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Nissan Pathfinder
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Nissan
Overall: Seven- and eight-passenger full-size wagons like the Pathfinder have really put a hurt on minivan popularity; more rugged styling and all-wheel-drive availability are likely explanations. Hybrid model will not return for 2016.

Drivetrain: All models employ a 260-horsepower V6; both front- and four-wheel-drive models work with a continuously variable transmission.

The Pathfinder has proven itself a popular choice among buyers who need enough seats for themselves and their offspring. When not loaded up with passengers, the Pathfinder has plenty of space for cargo, camping gear, sports equipment or binge-buying Costco runs. The Pathfinder also has no problem getting up to steam thanks to a 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. It’s teamed with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that does reasonably well operating in a similar fashion to a traditional automatic. Note that for 2016, Nissan has axed the gas-electric hybrid model. Still offered, of course, is Nissan’s All-Mode 4×4-i option. With it, you can select either two- or four-wheel-drive or engage the “Auto” setting and let the system make the call, based on which tire/tires has/have traction. For passengers, the second-row split-folding seat comes with 5.5 inches of fore and aft travel and can be tipped forward to access the third row even if a child’s booster seat has been attached. The available third row seat (also split-folding) reclines for greater comfort. The base Pathfinder S arrives with tri-zone climate control and 14 beverage holders. The SV adds roof rails and a rearview monitor while leather-covered seats, remote engine start, heated steering wheel and a power liftgate are SL highlights. From there the sky’s the limit where the SL Premium, Platinum and Platinum Premium trim levels are concerned. Depending on the depth of your pockets, you can add an up-level sound system, “Around View” camera (it projects a 360-degree compilation image from overhead vantage onto the touch-screen), panorama moonroof, navigation system and a rear entertainment package with dual seven-inch screens.

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