2019 Nissan Pathfinder

Performance


#17 out of 23 in Midsize SUVs

$31,530 MSRP
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2019 Nissan Pathfinder Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.7

The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder has a strong V6 engine that feels right at home zooming along highways. It feels composed on the road, but some rivals have more agility or gentler rides.

  • "Competency and stability are clearly more important than raw speed and ability in this class, but that doesn't mean a crossover SUV has the right to be sloppy. The Pathfinder manages to find the middle ground quite well with a torquey engine and friendly daily driving dynamics." -- Edmunds
  • "The redesigned engine and suspension mean the Pathfinder is far more entertaining than its predecessor from behind the wheel, and there's lots of utility in its three-row crossover design." -- Autoweek (2017)
  • "Dynamically, the Pathfinder doesn't feel particularly engaging. On both city streets and the highway, the three-row SUV drove a lot like a minivan, and I could feel its size. It didn't take well to curvy roads, as the transmission has no realistic deceleration feel, and its suspension borders on soft but comes off unpolished." -- New York Daily News (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The 2019 Pathfinder comes equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration is decent, and the Pathfinder’s continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) feels refined and has simulated shifts to make it feel more like a traditional automatic.

This SUV gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway or 19/26 mpg city/highway with four-wheel drive, which are decent figures for the class.

  • "Thankfully, there's still the smooth and torquey 3.5-liter V6 and what is arguably the best use of a CVT automatic on sale today. This combination not only provides good power, but it also helps all Pathfinders tow an impressive 6,000 pounds, no matter the trim level or drive configuration." -- Edmunds
  • "The 3.5-liter V6 and continuously variable transmission delivered respectable acceleration and 18 mpg overall in our tests." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "Thankfully, the re-engineered 3.5L V6 delivers as promised. We found it to be responsive, delivering excellent acceleration – both from a stop and in passing situations – and while we still aren't completely in love with CVTs, we'll grudgingly admit that this particular drivetrain pairing works pretty darned well." -- Left Lane News (2017)

Ride and Handling

Some critics thought the Pathfinder’s ride was comfortable while others found it to be firm. You won’t mistake this SUV for a sports car like the Nissan GT-R, and most rivals are more agile. That said, its handling is composed. Front-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional.

  • The Pathfinder leans a fair bit through moderate- and higher-speed curves, but it stays tidy and never feels sloppy. Stability control always manages to keep the Pathfinder on a short leash, but the intervention is soft and doesn't upset the vehicle." -- Edmunds
  • The ride is comfortable enough, but handling lacks agility." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "While steering performance has definitely improved, with dramatically better feel and feedback, the greater firmness creates a bumpy, unsettled ride quality that doesn't match the sedate family-hauling mission of the Pathfinder. It does remain flatter in cornering, with improved body control over the outgoing Pathfinder. But that newfound poise has come at the expense of ride comfort, a quality that may be preferred for family use." -- Cars.com (2017)
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