Get a Taste of Luxury in a 7-Passenger SUV: 2018 Nissan Pathfinder Review

2018 Nissan Pathfinder Review
Photo: Becky Fixel

Premium Features and Design Mean Comfort and Capability in the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder 

When you shop for your next family SUV what do you look for? Is it a combination of premium features and function? Is it something that will keep your kids happy while providing you not only with a safe and comfortable drive? Or is it all of those options as long as it’s within your budget?

The 2018 Nissan Pathfinder combines everything a family would want within a mid-sized three row and has lots of great features, all for under $45,000. Seating up to 7 passengers, you could easily drive carpool or be sure all of the sports equipment fit in the car without anyone feeling cramped.

When I’m shopping for a new car, I’m always looking for something that would be a nice ride for me and could easily accommodate friends, family and shopping. But I’m not so secretly looking for little luxuries for the driver. I’m often on the road, so I have a must-have list of some things I’m looking for driver comfort including heated seats, a heated steering wheel and even a good audio system. GPS and maps are helpful and backup cams are great, too, (and now installed on all cars by law)  but not on my “must have” list. Thankfully the 2018 Nissan has everything I want and more even in its base model!

2018 Nissan Pathfinder Review

Staying in control is easy with everything at your finger tips. Photo: Becky Fixel

Who This Car is For

  • Singles, couples or small families
  • Lovers of premium features who are budget conscious
  • Buyers who want to reward themselves with a premium features without the sticker shock
  • Drivers who want towing capability but don’t want to buy a truck
  • Drivers who want the flexible seating for their family or their lifestyle
  • Buyers who need room for 7 passengers
  • Drivers who have passengers in the third row occasionally but not daily
  • Buyers who need space that is flexible for both cargo and passengers
  • Drivers who need all wheel drive
  • Drivers who appreciate a higher ground clearance (so you can see over the traffic!)

What This Car Costs

  • Base price: $31,040 S Package Including 284 HP 3.5 Liter Direct Injection Gasoline V6 Engine, SiriusXM Travel Link with 3- Year Complimentary Trial, Automatic Emergency Breaking, Tri-Zone Automatic Temperature Control System, EZ Flex Seating System Featuring Latch and Glide:  
  • SV Package: Fog Lights, Nissan Intelligent Key, Remote Engine Start System, Rear Sonar System  add $2,690
  • SL Package: Motion Activated Liftgate, Leather-appointed seats and door trim, intelligent cruise control, blind spot warning add $6,710
  • Midnight Edition: Exclusive Midnight Edition Black 20″ Alloy Wheels, Black Exterior Accents, Black Splash Guards, Black Midnight Edition Badget, Illuminated Kick Plates add $8,105
  • Platinum 4WD Package: 20″ Aluminum-Alloy Wheels, LED Low-Beam Projector Headlights, Bose Premium Audio System with 13 Speakers including Acoustic Waveguide Technology, Climate-Controlled Front Seats (Heated and Cooled) add $13,220
  • Price of the Platinum model we test drove: $44,260

Music Systems and More – How to Choose the Right Car For You

Nissan Pathfinder Review

Heated and Cooled seats help keep your core the perfect temperature no matter what the weather is outside. Photo: Becky Fixel

Comfort is Key When You Drive The Pathfinder 

Have I mentioned I loved heated seats? And that over the past few years, I’ve started to fall in love with air conditioned seats? If you’ve ever driven in the summer and found yourself sweating against the car seat, this is a feature you don’t want to drive without. From keeping yourself warm in the winter and your core cool in the summer, the seats in the Pathfinder will keep you happy while you’re driving. The heated and cooled seat controls toggle between heat and air conditioning, but unless you set it exactly in the center it is hard to have it in the “off” position.

The driver has the added benefit of a heated steering wheel as well. This is not a requirement for the car to function, it may become one if you live in a colder state. No more touching a cold steering wheel after clearing the snow off your car. I love to turn this on when I first start the car while I’m cleaning it off and have a pre-heated steering wheel waiting for me.

These features aren’t just luxuries; they can also help you save fuel: heating or cooling just the passenger, not all the air in the car, means less drain on the engine and therefore, less fuel used.

