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 Cat on Tuesday, April 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,600overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"I expected more out of this vehicle, I bought it in January 2014 and am now in April 2014, my car has had to go to the shop 5 due to passenger side malfunction, cosmetic issues with the bumber, blown out tire, odometer issues and that's a few....every time there is something new going on with this car. I NEVER HAD THIS MANY ISSUES WITH A CAR BEFORE!!!"
By Pathfinderholic on Saturday, April 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,741overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Dual sunroof, cooled and heated seats, controls"
Cons: "terrible gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Drove a 2008 Pathfinder love it to death, but after having a growing family decided looking at another model having more updates. My favorite thing on PF is the panoramic sunroof looks more a luxury crossover. handles terrific...drives smooth with a great CVT in its class on a 4WD. I got the SV Platinum package on more features and all of the controls are well perfect for the PF. The navigation system, Pandora/Bose radio, blind spot warning, remote start, 3rd row seating seems better on enough comfort in seat support includes cooled heated leather seats so much luxury has been put into this SUV. Bluetooth is very impressive with a backup camera, steering controls, rides well but doesn't have good gas mileage like other did. I'm getting over 19 mpg especially living in the city its not good at all on horrible fuel economy otherwise luv the SUV. Very quiet on a nice styling the towing capacity is really the greatest on PF tow a Bass Boat its huge too didn't reduce the crossover ride but while having the A/C climate system takes up lots of gas. Interior looks very luxury making have a much higher price to window sticker and its an handsome SUV with exception of bad gas mileage I would recommend it. We got our Pathfinder SV Platinum in January read and heard about transmission issues so far its been flawless overall the SUV and CVT drives very powerful now been driving at 8,000 miles already a really better upgraded SUV."
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By AL on Monday, March 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to Drive. Like the Satalite radio and bluetoo"
Cons: "Not enough outlets for electronic stuff."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned this veh for nearly a year and have had no problems with it . We have been on about 3 round trips of 700 miles each and enjoy the comfort of the veh. Seats are very comfortable and all instruments are easy to read from drivers seat. We got over-all fuel mileage of 24 MPG and am well satisfied considering the size of the Pathfinder. It has more than enough power for anything you ask of it. The CVT transmission works so smooth. So far the 2013 Pathfinder SL has been an excellent veh."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Huras on Sunday, March 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Quiet ride, towing cap, fuel economy, fun to drive"
Cons: "loud steering pump"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I had some problems with this car in the beginning. had that shudder problem at around 1000 miles. first time around to the dealer they updated some software, problem was not solved. Second time they changed the torque converter and that solved my problem. Now my car drives like a dream. My brother has the infinite counter part of this car and i see little difference between the two. Only mine is a quite a bit cheaper. absolutely love this car!"
8 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By HP on Sunday, March 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,650overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Cons: "Replace 2 major components in 1 month."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I had written a review previously on this website unfortunately I cannot edit it to update it. Based on my earlier review there was a passenger side air bag issue which was supposedly resolved by a calibration of sensor, it is now an air bag control module replacement. I am waiting for the dealer to get the required part so I can schedule a replacement. I guess, the next 50 miles will find a new issue with the vehicle. At this stage after spending 51K on the vehicle and spending countless hours trying to get this car fixed and driving nearly 1000 miles of the 2600 miles on my vehicle to get the car fixed I am certain this is a AVOID at all COSTS. How many electronic component replacements does it take Nissan to admit the vehicle is a lemon? Apparently unlimited. Save yourself the agony and buy something else. Least you should want to do is to buy a vehicle from a manufacturer who cares about the quality of their product, Nissan is not one of them."
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Sieb on Saturday, March 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handling, size,"
Cons: "Uncomfortable cloth seats, black interior, get the"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought the SV I like everything about the vehicle, but wished I would have moved up to the SL, and got the leather interior. I find the cloth seats to be to hard, and the fabric hard to keep clean. I have had no problem at all with the transmission, has quick acceleration and handles really well. The engine is noisy on acceleration, but I do not mind that"
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful