Having unveiled it as a rugged off-roader in the 1980s, Nissan has since transformed the Pathfinder SUV into an on-road-focused hauler. This transformation paid off as the model’s sales have been increasing in recent times. Although the Pathfinder is not as great as many of its rivals, it offers more value compared to its rivals. The base trims of the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder are more reasonably equipped while its top trims are way less expensive than most of its rivals.
2018 Nissan Pathfinder Exterior
Nissan hooked up the Pathfinder SUV with a number of changes for the 2017 model year meaning this year changes will be minimal. Last year, the model’s bumpers (both front and rear) were mildly resculpted. This year, the model edges are more squared for a more masculine look rather than a swept-back appearance of the outgoing model. There is a new chrome grille derived from the current Nissan models. The headlights, long hood and raked windshield carryover unchanged. All models ride on 18-inch wheels in standard form except for the Platinum trim which features 20-inch wheels as standard.
The most notable change for the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder is the expansion of the Midnight Edition which is now available on the SL trim in addition to the top Platinum trim. This package adds 20-inch black aluminum rollers, black mirror caps, rear spoiler, roof rails and ‘Midnight Edition’ badges.
The SUV is available in three rows of seats but the rear seat is only suitable for kids. The seats also offer numerous storage spaces for snacks, phones and drinks among others. The seats are however flat and mounted low meaning adults will sit with their knees up. To ease entry and exit, the second row can slide forward by 5.5 inches. With all seats in place, the model offers a mere 16 cubic feet of cargo space. This space, however, expands to 47.8 when they are folded and 79.8 cubic feet when the second-row seats are also folded.
Standard features include keyless ignition, cloth upholstery, an 8.0-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, USB charging outlets, and satellite radio. There is also a 4.0-inch display for important information about the vehicle. The SV trim adds a powered driver seat, a steering wheel wrapped in cowhide, remote start and rear parking assist as standard but buyers can opt for blind spot-monitors, heated front seats and a towing assist system.
Automatic emergency braking and a rearview camera are also standard across all trims.
SL trim adds leather upholstery, heating on the steering wheel, heated and power-adjusted front seats, heated second-row seats, adaptive cruise control, a navigation system, a surround-view camera network, blind-spot monitoring as well as rear cross-traffic alert system. The Platinum trim adds cooling on the front seats, wood grain accenting, a premium sound system and a dual-pane moon-roof. A rear-seat entertainment system is optional.
The Midnight Edition adds illuminated side sills and floor mats with Midnight Edition lettering.
To further enhance safety particularly for kids and pets in the third-row seats, Nissan offers a Rear Door Alert (RDA) system as standard on all trims. This system reminds the driver to check the rear seats before exiting the vehicle.
Engine and performance
Under the hood of the Pathfinder, Nissan does not offer any choices as the model is powered by a single power-plant. The unit is a 3.5 L, V-6 that makes 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque. The power is conveyed to the wheels by a CVT system. The Pathfinder can be had either in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. AWD is offered at an extra $1,690 on all trims. In terms of fuel economy, the Pathfinder returns 20 mpg and 27 mpg on town and highway drives respectively for front-wheel drive models and 19 mpg town and 26 mpg on the highway for AWD models. This engine is quite good for long-distance travelers but a bit disappointing for performance-oriented enthusiasts.
Price and release date
Due to the new additions, Nissan has slightly increased the Pathfinder’s price; the base S trim will now cost $31,765, $500 more than the outgoing model. The SV trim price is also up by $500 to $34,455. The SL features a considerable price hike of $1,400 to $38,475 while the range-topping Platinum trim fetches $43,295, an increase of only $250. The prices are inclusive of $975 destination charges, The SUV is already available in Nissan dealerships.