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2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4WD Review & Test Drive

Published on September 22, 2016, by in Automobile.

Article Source: FendyBt2 Official Website

2017-nissan-pathfinder-platinum-4wd

2017-nissan-pathfinder-platinum-4wd

The Nissan Pathfinder has always been a consistent mark for the Nissan brand when it comes to a reliable, proven, and somewhat off-road capable sports utility vehicle with a respectable amount of versatility. Conforming to the modern day mold, Nissan has afforded to place the latest Pathfinder far into the crossover segment with several softened attributes and injects a taste off-road prowess with an available intuitive all-wheel-drive system as found in my recent test vehicle.

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Embarking on a week-long journey I get to experience the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder in its top-level Platinum 4WD trim. For the 2017 model year, the Nissan Pathfinder gets several updates, including more power from its 3.5-liter V6 engine, great towing capacity, revised steering and suspension, a slightly larger infotainment touch screen, and a refreshed front and rear end with LED daytime running lights up front.

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The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder’s latest 3.5-liter V6 engine continues to be mated to a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) to power the front wheels or all four wheels via a 4×4-I system as found in my Platinum 4WD trimmed test vehicle. The current generation Pathfinder, introduced in its current fourth-generation crossover and unibody construction as a 2012 model year, continues to define its “path” right beside a growing and thriving crossover segment.

>> Get the best price on the Nissan Pathfinder from a network of local dealers now. <<

With crossover vehicles making record sales through this year, the Nissan Pathfinder has found itself to continue to impress with contemporary design and subtle design and content updates that keep consumers coming back. Long gone is the Nissan Pathfinder that we knew to be one of the most reliable box-shaped utility vehicles from the shores of Japan to reach our side of the pond. Now, making due with additional power, 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque from a 3.5-liter V6 engine, the Pathfinder keeps pace with the competition.

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The overall performance of the Nissan Pathfinder hardly stands out in a crowd just as its conventional exterior design even with the Platinum 4WD trim’s 20-inch wheels. Where the 2017 Pathfinder does shine in making road-paths “found,” is a proven drivetrain in its beefy V6 engine and enthusiast-sapping CVT transmission that’s tuned more to appease the eco-friendly community. The latest CVT isn’t anything thrilling by any stretch of the imagination. However, it performs well and allows the V6 engine to come to life through its power band with virtual shift points that somewhat emulate a conventional automatic transmission that has physical gears at mid to full throttle inputs. Though, the Pathfinder’s CVT, fundamentally what you find in the Nissan Murano and other platform-sharing vehicles under the brand’s umbrella, reacts fast to your throttle inputs except when performing low-speed rolling starts. The CVT somewhat falters when immediate power is demanded while rolling around 10 to 15 mph. Still, the smooth power delivery and efficiency is where the Pathfinder gets its markings. The other downside of the Pathfinder’s performance lies within a somewhat numb steering feel despite updates, an overabundance of understeer when pushed to its limits, and a droning sound upon middle to full throttle inputs with the CVT allowing the robust V6 engine to hang at high rpms.

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The Nissan Pathfinder’s fuel efficiency, unchanged on paper from last year, appears to be somewhat better in real world conditions especially considering my test vehicle being all-wheel-drive. The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4WD gets a respectable EPA-estimated 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. While those numbers may not be as huge as most sedans, it is a decent and easily attainable number for a big three-row crossover that can seat 7 passengers comfortably and tow up to 6,000 pounds.

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The cabin of the latest Nissan Pathfinder in its top-tier trim level, The Platinum 4WD, visually appears to be inviting. Though, the visual appeal quickly departs your mind once any of the abundant plastic surfaces are touched. To put it lightly, there is just a bit too much hard plastic to give the Pathfinder any praise for its interior’s luxury appeal. Though, the door trim upper surfaces are all soft-touch with wood trim that fails to match the center dashboard’s wood trim touch-texture. The dashboard encompassed in hard plastic is underwhelming, almost to the point of thinking that the Pathfinder’s not-so-distant Infiniti QX60 luxury crossover relative received all of the good stuff leaving the Pathfinder with the leftovers. Nevertheless, the interior of the Pathfinder is somewhat forgivable with its abundance of plastics due to the spacious accommodations that permit easy entry and exit from any position.

The seating of the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder, a highly praised aspect when its current generation platform was introduced many years ago, remains to be one of the Pathfinder’s highlights. Up front, the heated and ventilated Zero Gravity leather seats are inspired by NASA design that nearly eliminates long-haul fatigue. The second-row seats, with perforated heated leather surfaces, have ample adjustability to accommodate adults who need extra legroom or a decent angle recline. The third-row seats, accommodating two adults, have just enough shoulder room and leg room provided the middle-row is adjusted forward a couple inches by way of its manual sliding adjustment. Access to the third-row is also a remarkable part of the Pathfinder’s design incorporating 45-degree-back-folding seats that are simple to operate and allow baby car seats to remain in place upon moving then for access to the third-row seats. The unfortunate part of the three-row setup is that cargo capacity is a bit shorter than some of the Pathfinder’s direct competition when all seats are in place with only 16 cubic feet of space. Cargo space opens up to almost 80 cubic feet with second and third-row seats folded.

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Completing the Nissan Pathfinder’s versatile and accommodating cabin are second-row climate controls, a panoramic sunroof with a rear-power-sunshade, a cargo area accessed by a motion-activated power rear liftgate, a remote vehicle start system, and an optional family DVD entertainment system package with two headrest-mounted screens and a pair of wireless headsets. It’s possible that the abundance of dashboard hard plastics can be overlooked by the Pathfinder’s inviting seating accommodations and my loaded-up test vehicle’s entertainment system package.

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The latest iteration of Nissan’s infotainment unit used in the 2017 Pathfinder now uses an 8-inch touch screen. The system combines the intricacies from the brand’s user-friendly setup that has received rave reviews. Though, the system retains a rather basic graphic look of its GPS navigation system but now adds the ability to pinch, zoom, and drag across the screen much like you would on smartphone devices.

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Completing the advanced tech aspects of the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder in its loaded Platinum 4WD trim is a suite of convenience and active safety features, some of which are only available in the Platinum trim. Those highlighted features include a 13-speaker BOSE audio system, 3-zone automatic climate controls, heated and ventilated front seats, heated 2nd row seats, motion activated power rear liftgate, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, forward emergency braking, blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and a welcomed 360-degree Around View Monitor Camera system with moving object detection.

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The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder remains to keep a good value prospect for those in the market for a well-thought and relatively efficient V6-powered three-row crossover starting at a price of $29,990 before any fees for the base Pathfinder S. My top-trim-level 2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4WD tops out at an as-tested price of about $45,090 including a $900 destination charge, which is a respectable price point for an exceptionally versatile and accommodating three-row 7-passenger crossover.

>> Get the best price on the Nissan Pathfinder from a network of local dealers now. <<

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SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Pathfinder S FWD $29,990 /  As-Tested Pathfinder Platinum 4WD $45,090 including destination
  • Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC V6 284 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm / 259 lb. ft. torque @ 4,800 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 114.2 inches
  • Total length: 198.5 inches
  • Total width: 77.2 inch
  • Total height: 70.2 inches
  • Approach angle: 14.0
  • Departure angle: 20.6
  • Ground clearance: 7.0 inches
  • Headroom: f/m/r-41.1/38.5/36.5 inches
  • Legroom: f/m/r-42.3/41.7/30.8 inches
  • 0-60 mph: 7.8 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 19 mpg city / 26 mpg highway
  • Fuel tank: 19.5 gallons

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European version of the new Honda Civic Hatchback

Published on September 17, 2016, by in Automobile.

Article Source: FendyBt2 Official Website

Words are colliding in my head to describe this…

What a horrible mess. Just when you though the US version was overdone, Honda proves us it can do even worse.
I mean, just look at the amount of crappy looking black plastic trim all over this car.
This is a bad design made worse.

Pretty amazing.

A while ago, I was pretty excited when Honda announced the return of the hatchback in the US Civic line. What a great idea! What could go wrong?

This has to be maybe the worse Honda design of all time. And pretty much the worse looking hatchback on the market.
Here, it will compete with “beauties” like the Mazda3, Cruze hatchback, Focus etc…
In Europe, it is in the same segment as the Golf, Astra, Megane etc…

I just cannot imagine who would want to spend their hard earned money in such a visual nightmare.

Honda should be ashamed. 


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2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7 EcoBoost AWD Black Label Review & Test Drive

Published on September 15, 2016, by in Automobile.

Article Source: FendyBt2 Official Website

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Lincoln, or what is touted as The Lincoln Motor Company through many modernized marketing campaigns, has set out on a course to appeal to luxury-seekers of all ages. Riding on the now-thriving crossover segment sales, the newly-redesigned Lincoln MKX gets the brands full-on luxury treatment by way of an optional exclusive Black Label trim.

The Lincoln MKX has always been a respected midsize crossover but never really captivated the masses like some of its vanilla competition that sometimes use flaring sport trims and packages to garner the attention of those outside of mundane spectrum. The newly designed Lincoln MKX, even with the latest Black Label signification, has its work cut out to appeal to a larger demographic.

>> Get the best price on the Lincoln MKX from a network of local dealers now. <<

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The 2016 Lincoln MKX is fully redesigned for the model year bringing a fresh styling and captivating aesthetic to its overall visual presence if I may say so myself. A forward-thinking formula has been used throughout the new MKX to make wiser use of its slightly larger dimensions over previous years. Additionally, there is a new turbocharged engine option and adaptive suspension dampers equipped on all-wheel-drive models combining a decent ride quality that adapts well to the challenges of imperfectly paved roads.

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After spending a week in the new 2016 Lincoln MKX Black Label, its new 2.7-liter turbocharged (EcoBoost) V6 engine is perceived as the desirable powerplant for such a vehicle. The optional EcoBoost 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 engine is quite powerful with 335 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 380 lb-ft of torque peaking at 3,000 rpm. With all-wheel-drive, the 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 gets the MKX up to 60 in just 6.2 seconds, which is noticeably quicker than the now-standard 3.7-liter V6 engine variant. Probably the only hindrance of the turbo V6 is it being mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, an area where a new 8-speed may have assisted in the performance and efficiency area combined with the advanced all-wheel-drive system of my fully-loaded MKX Black Label test vehicle. Nevertheless, overall performance was respectable, and the MKX handled its own without much fuss or sloppiness through sharp turns at speed, braking, and acceleration from a standstill or thrusting pass traffic on the Interstate.

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The low-end to mid-throttle power is excellent, and the ample torque carries over 4,300 pounds well. The MKX exhibits a bit of expected understeer upon abrupt turns with slight throttle cuts from the stability and traction control system but carries through surprisingly good. While the efficiency of the new 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost engine doesn’t improve over comparably configured all-wheel-drive 3.7-liter V6 MKX, it there is a much more noticeable amount of power throughout the rev range, mostly in the mid-throttle area due to the 380 ft-lbs of torque reaching its peak not until 3,000 rpm. The short bit of noticeable turbo lag doesn’t appear to be intrusive enough to hinder overall acceleration out of the hole.

I saw a steady 23.8 mpg on the highway driving the new MKX 2.7 AWD Black Label. At times it would hover around 25 mpg but later drop just below its EPA-estimated 24 mpg figure after a 50-mile stint with the adaptive cruise control set at 77 mph. City mileage was slightly better than the EPA-estimated 17 mpg with me getting about 19.4 on average during repetitive stop-and-go traffic for an 8-mile backed-up-highway journey. The new 2016 MKX 2.7 AWD gets a combined EPA-estimated 19 mpg.

