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2018 Nissan Pathfinder; photos by Evan Sears

Editor’s note: This Car Seat Check was written in November 2016 about the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder. Little of substance has changed with this year’s model. To see what’s new for 2018, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

Some might think the Nissan Pathfinder sort of lost its way from the full-fledged truck-based SUV it once was when it was redesigned for 2013 as a car-based crossover — 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 face-lift and stiffer suspension. But do any of the latest updates to this three-row seven-seater find the Pathfinder less kind to car seats?

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

Related: More Car Seat Checks


  • Latch, grade A: In the second row, there are two sets of lower anchors and three easily identifiable top tether anchors midway down the seatbacks. Access and connection are easy. There are no Latch anchors in the third row and just one top tether anchor. It’s positioned toward the bottom of the seatback, but it’s well-marked and easy to use.
  • Infant seat, grade A: The seat installed easily with no need to move the front passenger seat forward.
  • Rear-facing convertible, grade A: The seat installed easily with no need to move the front passenger seat forward.
  • Forward-facing convertible, grade A: In the second row, we were also able to install the convertible seat in the forward-facing position with ease. The seat fit well after raising the head restraint.
  • Booster, grade B: Our booster fit well in the second row, but the seat belt buckles sink into the wells between the cushions, which could make them tough for kids to grasp and use.
  • Third-row entry, grade B: The opening is narrow and the step-in is tall.
  • Third-row booster, grade B: Similarly, the booster also fit well in the third row. But again, the seat belt buckles sink into the wells between the cushions, which could make them tough for kids to grasp and use.
  • Third-row forward-facing convertible, grade A: 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.


Skip It

Grading Scale

Solid indicates an A grade for optimum ease of use and fit. So-So indicates B or C grades for one to two ease-of-use or fit issues. Skip It indicates D or F grades.

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: One room, fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.

C: Marginal room plus one fit or connection issue. Difficult to access third row when available.

D: Insufficient room, plus multiple 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. Learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks.

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.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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