Between climate zones for the driver and passengers, a fully adjustable power seat and heated steering wheel and heated and cooled seats, the Pathfinder will give you one of the most comfortable rides you’ve had in a long time.

Nissan Pathfinder Review

Passengers can watch their own movies on screens. Photo: Becky Fixel

Get To Know the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder – The Family SUV That Blends Premium Features and Function

We all know the luxuries that the driver wants in the car, but what about the passengers? In the Pathfinder, you can keep them happy while keeping yourself sane as well. The headrests behind the driver and the front passenger have individual screens that run independently. No more popping in the movie up front and it only going to one shared screen. Viewers can not only watch their own movies, but control it in the back with their own remotes and headphones. We love this function for the back seat passengers for long trips. Not only will they be happy, but you can listen to your own music while they watch their shows or play games.

The backseat is no longer the worst seat in the car in the Pathfinder. Back seat passengers can control the temperature in their zone, heat up their own seats, use the USB ports to charge their phones and even plug into a traditional AC plug if needed.

Climate Control Is Key

The rear seat center console lets back seat passengers choose the perfect temperature or plug into a household plug, USB ports and headphone jacks. Photo: Becky Fixel

What Luxuries Make Your Next Car Purchase Worth it?

2018 Nissan Pathfinder Review

There is plenty of leg room available for taller drivers in the 2018 Pathfinder. Photo: Becky Fixel

Why Should This Mid-Sized SUV Be on Your Radar?

If you’re looking for your next family car, or one to just get to and from work, the Nissan Pathfinder is a great choice. Not only does the SUV fit up to 7 passengers comfortably, but has the space to carry what you need it to. With a 6000 lb towing capacity you could easily take this SUV from a family car to the road in no time.

Driving the Pathfinder was comfortable. Even being tall (almost 6′) I had plenty of leg room to drive comfortably even for long distances. Passengers were comfortable and we were able to take all of our gear with us on the go. Unfortunately, the armrest storage area wasn’t large enough for my purse but the flat floor space behind the center council is the perfect spot for it to go when driving alone.

Simple Convenience and Safety Features Make Life in the Pathfinder Easy and Comfortable

Some of our favorite features are simple and not obvious when you first look at the Pathfinder, including

  • A motion-activated liftgate that opens when you wave your foot under the bumper. No more struggling to hold your bags while opening the car.
  • The 360 surround camera lets you clearly see anything around the SUV so you don’t have to worry about something being out of sight, even if it’s right under the bumper. This view is a top-down perspective created by with cameras placed strategically placed around the exterior.
  • Active safety and driver technology including adaptive cruise control, which when set, adjusts your speed to the traffic ahead of you, automatic emergency braking– yes, the car will actually stop you if it detects something in the path, preventing a head-on crash– brake assist, which starts to brake when the SUV detects slowing traffic, stability control for help on slippery surfaces, traction control, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitors and of course a necessity in a family car: LATCH compatible child safety seat restraints.

What Should You Look For In Your Next Road Trip Car?

What We Loved

  • Beautiful design steals your heart at the first look
  • Goes easily from a family car to one perfect for road trips
  • Smart key with push button start
  • Multiple drive modes including eco, sport and snow
  • Rear seats fold for extra cargo space 
  • Standard driver assistance and safety features
  • Tow capacity 6,000 lbs
2018 Nissan Pathfinder Review

There is plenty of leg room for back seat passengers. Photo: Becky Fixel

What You Need to Know

  • Seating for 7 comfortably with leg room to spare
  • Back seat passengers have entertainment and climate zones
  • Front storage areas are limited so you won’t be able to hide your purse, but a flat space on the floor directly behind the driver works as a great alternative
  • 20MPG city/27 highway
  • Regular gas is recommended
Find Your Way In Style With The Infotainment System

From maps, to music, temperature and more the Infotainment system can help you while you’re driving. Photo: Becky Fixel

What We Listened to in the Nissan Pathfinder

We like our rock ‘n roll; can you tell?

Disclosure: The Nissan Pathfinder was provided for this story; all opinions are my own.

Becky is Content Creator in metro-Detroit. She is also an interior designer, a former adjunct professor, a gluten free... More about Becky Fixel