2020 Nissan Pathfinder Performance

in Suvs
2020 MODEL
$31,680 - $44,610
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2020 Nissan Pathfinder SUV Performance

Updated on: January 2, 2020
Pranav Gupta's image

Pranav Gupta

Content Writer

The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder is powered with a naturally-aspirated 3.5L V-6 engine mated with a continuously variable transmission. Across the whole line up of four trims, the Pathfinder shares the powertrain and comes standard with front-wheel drive configuration. All-wheel-drive is available.

Engine and Transmission

The 2020 Nissan pathfinder uses re-engineered 3.5L V6 and delivers as promised. This seven-seater SUV does not tarnish its family-friendly image. Nissan seems to be targeting a family’s daily driving needs with exquisite comfort. The sole motivator makes the best combination with the CVT. This combination across all the Pathfinders grants not only good power but exceptional towing capacity.

2020 Nissan Pathfinder
2020 Nissan Pathfinder 3.5L V6 Engine

Pathfinder is a potential vehicle with a smooth and responsive engine. The SUV is capable to pass with ease and perform lane switches as you would like. But in Pathfinder, the power will neither burst you out nor result in blinding drive, just enough to carry you, your family and a whole lot of your junk around with ease.

The CVT automatic here is the perfect choice for a smooth and efficient drivetrain. The CVT automatic transmission comes with a clear purpose, quiet and efficient ride. The CVT is smooth and shifts quickly to fit the daily driving chronicles. However, as you push the pedal, driving up the hill, the engine starts droning and the transmission responds with a delay.


Nissan Pathfinder S 2WD

Honda Pilot LX FWD

Kia Telluride LX FWD

Ford Explorer XLT RWD







3.5L V6

3.5L V6

3.8L V6

2.3L I4 turbo



6-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

10-Speed shiftable Automatic


284 hp @ 6400 rpm

280 hp @ 6000 rpm

291 hp @ 6000 rpm

300 @ 5500


259 ft-lbs. @ 4800 rpm

262 ft-lbs. @ 4700 rpm

262 ft-lbs. @ 5200 rpm

310 @ 3500

With Pathfinder front-wheel-drive comes standard with all-wheel-drive as an available option. In the crowded SUV segment, Pathfinder does a fair job with the efficient yet punchy powertrain complemented by the CVT to keep it within reach. Among the lot, Ford Explorer offers multiple powertrain options from more powerful gas engine to an efficient hybrid engine. For the additional price, Ford gives better power and low-end torque. Further, within the range of Pathfinder lies the Kia Telluride and Honda Pilot which are equally potent.


Under the hood of Nissan Pathfinder is a V-6 engine that is designed to accomplish the practicality of owning an SUV which can drive you through city dwellings at ease. The V-6 is punchy and energetic that offers brisk speeding. The smooth and torquey 3.5L V6 provides good power and has plenty of passing reserve. On the highway, the merging and passing power are adequate but pushing the limits is not an option with this Nissan. The engine surely is devised to meet the suburban or city driving details.

2020 Nissan Pathfinder
2020 Nissan Pathfinder 0-60 MPH Just In 7.4 Sec

The Pathfinder is composed but when put under constant stress the mill saturates with coarse engine notes. Further, the lacking low-end torque wastes the fuel and delays the acceleration. The CVT is surprisingly obedient and disciplined but tends to sway away from its character when Pathfinder is asked for something it is not meant for.


Nissan Pathfinder S 2WD

Honda Pilot LX FWD

Kia Telluride LX FWD

Ford Explorer XLT RWD

0-60 MPH





Quarter mile






3.5L V6

3.5L V6

3.8L V6

2.3L I4 turbo


(Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)





The SUV marathon will find the 2020 Pathfinder somewhere lagging behind but a sprint might see this Nissan scoring well. However, for a straight-line adrenaline rush or off-roading needs, opt for anything other than Nissan Pathfinder. The available all-wheel-drive offers better traction and acceleration as well, in case you want to stick with Nissan.

Ride and Handling

Nissan Pathfinder has built a reputation for being a sedate family-hauling SUV. However, Pathfinder offers a mixed-bag of driving dynamics. The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder offers stability and remains flattered in cornering but leans a bit through moderate- and higher-speed turns.

The Nissan Pathfinder has improved upon the steering with better feel and feedback than its outgoing predecessor. Still, the body lean and light steering make it feel bigger than it actually is.

The Nissan Pathfinder sits atop a four-wheel independent suspension combining front struts and rear multilink. The firmer suspension drives you with enough comfort on a smooth road but soon upsets you with choppy ride moving through a rough pavement.

2020 Nissan Pathfinder
2020 Nissan Pathfinder Front View

Mind the words, because the drive may be stable but not supple. Composure and stability come ahead of ability and speed for this Nissan. With just 7-inches of ground clearance, the 2020 Pathfinder can drive you through loose gravel trails but not anything of the rough or beaten terrain. Available four-wheel-drive adds all-weather traction and comes with a flexibility of being locked by the driver in front-drive only, automatic, and all-wheel-drive modes. Though, we would prefer an all-automatic setup which requires less or no attention.

Braking Performance

The family SUV, Nissan Pathfinder comes alive when it comes to sports performance, especially when it comes to braking. This Nissan comes to rest from 60 mph in just 124 ft, exemplary isn’t it? In comparison to its rivals, Nissan Pathfinder stands tall with strong braking performance which reliable feedback. Another downside is the nosedive with the slightest of braking.

2020 Nissan Pathfinder
2020 Nissan Pathfinder Front Brake 12.6 In.


Nissan Pathfinder S 2WD

Honda Pilot LX FWD

Kia Telluride LX FWD

Ford Explorer XLT RWD

Brake Front(in)





Brake Rear(in)





Curb weight(lbs.)





60-0 MPH (ft.)





The 2020 Nissan Pathfinders is equipped with four-wheel ABS which produces a screeching sound during panic stops. The bigger summer tires, traction is improved and supports aggressive braking. The Ford Explorer turns out to be a true performer with astounding braking performance.

Towing Capacity

Nissan has found the right mix of ingredients, 3.5L V6 and CVT automatic for 2020 Pathfinder. The combination showcases an exceptional towing capacity of 6000 lbs, 1000 lbs more than its immediate competitors. However, the Pathfinder needs to be properly equipped to achieve the milestone, still, the towing capacity is beyond the class standards.


Nissan Pathfinder

Honda Pilot

Kia Telluride

Ford Explorer

Maximum Towing Capacity (lbs.)





Drive Train





Nissan provides a $995 Rock Creek Edition package which includes a special tow package. It adds a tow hitch receiver with 7-pin wiring harness along with special wheels to maximize the towing ability of the 2020 Pathfinder.