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2015 Nissan Pathfinder Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: A car-based SUV that is actually fun to drive by No2rdame



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The Nissan Pathfinder is probably one of the most overlooked, underrated 3 row midsize SUVs out there. As a former owner of 2 Pilots and a Highlander, I can say that Nissan can definitely compete with the "big 2."

Reviewed: 2015 Nissan Pathfinder

4dr SUV 260-horsepower 3.5L V6 CVT FWD

2015 Nissan Pathfinder Love Letter

When we started looking for a new car for my wife we considered the typical Highlander and Pilot. We owned both, but were impressed with neither. Plus, we were trading in a 2014 Pilot beccause it felt like it was built by a team of drunken bonobo apes. Out of the blue, my wife asked if Nissan made anything and I pointed out the Pathfinder. I had not written Nissan off, I just didn't really think to consider them. However, as soon as we looked at it online she fell in love with it and after doingextensive research on it so did I.

First, the exterior is a nice departure from its competitors. Honda went from a boxy, utlitarian design to what I would consider a 4 door version of a minivan. Toyota just... nah. The Pathfinder has a sleek design that doesn't look overly feminine, yet doesn't evoke feelings of trying to be a Humvee. The only complaint I have on the exterior is that there are some areas where matte black plastic could have been substituted for something a little nicer.

As for the interior, it has a simplistic yet very nice feel. The seats are firm yet somewhat plush, and everything is well placed. There are no rattles and everything has a solid feel to it. It is obviously not as nice as the Infiniti QX60, but Nissan didn't simply skimp on things, either. It is spacious inside and easily fits plenty of adults, but it doesn't feel overly large to drive. It is a very quiet interior, and both my wife and I have been caught offguard speeding down the road at 80mph or faster because the ride is so smooth and noise quiet enought that we don't realize just how fast we're going until we look down and see it. I do wish, though, that they would make the seat heater/ventillator buttons easier to see when in use and in bright light the large dashboard can make it difficult to see if there is any glare.

My biggest fear with the vehicle is the CVT. I have never had a vehicle with one before and there are plenty of horror stories online about them. I haven't had the vehicle long enough to opine about reliability, but one complaint common to the CVT is that you don't get the traditional feel of a transmission and it tends to make a droning sound. It took a brief adjustment when you accelerate and the engine RPMs drop and then stay pretty steady as you speed up, but it's definitely not problematic at all. The engine is responsive and there is plenty of oomph if you need it. It can get a little noisy during acceleration, but nothing worth complaining about. At highway speeds, as I mentioned earlier, the ride and noise is quiet enough that you can speed down the road and not even realize it. Handling is really good for a vehicle of this size.

If it is in your budget, I highlighy recommend the Platinum trim for the sound system and the 360 degree camera. The Bose audio is excellent, though a little bass heavy at times. The 360 camera makes parking this vehicle an absolute cinch. At low speeds, forward or backward, you have the ability at a press of the button to see 360 degrees around the car. You can see precisely how close you are to anything, which is excellent to have in tight parking situations.


If you're in the market for a 3-row SUV don't rule out the Pathfinder. It is often overshadowed by the Highlander and thew new Pilot, both of which are incessantly raved about in automotive magazines. However, I think Nissan is just as good but doesn't get the press. It's an understated and underrated vehicle that should definitely be given a second look.

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