2017 Nissan Pathfinder

2017 Nissan Pathfinder

Episode 3638
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The Nissan Pathfinder has always been a great family utility choice, and made even better when it became a 3-row crossover for 2013. It even won our driver’s choice honors that year. But with competition being what it is, it’s no wonder Nissan has quickly upgraded it, with hopes of making it even more desirable. So, let’s see if they succeeded.

Like many of you, we were more than skeptical when the 4th gen Nissan Pathfinder switched back to a unibody design for 2013. But it turns out we had no need to worry as it continues to have more capabilities than most buyers demand for this segment. Updates for 2017, only furthers their case for making the switch. 

That ’13 Pathfinder quickly became one of our favorite 3-row crossovers, and after these upgrades, we still like just about everything about it.  

Front seats remain a real high point, offering better comfort than both the Honda Pilot and GMC Acadia; and perhaps more importantly, there’s more room in the passenger side area for your partner to get comfortable. 

2nd row seats slide and recline easily, as well as fold almost fully flat, with barely any gaps in the load floor for things to fall through. 

Cargo space is quite good, 16.0 cu-ft. behind the 3rd row, 47.8 behind the 2nd, and 79.8 with everything folded; all accessed by a new motion-activated lift gate. 

The list of standard features is substantial, and just about everything else you could want is available; including Nissan’s Around view monitor. While copied by many others, it’s still excellent here.

The dash design is clearly showing its age, yet remains brilliant in execution; with great blending of manual controls, central controller, and touchscreen. 

On that, all trims now get an 8-inch touchscreen, and while the navigation graphics have also improved, they’re not “cutting edge” by any means. 

There is plenty of small item storage, as well as places to keep things plugged in yet hidden.

The ride is as great as it has always been, almost perfectly balancing a soft posture without rolling too much or feeling spineless in corners. Though it also feels older and heavier than some of its newer and lighter competition, and not quite as easy to whip around in tight situations. 

There’s upgraded safety for ’17; including Forward Emergency Braking, and Moving Object Detection. 

But most will be bigger fans of the upgraded engine. Making an already great thing even better, Nissan has added direct-injection to the 3.5-liter V6, boosting horsepower up to 284; a gain of 24. Likewise, torque is up 19 lb-ft. to 259. 

The power difference in noticeable, and it even sounds better.  Best of all, towing capacity is up 1,000-lbs.; now at 6,000-lbs, closer to full size SUVs than most 3-row crossovers. 

Upgrades to the CVT transmission are also obvious, with none of the looseness we experienced with our long-term Pathfinder. 

The D-Step Logic Control imitates a true automatic better than ever; in fact, it tricked one of our test drivers into praising the transmission’s buttery smooth shifts. 

Pathfinder pricing starts with S trim, at $31,230; while up-level Platinum goes for $43,010.  All-wheel-drive for all trims adds just $1,690 more. 

Over the four years that it has been on sale, the 3-row crossover Pathfinder has not only stood up well to increasing competition, but lost none of its shine whatsoever. Actually, this new-and-improved edition is indeed better than ever.  What that means, is the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder is more than competitive with the rest in the segment; and will certainly help Nissan continue to gobble up more and more market-share.  



  • Engine: 3.5 liter
  • Horsepower: 284
  • Torque: 259 lb-ft.
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35

Goldilocks Approved: It Does Everything Just Right

Episode 4332
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

These days, you don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of money to get some real-deal AMG performance from Mercedes-Benz, as they’ve spread their high-performance love throughout their lineup. So, let’s go for some high-speed bargain hunting in the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35.

You may think of big cars and bigger horsepower when you hear AMG, but this updated 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4-door Coupe is certainly not a big car, yet there’s no doubt it packs a serious performance punch. The CLA is not the least expensive Mercedes you can currently buy in the U.S., but it is their lowest priced car, and it feels more right-size than small-size behind the wheel.

It’s a fun, enjoyable ride that lets you know what you’re in for right away with a nice raspy exhaust note at start up. Standard engine in the base CLA 250 is of course a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo, but it is ‘Benz’s latest with mild-hybrid assistance and a rating of 221-horsepower.

This CLA 35 is one of two AMG versions which cranks the turbo up to boost output to 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque; the CLA 45 S, goes even further with a full rebuild to crank it up to 416 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. The CLA is front-wheel-drive based but is sending power to all four wheels by the time it leaves the AMG shop with performance-tuned AMG 4MATIC.

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Grille
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Profile
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Wheel
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Rear
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Rear
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge 2
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Grille2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Profile2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Wheel2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Rear2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Rear2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge 2

AMG has done serious suspension tuning as well, and the great feedback that it provides through the AMG Performance steering wheel is a big part of this car’s fun-factor. But our test car came equipped with winter tires, which did hold us back a little bit through the cones at our Mason Dixon test track. Still, it felt both agile and fun and body roll was minimal. Not until we pushed hard could we really feel the lack of dry pavement grip from those tires. On the other hand, a few days after track day, we actually did have some winter weather to drive through and then we were very appreciative of the grip those winter tires provided.

With some assistance from AMG’s sweet launch control, which not only allowed us to launch at 3500 RPM with no wheel slip at all, but made sure the turbos were feeding full power, as we felt no turbo lag whatsoever on our quick 4.5-second trip to 60. AMG’s Speedshift eight-speed DCT lived up to its name, delivering quick and hard hits throughout the 13.1-second, 104 mph quarter-mile.

It’s a fun, enjoyable ride that lets you know what you’re in for right away with a nice raspy exhaust note at start up.

When it came time to remove speed in a hurry in our panic runs from 60 mph, those winter tires again played a factor, as the brakes felt very strong and there was very little nosedive but stops took a longer than expected 125 feet.

Now this 2nd generation CLA arrived for 2020, and for ’24 gets a subtle restyling at both ends. At the front, the grille has been redesigned, AMGs getting their own unique version with big vertical slats, prominent Mercedes star and subtle AMG badge. LED headlights are new, now labeled as High-Performance headlights, joined by upgraded rear taillights and a very aggressive looking AMG diffuser with big exhaust outlets. The back-up camera is smoothly hidden in a flip-out Mercedes badge. Multiple new wheel designs are available with sizes up to 19-inches.

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Passenger Side Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dashboard
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Center Display 2
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Rear Seat
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Trunk
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Engine
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Passenger Side Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dashboard2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Center Display 22024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Rear Seat2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Trunk2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Engine

Inside the CLA’s cabin, additional standard content includes a leather steering wheel and 10-inch media display. Both of which were already part of the AMG transformation, though AMG Line buyers can now add some heat elements to their sport steering wheel.

As we’ve seen with most Mercedes updates, both the virtual gauge cluster and the central touchscreen reside in a single housing mounted on top of the dash, upgraded with the latest MBUX software.

Pricing for the CLA 35 starts at $56,100, with the more powerful 45 S coming in at $66,550.

Bottom line, the folks in Stuttgart have given us a 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 that’s clearly better without messing it up. That’s certainly good news to us, as these days we seem to be getting less and paying more for just about everything. So, while you might not think the new CLA 35 sounds like a bargain, there is no better gateway into the amazing world of AMG performance.


  • Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo
  • Horsepower: 416
  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 125 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 28.2 MPG (Premium)
  • Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Torque: 369 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.1 seconds at 104 mph
  • EPA: 22 City / 29 Highway / 25 Combined