of the other competitors can tow 5000 pounds. An honorable mention (not compared here) is V8 equipped Dodge Durango that can tow 7400 pounds.

Model Nissan Pathfinder Ford Explorer Honda Pilot Mazda CX 9
Engine 3.5L V6 3.5L V6 3.5L V6 2.5L I4
Powertrain FWD FWD FWD FWD
Towing Capacity (Lbs.) 6000 5000 5000 3500

2018 Nissan Pathfinder Fuel Economy

7.1/10

Nissan's SUV more than makes up for its lack-luster acceleration with its stellar fuel economy. It delivers 20 mpg in city and 27 mpg on the highway for a combined EPA rating of 23 mpg. The Mazda CX-9 comes extremely close with only its highway mpg figure trailing the Nissan’s by 1 mpg.

The Ford Explorer is thirstiest here. However, its 2.3L EcoBoost is more efficient. We think for this class of vehicle, an ideal engine is the one that delivers excellent fuel economy while delivering effortless performance. Nissan Pathfinder hits the bulls-eyes. After all, the kick in the back will lose its importance while a friendly, less thirsty engine will continue to delight through years.

Model Nissan Pathfinder Ford Explorer Honda Pilot Mazda CX 9
Mpg city mpg 20 16 18 20
Mpg highway mpg 27 22 26 26
Mpg combine mpg 23 18 21 23

2018 Nissan Pathfinder Interior

7.1/10

The Nissan Pathfinder has evolved from a full-size brute to a family-friendly ‘ute. Families will appreciate its size and cargo capacity, which has been improved since its early days. –Car Connection

The Nissan Pathfinder has spacious interior (even the third row) and the cabin is well built with good quality materials. The infotainment system offers smooth and crisp response but Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are missing (like other Nissans). The luggage space is less than average.

Seating and Comfort

It can seat seven people. The seats provide good support and the driving position is natural. It’s not exactly commanding as the SUV gets a car-like unibody construction but the outward visibility is great.

The front seats offer best in class legroom but the hip and shoulder room is average among the competitor. Its second row is also spacious and offers great comfort for those long journeys. However, the third row really impresses and it turns out to be useful even for adults. A notable shortcoming about the interior is lack of sufficient storage space in the center console.

Although the overall design feels a bit aged compared to the competitors, the material quality is top notch (except the fake wood accents) and everything is well put together. Amenities like Heated steering wheel, and heated and cooled front seats add to the “feel-good” factor. Tri-zone climate control system is also available.

Model Nissan Pathfinder Ford Explorer Honda Pilot Mazda CX-9
Passenger capacity 7 7 8 7
Passenger Volume(ft cube) 137.8 151.7 152.9 135.1
Front (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

 

 

42.2/56.8/60.9/42.2 41.4/57.3/61.5/42.9 39.5/59.1/62/40.9 39.3/56.7/57.9/41
Second (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

 

 

39.4/56/60.4/41.7 40.6/56.8/61/39.5 39.9/57.3/62/38.4 38.5/57.4/58.1/39.4
Third (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

 

 

37.8/42/57.1/30.7 37.8/40.7/50.8/32 38.9/44.9/57.6/31.9 35.4/40.1/53.1/29.7

Cargo Capacity

The Nissan Pathfinder has the least cargo capacity among the competition. With all seats up, the cargo area length is 19.8 inch. Ford Explorer has 21 inches and the Pilot and CX-9 have 21.5 inches. However, once the third row is fully folded (can also be folded in 60/40 split), Nissan has the highest cargo area length – 51.1 inches. With the second row folded, cargo area length is 78.9 inch.

