2014 Nissan Pathfinder Review & Ratings | Edmunds

2014 Nissan Pathfinder Review

2014 Nissan Pathfinder

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Edmunds Expert Review of the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • With its stylish cabin and high fuel economy ratings (particularly on the hybrid version), the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder is a solid choice for a seven-passenger crossover SUV. But you might find some competitors more appealing overall.

  • Safety | Reliability | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Premium interior design with high-quality materials; ample passenger room in all three rows; good fuel economy; user-friendly electronics interface.

  • Cons

    Noisy and sluggish engine; unrefined hybrid powertrain with disappointing fuel economy; competitors offer better handling and more cargo capacity.

  • What's New for 2014

    The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder lineup grows with the addition of the new Pathfinder Hybrid model.


Reviews from owners of the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder

Average Consumer Rating (See all 36 reviews) | Write a Review

Super charger problems

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Vehicle: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder SL Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl S/C gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Purchased suv in July of 2014. Two months later, I was driving I heard a pop and thought I had run over a metal band. As I continued to drive I noticed the suv was overheating. Called dealership and they had suv towed in. They also arranged a rental for me. Approximately 10 days later, I picked up suv. Was told super charger seized and they had to pull out engine to replace it. Then in January of 2015 same thing happened. SUV towed in and was given a rental. Approx 8 days later, I p/u SUV and told same exact problem. Now I am afraid to take long trips. I fear that super charger will seize again. Also noticed that Nissan no longer making the hybrid. I assume mine is a lemon.

Almost perfect

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Vehicle: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

Updated review- Bought 2014 SL 4x4 in Aug. 2013. 3k - 5k miles we experienced the shudder, took it into the dealer, they fixed it. 22k miles the CVT started acting up again, took it in and they replaced the transmission! At 32k miles it did it again, again they adjusted it, at 37k it hasn't done it again, so far. We have been very lucky/happy with our dealer and the service they have provided us with on this issue. Pro's - Smooth ride, great features, love the leg room, good gas mileage, fun to drive, reasonably priced, Got into head on collision, very impressed with the safety features of this car. Car was totaled. Really love this car but will not buy again until CVT is fixed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Overall - poor designed car

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Vehicle: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder SV 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

1. The Noise coming from the CVT engine is awful. Something that was never heard in any other car. Nissan Canada claim this is normal for this car. 2. connection between the fuel consumption that Nissan advertised and reality is absolutely non-exist. Expect around 30% more. 3. Quality of interior materials super low. Just move your hand in the inner part of the steering wheel.. Hope you will not cut yourself from that poorly manufactured plastic parts.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Drive train troubles

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Vehicle: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

Vehicle worked flawlessly till 7500 miles. At that time there was loud knock and vibration from trans area. Since then there is intermittent vibrations and shudders. Dealer 1st stated they can find nothing, then, this is normal. If normal, I think it should happen all the time. Dealer then stated it sounds like torque converter, but won't fix. Told factory rep would contact, but never did. Am afraid vehicle will let me sit. Would consider trading, but was told value is zip due to vehicle transmission reputation. Would love Nissan to step up to the plate ands repair / replace. Anyone listening?

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Cvt problems

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Vehicle: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

Purchased in April 2014 (same month vehicle was assembled). I was aware of the CVT issues before purchasing but hoped that Nissan had fixed the problem with newer builds. No such luck. Last weekend the problems began. Shudders, power loss, surging etc.. Pathfinder no longer safe to drive. Nissan replacing transmission under warranty. 19,000km on the odometer. No other complaints with this vehicle.

Disappointment - transmission failure

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Vehicle: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

Purchased this vehicle new in May 2014. In October 2014 with less than 5,000 miles the transmission began slipping at speeds above 60mph. Took it to dealer who said may be bad gas and to fill up once with 89 octane. In November 2014, the transmission slipped constantly (No warning lights came on). Took it to dealer, they confirmed it was a bad transmission. They said they were putting a new transmission in however it is still in the shop so I am unable to validate if it is new or a remanufactured transmission that is going in it. A vehicle with less than 6k miles and cost $45K a total disappointment. Stay away from the Pathfinder.


