The big news for the new fifth generation Pathfinder is its new 284-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine with Direct Injection. That’s a 24hp bump from the outgoing model. Torque also increases from 240 lb-ft to 259 lb-ft in the new model. For those who will be towing, Pathfinder has a new 6,000-lb standard towing capacity up from the 5,000 capacity for the 2016 model.
How did Nissan engineers squeeze out the extra power? The Pathfinder’s engine has been upgraded with a new combustion chamber design, new pistons, a new air intake system, (which enhances torque and horsepower) and the new fully electronic timing on the intake side. The compression ratio has also been raised to 11.0:1 (from the previous 10.3:1). Yet, fuel economy stays the same.
FWD is standard, AWD is optional and there’s also the choice of the Xtronic continuously variable transmission. Some other mechanical components have been improved: front and rear shocks are stiffer, rebound springs combine with the front struts and rear rebound spring rates have jumped 25 percent. The electric power steering system is 11 percent faster and the model also has some styling changes to brag about.
The front and back have been modified, for a subtle improvement. Inside, the standard eight-inch touchscreen packs the newest NissanConnect infotainment software, with navigation for pricier versions. There’s also a new motion-activated liftgate and Nissan keeps the same trim levels – S, SV, SL, and Platinum.
The 3.5L V6 engine it runs on has been refined to offer 284hp instead of 260hp. The ponies are managed by the same CVT gearbox and it will allow the Pathfinder to tow up to 6000lbs. It is also worth noting that the Pathfinder can return 20mpg city and 27mpg city.
The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder is expected to become available for purchase by the end of summer this year and it is hoping to compete with the Honda Pilot on all fronts. Will the Pathfinder be able to take over the competition?