Model Nissan Pathfinder Ford Explorer Honda Pilot Mazda CX 9
Cargo Area Length

 

(Behind first row/Behind second row/behind third row)

78.9/51.1/19.8 80.7/43.8/21 84.9/50.5/21.5 84.9/50.5/21.5

Infotainment System

Inside, the SUV has an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It’s among the better in competition with crisp graphics and fast response. Optional features like parking sensor and navigation (optional) are available from SV trim onwards. The Platinum trim gets 12 speakers Bose audio system. However, Nissan does not offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2018 Nissan Pathfinder Exterior

6.9/10

No longer the squared-off utility vehicle it used to be, the latest-gen Pathfinder is more about windswept curves and rounded edges. –Kelley Blue Book

The Nissan Pathfinder had lost almost all its previous ruggedness in its third generation. Nissan realized this and now it gets a bit more muscle. No, it’s not intimidating – lots of subtle curves, calm looking headlights and friendly looking front grille will not scare away your kids. The low ground clearance with aerodynamic extensions behind wheels makes its family intentions clear.

Dimension and Weight

The Pathfinder is among the lithest competitor here at 4293 pounds. That’s almost 600 pounds less than the lumbering Ford Explorer. In spite of that, the Pathfinder is also among the lengthiest at 198.5 inches – some clever engineering is at play here.

Model Nissan Pathfinder Ford Explorer Honda Pilot Mazda CX-9
Curb Weight(lbs.) 4293 4901 4288 4361
Length(in) 198.5 198.3 194.5 199.4
Width(in) 77.3 78.9 66.3 77.5
Height(in) 69.5 70 69.8 69
Ground Clearance(in) 7 8.3 7.3 8.8
Wheel Base(in) 114.2 112.8 111 115.3
Track Width(in) F/R 65.7/65.7 67/67 66.3/66.3 65.3/65.2

2018 Nissan Pathfinder Safety

8.1/10

The highlight of the active safety features in the Nissan Pathfinder is the fact that Automatic Emergency Braking is standard across all trims. With that, higher trims get things like blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert.

The SUV has a whole host of passive safety features including dual-stage airbags and side impact beams. The NHTSA has given the it a 5-star crash test rating that speaks volume about its crash safety credibility.

Safety Features

The standard safety features include - 

  • Side Impact Beams
  • Curtain 1st, 2nd, And 3rd Row Airbags
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Automatic Emergency Braking Forward Collision
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • RearView Monitor Back-Up Camera

NHTSA Rating

Overall Rating 5 Star
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating 4 Star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Driver 4 Star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Passenger 5 Star
Overall Side Crash Rating 5 Star
Side Barrier Rating 5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Driver 5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat 5 Star
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat 5 Star
Combined Side Rating Front Seat 5 Star
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat 5 Star
Rollover Rating 4 Star

IISH Rating

Crashworthiness
Small overlap front driver side Good
Small overlap front passenger side NA
Moderate overlap front Good
Side Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good
Front crash prevention Superior
Headlights Marginal

2018 Nissan Pathfinder Competition

Nissan Pathfinder vs Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer has a range of engine options – from a small I4 EcoBoost to the most powerful in segment 3.5L EcoBoost. It gets handsome styling and spacious, comfortable interior to go with it. The cabin is loaded with tech too. However, the Explorer costs more than the Pathfinder for similarly equipped trim. Also, the Pathfinder is solidly built – not a thing we can say for the Explorer.

Nissan Pathfinder vs Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot is one of the most well rounded midsize SUV with well-equipped, spacious seats (even the third row) and high-quality materials. An efficient and powerful engine pulls the pilot briskly along the road. On top of that, the Pilot comes with Honda’s reputation for reliability and has great resale value too. However, the Nissan Pathfinder is every bit as practical and has an air of toughness.

Nissan Pathfinder vs Mazda CX-9

The CX-9 continues the Mazda’s reputation for offering engaging and entertaining driving characteristics. The handsome exterior will blow you to pieces. The gorgeous interior will blow the pieces left of you to smaller pieces. However, it rides a bit on the harsher side. The Pathfinder is a more practical choice with its roomy interiors and great ride quality.

2018 Nissan Pathfinder Final Verdict

The Nissan Pathfinder has long moved away from its off-roader roots and has embraced the civil life rather well. The interior is spacious and comfortable, has most of the modern electrical assistance and nice to have features, and the infotainment is crisp. However, millennials will be disappointed as the Pathfinder lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The Nissan comes with a single powertrain option that’s effective in doing what it’s ought to do – transport your family and luggage effortlessly and efficiently. In fact, the excellent fuel efficiency is one of the most impressive things about this Nissan mid-size SUV. It’s slow among competition though.

