Nissan offers the 2014 Pathfinder crossover in four different trim levels--S, SV, SL, and Platinum--each of which offers the buyer a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive (a $1,600 upgrade). The new Pathfinder Hybrid model is offered in SV, SL, and Platinum trims, which lets shoppers choose the hybrid option without having to buy a fully-loaded model to get it, as so many other manufacturers require.
The base Pathfinder S costs less than the base Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, and Chevrolet Traverse, Nissan says, and costs less than all but the Pilot at the top end of the lineup. Every Pathfinder comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, a six-speaker sound system with six-disc changer, tri-zone climate control system, and an Advanced Drive Assist trip-computer display.
Move up one level to the SV, and Nissan adds a 7-inch color monitor with RearView monitor and Rear Sonar, intelligent key entry and start, roof rails, and--importantly--Bluetooth pairing for hands-free connectivity to mobile devices.
A hint of luxury starts to appear at the SL level, including leather upholstery for all seats, and heaters for the front and middle rows, a power liftgate, and remote engine start. The SL Premium package, for $2,650 extra, adds Bose 13-speaker premium audio, a dual panorama moonroof, and trailer-tow prep--which can be specified separately on other models for $400. Or the new-for-2014 SL Tech package includes a higher-resolution 8-inch in-dash display. Nissan's navigation system wraps in XM NavTraffic and NavWeather functions, a Zagat Restaurant Guide, voice recognition, and Bluetooth streaming audio.
Top of the heap is the Pathfinder Platinum. That gives you the trailer-towing package standard, cooling for the front seats, navigation, the Bose audio system, and the Around View Monitor, along with the navigation system, Bluetooth, and voice recognition as standard.
Options include an entertainment system that lets you play separate programming in three zones: DVDs, games, or photos displayed separately on each of the two 7-inch rear screens and for the front passenger compartment. There's also a cargo package, kick plates illuminated from the back, and other minor appearance and trim accessories.
Unfortunately, the integration of some of the infotainment systems just isn't as good as in Ford's (sometimes problematic) MyFord Touch system. The Pathfinder's center dashboard displays, either the standard screen or the high-res navigation screen, appear to be touchscreens--but they're not, relying instead on a rotary controller and various buttons below the display.
Nor are safety systems like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, and lane-departure warning systems offered at any trim level. Nonetheless, if you ignore those omissions, the Pathfinder's four trim levels let buyers pick and chose among Nissan's much-touted “premium features for all passengers"--and the high-end models are loaded with most features available in the segment.
Pricing for the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder S starts at $28,700 with front-wheel drive, and soars to $41,200 for an all-wheel-drive Pathfinder Platinum. All prices will have a mandatory delivery fee added. Nissan will announce prices for the Pathfinder Hybrid closer to its autumn on-sale date.