2018 Nissan Pathfinder SUV

City mpg:
Highway mpg:

Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.

2018 Nissan Pathfinder SUV Overview

The standard features of the Nissan Pathfinder S include 3.5L V-6 284hp engine, 2-speed Xtronic CVT transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st, 2nd and 3rd row overhead airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, automatic air conditioning, 18" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control, electronic stability.

2018 Nissan
Pathfinder SUV

Starting at: $31,040

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  • Air conditioning
  • Automatic temperature control
  • Front dual zone A/C
  • Rear air conditioning
  • Speed control
  • Power windows
  • 1-touch down
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Illuminated entry
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Telescoping steering wheel
  • Driver vanity mirror
  • Passenger vanity mirror
  • Front beverage holders
  • Rear beverage holders
  • Overhead console
  • Driver door bin
  • Passenger door bin
  • Rear door bins
  • Approach angle - 17 deg
  • Departure angle - 20 deg
  • Ground clearance (min) - 178mm (7.0")
  • Ramp breakover angle - 16 deg
  • AM/FM radio - SiriusXM
  • CD player
  • CD-MP3 decoder
  • Radio data system
  • Steering wheel mounted audio controls
  • Speakers - 6
  • Wireless phone connectivity - Bluetooth
  • 1st row LCD monitors - 2
  • Primary LCD size - 8.0"
  • Basic warranty - 36 months/36,000miles
  • Powertrain warranty - 60 months/60,000miles
  • Corrosion perforation warranty - 60 months/ unlimited distance
  • Roadside assistance coverage - 36 months/36,000miles
  • Max seating capacity - 7
  • Front seats - bucket
  • Manual driver lumbar support
  • Front center armrest - w/storage
  • Rear seats - split-bench
  • Split folding rear seat
  • Rear seat center armrest
  • 3rd row seats - bench
  • Reclining 3rd row seat
  • Engine displacement - 3.5 L
  • Engine horsepower - 284hp @ 6,400RPM
  • Engine torque - 259 lb.-ft. @ 4,400RPM
  • Engine bore x stroke - 95.5mm x 81.4mm (3.76" x 3.20")
  • Compression ratio - 10.30 to 1
  • Curb weight - 1,947kg (4,293lbs)
  • GVWR - 2,715kg (5,986lbs)
  • Towing capacity - 2,722kg (6,000lbs)
  • Exterior length - 5,042mm (198.5")
  • Exterior body width - 1,963mm (77.3")
  • Exterior height - 1,765mm (69.5")
  • Wheelbase - 2,901mm (114.2")
  • Turning radius - 5.9m (19.4')
  • Front legroom - 1,072mm (42.2")
  • Rear legroom - 1,059mm (41.7")
  • 3rd row legroom - 780mm (30.7")
  • Front headroom - 1,072mm (42.2")
  • Rear headroom - 1,001mm (39.4")
  • 3rd row headroom - 960mm (37.8")
  • Front hiproom - 1,443mm (56.8")
  • Rear hiproom - 1,422mm (56.0")
  • 3rd row hiproom - 1,067mm (42.0")
  • Front shoulder room - 1,547mm (60.9")
  • Rear shoulder room - 1,534mm (60.4")
  • 3rd row shoulder room - 1,450mm (57.1")
  • Passenger volume - 3,902L (137.8 cu.ft.)
  • Interior cargo volume - 459 L (16 cu.ft.)
  • Interior maximum cargo volume - 2,251 L (80 cu.ft.)
  • Rear cargo - liftgate
  • Power door mirrors
  • Turn signal indicator mirrors
  • Spoiler
  • Door mirrors - body-color
  • Bumpers - body-color
  • Roof rack - rails only
  • Engine liters - 3.5
  • Cylinder configuration - V-6
  • Horsepower - 284hp @ 6,400RPM
  • Torque - 259 lb.-ft. @ 4,400RPM
  • Number of valves - 24
  • Variable valve control
  • Variable intake manifold
  • Engine location - front
  • Recommended fuel - Regular Unleaded
  • Transmission - continuously variable automatic
  • Mode select transmission
  • Drive type - front-wheel
  • Limited slip differential
  • Fuel economy combined - 23mpg
  • Fuel tank capacity - 19.5gal.
  • Fuel economy city - 20mpg
  • Fuel economy highway - 27mpg
  • 4 wheel disc brakes
  • ABS brakes
  • Brake assist
  • Dual front impact airbags
  • Dual front side impact airbags
  • Overhead airbag
  • Occupant sensing airbag
  • Panic alarm
  • Ignition disable
  • Security system
  • Electronic stability
  • Traction control
  • Four wheel independent suspension
  • Front anti-roll bar
  • Rear anti-roll bar
  • Power steering
  • Speed-sensing steering
  • Alloy wheels
  • Front tires - 235/65TR18.0
  • Rear tires - 235/65TR18.0
  • Wheel size - 18"
  • Delay-off headlights
  • Variably intermittent wipers
  • Rear window wiper
  • Rear window defroster
  • Front reading lights
  • Rear reading lights
  • Display - analog
  • Tachometer
  • Outside temperature display
  • Low tire pressure warning
  • Trip computer
  • Forward collision - mitigation
  • Exterior parking camera rear - RearView Monitor yes


