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2013 Nissan Pathfinder

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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
7.2
Out of 10

Based on 91 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.5/10
    Quality
    7.3/10
  • Reliability
    7.3/10
    Performance
    7.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Buying a new one soon!

By on Thursday, August 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Goes anywhere, looks good, comfortable, no problem"

Cons: "no ash tray (Yea, I am an evil smoker)."

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

"Bought at end of 2013. Thought it was overpriced....I was wrong! Will buy a new one at start of 2016."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

For the price paid ...might be the "best value"

By on Wednesday, August 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable, and good MPG!"

Cons: "Not really an SUV, more like an AWD station wagon"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"The odometer just "ticked" over 3000 miles.. 2015 Pathfinder S.L. 3.5L V6 (260HP), C.V.T., 4WD, 235/65-18 with most available options.. THE GOOD -luxurious and quiet with composed/supple ride qualities -Good factory stereo (Bose) though still think could be better (too much mid bass and needs more sizzle on top) -easy to use NAVIGATION/RADIO/CLIMATE controls -can play DVDs in the vehicle ... the kids seem to like that feature... -many electronic/safety gadgets ... blind-side warning, cross-traffic alert,Vehicle Dynamic Control (a fancier form of traction control) -three rows of seats -3.5L V6 (260HP) almost as responsive/punchy as that in the X -decent fuel economy for being such a big and relatively heavy vehicle ...right around the 19-20 mpg mark for mostly all around town driving THE BAD -would never mistake it for a sports car -the wife doesn't like black interiors so had to opt for the Almond (light beige) leather which as we all know,with kids, gets dirty in the blink of an eye ... and even has a dark brown dashboard top...yikes -pseudo 4x4 ... says "4WD" on the back but is it really??? or is it just a fancy station wagon??? -not really for serious OFF ROAD because of limited clearance .. better for dirt roads to campsite/hiking trails/fishing spots and snow ...though would have no hesitation taking it anywhere in Death Valley -I've noticed that I have trouble seeing the corners and front in tight spots -have had niggling minor quality issues ... hmmm... THE UGLY -the dorky styling which to my old eyes looks more feminine than masculine -the 2013-2014 Pathfinders purportedly have issues with the C.V.T. ... no issues so far for the 2015 editions... BETTER OR WORSE THAN EXPECTED? ... would have said better but because of niggling quality issues (in a $40K vehicle) now down to neutral..."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Don't understand KBB rating mix

By on Saturday, August 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,523

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Roomy, luxury interior, hi tech, easy to drive."

Cons: "none"

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

"First, why mix the 2013,2014,2015 model ratings. The 2015 is a completely redesigned vehicle on a new chassis. Nissan has up scaled the interiors on all their vehicles and the Pathfinders rates as luxurious. The Platinum series has all the technology bells and whistles of the other manufacturers and then some. Bose sound, family entertainment center, four cameras, 8" display, parking cross alert, lane blind spot alert, power lift, key-less entry and auto start and that's just for starters. The tranny issue is resolved in the 2015 as compared with the older models and drives like a solidly built vehicle it is. Shifts smoothly and you have the ability switch from the variable speed shift to a more automatic feel if you like. For the price this is an outstanding bargain."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

easy riding,easy navigation and. like new.

By on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "has separate heating in back three rows of seats."

Cons: "lots of room"

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

"Also added running boards ($500) after sale. getting a car free from family. Bought this 2014 Nissan brand new on 5/29/15 from auto dealer."

5 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Pathfinder -favorite car to date

By on Monday, July 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "price is up there... I bought a 2014 used with 18k"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I've been through my share of vehicles. Starting with a VW rabbit, Toyota Camry, Honda accord,Honda crv, Saturn vue,VW jetta. This has been my absolute favorite. From space to comfort to umph! This truck has made me a true Nissan fan. Great for kids and multiple pets and long trips. It packs a punch and some."

12 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Solid and reliable

By on Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great overall performance, comfort and rideability"

Cons: "Fob key system replacement exp, some blind spots."

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

"I would describe my vehicle as a "work horse" and it has been a most reliable ride. Have been on two cross-country trips with only minor issues. At the service area today and requested a defeat of the warning signs, which seem to come on at inconvenient times with no emergency reason (middle of the desert...tire maintenance warning). More wind/road noise that I expected - not a deal-breaker. Key/Ignition system is a fob which when lost cost $300.00 to replace --- an unwelcome shock. Based on this issue alone, I would never buy a vehicle with such a system again."

25 people out of 50 found this review helpful

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