By Daryl Killian

Workhorse or Showhorse?

And the answer pretty much depends upon how it’s equipped.

 

The standard roughly $30K Pathfinder packs quite a bit of equipment and capability.

 

You’ll get 7-passenger seating, you can tow up to 6,000 lbs, and you’ll still get 20 city and 27 hwy MPG’s….on regular.    Plus you’ll get 18” alloys, roof-rails, LED daytime running lights, hands-free calling and texting, Bluetooth, 2 USB ports, tri-zone air, “secret” under the floor storage in the rear, and Nissan’s “child-friendly” seating.

 

You can slide the second-row forward for easy assess to the third row without having to remove a child’s seat….and once back there, there’s actually decent room for two adults.   And with Nissan’s “LATCH” system, children’s seats can be installed without seatbelts.

 

Regardless of which version Pathfinder you choose, it’ll come with a 284 HP, 3.5 liter V6 and a continuously variable automatic transmission.   The engine packs enough power that the CVT doesn’t seem to have that monotone drone that smaller engines with CVTs seem to have…..and it helps get one or two more MPGs than it’s competitors.

 

Bump the price up by less than $3K and you’ll add an intelligent key with remote start, rear sonar, fog lights, auto dimming headlights, an 8-way power drivers’ seat, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

 

Another roughly $3K brings leather seating, welcome touches like a motion-activated tailgate, and more safety features like an around-view monitor and blind-spot warning.

 

All-Wheel Drive, if you select it, will run less than $1,700 more…and like so many all-wheel-drive systems these days, is an intelligent system that can automatically switch back and forth between 2-wheel-drive and four….as conditions merit.   The advantage to you?    Better gas mileage when 4-WD is not needed….and the traction and safety of 4WD in slippery conditions.

 

Our top-of-the-line test Pathfinder was a “Platinum” 4WD version…with just about an Infinity’s-worth of equipment.    And even with “almost everything”, the window sticker still was south of $45,000.    Only selecting Nissan’s black-trim “Midnight” edition would push the price up another $1,200.

 

For $44,000 and change, we enjoyed heated and cooled leather in the front, heated second-row seating, lumbar, BOSE premium audio, 20” alloys, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, intelligent cruise control, and forward emergency braking.

 

Again, Nissan’s 2017 Pathfinder can be a low-$30’s get-it-muddy workhorse, or a $40-something all-season / all-conditions luxury people / cargo hauler.    Your call.

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