By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is available in four basic trims grades: S, SV, SL and Platinum. On the rear-drive side of the mix, the Pathfinder S opens just over $29,000 with an SV commanding just under $32,500, an SL beginning around $35,500, and the top-line Platinum model starting just over $40,000. All-wheel drive in any Pathfinder will add about $1,600 to the bottom line. As in the past, those figures place the new Nissan Pathfinder right in the sweet spot of this extremely competitive segment that includes key rivals like the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. For an even meatier advantage, take a look at the KBB's Fair Purchase to see what Pathfinder buyers in your area are paying for their SUVs. Nissan resale value tends to share the middle ground with the bulk of the vehicles in any given segment, so you can expect the Pathfinder to hold its value as well as most, but not quite so well as the best of the competition.
By xiska on Sunday, August 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Cons: "Dis-convenient controls, reliability, visibibity"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Transmission replaced at 2,700 miles. Poor visibility all round - needs backup camera, but not worth accompanying bling. Easy to hit radio control on wheel, changes station to end of dial. (Currently taped over with a sock.) Radio does have a dial control, however (Plus) Two controls needed to open door when motor running."
6 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Bird on Saturday, August 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Cons: "Lots of cup holders, back-up camera"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Has been in the shop for transmission issues multiple times. Finally dealership replaced transmission...took 3 weeks. Have also had several recalls to deal with. Very disappointed with the quality...almost a $40,000 car."
22 people out of 31 found this review helpful
By Akhil Sharma on Wednesday, August 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "MPG, comfortable ride, Towing capacity, looks"
Cons: "Sun roof SL Premium upwards, Shuddered a few times"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I purchased this in Aug 2013. Very close to completing an year and more than 13k miles. I have done extensive towing too. On a trip to florida I got 25 mpg. usually the on board computer shoes 16 mpg for city driving (have to check it manually, as some people have stated inaccuracy in the mpg calculation). Very good ride, feels luxury, powerful and very capable. Of course it might not do good off-road, but for that purpose I would probably buy a Jeep. I have no issues with the vehicle. The dash board controlls take some time to get used to. Nice smooth ride all the time. Great MPG. Comfortable interior, I have SL model. I am sure sun roof would look great (but I don't have one). Blu tooth music is not for SL but really, I don't need it. I did experience shudder which is causing a lot of negative reviews. Usually around 10-11 mph when trying to accelerate. And it was like only 10-15 times in some 12k miles. The dealership reprogrammed it and it is almost gone now. They do say that it is not totally unexpected, but some people have changed their transmissions and what not, for this. Some people make fuss about CVT but I am not sure how does it matter to the driver if he doesn't feel the gears shifting inside transmission. The power I want in the vehicle is available almost immediately and doesn't feel any sluggish (I don't care of the changing transmission feel else would buy manual transmission). If I feel, it is not enough, I press the gas a bit harder. It is not a car with V6 but an SUV, so it won't fly but will do what it is supposed to do with all the load that it has. It has power that's why I can tow 5000 lbs. Overall, over family loves my SL Arctic Blue. Good towing capacity for when you need. Great gas mileage always. Comfortable ride all the times. I rate it 9 only because shudder did happen and if only it would have never occurred."
8 people out of 10 found this review helpful