2015 Nissan Pathfinder SV
by Cheryl Eldridge
The Nissan Pathfinder still remains as one of the top list of SUVs. Not only does it drive well, it delivers and is one stylish cabin with respectable fuel economy ratings for a seven passenger vehicle. The 2015 Pathfinder SV 4x 4 has really stepped up its game.
Not only does it seat seven comfortably, it has a facelift and I am loving it.
My tester was coated in a beautiful arctic blue metallic with beige cloth seats and was priced at $35,570 loaded.
New for the Pathfinder, a blind-spot warning system and rear cross-traffic alert have been added to the SL and Platinum trims, and AWD models are outfitted with hill-descent control. Also, the continuously variable transmission receives new programming that simulates conventional shifts, the 360-degree parking camera is now available on the SL, and standard equipment has been slightly reshuffled.
The 2015 Nissan Pathfinder is offered in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum.
Standard equipment on the entry-level S includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, rear privacy glass, keyless entry and ignition, tri-zone automatic climate control, a manual height-adjustable driver seat (with manual lumbar adjustment), 60/40-split-folding second-row seats (with slide and recline), a reclining 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.
My tester, the SV model adds automatic headlights, a front tow hook, rear parking sensors, remote start, an eight-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a 7-inch color multi-information display, a rearview camera and an upgraded audio system with a single-CD player, satellite radio and a USB/iPod interface.
Stepping up to the SL trim level gets you foglights, heated mirrors, a power liftgate (with position memory), leather upholstery (first and second rows), heated front and second-row seats, driver memory settings, a four-way power passenger seat, a blind-spot warning system and rear cross-traffic alert. Opting for the SL Tech package adds a larger 8-inch touchscreen display, a 360-degree parking camera, a 120-volt household-style power outlet, towing preparation (also available separately on SL and SV), a navigation system with voice controls and a 13-speaker Bose audio system with Bluetooth audio connectivity. The SL Premium package is essentially the SL Tech package plus a dual-pane panoramic sunroof.
The top-of-the-line Platinum model starts with the above features and further adds 20-inch alloy wheels, a power-adjustable heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats. Offered exclusively on the Platinum is a Family Entertainment package that adds a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with dual displays.
Depending on when your Pathfinder was built, standard equipment may vary slightly. Early Pathfinders (built before January 2015) in the base S trim do not include the standard roof rack; instead it is standard on the SV. Early SV models (pre-January 2015) also get foglights, heated exterior mirrors and painted roof rails. For Pathfinders built after January of 2015, those items are optional on the SV and standard on the SL. Finally, SVs built after January of 2015 get remote start as standard, which was previously standard on the SL.
Every 2015 Nissan Pathfinder is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. It uses a CVT and can be paired with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (which Nissan calls four-wheel drive). The AWD system includes hill-descent control and a switch that allows the driver to lock power distribution in a 50/50 front-to-rear ratio, which is useful on dirt roads and in the snow.
In prior Edmunds performance testing, an AWD Pathfinder went from zero to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds, which is average for the segment. The EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway) with front-wheel drive and 22 mpg combined (19 city/26 highway) with all-wheel drive. In Platinum trim, the Pathfinder is rated at 21 mpg combined (19 city/26 highway). Properly equipped, any Pathfinder can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Standard safety features on the 2015 Nissan Pathfinder include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags that cover all three rows of seats. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are standard on all Pathfinders except the base S, which can’t get these items even as an option. The SL and Platinum come with a blind-spot warning system and rear cross-traffic alert, while the Platinum comes with a more deluxe surround-view camera system that is optional on the SL.
In Edmunds brake testing, the Nissan Pathfinder AWD came to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet, an average result for this segment.
In government crash tests, the Pathfinder received the top five-star rating overall, with four stars for total frontal-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Pathfinder the highest score of “Good” in the small-overlap frontal-offset, moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests. The Pathfinder also received a “Good” rating for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
A big part of the 2015 Nissan Pathfinder’s appeal is its attractive cabin. High-quality materials give it a decidedly premium look, especially in the top Platinum trim level. The gauges and controls are easy to find and operate. We’re especially fond of the touchscreen electronics interface – there’s nothing particularly flashy about it, but it’s very user-friendly and offers helpful redundant controls adjacent to the screen.
Both front – and second-row occupants will find their seats comfortable and supportive. The second-row seats can slide fore and aft and recline for greater comfort, and they’ll slide forward even with a child’s car seat in place, eliminating the need to uninstall the car seat in order to get people into the third row. Unlike some competitors, the Pathfinder provides enough third-row headroom to accommodate adults up to 6 feet tall. Legroom’s a bit tight, though, so only kids will be happy back there on longer trips.
The 2015 Pathfinder has just 16 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row, but with the second- and third-row seats folded flat, it offers a useful 79.6 cubic feet.
Until next week, drive safe, don’t text and drive and buckle up, it’s the law.