A retuned V6, upgraded chassis components, and better tech headline the mid-cycle updates.

Despite a rugged history, the Nissan Pathfinder has found relative success in its fourth generation with a decidedly more mainstream approach. It’s less of the rugged SUV it once was, more of a stylish family vehicle. That formula doesn’t change much for this 2017 model year mid-cycle update, but Nissan has improved a number of key components that work to make its seven-passenger CUV a bit better for daily life.

That starts with a revised powertrain; the Pathfinder’s 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 now adds direct injection. The end result is 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque – increases of 24 hp and 19 lb-ft. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional, and with the Nissan-typical Xtronic continuously variable transmission, fuel economy ratings remain unchanged for the 2017 model at 20 miles per gallon city, 27 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined (with front-wheel drive).

Slight as they may be, a few other mechanical bits have been upgraded. The front and rear shocks are now 11 and 7 percent stiffer, respectively; rebound springs are added to the front struts; rear rebound spring rates are increased by 25 percent. The electric power steering system is also revised, with an 11 percent quicker ratio. All that should work together to make the Pathfinder a bit better to drive. We’ll have a full report on that front later this month.

Visually, the 2017 Pathfinder gets updated front and rear fascias – the soft lines of the current model are made a bit sharper, and overall, the new look is a moderate improvement. Inside, not much has changed in terms of design or functionality, though the standard eight-inch touchscreen gets the latest NissanConnect infotainment software, with navigation available on higher end models (and standard on the range-topping Platinum).

Nissan keeps its excellent EZ Flex seating system intact, which allows the second row seats to tilt and slide forward for what is, arguably, the best setup in the business for third-row ingress and egress. Plus, there’s now a motion-activated liftgate – like many other crossovers – that allows owners to operate the rear hatch simply by kicking their foot under the bumper.

Pricing will be released closer to the CUV’s on-sale date later this year. As before, S, SV, SL, and Platinum models will be available, with all-wheel drive optional on each. This 2017 refresh isn’t a complete overhaul of the Pathfinder by any means, but with a few solid updates in noticeable areas, it should continue to help Nissan’s three-row CUV remain fiercely competitive in this incredibly popular segment.

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