2014 Nissan Pathfinder SUV - Rating Details


B
Edmunds Rating
Vehicle Tested 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum Hybrid FWD SUV (2.5L 4-cyl. Supercharger Hybrid CVT Automatic) Driven On 5/6/2014 Ratings Summary The Pathfinder is an excellent seven-passenger alternative to a minivan. But when considering the Hybrid version, we find it hard to reconcile our sub-optimal measured fuel economy and the $3,000 premium over an otherwise identical Pathfinder. The Pathfinder remains a good family SUV, but the Hybrid is hard to justify.
B
Performance Judged primarily by track results, this Pathfinder Hybrid is a decent performer. However, the weak integration of the hybrid driveline and brakes adversely affects the overall driveability of this SUV. Towing is respectable thanks to a supercharged inline-4 paired with an electric motor.
Acceleration
A
The blended output of the gasoline engine and electric power adds up to 250 horsepower (versus the available V6's 260 horsepower). That's good enough for a 7.2-second sprint to 60 mph, which is quicker than average for its class.
Braking
C
The brake pedal feels disconnected and vague, requiring more stroke and pressure than normal brakes, especially when coming to a stop. Some might never notice this. In testing, it came to a stop in a shorter-than-average 122 feet, however.
Steering
B
Numb and lighter than the average large SUV's steering, it manages to be precise nonetheless. Those used to minivan steering will find it familiar, appropriate and easy to manage.
Handling
B
We found the handling adequate for a three-row SUV, although the stability control engages early and often when you approach the vehicle's limits. This was especially noticeable at our test track, less so out on the road.
Driveability
C
There are some odd transitions when the driveline switches between power sources, and the continuously variable transmission (CVT) only serves to highlight this. The vague and disconnected brake pedal feel also takes some getting used to.
Towing
B
Prepped with tow hitch receiver and wiring harness, the Pathfinder Hybrid is rated up to 3,500 pounds versus the 5,000 pounds for a non-hybrid. Still a useful amount.
Off-Road
B
Muddy or rutted-road ready, but certainly not an off-road vehicle. Optional all-wheel drive enhances these light-duty abilities. Hill-start assist is standard.
A
Comfort The Pathfinder is quiet, smooth and well appointed; comfort is one of its best assets.
Seating Comfort
A
Front seats offer a wide range of adjustment, and both are heated and ventilated in Platinum trim. Generously sized 60/40 split second-row seats slide and recline. Third row is large and comfortable. A/C vents for both 2nd and 3rd rows.
Ride Comfort
B
An overall gentle, controlled ride that is only sometimes punctuated with harsh impacts from roadway seams or potholes. It's steady and smooth in almost all conditions.
Quietness
A
An exceptionally quiet SUV, whether accelerating hard or cruising at steady highway speeds. Low wind and road noise levels, too.
A
Interior When the Pathfinder dropped the ladder-frame construction, it grew and gained enormous interior space with excellent access. At the same time, the new interior features excellent ergonomics and a clever seating configuration.
Ergonomics
A
Infotainment system is intuitive and easily navigated with large, well-labeled buttons and a chunky control knob. The climate control and other systems are similarly well-designed. Stalks and switches do exactly as intended/expected.
Ingress/Egress
A
Exceptionally large doors and convenient seat height make getting in/out a breeze. A clever sliding/folding second row affords good access to the third row, better than pretty much anything in the class.
Space/Room
B
You can't really tell from the outside, but there's a surprising amount of room inside the Pathfinder. The rather sleek SUV shape offers nearly the space of a boxy minivan. Plenty of head, leg and shoulder room for all.
Visibility
B
With so many headrests and pillars to peer around, it's a good thing parking sensors and cameras come standard. How many cameras? There are front, side and rear views with a simulated 360-degree aerial view.
Cargo/Storage
B
The Pathfinder provides between 16 and 80 cubic-feet of luggage/cargo space, depending on the second- and third-row seating arrangements. That's large for the segment. A standard power liftgate also helps.
C
Value Priced at $43,810 (before incentives), the Pathfinder Platinum Hybrid is $3,000 more than an otherwise identical Pathfinder Platinum. Driven 15,000 miles per year, it would take 7-8 years to make up for the added cost via fuel savings. But, it is loaded with standard features.
Build Quality (vs. $)
B
Among other things, the Platinum trim comes with standard leather, which raises the perceived quality of the Pathfinder even higher. We found tight gaps, solid buttons/knobs and blemish-free paint. Slightly better than its peers.
Features(vs. $)
B
At $43,810, the Platinum has a heated steering wheel, heated leather front and rear seats (ventilated fronts), power liftgate, 360-degree parking camera, 8-inch touchscreen display with navigation and Bose audio with Bluetooth connectivity.
Cost
C
It's more expensive than a non-hybrid Pathfinder, but still thousands less than a comparable Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Our 2WD test vehicle had just one option (DVD player and panorama roof), which upped the price to an eye-popping $46,110.
MPG
C
EPA estimates are 26 mpg Combined (25 City/28 Highway), but we averaged only 21 mpg over 575 miles of mixed driving with a 23-mpg best on our 116-mile evaluation loop. This tied a 2014 Toyota Highlander V6 on the same loop.
Warranty
C
The basic warranty of 3 years/36,000 miles and drivetrain coverage for 5 years/60,000 miles are competitive numbers for the class. Hybrid components are further covered for 8 years/100,000 miles.
Ownership
B
Without free maintenance, but with 3 years/36,000 miles of roadside assistance, the Pathfinder Hybrid matches benefits offered by several of its key competitors.
C
Fun To Drive The Pathfinder is extremely competent, fulfilling the big-family mission for which it was designed, even though it's not what most would call fun to drive. There's satisfaction in its competence, and if you're minivan-averse, this could be a good vehicle for you.
Driving Experience
B
The Pathfinder's shape makes it look smaller on the outside than it is on the inside. Oddly, it drives bigger than it looks, though it rides as quietly and smoothly as it should. It offers a completely untaxing driving experience.
Personality
C
As with most three-row, seven-passenger vehicles, the Pathfinder is essentially a minivan in an SUV wrapper. A pretty darn good one at that. But as a hybrid SUV, it's only partly successful as our fuel economy numbers revealed.
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

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

$153 per month*
* Explanation
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