2017 Nissan Pathfinder – The Perfect Family Car

Last week I had the privilege of driving the new 2017 Nissan Pathfinder.  Considering my own family roadster has close to 200k miles on it, I was test-driving from a consumer viewpoint.  I have three growing boys, we take many weekend trips, drive across the country to visit family and are often hauling two big dogs and over pack more camping/ski equipment than a family of five really needs.  As a mom, I consider my car a tool to make my life easier.  If it is fun to drive, handles well, is easy to ride in for hours (aka – my boys have a third row to spread out and stop fighting) all the better.  So, without further adieu, here is my review of the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder…from a mom’s perspective.


I was thrilled to take the shiny Cayenne Red Pathfinder out for a spin.  Of course, the first thing I did was test the stereo system since my family cannot function without music.  The Bose Premium Audio System did not disappoint!


Another thing I love is the dual panoramic moon roof that stretches over all three rows of seats, which is great for the next time we are driving in a canyon and trying to point out something above us to the kids in the back seat…perfect for mountain living.


Not only does the 2017 Pathfinder have Bluetooth audio and a hands-free phone system, but tri-zone entertainment allows the front seat to listen to music while the second row can use their dual monitors and wireless headsets for movies, games, etc.  The technology available in this car is amazing!


Let’s talk road trips.  Not only are the front seats comfortable, but the second row slides up to five inches (even with a car seat buckled on it) and the third row seats can recline.  Wow!  This is perfect for my constantly growing kids.  My middle-schooler has grown four inches in the last six months…he needs leg room and always wants to be alone in the third row away from his little brothers.  This new Nissan is perfect.  Another thing I love is the Intelligent Cruise Control that helps you set a safe distance from the car in front of you and adjusts accordingly.  (I wish I had that on my last trip from Colorado to California!)


As a mom I look closely at all my fellow moms’ cars.  One thing I’ve noticed in some SUVs the third row is right against the back gate.  That doesn’t feel safe to me, plus the cargo room disappears whenever the third seats are in use.  I love how the Pathfinder has room for my kids and their friends’ large sports bags to fit behind the third row.  Perfect for the soccer carpool!


Did I mention not only heated, but also cooled front seats?  Yep…literally sitting in the lap of luxury.  And all three rows have their own access to air vents.  If you have kids who get carsick without fresh air, this car is perfect for you.


I honestly was concerned that this car would be too small for my family of five when looking at it from the outside.  However, once I climbed in I was shocked how much room there was inside.  Look at all the room – and don’t forget there is still room behind the third row. The only thing I’m not crazy about in this car is the restricted view when the third row headrests are up. (Only one is pulled up in this photo to demonstrate.)  However, I did love how easily the seats fold up/down, the hands-free tailgate opener and the additional cargo storage space below the floor in the back end…the perfect place for keeping a first-aid kit or an emergency supply of diapers and spare outfit for your littlest one.


The Pathfinder comes with all the safety features you could imagine and more. I definitely put these to the test while driving off-road and avoided a few big boulders with the 360 degree views provided by their four cameras.  It also comes with all the features you’d want in an SUV – winter handling, towing capacity, etc.  I’ll be honest, I’m a mom.  All I want to know is if I will get stuck in blizzard with the kids…it seems that this car is perfect in every way.  If you want to tow something, you’ll have to research that more on your own. Nissan does state on their website that the Pathfinder has *up to 6,000 lbs standard towing capacity.

Basically, during this event I called my hubby and told him that the Pathfinder moved to the top of my new car list.  If you’re in the market for a great new family car – and hate the idea of a minivan as much as I do, check out the Nissan Pathfinder.  It’s perfect!

**disclosure: I test-drove a 2017 Nissan Pathfinder at a press event. No monetary compensation was made, all opinions are my own. 

heather-guess-kempThis article was written by Heather Guess Kemp, the managing editor of Denver Parent.  She is also the founder of TwiddlingMyThumbs.com and also ExploringCO.com. Her work is also featured on The Huffington Post, Colorado Moms, Hashtag Life With Boys, Holl and Lane Magazine, Denver Parent, in ELIFE Magazine and on MDWAS.  Her background is in marketing, the nonprofit realm and many combinations of both.

She and her husband live with their three sons and fur babies near Boulder. Email her at Heather@TwiddlingMyThumbs.com