2015 Nissan Pathfinder 4x4 Platinum Premium

The 2015 Nissan Pathfinder has a fresh, contemporary look.

The 2015 Nissan Pathfinder has a fresh, contemporary look. Which is really impressive, given that the vehicle was redesigned two years ago, and there is that ever-changing array in the three-row crossover utility segment.

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In some ways, crossovers (and cars and utes) are under the tyranny of what I think of as the “Las Vegas Hotel Phenomenon.” No, it’s not that hotels in Vegas are all giant (nor are all vehicles giant).

But it’s that when a new hotel goes up (or a new vehicle enters the mix), somehow everything else on the Boulevard, even something that hasn’t been there as long as vehicle ready for a midcycle refresh, looks somewhat dated.

Yet the Pathfinder still looks fresh. Which is a testimony to the stylists and designers who came up with the shapely forms and the engineers and manufacturers who gave shape to the sheet metal.

When you look at the name of the vehicle above, especially the last two words, Platinum and Premium you know that this is a luxe offering. And you may be surprised to learn just how grand this seven-seater really is.

What’s interesting to note is that this is a comprehensive package of offerings. That is, when you look at the sticker to see the MSRP ($43,100), then add on the destination ($860), you’re pretty much done. Pretty much only because there is what strikes me as an odd option on the vehicle that I had. There is a $210 line item for “Carpeted Floor Mats.”

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Realize that this is a vehicle with leather seating. An eight-way adjustable power driver seat and a four-way adjustable power front passenger seat. And both of those seats are headed and cooled. The second row seats are heated. The steering wheel—which tilts and telescopes--is wrapped in leather and heated. The shifter is leather wrapped, as well. There is an eight-inch touch-screen monitor in the center of the instrument panel that facilitates everything from navigation to the Around View monitor, which essentially shows an image of the vehicle as though it was taken about 20 feet directly above it, which makes parking the Pathfinder much easier. There is a dual moonroof, with a front panel that slides and rear glass, that goes all the way to above the third row, that’s fixed. There are seven-inch DVD screens integrated into the back of the headrests of the driver’s and front passenger’s seats for entertainment. There’s BOSE audio with 13 speakers.

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The vehicle is not only loaded, it is loaded with top-notch materials and functions—it’s not as though this is one of those vehicles that has a lot of stuff that has a whiff of the Dollar Store about them.

The Pathfinder is powered by a 260-hp 3.5-liter V6 that’s matched with a continuously variable transmission, the XRONIC. The 4WD system can be left in “Auto” so that it can decide what to do when, or 4WD low, or 2WD, or 4WD lock can be selected. All of which is to say that it is unlikely that the 20s that the Pathfinder rolls on will ever become stuck.

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Yes, this Pathfinder is a unibody, not a body-on-frame like its predecessor. But you don’t give anything up, except for, well, about 500 pounds of mass that the engineers managed to take out of the vehicle, which helps provide more-than respectable miles per gallon for this sizeable crossover: 22 mpg combined.

And even though it is a unibody, it can still tow, offering 5,000-pound capacity from the standard tow hitch and harness on the back of this Platinum vehicle.

The Pathfinder Platinum Premium lives up to its name.

But seriously, that $210 option really needs to be rolled into the overall price.

Selected specs

Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC V6

Material: Aluminum block and heads

Horsepower: 260 @ 6,400 rpm

Torque: 240 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

Transmission: Continuously variable

Steering: Speed-sensitive hydraulic-electric

Wheelbase: 114.2 in.

Length: 197.2 in.

Width: 77.2 in.

Height: 69.6 in.

EPA interior volume: 157.8 cubic feet

EPA cargo volume: 16 cubic feet behind third row; 79.8 cu. ft., both folded

EPA mpg city/highway/combined: 19/26/22 mpg