Nissan has given its seven-seater Pathfinder SUV a mid-cycle update. The refresh, aimed at keeping it up to date with rivals like the Toyota Fortuner and the Honda Pilot, both of which received major revamps lately, includes styling as well as mechanical changes.

The most significant of these modifications is the tweaked powertrain that squeezes out 284bhp from its 3.5-litre V6, up from the current model’s 260bhp, and 351Nm of torque, up from 325Nm. Nissan attributes this spike in performance to more than 56 per cent new engine parts and components, including combustion chamber design, pistons, intake manifold, and a new direct injection system. And the three-row family hauler’s maximum towing capacity has been bumped up quite significantly from 5,000 pounds (2,267kg) to an impressive 6,000 pounds (2,722kg).

Most of the visual changes have been made to the Pathfinder’s front fascia, which gets the brand’s corporate ‘V-Motion’ grille and signature boomerang-shaped headlights with LED daytime running lights, along with a new bumper and fog lights. Other exterior mods include wing mirrors with integrated turn signals, new 18in and 20in aluminium-alloy wheel designs, and redesigned taillights and bumper out back. It also gains motion-activated tailgate.

Changes to the interior aren’t as visually substantial though, with most of it limited to updated connectivity and safety features. The standard information display between the tachometer and the speedometer has been revamped, and the infotainment system is mated to an 8.0in touch-screen interface as standard. There’s a whole new set of safety and driver-assist features such as forward collision braking, blind-spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and an ‘around-view’ camera system with moving object detection. The included Nissan Connect Services offer features such as automatic collision notification, emergency call, stolen vehicle locator, customisable alerts, remote engine stop-start function via a downloadable app, as well as dealer service scheduling and maintenance alerts.

The 2017 Pathfinder is expected to reach dealerships by the end of this year.