Full Expert Review: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder lineup grows with the addition of the new Pathfinder Hybrid model.


Over the past few years, automakers have been transforming their old-school truck-based SUVs into kinder, gentler, car-based crossovers. Last year the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder became the latest example of this trend and, by almost all measures, it has emerged the better for it.

Although this seven-passenger Pathfinder lost some of its predecessors' off-road and towing capabilities in the transition, the majority of buyers will find Nissan's largest crossover SUV infinitely more useful as a result. This latest Pathfinder gained a spacious new interior with adult-size seating in both the second and third rows, along with superior ride and handling qualities that are better suited for carpool duty and shopping trips to Target.

For power, the current Nissan Pathfinder also uses a 3.5-liter V6 and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that drives either the front wheels or, on all-wheel-drive models, all four. The CVT helps the 2014 Pathfinder achieve EPA fuel economy estimates of 22 mpg combined for front-wheel-drive models and 21 combined with all-wheel drive. While those numbers might not sound spectacular on their own, in context they make this Pathfinder among the most fuel-efficient seven-seat crossovers on the road.

If those mpg numbers just aren't good enough for you, this year marks the introduction of the new Pathfinder Hybrid model. With a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and 15-kilowatt electric motor under the hood and a compact lithium-ion battery pack packaged underneath the third-row seat, the hybrid Pathfinder promises a significant improvement in fuel economy with no loss of passenger and cargo room. There aren't many hybrid seven-passenger SUVs on the market, so the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid gives you an alternative to the slightly more fuel-efficient 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, which is really the only other option in this price range.

Even with the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder's strong points, there are a few other midsize-to-large three-row crossovers worth considering. Among the dozen or so entries in this category, we'd recommend looking at the 2014 GMC Acadia if maximum interior room is a priority, while the 2014 Mazda CX-9 also offers a bit more room than the Nissan, along with the best ride and handling dynamics of any large crossover SUV. The 2014 Toyota Highlander is the most well-rounded entry in the segment, offering a blend of virtues that earns it an Edmunds.com A rating.

Any of these utility vehicles may work better if you need three rows of seating, but with the Pathfinder's strengths in interior design, fuel economy and general ease of use, it's still a solid pick for families.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder is a midsize seven-passenger crossover SUV offered in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum. The Pathfinder Hybrid is offered in SV, SL and Platinum trim levels with the same features as the gasoline-powered models.

Standard equipment on the entry-level S includes 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat (with two-way lumbar adjustment), 60/40-split-folding second-row seats (with slide and recline), a 50/50-split third-row seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control and a six-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer.

The SV model adds automatic headlights, a roof rack, keyless ignition and entry, rear parking sensors, an eight-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a 7-inch color multi-information display, a rearview camera and an upgraded audio system with a single-CD player, satellite radio and a USB/iPod interface.

Stepping up to the SL trim level gets you foglights, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, driver memory settings, a four-way power passenger seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Opting for the SL Tech package further gets you a 120-volt household-style power outlet, a larger 8-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system and a 13-speaker Bose audio system with Bluetooth audio connectivity. The SL Premium package gets you the Bose audio system, the 8-inch touchscreen (without navigation), the 120-volt power outlet, a large dual panoramic sunroof and towing preparation.

The top-of-the-line Platinum model comes standard with the above features and further adds 20-inch alloy wheels, a towing package (optional on SV and SL), a 360-degree parking camera, a power-adjustable heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats. The optional Platinum Premium package includes the dual panoramic sunroof and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with dual displays. A different dual-screen entertainment system is available as an accessory on all Pathfinders; it differs from the factory system in that each display has its own DVD player and A/V hookups.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder is powered by two different drivetrains, one for the standard gasoline-only version and one for the Hybrid. The conventional gasoline Pathfinder uses a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. The Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid uses a supercharged 2.5-liter gasoline engine along with a 15kW electric motor (fed by a lithium-ion battery pack) that put out a combined 250 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque.

Both engines use a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and can be paired with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (which Nissan calls four-wheel drive). The AWD system includes a switch that allows the driver to lock power distribution in a 50/50 front-to-rear ratio, which is useful on dirt roads and in the snow.

