Along with the new design and the gearbox, the interior also represents a massive leap forward. The old car was an ergonomic nightmare, with what looked like hundreds of buttons and dials simply fired into fake wood from a blunderbuss. Not only is the interior more practical, but it also looks and feels more upmarket. Even the buttons on the steering wheel make more sense.
As is the norm these days, the Pathfinder gets a central touchscreen interface that handles infotainment, navigation, and other applications. The controls for the dual-zone climate control are entirely separate, housed below the touchscreen. If we had to guess, the total button count is down by 90%, but the most important buttons are still exactly where they should be, making it an easy car to interact with. We especially like the big, round "off" button for the infotainment. When you turn it clockwise, the music gets louder. When you press it, the tunes go away. Magnificent.
The stubby shifter adds a dash of elegance, while the various modes for the AWD system couldn't be easier to use. You simply turn it until the terrain outside the windscreen matches the image on the rotary dial.
The Pathfinder can accommodate up to eight passengers but our tester was optioned with the roomy (and heated) second-row captain's chairs, so total seating was reduced to seven. We really appreciated the chair's one-touch buttons that lift and slide them forward to provide easy access to the third row.
Legroom there is not good even when the second row is pushed fully forward - liberating a maximum of only 28 inches. We expect a majority of owners to use the third row for children only. Alternatively, keeping them flat most of the time increases cargo space for those weekend Costco runs. The second row offers a reasonable 35.5 inches of legroom. The reconfigurable hidden cargo bin beneath the floor can be extremely useful, as is the abundance of cupholders (ten in the S and 12 in all the other trims) and storage spots throughout the cabin.
Our Platinum grade's ten-way adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support proved to be quite comfortable. Finding the ideal driving position was quick and easy.
|Nissan Pathfinder Trims||S||SV||SL||Rock Creek||Platinum|
|Headroom Front Seat||42.3 in.||42.3 in.||42.3 in.||42.3 in.||41.1 in.|
|Headroom Back Seat||39.6 in.||39.6 in.||39.6 in.||39.6 in.||38.4 in.|
|Legroom Front Seat||44.3 in.||44.3 in.||44.3 in.||44.3 in.||44.3 in.|
|Legroom Back Seat||35.5 in.||35.5 in.||35.5 in.||35.5 in.||35.5 in.|
|Shoulder Room Front||60.8 in.||60.8 in.||60.8 in.||60.8 in.||60.8 in.|
|Shoulder Room Rear||59.6 in.||59.6 in.||59.6 in.||59.6 in.||59.6 in.|
|Hip Room, Front||58.3 in.||58.3 in.||58.3 in.||58.3 in.||58.3 in.|
|Hip Room, Rear||56.3 in.||56.3 in.||56.3 in.||56.3 in.||56.3 in.|
The base S model is only available with Charcoal cloth seats. SV trim adds Light Gray cloth, which we wouldn't recommend if you have young kids. Light cloth upholstery and sticky, messy hands don't go well together. SL models upgrade to leather for the first two rows and leatherette for the third row, available in the same colors, while the Platinum trim gets semi-aniline leather with quilted inserts, available in Charcoal, Light Gray, and Chestnut.
S and SV models come standard with piano black interior trim inserts, while the SL upgrades to Gun Metallic brushed aluminum. Platinum derivatives get a classy Bronze Metallic brushed interior trim, which goes great with the Chestnut upholstery. The new Rock Creek trim has Charcoal cloth/leatherette upholstery with orange stitching and "ROCK CREEK" embroidered on the center-console lid in orange. The orange stitching extends to the door panels, center console, dashboard, and steering wheel.
The Pathfinder still offers a reasonable 16.6 cubic feet of cargo capacity with all three rows in place. In other words, more than the average executive sedan. It's a big plus point for Nissan since you don't have to fold the seats flat for the weekly grocery shop or take the kids to school. With the third row folded flat, the luggage capacity increases to 45 cubes, which is enough for a family of five to go on a week-long holiday. With the second and third-row folded flat, you get 80.5 cubes to play with.
Nissan included several practical touches inside the cabin. Removing the trillion-button dash left enough room for a large storage space for phones and wallets. The armrest has half a cubic foot of storage space underneath. In total, there are ten cupholders and six bottle holders in the S, so that each passenger can take two cans of their favorite beverage along for the ride. The other trims get 12 cupholders.
|Nissan Pathfinder Trims||S||SV||SL||Rock Creek||Platinum|
|Box Height (Area)||33.3 in.||33.3 in.||33.3 in.||33.3 in.||33.3 in.|
Since the Pathfinder will mostly be used as a family car, it's worth first exploring the impressive range of driver assistance features. Every model in the range comes as standard with blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear parking sensors and rear automatic braking, intelligent forward-collision warning, and lane-departure warning. Blind-spot and lane centering are standard from SV upwards, while SL and Platinum get traffic sign recognition and a surround-view camera. All but the base S get ProPilot Assist, with full-speed intelligent cruise control and steering assist. The SL and Platinum upgrade the ProPilot system with Navi-link real-time navigation.
Comfort and convenience features standard on all models include remote keyless entry and push-button start, tri-zone climate control, and USB chargers for the second row. The base S model has manually adjustable seats, while the rest of the trim levels get power seats. Top-spec models get additional goodies like a wireless charging pad, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, USB chargers for the third row, and a head-up display.
The Pathfinder comes standard with an eight-inch infotainment screen but ours came with the nine-inch unit with navigation that's made standard on the SL and Platinum. It'd be nice to see the screen size increased by at least an inch as the dashboard is quite large. Both screens run the latest version of the NissanConnect software system, but only the larger of the two boasts wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Other features include SiriusXM satellite radio, and Bluetooth. We experienced no problems running an Android smartphone. The 12.3-inch digital driver's gauge and head-up display were both very clear to the eyes and the in-dash ProPilot navigation system did its job admirably as we navigated through an unfamiliar city.
Controls for the crisp-sounding 13-speaker Bose sound system (standard on the Platinum trim and optional on the SL) are via the touchscreen and are easy to use. We also appreciated having a conventional volume knob. The base models unfortunately only make do with six speakers.