Car News

First Look and Review: 2017 Nissan Pathfinder

2017-nissan-pathfinder-2-970x647-c

If you’ve been keeping abreast of the latest trends in the U.S. auto sales, you likely concur with Nissan that 2016 is indeed the “Year of the Truck.” Nissan certainly capitalized on this trend and the latest Pathfinder proves it.

What’s Old:

Back in 2012, Nissan decided to switch the Pathfinder’s design from the conventional body-on-frame SUV, to a modern unibody crossover which remains to date – smart move. Unlike the other new models in Nissan’s lineup that adopt a seven-speed transmission, the latest Pathfinder still makes good use of the Jatco-sourced CVT.

What’s New:

There is certainly a lot to look forward to with the 2017 Pathfinder. The aesthetics have been upgraded as expected, effective suspension and steering tweaks, and a comprehensive powertrain overhaul to ice the cake. Of course, it only makes perfect sense to start with the most important aspect of all, which is the engine.

The conventional 3.5L V6 Nissan engine has been redesigned in the sense that it shares a common displacement system with its predecessor, but adopts a new iteration designed around a direct injection system. This not only makes it more efficient, but also more powerful going by the metrics. For instance, the horsepower is up by a whopping 24 (from 260 to 284) and 19lb-ft of torque.

In regards to fuel consumption, the new Pathfinder is quite efficient even if it doesn’t reflect this on paper. It will deliver 20 MPG in the city, 27 MPG on highways and combined ratings of 23 MPG, which is quite impressive compared to its predecessor. Not yet convinced? Well, how about the fact that despite its efficiency, the Pathfinder will tow more than competitors in its league – a whopping 6,000 pounds which is 1000 more than the Highlander, Explorer or Pilot.

Nissan did quite a good job in improving the Pathfinder’s overall body control and steering response. The driving experience has significantly been improved thanks to stiffened rear and front springs intended at reducing the pitch and roll, alongside some minor adjustments to the strut damping. You also get a quickened steering ration (up by 11%) and specified tire compound to boost turn-in response while enhancing the vehicle’s comprehensive balance.

What Works:

When it’s all said, the Pathfinder is not perfect – just like all vehicles ever launched. For instance, the unibody design may be much better in regards to the aesthetics and vehicle’s road manners compared to its predecessor, but this doesn’t in anyway make it an easy drive overall. To bluntly put it, it isn’t what you’d call a fun-to-drive family car.

However, the 2017 Pathfinder addresses this issue by making some much-needed tweaks as mentioned earlier and now, you can expect a more composed and fun-filled driving experience. Moreover, the ride is really comfortable and it does a great job of getting rid of wind/road noise altogether – a major upside for families that enjoy taking road trips.

Of course, the engine is a major upgrade and hence, worth a mention. It comes as advertised; delivering on impressive response and remarkable acceleration in any situation. While the CVT still has its flaws, generally speaking, you will admit that the drivetrain pairing of the 2017 Pathfinder is nothing short of impressive to say the least.

What Doesn’t:

As earlier mentioned flaws are a part of any existing product in the niche and with the Pathfinder, it certainly has to do with the infotainment system and overall driving manners. Starting with the latter, the Pathfinder isn’t what you’d call a precision-oriented machine. In short, the steering feedback is nothing to write home about and any glance off the road can prove to be a risky move.

Secondly, the car’s infotainment system’s hardware isn’t compatible to most devices, meaning you shouldn’t expect it to pack Apple CarPlay Support or Android Auto – as is the case with previous models. In short, until the 2017 Pathfinder is redesigned, you will have to live with an incompatible hardware.

In Conclusion:

In a nutshell, the 2017 Pathfinder is, well, more of the same to bluntly put it, but this isn’t to imply it isn’t good in anyway. Those who enjoyed the 2016 version should feel right at home here, as is the case with those shifting from other SUVs.

 

The Cadillac Escala – The New Definition of Luxury:

The Escala Concept introduces the next evolution of Cadillac design.

CARMEL VALLEY, California – amidst growing anticipation of Cadillac’s concept car, the manufacturer finally delivered on its promise of creating a car that redefines the meaning of luxury. On Thursday, the legendary manufacturer introduced the Escala to the world and with it; Cadillac hopes to take it a notch higher in regards to luxury.

So upbeat are the guys over at Cadillac that they tout it to compete head-to-head with the likes of German giants Mercedes and BMW once production begins. Officials say the Escala’s design would certainly play major role in defining how the brand will design cars in future.

Speaking at the Escala’s launch during the Monterey Car Week, head of Cadillac Johan de Nysschen said that Cadillac had to seize its rightful place at the pinnacle of premium and indeed, the concept model was out to prove just that. He also said that the exclusive design of the Escala had better proportions, wheels pushed to the corners of the car for better balance and stability, horizontal headlight slits to balance against the upward-facing front light elements and a lower hip line to improve the aesthetic appeal.

Unlike other models in Cadillac’s lineup of cars, the Escala smoothens out some of the typical sharp-edged curves that have become synonymous with the brand. This is certainly one of the manufacturer’s boldest moves when it comes to design and by the look of things, it should pay off greatly. In addition, it also packs sophisticated curved video displays for its panels using exclusive Cadillac technology. “We need to think where the brand is going and it was time for the design to move on” said de Nysschen. Only time will tell whether the Escala, will grab its long awaited position at the pinnacle.