On the road, the Pathfinder is powerful and enjoyable. It’s got a smooth, quiet ride, and the shift-on-the-fly Automatic all-wheel-drive is perfect for a Portland winter.

The competition for midsize SUV customers is fierce, and just about every automaker offers at least one family crossover option. With Nissan, you can choose the five-passenger Murano or the three-row, seven passenger Pathfinder. That third row is what makes the Pathfinder so attractive for family use.

The Pathfinder starts at an affordable $31,680, and Nissan starts bringing the value right away. Every Pathfinder comes with Nissan’s long-proven 3.5-liter V6 engine, and the XTronic continuously variable transmission with front wheel drive.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE – The controls for the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder are well laid out and easy to use. It comes with a lot of standard equipment, but can also be ordered with all the bells and whistles.

If you want to keep the base trim and upgrade to 4WD, the Pathfinder costs $33,370. Nissan’s Intelligent 4X4 system in this SUV allows you to choose front-wheel-drive mode to save fuel, or choose Auto mode to engage the rear wheels when needed. You can also select 4WD Lock mode to keep all the wheels turning in slippery conditions. The Pathfinder includes hill start assist and hill descent control, and those two features help you in the most difficult winter driving situations.

If you’ve got an active lifestyle, the Pathfinder is a great choice. With the standard V6 engine, you can tow up to 6,000 pounds. You can also put up to 79.5 cubic feet of cargo in the Pathfinder. Roof rails come standard on all trims so you can put a basket or pod on top for extra capacity.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE – Cargo space in the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder is huge with the third row of seats folded down.

Nissan also puts a lot of tech value in the Pathfinder, with features like push-button start and remote keyless entry on all trims. An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard, with optional GPS navigation on higher trims. Bluetooth hands-free phone support is standard. A Bose premium audio system is optional.

Inside, you’ll find a spacious and comfortable cabin. If you choose the Rock Creek Edition option package, you’ll enjoy a bunch of exterior dress-up items and interior trim upgrades. The Rock Creek Technology Package adds navigation, heated seats, and a heated steering wheel.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE – The Rock Creek package adds special exterior and interior appointments to the already well-equipped 2020 Nissan Pathfinder.

When it comes to safety, the basic Pathfinder comes with a full set of airbags and standard features like traction and stability controls. Moving up the trim walk adds the advanced driver assistance functions like automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

On the road, the Pathfinder is powerful and enjoyable. It’s got a smooth, quiet ride, and the shift-on-the-fly Automatic all-wheel-drive is perfect for a Portland winter. You’ll be able to save some gas by switch to front-wheel-drive in the summer, and that’s a feature most midsize SUVs don’t offer.

If your family is looking for a new activity vehicle this year, check out the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder. You’ll find it at the Portland International Auto Show at the Oregon Convention Center from Thursday to Sunday, Feb. 20 to 23.

2020 Nissan Pathfinder
Base price: $31,680
Price as tested: $40,330
Type: Midsize SUV
Engine: 3.5-liter V6 (284 hp, 259 lbs-ft)
Transmission: XTronic Continuously Variable Transmission
EPA estimated mileage: 20/27
Overall length: 198.5 inches
Curb weight: 4,287 pounds
Final assembly: Smyrna, Tennessee

By Jeff Zurschmeide
Brought to you by: Pamplin Media Group
For more car reviews visit: pamplinmedia.com