SUM UP

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Pathfinder in 2014

The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder adds a new supercharged four-cylinder hybrid powertrain in addition to the conventional V-6 gas engine. SL models are now available with the SL Tech Package, which includes navigation, a 13-speaker Bose premium audio system and an eight-inch touch screen...
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Vehicle Overview

The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder is a midsize seven-passenger crossover, slotting above the five-passenger Murano and below the full-size Armada in Nissan’s lineup. It is sold in S, SV, SL, and Platinum grades in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations.

Summary

The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder is available with a 3.5-liter V-6 making 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque and a supercharged 2.5-liter I-4 hybrid producing 250 hp and 243 lb-ft, and both are paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy is a 2014 Pathfinder strong suit, with the EPA rating front-drive V-6 models at 20/26 mpg city/highway and 19/25 mpg with all-wheel-drive. Pathfinder hybrids return the most impressive fuel economy at 25/28 mpg for front-drive crossovers and 25/27 mpg with all-wheel drive.

On the road, it’s clear that the Pathfinder is no longer the same truck-based SUV that it was before, now favoring a smooth and comfortable ride. All-wheel-drive models provide the most capability since it gives the driver the ability to switch between front-drive, automatic all-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive lock modes. While both engines are fine, the hybrid is “clumsy” around town due to the engine stop-start system’s abruptness, which caused noticeable shudders at low speeds. Additionally, V-6 models struggle at highway speeds due to the CVT’s slow responses, making high speed maneuvers, such as overtaking, difficult.

Inside the Pathfinder, there is ample space for seven passengers and an intuitive infotainment system. Interior refinement is a 2014 Pathfinder strong suit with a “cabin that is devoid of excess wind noise even at 110 mph.” Family usability is the Pathfinder’s primary focus with an easy to access third row and a maximum cargo capacity of 79.8 cubic feet.

The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder has a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) and earned a good score in two categories that the IIHS has tested it in.

What We Think

The 2014 Pathfinder’s evolution back into a crossover has turned it into a vehicle for families looking for all-weather capability, seating for seven, and an available hybrid powertrain. All-wheel drive models provide a good blend of refinement, family-friendly features, and all-weather capability in a refined crossover. However, in a 2012 First Drive review, we noted that the CVT detracts from the powertrain’s usability at high speeds where “sudden requests for power at highway speeds are met with an unacceptably long pause before speed starts gathering.” Additionally, front-drive models suffer from “considerable torque steer,” making the all-wheel drive variant better to drive due to its ability to accelerate in smooth manner. Regarding the Pathfinder Hybrid, we said in a 2013 review that it lacks the refinement and smoothness of competitors from Toyota. Furthermore, it has limited benefit from a fuel economy perspective due to powertrain “compromises made for the sake of affordability” such as the air-conditioning compressor being connected to the gasoline engine.

You’ll Like

  • Driver-selectable AWD system with three modes
  • All-weather capability of all-wheel drive models
  • Refined cabin particularly in V-6 models

You Won’t Like

  • Unrefined CVT
  • Abrupt engine stop-start system with the hybrid
  • Front-drive models suffer from torque steer

Key Competitors

  • Toyota Highlander
  • Ford Explorer
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Kia Sorento

Rating

[[3 Stars]]

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2014 Pathfinder Standard Equipment

Climate Control

  • Front Air Conditioning
  • Rear Air Conditioning

Convenience

  • Auto On Headlights
  • Cruise Control
  • Keyless Entry
  • Power Locks
  • Power Outlet(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Steering Wheel Scope
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Trip Computer

Exterior

  • Privacy Glass
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Roof Rail

Interior

  • Cargo Cover
  • Cup Holders
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel

Safety

  • Brake Assist
  • Driver Air Bag
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Parking Distance Control
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Rear View Camera
  • Side Air Bag(s)
  • Theft Deterrent System
  • Traction Control

Seats

  • Folding Rear Seat

Sound and Entertainment

  • Compact Disc MP3 Capable
  • Compact Disc Player
  • DVD Entertainment
  • Satellite Radio

Technology

  • Blue Tooth Compatible
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