So if you need (or desire) more grunt, Ford Explorer’s 3.5 EcoBoost V6 delivers terrific acceleration and comes luxuriously appointed too – at a cost of lower efficiency. The Mazda CX-9 is still the go-to three-row SUV for driving enthusiasts and the Pilot is a delicate mix of all these talents.

Pros

Spacious interior

Automatic Emergency Braking is standard

Highest in class tow rating

Cons

Less cargo capacity than competition

Limited in-cabin Small item storage

Top end trim rides stiff

What's New?

All trim gets standard Automatic Emergency Braking

New rear door alert system

New midnight edition package for SL trim


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$30790

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

7

top speed

120 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

213 cu. in.

horsepower

284 hp @ 6400 rpm

torque

259 lb.-ft. @ 4400 rpm

transmission

cvt

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12.1 in. ventilated disc brakes/12.6 in. ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

114.2 in.

length

198.5 in.

width

77.3 in.

height

70.6 in.

curb weight

4293 lbs.

ground clearance

7 in.

capacity

passenger volume

137.8 cu ft.

cargo volume

16 cu ft.

towing capacity

7000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.3 sec.

standing ¼-mile

16.1 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

170 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

20/23/27 mpg

highway range

526.5 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 years/36000 miles

drivetrain warranty

5 years/60000 miles

corrosion warranty

5 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 Nissan Pathfinder in Magnetic Black color  2018 Nissan Pathfinder in Gun Metallic color  2018 Nissan Pathfinder in Glacier White color  2018 Nissan Pathfinder in Caspian Blue color  2018 Nissan Pathfinder in Brilliant Silver color
Magnetic Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.6

Engine

6.9

Fuel Economy

7.1

Interior

7.1

Exterior

6.9

Safety

8.1

Comfort

8.5

Driving

9.2

7.7

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Nissan Pathfinder S

S

power
284 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
22 combined

$30,790 - $32,480


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $30,790 MSRP (20/23/27) 284 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
cvt front wheel drive 7   Brilliant Silver
  Caspian Blue
  Glacier White
  Gun Metallic
  Magnetic Black
S 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $32,480 MSRP (19/22/26) 284 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
cvt four wheel drive 7   Brilliant Silver
  Caspian Blue
  Glacier White
  Gun Metallic
  Magnetic Black

 2018 Nissan Pathfinder SV

SV

power
284 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
22 combined

$33,480 - $35,170


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SV 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $33,480 MSRP (20/23/27) 284 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
cvt front wheel drive 7   Brilliant Silver
  Caspian Blue
  Glacier White
  Gun Metallic
  Magnetic Black
SV 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $35,170 MSRP (19/22/26) 284 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
cvt four wheel drive 7   Brilliant Silver
  Caspian Blue
  Glacier White
  Gun Metallic
  Magnetic Black

 2018 Nissan Pathfinder SL

SL

power
284 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
22 combined

$37,500 - $39,190


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SL 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $37,500 MSRP (20/23/27) 284 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
cvt front wheel drive 7   Brilliant Silver
  Caspian Blue
  Glacier White
  Gun Metallic
  Magnetic Black
SL 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $39,190 MSRP (19/22/26) 284 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
cvt four wheel drive 7   Brilliant Silver
  Caspian Blue
  Glacier White
  Gun Metallic
  Magnetic Black

 2018 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum

Platinum

power
284 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
21 combined

$42,320 - $44,010


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Platinum 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $42,320 MSRP (20/23/27) 284 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
cvt front wheel drive 7   Brilliant Silver
  Caspian Blue
  Glacier White
  Gun Metallic
  Magnetic Black
Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $44,010 MSRP (19/21/26) 284 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
cvt four wheel drive 7   Brilliant Silver
  Caspian Blue
  Glacier White
  Gun Metallic
  Magnetic Black

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