  MSRP Engine Transmission City/Hwy mpg
S 2018 Nissan Pathfinder SUV S Search New $31,040   284-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  continuously variable auto  20 / 27  
S 2018 Nissan Pathfinder SUV S Search New $32,730   284-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  continuously variable auto  19 / 26  
SV 2018 Nissan Pathfinder SUV SV Search New $33,730   284-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  continuously variable auto  20 / 27  
SV 2018 Nissan Pathfinder SUV SV Search New $35,420   284-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  continuously variable auto  19 / 26  
SL 2018 Nissan Pathfinder SUV SL Search New $37,750   284-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  continuously variable auto  20 / 27  
SL 2018 Nissan Pathfinder SUV SL Search New $39,440   284-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  continuously variable auto  19 / 26  
Platinum 2018 Nissan Pathfinder SUV Platinum Search New $42,570   284-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  continuously variable auto  20 / 27  
Platinum 2018 Nissan Pathfinder SUV Platinum Search New $44,260   284-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  continuously variable auto  19 / 26  


Driving Impression

New Car Test Drive

The continuously variable transmission (CVT) uses Nissan’s D-Step shift logic, to mimic the distinct shifts of an automatic transmission; it works, to remove most of the high revving of a CVT, but it still drones a bit. And sometimes it’s slow to respond. When the V6 has been running casually for a while, and you suddenly need power, the CVT delays the delivery. The strong V6 must hate being stifled, all that torque going to waste.

The 3.5-liter V6, new with the latest technology last year, is quite quick for what it is, with a zero to sixty time of less than seven seconds.

The suspension is fairly firm, significantly stiffened for 2017. The ride is still comfortable; you can feel the bumps, but it’s not harsh. And the handling controlled, with hydraulic-electric power steering that’s fairly quick, well-weighted, and has decent on-center feel.

The Pathfinder is lighter than you expect it to be, given its size and appearance, so you can pitch it back and forth on choppy roads, and it won’t freak out like its heavier rivals. But first check the tires; the low-rolling-resistance tires on some models, both 18-inch and 20-inch, don’t have the grip that the chassis can handle.

There’s some torque steer in front-wheel-drive models, but not in the all-wheel-drive versions, which send most of the power to the front wheels until it’s needed in back for traction or stability. The driver can select front-wheel drive only, maximizing fuel efficiency, or a locked all-wheel-drive mode to distribute power equally front and rear. Meanwhile, the system moves power from side to side, as needed.

The Pathfinder has less ground clearance than a Subaru Outback (whose CVT is the best), but it handles ruts with stability, while the locking center differential provides more traction offroad than most rivals.

Walk Around

New Car Test Drive

The nose and tail are both blocky, to make the Pathfinder look more like a truck; the similar-sized Murano is the Nissan crossover that looks like a crossover (if not a space ship). On the truck-like Pathfinder, a bold chrome grille completes the disguise.

The overall lines go back to crossing over, with a long hood, raked windshield, flowing side creases with chrome touches, and upswept third window. The shapes, angles, and directions somehow make the Pathfinder look smaller than it is. You have to stand up against it to appreciate its enormity, mid-size or not.

Interior Overview

New Car Test Drive

The cabin stays true to the incongruous styling, where a glossy dashboard meets the soft matte material on the door panels. The plastics are hard and fabrics are unremarkable. The Pathfinder finds some influence from its elegant sibling the Infiniti, but not here.

The touchscreen is hard to clean, with its pinch and swipe control on tile icons, part of the NissanConnect infotainment system and its connectivity. There are two interior colors, Charcoal and Almond.

The Pathfinder does a good job of balancing comfort, access, space and storage. There is a lot of elbow room, cupholders in the door pockets and center console along with two big trays, map pockets on the front seatbacks, no less than three bottle holders in each rear door, and cupholders on each side of the third row.

The comfortable front seats have good back support but little side bolstering, while the driver has a lot of adjustment. Our seat time included a long trip on the highway, and we have no complaints. The lack of bolstering doesn’t do a thing for cornering, but the Pathfinder isn’t a vehicle to be tossed around anyhow.

The bench seat in the second row slides back and forth 5.5 inches for legroom, as long as there’s no one in the third row. It slides and folds to gain access to the third row, with a feature called Latch and Glide that allows child seats to stay in place even while the seat partially collapses. But not if a child is in it. The little ones will have to climb out, for the bigger kids to get in the third row.

The second row is not so comfortable, because the rear seat has a leaned-back, legs-splayed seating position. It’s the compromise for its folding capability, to improve third-row access.

The optional third row is roomier than most, with short, flat cushions that sit quite low, providing headroom enough for early teens but not fully grown people. It actually rakes back a bit.

With all the seats up, the Pathfinder has only 16 cubic feet behind the third row. With both rows folded, there is a solid 80 cubic feet of cargo space, still nothing like the massive 116 cubic feet in Chevrolet Traverse, but that’s a full-size SUV.

The Pathfinder keeps away vibrations and road noise better than some others in the class.


New Car Test Drive

Good ride, even better handling, great V6, 22 mpg with awd. CVT not as smooth as an automatic. Third row more useful than other mid-size crossovers. A million bins and cupholders. Super safe. Blocky styling makes it look like a truck. Perfect for a family with four kids and a pet.

Sam Moses contributed to this review, with staff reports.

Model Lineup

New Car Test Drive

2018 Pathfinder models include S with front-wheel drive ($30,790) or all-wheel drive ($32,480), SV, SL, and Platinum. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)

Pathfinder SV ($33,480) comes well equipped with tri-zone automatic climate control, eight-inch touchscreen, HD radio, satellite radio with SiriusXM Travel Link, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, rearview camera, and 18-inch alloy wheels. It’s available with all-wheel drive ($35,170).

Pathfinder SL ($37,500) and SL AWD ($39,190) get rear park assist, blind-spot monitors, surround view, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

Pathfinder Platinum ($42,320) and AWD ($42,010) gets navigation, heated and ventilated front seats, a 13-speaker Bose audio system, panoramic sunroof, motion-activated power liftgate, 20-inch wheels, and active safety features including adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning and emergency braking.

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