If you take a look around you when out and about you can see that there is a HUGE difference between the SUV stylings of the older models of the Nissan Pathfinder and the new 2014 version. The new look and availability as a HYBRID have moved this vehicle into the ‘crossover’ world of vehicles. Though I think the only other hybrid in this category so far is the Toyota Highlander. But for styling it has moved into the world of Enclaves, Santa Fe, Escapes and so on.
Due to the size of my family the crossover category is one of the most reviewed models on Crunchy Carpets. I love roomy cargo and a third row of seating. It is the perfect style for those unwilling to dive into Mini Van ownership. It is a versatile model that satisfies my love of ‘big’ cars and with the Pathfinder being a hybrid sure helps with justifying owning a bigger car during these high gas price times.
I have reviewed a few Nissan models now, and I don’t think I have said anything negative yet. I really really like what they are doing with their cars these days. This crossover is pretty inside and out. Gone is the boxy rugged SUV looks from old. It is a smoother, curvier with just a hint of the old ruggedness with be big shiny grill. It is still sturdy enough to strap on the roof rack or two your trailer though. And the engine still has enough oomph to get you out of the city in style.
With many crossovers, the third row is more of a ‘suggestion’ than a practical reality. Many times the third row sacrifices cargo space and we have dogs so I need that row AND the cargo to be roomy. The Pathfinder is quite a long vehicle compared to its competitors and therefore, we found that row to be comfortable and easily for all ages to get in and out of and does not take away from the cargo space.
Another issue with cargo space is when the cars get too curvy and “sexy” and those curves eat away at your storage and head room. Compared to say the more ‘square’ crossovers from Ford or GM, Nissan design feels more huggy when you sit in it, yet I don’t feel squished and while I didn’t get to load the car up for any big trips, it did fine when I was filling it with stuff bound for our storage locker.
I also like Nissan because it doesn’t push you to upgrade to the pricier models. Though I think ALL cars now should have parking sensors and rearview cameras on any model level. The entry-level S does include 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy (dark) 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. We were lucky enough to test out their Platinum Hybrid model that had all the pretties included and the DVD player and the heated steering wheel and moon roof were the big hits for our family.
My favorite feature is their Around View Monitor. This 360 degree panoramic camera made me the QUEEN of parking.
There is a lot of competition on the crossover category, but I think for the price point Nissan is right up there in the top 5 at least.