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From family values to fabulous adventurers, this list of best crossover SUVs might surprise you

2015 Nissan Pathfinder
Base-price range: $30,395 – $43,985

Pathfinder is not the most spacious crossover on this list. It’s not the most powerful, the smoothest riding, or the sportiest handling. Why is it on this list then? Pathfinder is a Best Crossover because it does well in all those areas while offering lots of features for the money. Nissan is enhancing the seven-seat Pathfinder’s value proposition for 2015 by making more safety and convenience features available while raising prices only modestly. Among those newly available features are blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, Nissan’s clever AroundView Monitor surround camera, and dual-screen rear DVD entertainment. Standard on all models is Nissan’s unique “EX Flex Seating System,” which allows the second-row seat to tilt and slide forward to ease access to the third row. The bench can even be moved with a child safety seat in place, an impossible feat on for other three-row crossovers. Pathfinder’s standard V-6 engine won’t win any races, but it delivers power smoothly through its standard continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). EPA combined city/highway fuel-economy numbers of 22-23 mpg best the slightly larger Chevrolet Traverse by 3-5 mpg. Note that Nissan has not announced whether the gas/electric Pathfinder Hybrid will return for 2015, despite having made its debut in 2014.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]