Used 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SUV Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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Used 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SUV Review

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2013 Nissan Pathfinder SUV

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Summary

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SUV

  • The new Nissan Pathfinder trades off-road brawn for on-road comfort. This big change is complemented by a stylish, welcoming cabin and top fuel economy ratings, making the revised Pathfinder a solid choice for a midsize or large crossover SUV.

  • Pros

    Roomy and upscale interior; good fuel economy; compliant ride quality.

  • Cons

    Less cargo capacity than other large crossovers; lazy handling when pushed.

  • What's New for 2013

    The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is fully redesigned.

Review

Adapt or die. This Darwinian adage applies to birds, business and, well, family SUVs. And so the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder adapts to the needs of consumers by breaking away from its trucklike, off-road-ready roots to become a more comfortable, car-based, family-ready crossover SUV.

The previous Pathfinder was a heavy, rugged truck adept at off-road adventures and towing. But its downsides included cramped quarters for second- and third-row passengers, a trucklike driving demeanor and mediocre fuel mileage. Nissan figured that on a daily basis most folks would prefer a comfortable cabin and good fuel economy to infrequently used extreme capabilities.

That's why the redesigned 2013 Pathfinder is built on a unibody structure shared with the equally new Infiniti JX crossover. It adopts a 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 matched to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The vehicle is 500 pounds lighter than the one it replaces, one factor in fuel economy estimates of 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 combined, which make the Pathfinder one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in a class that includes the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot.

Yes, the lighter and more efficient new Pathfinder gives up some towing capacity to its forebear, but it can still tow up to 5,000 pounds. That's a strong number for a midsize, seven-passenger crossover whose duties probably won't stray far from pulling a pair of jet skis to the lake or carting the kids to sports and dance practices. Like the Infiniti JX, the Pathfinder offers a sliding second-row seat that can tilt and fold forward even with a child seat in place, making access to the adult-friendly third row much easier.

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder has a lot going for it, namely smooth performance, impressive fuel economy numbers and a welcoming cabin. But even if it's now better suited to compete in the popular seven-passenger SUV segment, the Pathfinder still faces some tough competition. Our top picks in the segment remain the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Flex and Mazda CX-9, each of which is roomier than the Nissan. However, against the strong-selling Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, the Pathfinder has definitely adapted to become a very appealing alternative.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is a midsize seven-passenger SUV offered in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum.

Standard equipment on the S includes 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split second-row seat (slides, reclines and folds), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer.

The SV adds automatic headlights, keyless ignition/entry, an eight-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a 7-inch color multi-information display, a rearview camera and an upgraded audio system with a single-CD player, satellite radio and a USB/iPod interface.

Step up to the SL trim level and you get foglights, roof rack rails, a power liftgate, rear parking sensors, heated mirrors, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, driver memory functions, a four-way power passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a compass.

The Platinum trim adds 20-inch wheels, a towing package, a multiview parking camera, a power-adjustable heated steering wheel, cooled front seats, a 120-volt power outlet, a navigation system, real-time traffic and other information, and a 13-speaker Bose audio system with Bluetooth audio connectivity and a DVD player.

Optional equipment is grouped into three packages. The SL Premium package includes the Bose audio system, the 120-volt power outlet, a large dual panoramic sunroof and the towing package. The Platinum Premium package includes the dual panoramic sunroof and a DVD entertainment system with dual displays.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 good for 260 hp and 240 pound-feet of torque. A CVT and front-wheel drive are standard. An optional all-wheel-drive system automatically apportions power between the front and rear axles as needed or allows the driver to lock in a 50/50 ratio.

In Edmunds performance testing, a four-wheel-drive Pathfinder went from zero to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds, which is a little better than average. EPA fuel economy estimates are 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 19/25/21 with 4WD. Properly equipped, the Pathfinder can tow 5,000 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder came to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet, a little better than average for this segment.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Pathfinder's cabin is put together well and boasts quality materials. Indeed, you may think you're in an Infiniti once you get inside the Platinum trim level, given the variety of rich finishes and accents. Despite the abundance of features (especially in higher trims), the various controls are easy to reach and intuitive.

