By Nitish S. Rele,

Tires: P235/55R20
Wheelbase: 114.2 inches
Length: 198.5 inches
Weight: 4,660 pounds
Fuel capacity: 19.5 gallons
Highway: 26 mpg
City: 19 mpg
Base price: $43,560

Competitors are aplenty in the large seven-passenger SUV segment but the Pathfinder surely takes the lead, in our eyes. For 2017, Nissan has totally overhauled the fifth-gen ride with a revised 3.5-liter V-6 engine, which now blasts off 284 horsepower (up by 24) @ 6400 rpm and 259 pounds-feet of torque (increase of 19) @ 4800 rpm. The potent engine enables the rugged SUV to effectively and equally traverse rugged terrain as well as tackle peak-hour traffic on city roads.

Coupled with a continuous variable transmission, its unibody structure is equipped with an all-mode four-wheel drive, which distributes torque evenly to the wheels irrespective of road conditions. The retuned suspension is handled via an independent strut front and multilink rear to result in a well-damped ride. The hydraulic electric speed-sensitive steering gives the SUV a curb-to-curb turning circle of more than 38.7 feet. Maximum capacity for towing is a respectable 6,000 pounds (up by 1,000).

Up front, the V-Motion chrome grille is flanked by the familiar boomerang headlights with LED daytime running lights. However, the hood, bumper, recessed windshield wipers, silver roof rails, chrome door handles and badging, and body side molding are fresh. The new and larger 8.0-inch (up from 7) touch screen interface is easy to control via a knob. Also, there is more infotain and driver assist display reading between the round speedometer and tachometer gauges. Cubby space is abundant with a huge center console and a storage bin under the cargo floor. There are 10 cup and six bottle holders throughout the cabin. The 60/40 second-row seat tilts and glides to enable two passengers to duck into the third-row 50/50 seat, which splits and folds flats. Other goodies are eight-way driver and four-way passenger power seats, tri-zone auto a/c control, Bose sound system with 13 speakers, and dual power panoramic moon roof.

The much-improved Pathfinder should appeal to SUV buyers, especially those who want a dominant engine under the hood. With refreshing exterior and interior styling cues, Nissan has made the path to your destination more fun than ever before.

Test-drive the Nissan Pathfinder at AutoNation Nissan Brandon, 9920 Adamo Dr. in Tampa. Visit

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