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2016 Nissan Pathfinder Review

Despite its upscale interior, the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder’s poor reliability score pushes it toward the bottom of the highly competitive midsize SUV class.

Pros & Cons

  • Handsome, upscale cabin
  • Great fuel economy for the class
  • Few standard features for the price
  • Noisy CVT under hard acceleration
  • Low reliability score

Rankings & Research

The 2016 Nissan Pathfinder's #16 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Nissan Pathfinder has a score of 7.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 37 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Nissan Pathfinder Overview

Is the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder a Good Used SUV?

The 3-row 2016 Nissan Pathfinder isn’t a horrible SUV. It gets great fuel economy estimates and has an attractively made cabin. However, with so many better options in the midsize SUV class, it is a tough vehicle to recommend. It has a mediocre engine, a loud transmission, and fewer standard and available features than its competitors.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and overviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 37 Nissan Pathfinder reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder?

Based on more than 1,000 listings for this vehicle on our site, the price of a used 2016 Nissan Pathfinder ranges from $16,800 to $32,000. The average price is about $22,100. Prices vary depending on the SUV’s condition, mileage, location, and features.

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How Much Does the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder Cost to Own?

A vehicle’s purchase price isn’t the only cost to consider when making your decision. You should also think about its ongoing costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. The 2016 Pathfinder’s five-year estimate for these expenses comes out to about $24,450, which is typical for the class. You would have similar costs with the Ford Edge (about $23,270), Nissan Murano (about $23,760), and Hyundai Santa Fe (about $24,250).

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Pathfinder?

A new 2018 Nissan Pathfinder is priced at $31,040, which is about $8,900 more than the average price of a 2016 model. The 2018 model gained several standard features, as well as some powertrain and styling updates. It has a stronger engine, an improved suspension, a standard NissanConnect 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, and an increased towing capacity. It also comes standard with automatic emergency braking and a rear door alert system. These noteworthy model upgrades may be worth the extra money. Just keep in mind that the new Pathfinder ranks poorly among 2018 midsize SUVs.

Read about the new Nissan Pathfinder »

If you want a new SUV for about the same price as a 2016 Pathfinder, you’ll find a number of options in the compact SUV class. For just a few hundred dollars more than an average-priced 2016 Pathfinder, you can buy a 2018 Hyundai Tucson. Its cabin isn’t as nice as the Pathfinder’s, and its base engine is just adequate, but it earns excellent safety scores and comes with a standard rearview camera. It also gets better fuel economy than the Pathfinder (27 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway).

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder?

The 2016 Pathfinder has the lowest J.D. Power reliability rating possible: two out of five.

Read more about Pathfinder reliability »

2016 Nissan Pathfinder Recalls

At the time of this writing, the 2016 Pathfinder has one reported recall: the passenger-side air bag may not deploy during a crash. Be sure this issue is corrected before you buy a used Pathfinder.

See more information on Nissan Pathfinder safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Nissan Pathfinder Is Best?

The 2016 model is part of a generation that launched in 2013 and includes the 2017 Pathfinder. There were few major changes between the 2013 and 2014 model years. The 2015 model introduced available blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, and it will give you the most features at the lowest cost.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Pathfinder »

Which Used Nissan Pathfinder Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Nissan Pathfinder has four trims: S, SV, SL, and Platinum. The Nissan Pathfinder S, the base trim, comes with a tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel, a six-speaker audio system, tri-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, and an auxiliary input jack. Most competitors offer more standard features, so we recommended looking at the Nissan Pathfinder SV. It adds a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a 7-inch audio display, a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio, remote start, rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera.

Moving up to the Nissan Pathfinder SL gets you leather seats, heated front and rear seats, a power-adjustable passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, a power liftgate, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. The top-of-the-line Nissan Pathfinder Platinum comes with ventilated front seats, a power-tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel, a dual-pane panoramic moonroof, a 13-speaker Bose premium stereo, an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, a navigation system, and a 360-degree camera system.

See 2016 Nissan Pathfinder trims and specs »

What Does Nissan's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Nissan offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Nissan extends the original new-car warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each Nissan CPO vehicle must pass a 167-point inspection. Additional benefits like rental car reimbursement, a three-month SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, a Security+Plus Extended protection plan, towing, and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read the Nissan warranty page carefully.

