2017 Nissan Pathfinder: Car Seat Check

17Nissan_Pathfinder_ES_CSC_Lead.jpg 2017 Nissan Pathfinder | photo by Evan Sears

CARS.COM — Some might think the Nissan Pathfinder sort of lost its way when it was redesigned for 2013 as a car-based crossover from the full-fledged truck-based SUV it once was — but it was great for accommodating car seats. For 2017, the automaker has tried to steal back some of its old-school manly mojo with a butched-up facelift and stiffer suspension. But do any of the latest updates to this three-row seven-seater find the Pathfinder less kind to car seats?

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

What We Like

  • Latch anchors are easy to use. In the second row, there are two sets of lower anchors and three easily identifiable top tether anchors midway down the seatbacks. In the third row, there’s one set of lower anchors and one top tether anchor. It is positioned toward the bottom of the seatback, but it is well-marked and easy to use.
  • Both our infant seat and rear-facing convertible installed easily with no need to move the front passenger seat forward.
  • In the second row, we were also able to install the convertible seat in the forward-facing position with ease thanks in part to leather-covered seat cushions that easily moved out of the way for Latch access.

What We Don’t

  • While our booster seat fit well in both the second and third rows, the seat-belt buckles sink into the wells between the cushions, which could make them tough for kids to grasp and use.
  • The forward-facing convertible seat fit well in the third row when we installed it using the seat belt, but a car seat with a larger base than our Britax Marathon model may run into crowding problems on the downsized rear seat cushions.

Grading Scale

A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn’t impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.  

B: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.

C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row when available.

D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.

F: Does not fit or is unsafe.

About’s Car Seat Checks

Editors Jennifer Geiger, Jennifer Newman and Matt Schmitz are certified child safety seat installation technicians.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Marathon convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a shorter passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver’s seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.

We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row’s middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there’s a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. To learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks, go here.

Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.

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