2017 Nissan Pathfinder Review

Pros & Cons

  • V6 engine provides strong acceleration and respectable fuel economy
  • User-friendly touchscreen interface comes standard on every trim
  • Easily accessed third-row seat
  • Robust towing capacity
  • Below-average cargo capacity and small item storage
  • Less third-row space than some rivals
  • Platinum trim level's ride quality might be too firm for some drivers
  • Automatic emergency braking safety feature available on top trim only
List Price Range
$13,988 - $27,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

Every generation of the Nissan Pathfinder has been significantly different than the last. At its debut, it was one of the earliest SUVs that ignited America's SUV craze. Then it morphed into one of the earliest crossovers for its second generation and later switched back to become one of the last truck-based SUVs on the market. In its most recent fourth generation that arrived for 2013, the Pathfinder went back to being a cushy, three-row family crossover with more in common with a station wagon than its trucky forebears. Can a vehicle have a multiple personality disorder? Regardless, the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder still belongs to this latest iteration, and numerous substantive updates for this year make it more appealing and help it keep up the tradition of evolving for the changing times. 

Chief among these changes is an increase in muscularity. Sure, the styling details are a smidge more macho (though paradoxically more aerodynamic), but its revised V6 engine that produces 24 more horsepower and 19 more pound-feet of torque makes the real difference. Acceleration is noticeably improved, and the Pathfinder's towing capacity is now a healthy 6,000 pounds. Nissan also refined the suspension and steering to grant the Pathfinder a sharper, more controlled driving experience.

Inside, there are few changes beyond Nissan's latest touchscreen interface that's standard on all variations. This is a good thing in terms of design and quality, but the Pathfinder continues to fall short in terms of overall utility. Cargo and small item storage space aren't as generous or versatile as what you'd find in top competitors, while the third row is essentially kids-only territory.

As such, there are competitors that might serve your needs better. The well-rounded Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander in particular are bigger and more versatile while being just as responsive to drive. The Dodge Durango stands out with its muscular styling and V8 engine while the Mazda CX-9 and GMC Acadia hold plenty of appeal through their new designs. Nevertheless, the not-so-new but definitely improved 2017 Nissan Pathfinder deserves a look. It does a lot of things well and might hit a just-right spot for many in terms of size, price, fuel economy and driving experience.

The 2017 Pathfinder comes standard with traction and stability control, antilock brakes, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are optional on the SV and standard on the SL and Platinum. A forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking is standard on the Platinum but not available on any other trim level. The NissanConnect services, which include automatic collision notification, emergency calling, stolen vehicle locator and alarm notification, are standard on the Platinum and optional on the SV and SL.

The 2017 Pathfinder received five stars (out of a possible five) for overall crash protection in government tests, with four stars for front-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. In testing of last year's Pathfinder, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Pathfinder the highest possible rating of Good in the small- and moderate-overlap front-impact tests as well as a Good score for the side-impact, roof strength and head restraint (whiplash protection) tests.

2017 Nissan Pathfinder models

The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder is a large, seven-passenger crossover SUV available in S, SV, SL and Platinum trim levels. Each comes standard with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is optional.

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Standard equipment on the S includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, rear privacy glass, roof rails, tri-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, keyless ignition and entry, a height-adjustable driver seat, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split reclining, sliding and folding second-row seat, Bluetooth connectivity, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, and a six-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio, a CD player and a USB media player interface.

The SV adds automatic headlights, foglights, rear parking sensors, an eight-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The SV Cold package adds heating for the front seats, steering wheel and mirrors. The SV Tech package adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, a navigation system and NissanConnect emergency services (see Safety section). 

Going with the SL gets you the Cold package items plus the blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, hill-descent control, a power liftgate with hands-free operation, a 360-degree parking camera system (with moving object detection/warning), leather upholstery (first and second rows, vinyl in the third row), upgraded seats (two-way power lumbar and memory settings for the driver seat, a four-way power passenger seat and heated outboard second-row seats) and upgraded interior trim. The SL Tech pack adds the navigation system and NissanConnect services plus a towing package and a 13-speaker Bose audio system. The SL Premium package includes those items plus a panoramic sunroof.

The Pathfinder Platinum includes the SL Premium package content plus 20-inch wheels, the towing package, LED headlights, extra chrome exterior trim, adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning and emergency braking system, heated and ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and wood interior trim. Only the Platinum can be equipped with the Family Entertainment package that adds two 8-inch, headrest-mounted displays, USB and HDMI ports, and a DVD player.

Every 2017 Nissan Pathfinder comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive are standard, but an all-wheel-drive system that includes a four-wheel lock function and hill-descent control is optional.

