When Nissan’s three-row SUV, the Pathfinder, got a ground-up redesign for the 2022 model year, the theme was “return to rugged,” with a big focus on the vehicle’s capable powertrain and off-road features. The 2024 Nissan Pathfinder is still ready to tackle rough terrain, with a 284-horsepower V6 engine, intelligent 4×4, selectable drive modes for different terrain, and a maximum towing capacity of 6,000 lbs. The Rock Creek trim takes things even further with an off-road-tuned suspension.
But the Pathfinder’s appeal extends beyond just outdoorsy types. Many people with large families turn to three-row SUVs when looking for a vehicle that has room for everyone and everything that they need to bring along for the ride. While family camping trips can be a fun bonding experience, those looking for a family car may be more interested in features that improve driving around town or keep everyone safe on the highway. So today, let’s take a look at five features that make the 2024 Nissan Pathfinder a good choice for families.
1. Plenty of Seating
With three rows of seating, the Pathfinder can fit up to eight people if you have bench seating in the second and third rows. The spacious interior provides ample leg room, even in the very back. But if seating for seven is enough for your family, then you can give second-row passengers even more personal space by opting for captain’s chairs instead of a bench. With this option, you can get a center console that provides extra cup holders and storage space and can be removed for easy access to the third row.
Nissan’s EZ Flex system gives you another option for accessing the back. The second-row chairs can slide and tilt forward to create a path to the third row. Since both second-row chairs use the system, you can get in from either side door. And it works even with a car seat attached to the second-row chair, making it accommodating for those who have a baby (or two) on board.
2. Storage Solutions
As an SUV, the Pathfinder has an open cargo area in the back that can be expanded by folding down some or all of the third- and second-row seats. When shopping at a bulk store or buying furniture for kids who have outgrown their beds or chairs, you can get up to 90.5 cu.ft. of cargo volume. The third-row bench has a 60/40 split, so you can fold down one seat, two, all three, or none to find the right balance between cargo volume and passenger space. The Pathfinder’s available kick-activated liftgate is sure to appeal to parents who have their hands full carrying groceries while also wrangling little ones. Instead of having to free up a hand to lift it up, you can kick underneath, and it will open automatically.
The cargo area in the back is big, but it can also be challenging to keep organized. Using the smaller storage areas throughout the cabin can be useful for keeping everything in its place. In the back, there’s an under-floor storage area that’s out-of-sight from the outside of the vehicle and separated into smaller compartments for organization. Up front, there’s a center bin that can easily be reached by the driver and front-row passenger, as well as a pass-through underneath the console. This spot is partially hidden but also open for easy access, making it an excellent place to stash essentials you’ll want to quickly grab when you reach your destination.
3. Connectivity Tech
Keeping everyone entertained on a long car trip can be a struggle for any parent. With standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Pathfinder allows you to use a compatible phone to stream music or podcasts to keep backseat passengers happy while en route. If you worry about cords getting lost or broken during a road trip, you can get optional wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity and a wireless charging pad.
Once the kids get older, they might want to be able to use their own devices while out and about, either for fun or for submitting homework online. The Pathfinder has an available Wi-Fi hotspot, which allows everyone to work or play on their laptops or other devices while on the go. Connectivity features can also give you peace of mind when you run into a problem. For instance, the MyNissan app makes it possible to contact emergency response services if you break down on the road or lock the doors remotely if you think you might have forgotten to secure your vehicle before leaving the parking lot. The app also lets you keep track of regular maintenance, stay on top of recalls, and schedule service.
4. Driver Assist & Safety Features
Staying safe on the road is important for every drive, but especially front of mind for parents who have their kids on board. Every trim level of the Pathfinder comes standard with Nissan Safety Shield 360, which includes driver assistance features like forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, and lane departure warning, which can all keep you more aware of your surroundings and help you avoid accidents while driving on the highway. Rear cross traffic alert and rear automatic braking kick in while the vehicle is in reverse, like when you’re backing out of a parking space. High beam assist makes driving easier at night since the brights turn off and on automatically depending on surrounding traffic and lighting conditions.
Beyond the standard suite of features, there are also more advanced technologies available on the Pathfinder. Traffic sign recognition displays signs like speed limits on your display so you can always keep track of the current rules of the road. Front and rear sonar systems add extra sensors for the driver assist features to work with in order to accurately detect other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. Intelligent around view monitor lets you see a full 360º view around the vehicle, so you can keep track of your surroundings in tight spaces and avoid any curbs, other vehicles, or breakable toys that might be in your way.
5. Interior Comfort
Family road trips can get tense sometimes, so it’s important to keep everyone comfortable and happy, from the driver up front to the kids all the way in the back. The Pathfinder comes standard with tri-zone automatic climate control, so everyone can pick a temperature that’s comfortable for them. Rear passenger vents deliver air directly to those in the back seats. With ten cup holders throughout the cabin, there’s a place for everyone to put their drink.
Those who can afford to upgrade beyond the basic powertrain can unlock comfort features that make the cabin better suited to relaxation. Up front, that means 10-way power adjustable seats for the driver and front passenger that feature two-way power lumbar support to prevent fatigue from setting in. A memory system allows two people to take turns driving without having to readjust every setting one by one.
Climate-controlled front seats can be heated or ventilated to help you stay warm or cool, depending on the weather, and a heated steering wheel is also available.
Heated seats are available for the second row, too, so the kids can get through winter without complaining too much. A power outlet is also available for the second row, allowing backseat passengers to keep their devices charged. An available panoramic moonroof provides natural lighting to everyone in the vehicle and can be blocked with a sunshade if it’s too much at high noon.