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2020 Nissan Pathfinder Review

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The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder is a midsize SUV with enough V-6-powered muscle to get you where you need to go. Within the Japanese automaker’s lineup, the Pathfinder slots between the midsize Murano and full-size Armada SUVs. This model is known for impressive power and steady acceleration but can also deliver a harsh and bumpy ride at times.

The three-row SUV seats seven passengers. Its cabin features comfortable seats and a variety of dashboard technology. However, the interior trim is not as upscale as competitors’ — and the Pathfinder suffers from dated interior design.

2020 Nissan Pathfinder pricing and trims

The Nissan Pathfinder has a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $31,680. Buyers can add features as they upgrade among four different trims. Starting at $42,920, the range-topping Platinum model adds a host of advanced features.

Here are the top features for each trim level:

Trim S SV SV Rock Creek Edition SL SL Rock Creek Edition Platinum
MSRP (2-Wheel Drive) $31,680 $34,470 $35,465 $38,090 $39,085 $42,920
MSRP (4-Wheel Drive) $33,370 $36,160 $37,155 $39,780 $40,775 $44,610
Features 18-Inch Alloy Wheels, Push-Button Start, Automatic Emergency Braking, EZ FLEX Seating System Power Driver’s Seat, Fog Lights, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert 18-Inch Dark- Finished Alloy Wheels, Leatherette-Appointed Seats with Cloth Inserts, Rock Creek Badging Leather-Appointed Seats, Heated Front Seats, Motion-Activated Liftgate, Intelligent Around View Monitor 18-Inch Dark- Finished Alloy Wheels, Leather-Appointed Seats with Cloth Inserts, Rock Creek Badging 20-Inch Alloy Wheels, Power Panoramic Moonroof, Heated and Cooled Front Seats, Bose Premium Audio System

The Pathfinder comes standard with two-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is available for all trims. When properly equipped, it can tow up to 6,000 pounds — more than most of its competitors.

The three-row SUV seats seven passengers. The seating is comfortable, but the third row can feel cramped and more suitable for children than adults.

The SV and SL trims are offered in a Rock Creek edition that adds black roof rails, a black-trimmed grille and an upgraded tire design. The interior features a two-tone design and Rock Creek badging. Split-folding second and third row seats and Nissan’s signature EZ FLEX system make it easier to load camping gear and other cargo.

What’s next? Be sure to shop around if you’re looking for a new car. You may be able to pay less than MSRP if you look at different dealerships. Or, check out Kelley Blue Book or NADAguides online, which can help you find the car you are looking for at a good price.

If you are considering financing your new car, take some time to shop around for a car loan. You can get a loan through Nissan financing, or through your local bank or credit union or an online lender. Depending on your credit, you can get up to five potential financing offers from lenders when you fill out an online form at LendingTree. Just remember: If you apply to several lenders when you are shopping around, be sure to do this within a 14- to 45-day window to avoid it counting as more than one credit inquiry on your credit report.

2020 Nissan Pathfinder safety

Though the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder has not been rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder was named a Top Safety Pick by the agency. The 2020 version of the SUV received a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Pathfinder features a variety of safety and advanced driver assistance features depending upon the trim level. Each trim includes the safety features of the ones below it — except for the low-level S — plus new ones.

We’ve highlighted some of the top safety features below:

S trim

  • Automatic emergency braking, which applies the brakes if the car senses a collision is imminent

SV trim

  • Blind spot warning, which alerts the driver to the presence of cars, pedestrians and bicyclists in the car’s blind spot
  • Rear cross traffic alert, which detects cars and pedestrians in the car’s path when in reverse
  • Intelligent cruise control, which detects the location of the car in front to regulate speed and maintain a safe distance while cruise control is engaged.

SL trim

  • Intelligent Around View monitor, a 360-degree camera helpful when pulling into or out of a tight parking space or corner

The Platinum trim includes all of the safety options that you find on the SL and lower trims.

2020 Nissan Pathfinder competitor comparison

The Nissan Pathfinder stands out among its competitors for its powerful engine and 6,000-pound towing capacity. Its pricing falls squarely in the middle of the midsize SUV segment. The SUV delivers slightly above-average fuel economy.

The Pathfinder has a variety of technology and safety features, but so do its rivals; a harsh ride, dated design and cramped seating area may ultimately drive shoppers to consider competitors.

The Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot boast better handling and smoother ride quality, as well as more cargo space. The Highlander also has more advanced driver assistance safety features, such as lane-keep assist and lane departure warning.

The Chevrolet Traverse’s V-6 engine makes 310 horsepower — that’s 26 more than the Pathfinder. It also features a middle-row bench seat to accommodate eight passengers. The Pathfinder doesn’t have an optional bench seat for its second row, which limits its seating to seven passengers.

Compared to other midsize SUVs in its class, the Pathfinder’s dated interior cabin, lack of cargo space and mediocre ride quality make it less desirable than its rivals.

Trim 2020 Nissan Pathfinder 2019 Toyota Highlander 2020 Honda Pilot 2020 Chevrolet Traverse
Base MSRP $31,680 $31,830 $31,550 $29,800
Expert Scores (Out of 5) N/A 4.1 4.4 4.0
Fuel Economy (Combined/City/Highway) 23/20/27 mpg 22/20/24 mpg 22/19/27 mpg 21/18/27 mpg
Standard Technology 8-Inch Touch Screen, Bluetooth, SiriusXM Satellite Radio 6.1-Inch Screen, Bluetooth, 5 USB Ports, Apple CarPlay/
Android Auto
5-Inch Screen, Bluetooth, 2 USB Ports, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto 7-Inch Screen, Bluetooth, 6 USB Ports, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Wi-Fi Hot Spot

The bottom line on the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder

Buyers shopping for a midsize SUV with plenty of power may like the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder for its towing capacity and off-road capability.

But the Pathfinder’s dated style struggles to stay relevant and stand out among a flood of competitors. Its punchy engine, strong fuel efficiency and easy-to-use dashboard technology may not be enough to trounce its shortcomings.

The SUV’s lackluster cabin, lower-quality materials and cramped seating make it hard to justify buying a Pathfinder over its many rivals. Coupled with its bumpy ride, buyers may find a more attractive SUV boasting better starting prices.


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