Nissan estimates that the 2017 Pathfinder will return 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway) with front-wheel drive or 22 combined (19 city/26 highway) with all-wheel drive. Note that the EPA changed its method for calculating fuel economy for 2017, so although the Pathfinder's fuel economy figures appear unchanged from 2016, various improvements have actually resulted in improved real-world fuel economy.

Maximum towing capacity when properly equipped is 6,000 pounds, a higher-than-average figure for a three-row crossover SUV. 


The Nissan Pathfinder is a better SUV to drive for 2017, with sharper steering and a suspension that keeps the Pathfinder more in control and settled when you're going around turns. Should you encounter a rolling bit of road or a big undulation in the pavement, the Pathfinder is now less likely to bob about. This is a good thing, but we also found that the ride quality suffers a bit as a result. If you're driving the Pathfinder Platinum, in particular, you're going to feel those sharp impacts when driving over rough pavement.

There's nothing but great news under the hood. Even with a load of people and/or gear aboard, the Pathfinder's revitalized V6 can accelerate you to highway speeds with relative ease. There's a newfound gutsiness to this engine, complete with a bit of a muscular growl. We also like that Nissan enhanced the CVT's simulated shift points to make it seem more like a regular automatic transmission — last year's monotonous droning noises have mostly been exorcised.


Not much has changed for the 2017 Nissan on the inside. It still offers competitive materials quality, an appealing overall design look and easy-to-use controls. One of the few interior improvements this year is a new touchscreen interface that is not only bigger but features better graphics and responses. It's one of the more user-friendly tech interfaces.

The front seats are a bit firm, and some drivers might desire more range of adjustment. The Pathfinder also isn't especially high off the ground, so we wonder if some drivers will find that it lacks the desired commanding view of the road. The second row offers a competitive amount of space and comfort, though, and we appreciate that it slides much farther forward for third-row access than most competitors can manage. You can even slide it forward with a child seat still in place. Once in the third row, though, space and comfort are merely acceptable. Teenagers and adults will be happier in a Honda Pilot or Dodge Durango.

The Pathfinder also continues to trail some of its competitors for overall utility. Up front, its center console lacks the multitude of useful storage compartments found in some rival crossovers, and its overall cargo capacity is only average, checking in at 47.8 cubic feet behind the second row and 79.8 cubic feet with both the second- and third-row seats folded.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2017 Nissan Pathfinder.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Nissan Pathfinder Plat vs. Honda Pilot Touring
Mark Howell,06/21/2017
Platinum 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
3-months ago I bought my wife a 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD and today offloaded it to the local Nissan dealership for a far superior 2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum AWD midnight edition with family entertainment. Why you might ask? Because the technology in the Honda Pilot is far inferior than that of the NPF. Why would you put a rear seat entertainment system in a vehicle if you can't control it from the drivers seat. Ask Honda. It was impossible to start movies from the front of the car, which is completely useless. Why would you force a phone call made from your iPhone into what they call "private mode" and NOT let it play through bluetooth. Google this if you're comparing cars right now because it is a huge, known problem. That makes no sense. Finally, why won't you let us disable the engine auto start/stop feature through a setting rather than have to turn it on and off every time you start the car? Stupid feature, popular in Europe but what's the point. So you know what the Pathfinder does? Let's you control the rear seat entertainment system from the driver's seat, puts all calls through the bluetooth unless you decide to make it a private call, and doesn't shut your engine off at a light. Oh and the interior is awesome, ride is better and it feels like a much more well thought out vehicle. Add to the that Nissan rebates right now are the best in the market. I highly recommend this vehicle. If you're in the market and thinking about the Pilot, be wary of the technology.
Cross Country Tow & Mountain Tour Test Scored A+
SV 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
I've had this vehicle now for 15 months and I have grown to enjoy it more and more as time passes. The latest test was a 4000 mile RT on I-80 towing a loaded 5' X 8' U-Haul trailer in February and a mountain tour in the Rockies. The car did everything well. Mileage on the road is excellent for a 4600 lb. vehicle. It cruises well and the engine is responsive at all speeds, likely because of the continuously variable transmission. The CVT took a while to get used to, it is the first one I have owned but with a strong 3.5 liter V6 engine there really are no drawbacks and the associated fuel economy is a bonus. The car tracks straight on the highway and was virtually unfazed by 40 - 60 mph cross winds even towing the trailer; very stable. And the automatic 4WD coupled is a very secure experience driving over icy patches in a stiff crosswind on the high elevation interstate in SE Wyoming. In light slick snow the traction is very secure; you can see the rear wheels kick in when cornering and not have to worry about fishtailing. Ride is good but not cushy comfortable; there is a firmness to it and you can feel the bumps. The OEM Michelin Latitude tires soften impacts however and they have great traction in wet and snowy conditions. In the mountains I was extremely pleased with the suspension, handling, and steering; no body roll and a firm grip on the road. The CVT was also very satisfying descending steep grades; all you have to do is push a button on the shifter to take it out of overdrive and let the engine do the braking. The SV model comes with cloth seats which were very comfortable on the 8-10 hour drive days. NIssan could do better with the quality of the cloth but the surfaces were soft touch and we didn't want to pay for leather in the SL trim. We have been extremely happy with the cold weather package (front seat heaters and heated steering wheel) - I was shocked that I could buy a heated steering wheel for such a reasonable cost on a lower trim level (although packed with value options). We were attracted to this model first by the spacious middle seat and large doors. The seat is wide to seat three medium sized adults, sits up a bit higher than the front seats and has outstanding legroom like most of the cars from the 50's and early 60's had. The third seat is really for kids or petite adults but when folded down provides a large cargo area which we used on our two week trip. When the third seat is set up my wife likes the size of the reduced cargo area when stowing groceries but some may think it is too small. This model was freshened for 2017 and Nissan seemed to do a good job correcting all the model's driving weaknesses that I have read about. I looked at the 2018's and discovered that there are hardly any changes so all my comments should apply to the current model year. We plan on keeping this vehicle at least seven years as we enjoy driving it, the car is very functional for what an SUV should do, and the first two seat rows are so roomy and comfortable. I wasn't sure I would like it this much when I purchased it.
Great features; great price; very nice ride!
SL 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
We were looking for a three row SUV that has good gas mileage, towing capacity, and value. The final two that I considered were the Pathfinder SL with the Tech package and the Toyota Highlander XLE trim. These have similar MSRPs to they should be comparable. The Toyota puts their advanced safety features (lane departure, collision mitigation, etc) on all trim levels. Another good thing about the Toyota was its auto stop/start feature. It was hard to notice when the car shut itself off and started back up again. On the other hand, Nissan gives you a lot more for the price. Some of the features on the Pathfinder that were not on the similarly priced Highlander were the around view monitor (my favorite feature); heated second row seats; heated side mirrors; heated steering wheel; remote start; a premium Bose sound system; driver seat position memory. Another cool feature on the Pathfinder is that when you shut off the car, the seats moved back for ease of exit. When you start it back up again, the seats move into position. A couple of small negatives. The Pathfinder has a lot of power, very quick from a stop light. However, the driving "feel" isn't like the Mazda CX9. They supposedly stiffened the suspensions, but the ride still feels very soft to me (some folks might prefer this). Also, it is a big car, so definite body roll around the corners. So its not going to feel like a sports car, but if you are looking for a good three row SUV, this is a good choice. Also, we were able to get this car for around 3K lower than the Toyota dealer was willing to go. Really loving this car!
3.5L V6 beating 1.8/2.0/2.5 L V4s
Akshaya Bhatt,01/26/2017
SV 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
Way great mileage for 3.5L V6 (combined 25 mpg.WOW!), which is giving competition to V4 engines. Ride is really awesome, with better control. You may not even feel that you are moving at 65/70 MPH speed. It will feel very smooth, quite ride.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover17.4%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder

Used 2017 Nissan Pathfinder Overview

The Used 2017 Nissan Pathfinder is offered in the following submodels: Pathfinder SUV. Available styles include SL 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT), S 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT), S 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl CVT), SV 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT), SL 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl CVT), Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl CVT), SV 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl CVT), and Platinum 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2017 Nissan Pathfinder?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Nissan Pathfinder trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Nissan Pathfinder SV is priced between $15,187 and$23,995 with odometer readings between 18626 and116103 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Nissan Pathfinder S is priced between $16,800 and$25,999 with odometer readings between 22994 and106358 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Nissan Pathfinder SL is priced between $13,988 and$27,190 with odometer readings between 18917 and166441 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum is priced between $22,995 and$27,995 with odometer readings between 67790 and111251 miles.

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Which used 2017 Nissan Pathfinders are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Nissan Pathfinder for sale near. There are currently 31 used and CPO 2017 Pathfinders listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $13,988 and mileage as low as 18626 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2017 Nissan Pathfinder.

Can't find a used 2017 Nissan Pathfinders you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Nissan Pathfinder for sale - 8 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $13,238.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $22,113.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Pathfinder for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $16,981.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan for sale - 5 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $7,841.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 Nissan Pathfinder?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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