According to our research, Nissan’s CPO program is about average for an affordable auto manufacturer. Mazda, Honda, and Chevrolet all have more robust programs.

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How Safe Is the Pathfinder?

From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2016 Pathfinder received the highest score of Good in all five crash tests. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash testing, it earned five out of five stars overall, as well as five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal and rollover tests.

There are no standard active safety features. Available safety features include a rearview camera, a 360-degree camera system (Nissan's Around View Monitor), rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. Most rivals offer more driver assistance technology.

See Pathfinder safety scores »

2016 Nissan Pathfinder Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Nissan Pathfinder or 2016 Toyota Highlander?

There are superior options to either of these SUVs, but between the two, the Toyota Highlander is marginally better. Both have average safety scores and good-looking interiors with sliding second rows. However, the Highlander has a higher reliability rating, and its eight-person cabin is better-equipped and quieter than the Pathfinder’s. The Toyota also has composed handling and a silky ride quality.

Which Is Better: 2016 Nissan Pathfinder or 2016 Mazda CX-9?

Few midsize SUVs handle as well as the Mazda CX-9. It has sharp steering and minimal body roll through turns, while maintaining ride comfort. Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine has fewer horsepower than the Pathfinder’s base V6, but it delivers quick acceleration when pulling away from a stop. Add in the CX-9’s luxurious interior, numerous tech features, and above-average reliability rating, and it’s clearly the better pick.

Which Is Better: 2016 Nissan Pathfinder or 2016 Dodge Durango?

If you want satisfying engine power, the Dodge Durango can meet your needs better than the Pathfinder. Its standard 295-horsepower V6 engine produces easy highway power, and the available 360-horsepower V8 has more muscle and faster acceleration. The seven-seat Dodge Durango is one of the more composed 3-row SUVs on the market, and a model with a sport suspension for greater agility is available. The Durango also comes with more standard features, including a user-friendly infotainment system, Bluetooth, and a USB port.

Compare the Pathfinder, Highlander, and CX-9 »

2016 Pathfinder Performance

How Does the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder Drive?

Powered by a 260-horsepower V6 engine, the 2016 Pathfinder has enough muscle for most driving situations. The Pathfinder has a comfortable ride, fairly accurate steering, and decent body control around corners, but some competitors are more athletic. Its continuously variable automatic transmission is also noisy at highway speeds. Front-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is available.

Does the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder Get Good Gas Mileage?

With front-wheel drive, the base 2016 Pathfinder achieves an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, which is great for the class.

Read more about Pathfinder performance »

2016 Pathfinder Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Pathfinder Seat?

The 3-row Nissan Pathfinder has space for seven on cloth seats. The cabin is well-built and features top-quality materials, and leather seats are available. The second row slides for easy access to the third row. As with most 3-row SUVs, the third row isn’t very roomy for adults.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder?

In the Pathfinder's second-row outboard seats, there are two full sets of upper and lower anchors for securing child safety seats. The second-row middle seat and the third-row passenger-side seat each have an upper tether anchor. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system an Acceptable rating (the second highest), noting the connectors are easy to find but are buried too deep in the seats. They can also be confused with other hardware.

2016 Nissan Pathfinder Features

Standard features include tri-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker audio system, an auxiliary input jack, cruise control, and a proximity key. Most competitors come with Bluetooth and a USB port, but the Pathfinder only offers them as options. Additional available features include a 13-speaker Bose audio system, a rear-seat entertainment system, and a navigation system with an 8-inch touch screen. Class rivals offer more features.

The infotainment system has a basic design and is easy to use, as are the manually operated knobs and buttons for audio and climate settings.

See 2016 Nissan Pathfinder specs »

Read more about Pathfinder interior »

2016 Nissan Pathfinder Dimensions

Nissan Pathfinder Cargo Space

The 2016 Nissan Pathfinder has 16 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 47.8 cubic feet behind the second row, and 79.8 cubic feet behind the first row. That’s a bit more cargo space than most 3-row SUVs provide. However, some larger competitors, like the GMC Acadia, have higher cargo capacities.   

2016 Pathfinder Length and Weight

The 2016 Nissan Pathfinder has an overall length of 16.43 feet. Its curb weight ranges from 4,262 pounds to 4,643 pounds, depending on the drivetrain and trim.  

Where Was the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder Built?

The 2016 Pathfinder was built in Tennessee.

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