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2013 Nissan Pathfinder

Overview
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2013 Nissan Pathfinder Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.2

By moving the 2013 Pathfinder into the 7-passenger crossover SUV mainstream, Nissan fills a big hole in its lineup. Depending on your viewpoint, the Nissan Pathfinder is either a large mid-size or a not-quite full-size SUV. It shares much of its architecture with the also-new Infiniti JX35 luxury crossover, including unitized body construction, the choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), standard V6 power, and 3-row seating. Courtesy of a 500-pound weight reduction and improved aerodynamics, Nissan claims a class-leading EPA fuel economy estimate of 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway for front-wheel-drive 2013 Pathfinders. The removal of the truck-type frame also allows easier entry/exit and a lower step-in height for passengers. EZ Flex seating provides numerous 2nd- and 3rd-row configuration possibilities. All of which inspired us to name the Pathfinder one of the 10 Best Family Cars of 2013.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want class-leading V6 fuel economy in a mainstream 7-passenger crossover, something a bit more nimble than a Chevy Traverse but roomier than a Toyota Highlander and with the power to tow a 5,000-pound trailer on occasion, the new-generation Nissan Pathfinder should be on your shopping list.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for hard-core ruggedness, off-road prowess, or the big towing capability of a traditional truck-based SUV, the new "gentrified" 2013 Pathfinder may not be for you.

What's New for 2013

Pretty much everything but the Nissan Pathfinder name is new for 2013. That includes a transverse-mounted 3.5-liter V6, Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT), unitized body, front-wheel-drive version, All-Mode 4x4 all-wheel drive system, EZ Flex seating, available panoramic sunroof, and many other new enhancements.

Driving the Pathfinder

Driving Impressions Dropping nearly a quarter-ton of mass while gaining an entirely new platform and a far quieter cabin, the 2013 Pathfinder represents a major departure from its predecessor, both on the...

road and off. A longer wheelbase, wider stance and lower overall height give the SUV a more stable feel, while a retuned suspension and advanced traction and stability systems help keep body roll in check through corners. The revised Pathfinder suspension setup does an equally commendable job of soaking up road imperfections when you're in cruise mode. The latest iteration of Nissan's Xtronic CVT automatic matches well with its new V6, endowing the Pathfinder with a responsive character that complements its newfound economy and still provides a standard 5,000-pound towing capacity. Also noteworthy is the optional All-Mode 4x4-i intelligent 4-wheel-drive system that enhances all-season security and also offers a full-lock setting for use on particularly challenging surfaces.

EZ FLEX LATCH & GLIDE SYSTEM
This Nissan-patented feature allows child safety seats latched to the 2nd-row seats to remain strapped in when they are slid forward to gain access to the 3rd-row seats.

AROUND-VIEW MONITOR
Displayed on a 4-inch screen between the speedometer and tachometer, this shows parked cars and all other obstacles in a 360-degree circle around the Pathfinder from an overhead perspective.

2013 Nissan Pathfinder Details
2013 Nissan Pathfinder photo Interior

Roomier than the last year's Pathfinder, Nissan says the all-new 2013 Pathfinder has the best front-seat headroom, legroom and overall passenger volume among its competitors. Key to the flexibility are individually folding 2nd-row seats that slide five inches fore/aft to allow access to the third row. Both the 2nd- and 3rd-row seats recline for comfort and can be folded to form a flat load floor. Surprise-and-delight features include an ample hidden storage bin aft of the third row, double map pockets behind each front seat, built-in tie-downs, and flip-out coat hooks.

Exterior
2013 Nissan Pathfinder photo

Though there is some family resemblance to previous versions, the 2013 Pathfinder has been smoothed by the wind, with rounder edges and a more tapered nose replacing the last iteration's truck-like fender bulges and more vertical grille to improve fuel economy. Larger windows in the new version aid outward visibility. With an eye towards fuel economy, the 2013 Pathfinder hugs the ground a little closer. Overhangs are longer and ground clearance, particularly at the front, is reduced, but this crossover is intended more for Suburbia and the occasional dirt road rather than running Baja.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Each of the four Pathfinder trim grades (S/SV/SL/Platinum) gets its own specific roster of features that expand as you move through the model hierarchy. Even the well-appointed Pathfinder S comes with a full array of power assists, cruise control, multifunction steering wheel on a tilt/telescoping column, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD audio package, air conditioning, halogen headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, Vehicle Dynamics/Traction control and front/front-side/side-curtain airbags. At the Platinum level, the standard kit includes primo touches like leather upholstery (also on SL), a 13-speaker Bose sound system, DVD navigation, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, tri-zone climate control, a power rear liftgate, Around View Monitor, and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Optional Equipment