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The exterior design of the new MKX freshens up and picks up where the last generation left off to give it much more exclusive and luxurious appeal that somewhat stands out in the large crowd of crossovers. The chic exterior colors of the MKX Black Label only add to its exclusivity with my test vehicle sporting an intriguing Chroma Quartz Silver Metallic exterior paint, which has an earthy purple tent that is pleasing to the eyes. The polished 20-inch wheels, darkened panoramic roof, and new exterior LED lighting completes the exterior’s luxury theme. I totally dig the whole get-up and the interior’s subtle contrasting stitching to match the exterior’s body color. Those are the little cues and touches that will pivot Lincoln far into its proper place in the modern-day Luxury automotive world, right where they belong.

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The cabin of the new 2016 Lincoln MKX Black Label is plush and encased in several leather wrapped soft touch surfaces. The monotone theme of my test vehicle does a good job to mask some of the hard surfaces, which are surprisingly found in odd places for a midsized luxury vehicle, such as the lower door trim and dashboard vent surroundings. Dull-looking plastics surround the center stack encasing the latest iteration of the Lincoln MyTouch infotainment system. Early production 2016 Lincoln MKX vehicles missed out on the newer and highly praised Sync 3 system and have to make do with the outgoing MyLincoln Touch interface. The infotainment system remains to be somewhat of a hard pill to digest when it comes to its smallish on-screen buttons that add a level of unnecessary frustration when you’re attempting to pay attention to the road. Though, using the physical buttons that control the audio and climate control system are always a welcomed change for Lincoln in place of older touch-capacitive buttons on the previous generations. Moreover, the gear selector push-buttons on the upper dashboard are another acquired taste item on the MKX that some may find to be out of place while others may enjoy their newfound simplicity and space-saving concept. One good thing I will say about the push-button shifter is that park is automatically enabled upon shutting down the vehicle if you ever forget to push the Park button. Such a simple feature is something Ford and Lincoln have implemented for many years to avoid any dangerous situations of a rolling vehicle.

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The seating positions and comfort of the seats are some of the best parts of the cabin, in addition to my MKX Black Label’s Alcantara headliner and remarkably bright automatic LED headlights and massaging and climate-controlled 22-way-adjustable front seats. Cargo dimensions are generous at just over 37 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats while they are in place. Fold down the 60/40-split rear seatbacks and the cargo space opens up to 68.8 cubic feet, which is a respectable figure for the midsize crossover segment.

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Lincoln’s forward thinking and exclusive design and trim-off-sets in the Black Label edition vehicles are slowing starting to pay their dividends. Though, the slow progress of the Lincoln Motor Company, as they say, is just that – a methodical process to captivate a larger audience. Can they do it? Sure, the new MKX Black Label is a good step in the right direction to set itself far apart from any of its Ford counterparts and anything else on the road that carries a mundane vanilla look with a luxury badge. Lincoln is getting there, and a starting price of $38,260 before any fees or options makes it an attractive offering for a midsize luxury crossover. Though, my loaded-up MKX 2.7 EcoBoost AWD Black Label test vehicle may be a bit to digest at an as-tested price of $67,020 including a $925 destination and delivery charge. Nevertheless, my assessment of the MKX Black Label is definitively luxurious, and at such a price luxury-seekers shouldn’t have many qualms with its extensive list of convenience features, luxury amenities, and active safety features.

>> Get the best price on the Lincoln MKX from a network of local dealers now. <<

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SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base MKX 3.7 FWD $39,260 / As-Tested MKX 2.7 AWD Black Label $67,020
  • Engine: 2.7-liter Turbocharged (EcoBoost) V6 DOHC 24-valve 335 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm / 380 ft-lbs. torque @ 3,000 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 112.2 in.
  • Total length: 190 in.
  • Total width: 76.1 in.
  • Total height: 66.2 in.
  • Track: f/r-64.8 in./64.7 in.
  • Fuel tank: 18.0 gallons
  • Headroom: f/r-39.9 in./39.2 in.
  • Legroom: f/r-42.8 in./39.6 in.
  • Cargo volume: behind rear seats-37.2 cu.ft/rear seats folded-68.8 cu.ft.
  • Turning circle: 39.3 ft.
  • Curb weight: 4,387 lbs.
  • Towing: 3,500 lbs. (properly equipped AWD MKX)
  • EPA mileage: 17 mpg city / 24 mpg highway

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