In Edmunds performance testing, a gasoline-powered AWD Pathfinder went from zero to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds, which is a little better than average. Shockingly, a Pathfinder Hybrid Platinum 4x2 we also tested needed just 7.2 seconds.

For the non-hybrid Pathfinder, EPA fuel economy estimates are 22 mpg combined (20 city/26 highway) with front-wheel drive and 21 mpg combined (19/25) with all-wheel drive. Properly equipped, the Pathfinder can tow 5,000 pounds.

Towing capacity drops to 3,500 pounds on the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid, but the EPA estimates it will return an estimated 26 mpg combined (25 city/28 highway) with front-wheel drive. The AWD version is rated the same aside from a 1-mpg drop in highway mileage. While these are great fuel economy estimates for a three-row crossover, our real-world results were not as optimistic. After a 120-mile evaluation loop that favors highway economy, we earned just 23 mpg in our Pathfinder Hybrid 4x2 test vehicle.


Standard safety features on the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags that cover all three rows of seats. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are standard on all Pathfinders except the base S, which can't get these items even as an option. The Platinum comes with a more deluxe surround-view camera system.

In Edmunds brake testing, the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder AWD came to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet, a little better than average for this segment, while a FWD Hybrid required 2 fewer feet. In government crash tests, the Pathfinder earned an overall score of five stars (out of a possible five) for crash safety, with four stars for total frontal-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Pathfinder earned a top rating of "Good" in both the moderate-overlap frontal-offset and side-impact categories.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder offers an attractive cabin with high-quality materials that give it a decidedly premium look, especially in the top Platinum trim level. Even with its long list of features, gauges and controls are easy to see and operate. We're especially fond of the touchscreen electronics interface. There's nothing particularly flashy about it, but it's very easy to use and offers helpful redundant controls.

Both front- and second-row occupants will find their seats comfortable and supportive. The second-row seat excels here by virtue of its ability to slide fore and aft and recline for greater comfort or to create more room for those in the back. Those seats also slide forward even with a child's car seat in place, eliminating the need to uninstall these seats every time you need to get people into the third row. And unlike the third-row seats in some competitors, the Nissan Pathfinder's rearmost seat has enough headroom to accommodate adults up to 6 feet tall. Legroom's a bit tight, though, so only kids will be happy back here on longer trips.

Both the standard Nissan Pathfinder and the Pathfinder Hybrid have 19 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row of seats, which can be expanded to 79.8 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats folded flat. It's a useful amount, but other models like the Highlander, Acadia or CX-9 are roomier still.

Driving Impressions

The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder feels right at home in its role as suburban runabout. The 3.5-liter V6 and CVT deliver respectable acceleration in most situations. The V6 can feel a little sluggish during passing maneuvers, and the efficiency-oriented CVT can be slow to respond if you get aggressive with the gas pedal. In time, you get used to both of these traits, but we've never really made peace with the engine's noisy soundtrack: This V6 simply doesn't sound as good as competitors' six-cylinders.

There's a similar disconnected feeling in the Hybrid too. Adding to the already sluggish response, the powertrain blends power from the engine and motor in a manner that is less than seamless. Also, we experienced unusual brake behavior in the hybrid including poor pedal response, and found it required far more pedal stroke and pressure to maintain a full stop at a stop light than the non-hybrid Pathfinder did.

On pavement, the Pathfinder's suspension does a good job soaking up bumps and road irregularities to create a smooth, stable ride. However, if you choose a Platinum model, which has 20-inch wheels, the ride is noticeably stiff over bumps and ruts. Although the Pathfinder's steering is light and precise, handling is not a strong suit and it feels large from behind the wheel. Consumers looking for sportier handling will likely prefer the Mazda CX-9 or Ford Flex, although we suspect most Pathfinder buyers won't find this to be a significant weakness.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Suv in VA is:

$143.50 per month*

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My 2014 pathfinder rearview camera is really out of focus and they are telling me that is the way it is.  Just purchased this vehicle last week Anyone else have this problem?...

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