Nissan Pathfinder Test Drive to the Alabama Gulf Coast

2015 Nissan Pathfinder

An SUV that is a smooth operator like a sedan? The 2015 Nissan Pathfinder proved to be the ultimate family road trip vehicle during our recent beach vacation from Nashville to the Alabama Gulf Coast.

One of the first things I noticed was the beautiful interior. It is, after all, what you will be seeing the most when you’re driving a vehicle. The exterior, of course, in Arctic Blue Metallic, was also gorgeous and the newer design is less boxy.

Pathfinder 2015 Interior

The engineers who designed the interior of the Nissan Pathfinder obviously knew that every nook and cranny must be used for storage. And when you have teen and tween girls in the vehicle, trust me, you will need storage, whether it’s for books, phone chargers, ear buds, or iPhones. Flip flops and shades, of course, are a must for the beach as well.

Nissan Pathfinder interior

An SUV with three rows of seats is also a must when traveling to the beach with not one, but three kids. We had a ton of luggage and beach gear with our crew which included three girls ranging in age from 9 to 14, even though we downscaled as much as possible. Of course road trip snacks were a must, as were plenty of drink holders. The second row alone had six available drink holders (eight if you do not use the middle seat of the second row due to the fold down compartmentalized divider.) My girls also loved that they had their own temperature control for the AC in the second row.

Because we used all seven seats, the back storage area was a bit squeezed but we loved the hidden storage compartment “well.” When not in use, the third row folds down for optimum storage space in the back of the vehicle.


Being a woman of “petite stature” (I like to say I’m 5 ft. 2, but in reality I’m just a little over 5 ft. 1  on a big hair day), the 2015 Pathfinder doesn’t seem too overwhelming or bulky for me. Some SUVs just feel behemoth when I’m behind the wheel, but the Pathfinder drives very smoothly and isn’t an overwhelming vehicle to park or drive.

We also found the gas mileage to be family friendly, averaging about 20 MPG during our trip. We drove about 450 miles to the Alabama Gulf Coast, which was primarily Interstate mileage, and just needed to fuel up toward the end of our trip once we hit Florida.

Nissan Pathfinder Gas Mileage

Safety is another huge feature, whether you’re driving your family around town or on a road trip. The Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) includes dual-stage supplemental front air bags. The inflation rate of these dual-stage air bags adjusts depending on crash severity and seat belt usage. Two supplemental air bags built into the front seat also offer side impact protection, moving with you as you adjust seat. Roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags also provide additional head protection during an impact.

The Nissan Pathfinder is an afforable SUV option for families, with a base price of $29,630 MSRP for the Nissan Pathfinder S and going up to $36,060 starting MSRP for the Nissan Pathfinder SL.

What’s under the hood? The 3.5-liter V6 engine is powerful but fuel efficient. It also boasts 5,000 pound maximum towing capacity—the most standard towing in the class.

Nissan Pathfinder Arctic Blue Exterior Paint

I drove a Pathfinder several years ago when the body style was boxier and more typical of an SUV. The new streamlined exterior is beautiful. And guess what? We loved the Pathfinder so much that my husband will be leasing one through his company this fall.


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