5 thoughts on the 2024 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum

The 2024 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum has an off-road swagger and a cavernous interior — good reasons to consider putting one in your driveway if you need to haul people, stuff and things with four legs and a tail. The ’21 refresh brought the Pathfinder into the modern era. It’s solid, but not the best in class. Here’s why. 

It’s a good SUV — but others are a bit better

I prefer the Ford Explorer, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-90 and several others in this highly competitive segment. Autoblog editors rated the Pathfinder a 7 out of 10, which is a decent score though we declined to give it an Editors’ Pick designation, as there are multiple SUVs that we think are better overall (here’s how it stacks up vs. the Pilot).

That’s not necessarily a knock on the Pathfinder. This new generation is a major step forward from the dinosaur Nissan sold for years. Though it launched in 2021, it still feels fresh. I tested the Platinum model with all-wheel drive, and I liked the styling and roomy interior.

It has a presence

The Pathfinder might be the right SUV for you if you like large SUVs with character. You can get other things with three rows that have more of a crossover feel. That’s not what Nissan is going for here. The design has a blocky vibe, with large wheels and a prominent grille framed by LED headlights. It almost feels more natural to measure it against things like the truck-based Chevy Tahoe. That’s what Nissan is going for here, leaning into the Pathfinder’s history and off-road pedigree. The brand even goes so far as to market it as “four-wheel drive,” when it’s really all-wheel drive. On the other hand, you might not want this dynamic. The Hyundai Palisade, for example, is huge yet drives smaller. Or if you really want off-road attitude, you can always buy a Jeep.

The Rock Creek edition is the coolest

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek 35

Speaking of character, the Pathfinder I found most interesting was the Rock Creek edition (see above), which I drove previously. Although this Platinum model is well-equipped, the Rock Creek has more attitude with 18-inch beadlock aluminum alloy wheels, a roof rack, an off-road suspension and interior badging. It reminded me of the old Nissan Xterra’s vibe.

I like the interior

I mean, it’s the Platinum trim, so it’s pretty nice. But it’s not just leather and heated everything. The Pathfinder has an intuitive layout. There’s a nice mix of knobs and buttons. The 12-inch digital dashboard and 9-inch touchscreen are easy to read and reach. The moonroof lets in plenty of light, which I appreciated on a gloomy winter day. This Pathfinder seats seven and has second-row captain’s chairs, which my family prefers, and the console is removable, similar to the Honda Pilot’s console, which we liked during our 2023 Technology of the Year testing. The captain’s chairs and removable console are a $550 option on the Platinum. 

This Pathfinder had a charcoal and brown color scheme, which is subtler than your other choice, with is mostly light tan. Nissan did a nice job using large shapes for form and function. The center stack protrudes out just enough to make it easier to use, and the armrests are wide enough to create a comfortable position for the drive. Naturally, the Pathfinder offers a commanding view of the road. And worth noting, the Bose sound system with 13 speakers is solid. It’s the second straight Nissan I’ve driven with Bose speakers (I drove the Altima the week before) that’s dialed up a great sound.

It’s good in the snow

That shouldn’t be surprising, as it’s a heavy SUV with all-wheel drive. Still, when a winter storm dumped four inches of snow, the Pathfinder, well, found me a path. There’s a snow mode, which seemed to help by calibrating power delivery. That said, sometimes it overcompensated, making Pathfinder feel sandbagged as I made my way through the slush. My solution: Cue up normal mode and enjoy a little slip and sliding through corners.


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