Should You Buy? 5 Pros & Cons of Nissan Pathfinder 2020

The Nissan Pathfinder is a mid-size SUV built by the Japanese company Nissan. The Pathfinder was introduced in 1985 and is currently in its fifth generation.

This five-door seven-seat SUV is available in a base S trim, medium SV trim, and premium SL trim.

What’s New?


Nothing significant, only minor cosmetic changes for 2020.

The 2017 Pathfinder is part of the fourth generation Pathfinder introduced in 2013.

Spacious and capable, the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder is a great choice for buyers seeking for a three-row SUV with impressive towing capacity. The Pathfinder is a useful car that simplifies those trips out of town that include bringing along outdoor toys, but it also has shortcomings that make it less compelling compared to newer rivals.

The 2020 Pathfinder carries over from 2019 unchanged. Updates introduced in 2019 include the addition of front- and second-row USB ports and advanced driver aids such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control becoming standard. 

The Rock Creek Edition package introduced in 2019, returns for 2020 giving the Pathfinder a bit of mojo. This appearance package is only available on the SV and SL trim levels. It adds leatherette-furnished seating with cloth inserts, black door handles, black overfenders, 18.0-inch dark-finished aluminum alloys, and Rock Creek Edition badging for the SV trim, while the SL trim adds leather-furnished seating with Rock Creek Edition badging for SL trim, and exclusive Rock Creek Edition interior trim.

Let’s take a brief look at the 5 pros and 5 cons of the 2020 Pathfinder just to get a glimpse of what exactly this car has to offer.

5 Pros

Powerful Engine


The 2021 Pathfinder comes fitted with a 3.5-liter (VQ35DD) V6 petrol engine with 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque. This engine does not disappoint, it’s capable of accelerating quickly with the automatic transmission (Xtronic CVT) operating quietly in the background. It comes standard in front-wheel drive with four-wheel drive optional.

Confident and Composed Handling


The Pathfinder‘s V6 powerplant provides ample power for daily driving, with its suspension properly tuned to maintain the body’s stability when taking turns around corners.

The 3.5-liter V6 engine accelerates the SUV with ease, supplying good passing power at higher speeds. The engine is paired with a smooth Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) or automatic transmission. A front-wheel drivetrain is standard while all-wheel drive is optionally available.

The Pathfinder’s ride quality is a mixed bag. On the one hand, the ride feels serene and steady around corners, while on the other, its firm suspension tends to bounce and shake the SUV on rough terrains.

Superior Towing Capacity

The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder is a seven-seat car with three rows and like is usually the case with three-row cars, cargo room and towing capacity are always sacrificed, but that is not the case with this Pathfinder when it comes to towing capacity. This Pathfinder can easily tow up to 2.7 tons when properly equipped which is way above the competition.

Versatile Interior


The 2020 Pathfinder is a seven-seat car with three rows. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, with enough head- and legroom. The second-row seats are firm and not very comfortable but have enough head- and legroom to accommodate most adults. The third row is only suitable for children due to limited space. These seats are covered with cloth upholstery as standard with optional features coming in the form of leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat,  heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel.

For 2020, the Pathfinder comes fitted with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display paired with a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, six USB ports, and HD Radio. Optionally you can upgrade to an infotainment system paired with a 13-speaker Bose sound system with a rear-seat DVD player and navigation.

Standard interior features include tri-zone automatic climate control while optional features are proximity keyless entry, remote start, and a moonroof.

Commendable Fuel Economy

The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder is a big car but it manages to record a commendable fuel efficiency among cars within its category nonetheless.

The all-wheel drive model returns 8.5 km/l city, 11.5 km/l highway, and 9.3 km/l combined while the front-wheel-drive model returns 8.5 km/l city, 11.5 km/l highway, and 9.8 km/l combined. With these EPA ratings, the Pathfinder is to a small amount better than V6-powered rivals.

5 Cons

Antiquated Infotainment System


For cars released in 2020 and beyond one might expect them to come with an infotainment system that has Android Auto available and Apple CarPlay, available, if not standard. Surprisingly, that is not the case with the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder! You only get Bluetooth connectivity as standard and NissanConnect is available. These two features make a lot of difference, but with Android Auto available and Apple CarPlay, it could’ve been better.

Limited Third Row

The Pathfinder is spacious and has plenty to offer in terms of interior adjustments. But there is no beating around the bush with regard to the third row being cramped. And that is not enough, the seats are also lowly fitted making them unsuitable for adults, but children will be fine. 

Shimmy and Bouncy Ride

The 2020 Pathfinder’s engine is powerful making the car fun to drive, but some users may find the ride a bit firm. Getting onto a rough and bumpy road is not that pleasant as the shocks are sometimes directly reflected in the cabin more than you might expect. How bad it is will depend on one’s personal preferences and the driver’s experience.

Below-average Cargo Capacity

The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder has 458 liters of cargo space behind the third row which is accessed via a manual tailgate as standard or an optional hands-free power liftgate. 

If the cargo area is not enough, you can expand it to 1183 liters by folding the third row, or else attain the maximum cargo area by folding the second-row seat as well and you get 2251 liters of cargo room. These figures are okay for a midsize SUV, but other cars in this category offer more space for cargo.

Mediocre Styling

The face of the 2020 Pathfinder is car-like with bulges around the wheels that add that much-needed flair to its plain exterior. The large side and rear windows are a bonus, they create much better outward visibility.

The interior of the Pathfinder is very straightforward. It features three seating rows, with light colors brightening up an otherwise dark cabin. The dashboard is broad with a long stretch of soft materials. Elegant Pathfinders add wood accents on the center console and infotainment display that are a welcome change.

The curvy shapes of the 2020 Pathfinder are great, but they have become monotonous among three-row SUVs. A different unique shape would have made it better rather than looking mediocre.

Final Verdict

From this brief review, we arrive at a conclusion that the 2020 Pathfinder is an SUV worth your attention. It comes with a powerful powerplant, handling is balanced, decent fuel efficiency, and intuitive controls. However, it is let down by the lack of modern connectivity technologies such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, outdated cabin design, its rough ride, and limited third row.

We at BE FORWARD have a good stock of Nissan Pathfinders listed for sale. Please check out our stock for your next car.




Written by: Samuel H. Mponezya

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