The extras list on the 2013 Pathfinder is short and sweet. An SL Premium Package nets the pleasures of a Bose Premium Audio upgrade and a Dual Panorama Moonroof with 1-touch tilt/open/close controls (front) and front and rear sunshades, plus the practicality of a 120V power outlet, a tow hitch receiver, a transmission cooling fan, and a trailer harness. The Platinum Premium Package includes the Dual Panorama Moonroof and adds a rear Family Entertainment System with dual 7.0-inch screens, wireless headphones and wireless remote control. All but the Pathfinder S also offer a Trailer Tow Package with a hitch receiver, transmission cooling fan and trailer harness.

Under the Hood

Though the new Nissan Pathfinder is larger and roomier than last year's model, reduced weight and improved aerodynamics help it achieve a 30-percent fuel-economy gain. Last year's optional 5.6-liter V8 is dropped, but the standard 2013 Pathfinder tow rating is an impressive 5,000 pounds, better than Honda Pilot. A new front-drive model achieves the 2013 Pathfinder's best EPA estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway, which is more fuel-efficient than even the smaller, lighter Nissan Murano, and with greater towing capacity. Four-wheel-drive versions feature a knob on the console enabling three driver-selectable modes: 2WD, Auto or 4WD Lock. All 2013 Pathfinders are equipped with an Xtronic continuously variable transmission that eliminates the pauses between shifts of a conventional automatic gearbox.

3.5-liter V6
260 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
240 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 mpg (FWD), 19/25 mpg (AWD)

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2013 Nissan Pathfinder Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.1
Out of 10

Based on 85 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.5/10
    Quality
    7.2/10
  • Reliability
    7.2/10
    Performance
    7.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

Nice SUV Interior, can tow 5000lbs

By on Friday, May 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "around camera view, rear heated seats"

Cons: "front pass seat needs up/down. headrest block view"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I was looking for something to replace my 20 year old Ford Club wagon. I really like the versatility of the van. It could carry 8 people, six 30 gallon garbage cans, tow 6000lbs, and got 19mpg on the highway all at once. I was looking for something that could tow 5000lbs, carry 5-7 people, 5 star safety rating, heated leather seats, backup camera,and reasonable gas mpg. I was surprised how low most new SUV towing limits are. I liked the Chevy Traverse, but felt a little closed in (I'm 6'1"). The Ford Transit wagon was panned as ugly and Flex as weird by my kids. Toyota Highlander interior seemed cheap/plastic. Pathfinder interior finish & layout is very nice. Ride is quiet and smooth. People reported 2013-2014 transmission problems. Hoping 2015 fares better"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Ok Car.

By on Friday, May 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great Handling, Space, Acceleration"

Cons: "Reliability"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I'm a little skeptical of the long term reliability of this car. Nothing major is wrong with it, but the passenger air bag sensor doesn't work sometimes, and also the parking sensor flakes out on me sometimes too. My biggest concern is that when you're at a stop and idling, the engine revs some, and the rpm needle is going all over the place. My sister bought this exact same car a few months before me, and her transmission already had to be replaced at 4,000 miles, and she has an auto lift hatch, but it doesn't stay up, and it keeps hitting people in the head. Obviously this is all under warranty, but it leaves me wondering what's going to happen in the long term. Ok, so that's the bad, but there's a lot of good too, which is why I bought it in the first place. First, it's very spacious, and has seating for 7. The seats are all very comfortable. It comes standard with a backup camera, and keyless entry and start. I've been spoiled. Now when I'm in my work truck, I'm like man, I have to actually turn my head around to back up, or man, I actually have to get my key out to start this thing. I also love the way it drives. It is one of the best handling cars I've owned, and it has great acceleration as well. If you go to the Nissan dealer and fall in love, I wouldn't say not to get it, and if my sisters transmission hadn't failed, the minor problems with mine I could probably look over, but I'm not sure what the future holds, so if someone was on the fence, and asked if they should buy one, I'd probably say no."

