Phone, Tablet and GPS Mounts for a Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan Pathfinder InteriorWhenever it’s time for maintenance on one of my cars, I give myself some extra time to go through the showroom to check out the cars.  Of course, I’m not just looking at my next car but also how to mount a device.  Today, I had the opportunity to scope out a Nissan Pathfinder.

I used to own one of these 20 years ago.  It’s changed a lot.  A Nissan Pathfinder is huge.  Much larger than twenty years ago.  It’s so large that I couldn’t do a head on photo of the dash and capture the entire view.  I had to take a photo with the door open from the side.  That’s what you see accompanying this article.

You may instantly think that with an interior as large as a small house that any mount would work just fine.  That’s not the case.  There were several locations that will not support a mount for a smartphone, GPS or tablet.

It looks like the best place for a smartphone or GPS will be the center air vents.  These vents are big and square with horizontal slats.  That’s perfect.  Avoid using the side vents.  The side vents are square.  Vent mounts rarely work well on round vents.  The center vents are in a great position because they are within eye level and easy to reach versus the windshield or other locations.

The Square Jellyfish Jelly-Grip Car Air Vent Mount is one that we have been recommending lately.  The Square Jellyfish Jelly-Grip mount can be used to hold most phone models with or without a case or skin.  It has a ball and socket so the cradle swivels into any orientation.  This mount will work on flat vent slats that are 3/8 to 1 inch deep.  The included cradle opens to 3 5/8 inches which is fairly large.

The Square Jellyfish Jelly-Grip mount can also be used for a Garmin GPS.  All Garmin vehicle GPS devices made over the past ten years include a custom cradle that has a 17mm socket on the back.  Remove the cradle from the Jelly-Grip mount and you have a 17mm ball.  Just snap the Garmin cradle onto the Jelly-Grip mount minus the cradle and your GPS can be mounted to the air vent.

The good old windshield mount will work on a Nissan Pathfinder.  The problem is that it’s a much further reach from the driver’s seat.  For someone over six feet tall, that’s probably not an issue.  But for a shorter person, it’s going to be a long reach.

Given the longer reach, we want a mount that has some length to it but not so much that it’s hitting the driver in the head.

The iOttie Easy One Touch 2 Car Mount for SmartPhones provides an extendable rigid base combined with an expandable cradle.  Unlike many similar mounts, the iOttie Easy One Touch 2 has a two-inch extension feature.  This extension is a welcome feature in the big Nissan Pathfinder interior.  The included cradle expands to 3.2 inches by pressing the buttons on each side.  This is large enough to hold most phones.  For example, the Apple iPhone 6s Plus is 3.07 inches wide so this cradle will fit just fine as long as there is no thick case or skin.

To no surprise, the Nissan Pathfinder is almost as large as my dining room table.  OK, maybe I’m exaggerating.  Well, it’s definitely large enough to use a dash mount.  The previously mentioned iOttie Easy One Touch 2 mount includes a sticky gel dashboard pad which allows use of this suction mount on textured and curved surfaces.

A car seat bolt mount will not work on a Nissan Pathfinder.  The seat bolt is completely covered with plastic.  While you can use the option to bolt it directly to the floor board, most are not going to want to drill holes into their vehicle’s floor, so we will avoid these.

The Nissan Pathfinder has a pair of cup holders in the middle.  Depending upon how far back your seat is, the cup holders might be slightly in front of behind the driver.  These are big cup holders.  I was in a car showroom and didn’t have a measuring tape but they looked larger than normal.  I’m recommending against a cup holder mount because of the size and location of the cup holders.  Even if your seat was back, I don’t think a cup holder car mount would fit the larger holder size.

A CD player mount is going to work but might partially block access to the audio controls.  You can access them if nothing os mounted but if you have something there, it might be a little difficult.  For those wanting this location, consider the Mpow CD Slot Mount for SmartPhones.  This mount uses a knob on the bottom to secure the mount within the CD player.  I prefer this mount to others in this category as it will permit a more custom and secure fitting.  An expandable cradle that will fit a phone with or without a case or skin is included.

It’s my opinion the CD player slot is the best place for a tablet.  Might be the only place.  The Satechi Universal Tablet CD Slot Mount fits most small and midsize tablets.  These mounts include a cradle that accommodates tablets up to 7.68 inch wide. My Apple iPad Mini 4 is 5.3 inches wide, so this mount will fit just fine.  It even fits with a protective case (I use a Spigen case).

So in summary, the Nissan Pathfinder supports many traditional mounting locations including the windshield, vent, dash and CD player.  However, the seat bolt and cup holders are poor locations.  A smartphone or GPS have several homes in a Nissan Pathfinder.