Over the last few years, the popularity of small cars has been growing. Critics knock sports utility vehicles for being unnecessarily bulky and less than fuel efficient, but according to the Wall Street Journal, August 2016 large SUV sales are up 21.2% from the 2015 year. This begs the question, why are people still buying SUVs?

It’s simple. SUVs are versatile family vehicles with ample cargo space and powerful performance capabilities that can’t be found in a compact vehicle.

This isn’t to say that you should never choose a compact car. Instead, it’s a question of what best suits your lifestyle. 

For example, if you plan on frequently hauling heavy loads, you might want the power and durability available with SUVs. Or, if you have multiple children and each one attends different afternoon activities, you may want the extra cargo capacity an SUV provides.

While the purpose of SUVs has not changed much over time, technology has, so we see much more advanced designs today. Modern SUVs like the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder are equipped with powerful on and off-road capabilities, impressive fuel efficiency, and state-of-the-art safety and convenience technology.

How you can get the most out of your Nissan Pathfinder.

The Pathfinder is almost completely customizable depending on which trim level you select. Each model offers different designs, features, and available packages, so how do you choose which one will be most beneficial to you?

It all depends on what you look for in an SUV. Check out our breakdown of each available Pathfinder trim so you can easily select the best version for you.

All of the Pathfinder’s trims come standard with the following features:

  • Available seating for 7
  • 3.5L V6 engine
  • 284 horsepower
  • 259 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 27 MPG highway
  • 6,000 lbs. maximum towing capacity

With performance standardized across trims, your decision will come down to features, technology, and available packages.

Find out what features, technologies, and packages are available on Pathfinder trims.

2017 Nissan Pathfinder S

The Pathfinder S offers all of the advanced features you expect to find in a modern SUV. Features like an Anti-lock Braking System and Vehicle Dynamic Control provide peace of mind, while an 8.0-inch color display with AM/FM radio connectivity keep you entertained.

This trim enhances convenience with tech like Advanced Drive-Assist®. This color monitor in your gauge cluster keeps you up to date on everything from fuel economy to external temperature. Use the RearView Monitor to see what’s behind you when in reverse.

There are no option packages available for this trim.

2017 Nissan Pathfinder SV

In addition to everything available on the Nissan Pathfinder S trim, the SV trim offers even more advanced features.

Not only does the SV trim have a RearView Monitor, but it uses a Rear Sonar System to warn you of objects up to six feet away. The SV trim ups the ante on convenience with the Nissan Intelligent Key®. This smart system allows you to start the engine and unlock all four doors, while the key stays in your pocket.  

The SV also upgrades your infotainment system with a fully integrated SiriusXM® Satellite Radio System. Also enjoy the feel of a steering wheel wrapped in supple leather.

Want more than just interior upgrades? The SV trim offers both fog lights and smart auto headlights so that the road ahead is fully illuminated.

The following three option packages are available for this trim:

  • SV Cold Package
  • SV Tech Package
  • Trailer Tow Package

2017 Nissan Pathfinder SL

Looking for more additional convenience and safety features? The SL may have what you want. Instead of just one rear camera, the SL increases reliability with an Around View® Monitor that uses four cameras to give you a 360 degree view of your surroundings.

The Pathfinder SL also comes with a number of driver assistance features to promote increased safety. Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert accompany are all standard on this model.

The SL offers drivers and passengers greater comfort and convenience with the following features:

  • Motion activated liftgate
  • Leather-appointed seats and door trim
  • Heated seats
  • Stainless steel front kick plates

Choose from the following three option packages for this trim:

  • SL Premium Package
  • Trailer Tow Package
  • SL Tech Package

2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum

The name Platinum speaks for itself. This trim offers the ultimate in convenience, entertainment, and safety technology.

A Bose® Premium Audio System with 13 speakers gives you the soundtrack, while NissanConnect℠ with Navigation and Services gives you the direction. In addition to all safety systems on the SL trim, the Platinum offers Forward Emergency Braking to potentially help you avoid a collision.

Where all other trims feature 18-inch wheels, the Platinum trim steps it up with 20-inch Aluminum-Alloy wheels. Chrome body side moldings and a dual panel panoramic moonroof complete the exterior look. Inside you’ll find a wood-tone trim plus heated and cooled front seats.

The Platinum trim offers the following option package:

  • Family Entertainment Package

There’s only one way to know for sure which trim level is best for you, and that’s with a test drive. Schedule yours today at Zimbrick Nissan in Madison, Wisconsin.