Great interior, good road manners

By on Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Navigation, Interior design, 2WD/4WD AUTO & stereo"

Cons: "Hood vibration, paint quality, pricey for options"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Overall, I like our 2014 Pathfinder Platinum very much, the interior is nicely appointed and very comfortable, I love the rear-view/360 View Cameras and sensors for parking. Others have mentioned the rearward visibility shortcomings, but these features help with that for parking. I like the engine very much; however, some times when you floor it it will allow the engine to rev higher than expected while not accelerating quickly. I have found that a more gentle acceleration technique actually can have it spin the back tires out in 2WD mode and it has plenty of pickup at that point - so that issue may be a matter of the way the drive by wire is done. I do like the 4WD AUTO/2WD mode so that I can get better fuel economy in the summer. Front-wheel drive mode works fine in the rain. I have averaged between 21-22 in 2WD mode, and around 19-20MPG in 4WD Auto mode. I like the heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheel, and heated back seats very much for Winter driving. As another reviewer noted I do notice the hood vibrating around at higher highway speeds. The Navigation system is one of the best I've ever used (I have previously used Toyota & Acura ones). I like the CVT transmission overall. In driving uphill at highway speeds the engine speed just gradually bumps up the RPMs to keep the cruise speed instead of the constant hunt and peck I've experienced over the same route in a non-CVT SUV. The only real negatives I have concerning the vehicle is concerning exterior paint quality. The Pathfinder has a nice rounded coke bottle shape, but the paint finish is not nearly as smooth as I have experienced with other brands. It also doesn't seem to be very thick and fairly easily scratched (this may be a matter of the now mandated water-based painting techniques). I am not providing a reliability review, as I've not had any problems, but I've only owned it for 10 months."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Bought new

By on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,800

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handles well, comfortable."

Cons: "Compromised rear visibility; so-so mpg."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Handles well, seats comfortable & generously sized, rides smoothly. Wind noise more noticeable on windless days. Rear visibility limited by size & location of 2nd/3rd row headrests. Handled that by removing 2nd row headrests unless needed; 3rd row seat is folded down as it's almost never needed & increases cargo space. Side mirrors are large & interfere with 'turn visibility' (headrest/mirror comments I've heard from owners of other, similar sized SUVs). MPG not as good as expected on 2000 mile trip."

16 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Excellent vehicle, has quality feel and great MPG

By on Thursday, March 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quality feel, great features, comfortable seats"

Cons: "Slightly more road noise than I expected"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned my SL with Tech Package for two months, and I could not be more pleased. The car has a quality feel, the seats are very comfortable, and the features are terrific. I think it has the look, feel, and features of a more expensive car."

12 people out of 15 found this review helpful

very good suv, one of the better, but not pefect

By on Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,400

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "comfort, controls, ride, braking, CVT"

Cons: "no aux port or 6 cd changer, mpg"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Overall a very good suv, probably one of the best out there. Purchased with 14 miles, have 4400 now. There is a lot love about this suv. Awesome brakes, great seats, quiet, sound system (bose upgrade) sounds great, space and ease to 3rd row fantastic, good headlights, great controls easy to use. Wonderful long distance hauler, easily cruises at illegal speeds and feels secure. Cons: mpg in mixed driving only 21, don't drive it hard, thought should be around 23-24. Our SL has the tech package, Nav is awesome, however, can't enter an address while driving, what a pain. Guess that's considered a new safety feature. No Aux port for media player, only bluetooth stream and USB, why not give me a aux port. No 6 cd player only a single, why no 6 cd player especially on the top sound system. BlueTooth audio stream, suv must be stopped to connect, another great safety feature. At 80-85mph the hood flutters, my 2008 patherfinder did this, why didn't they fix this. Annoying. Overall a very good SUV, the driving, braking, cvt tranny is truly fantastic, I personally love the CVT, incredible smoothness. However there are some really odd annoying things about this car that I don't get why they didn't or did do. None are a deal breaker and are not a really big deal and might not be a bother to others."

16 people out of 22 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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