Seat comfort up front is very good. Same goes for the second row, which slides and reclines to optimize comfort for passengers or cargo space behind as needs dictate. Access to the third row is eased by the second row's tilt and slide feature, which can be used even when a child seat is in place. The third row offers enough headroom for 6-foot passengers, but clearance gets a little tight beyond that.

Maximum cargo space stands at 79.8 cubic feet -- about the same as an Explorer and Pilot, though significantly less than what's available from some larger three-row crossovers like the GMC Acadia.

Driving Impressions

Although Nissan likely makes the best CVT in the business, acceleration off the mark is a bit sluggish, though it pulls nicely once underway (hence the competitive 0-60 time). Overall performance is smooth and more than adequate, especially in light of the promising fuel economy figures. Although the brake pedal feels a bit spongy, the brakes themselves are strong enough, with shorter than average stopping ability.

The priority of the chassis engineers was clearly achieving a comfortable, quiet ride over broken pavement and when cruising on the highway. The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder's handling, however, is rather tepid, with lazy turn-in response and noticeable body roll when pushed. If you want to feel more connected to the road, we suggest opting for the Mazda CX-9 or Nissan's five-passenger Murano.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SUV

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is fully redesigned.

Introduction

Adapt or die. This Darwinian adage applies to birds, business and, well, family SUVs. And so the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder adapts to the needs of consumers by breaking away from its trucklike, off-road-ready roots to become a more comfortable, car-based, family-ready crossover SUV.

The previous Pathfinder was a heavy, rugged truck adept at off-road adventures and towing. But its downsides included cramped quarters for second- and third-row passengers, a trucklike driving demeanor and mediocre fuel mileage. Nissan figured that on a daily basis most folks would prefer a comfortable cabin and good fuel economy to infrequently used extreme capabilities.

That's why the redesigned 2013 Pathfinder is built on a unibody structure shared with the equally new Infiniti JX crossover. It adopts a 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 matched to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The vehicle is 500 pounds lighter than the one it replaces, one factor in fuel economy estimates of 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 combined, which make the Pathfinder one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in a class that includes the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot.

Yes, the lighter and more efficient new Pathfinder gives up some towing capacity to its forebear, but it can still tow up to 5,000 pounds. That's a strong number for a midsize, seven-passenger crossover whose duties probably won't stray far from pulling a pair of jet skis to the lake or carting the kids to sports and dance practices. Like the Infiniti JX, the Pathfinder offers a sliding second-row seat that can tilt and fold forward even with a child seat in place, making access to the adult-friendly third row much easier.

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder has a lot going for it, namely smooth performance, impressive fuel economy numbers and a welcoming cabin. But even if it's now better suited to compete in the popular seven-passenger SUV segment, the Pathfinder still faces some tough competition. Our top picks in the segment remain the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Flex and Mazda CX-9, each of which is roomier than the Nissan. However, against the strong-selling Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, the Pathfinder has definitely adapted to become a very appealing alternative.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is a midsize seven-passenger SUV offered in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum.

Standard equipment on the S includes 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split second-row seat (slides, reclines and folds), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer.

The SV adds automatic headlights, keyless ignition/entry, an eight-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a 7-inch color multi-information display, a rearview camera and an upgraded audio system with a single-CD player, satellite radio and a USB/iPod interface.

Step up to the SL trim level and you get foglights, roof rack rails, a power liftgate, rear parking sensors, heated mirrors, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, driver memory functions, a four-way power passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a compass.

The Platinum trim adds 20-inch wheels, a towing package, a multiview parking camera, a power-adjustable heated steering wheel, cooled front seats, a 120-volt power outlet, a navigation system, real-time traffic and other information, and a 13-speaker Bose audio system with Bluetooth audio connectivity and a DVD player.

Optional equipment is grouped into three packages. The SL Premium package includes the Bose audio system, the 120-volt power outlet, a large dual panoramic sunroof and the towing package. The Platinum Premium package includes the dual panoramic sunroof and a DVD entertainment system with dual displays.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 good for 260 hp and 240 pound-feet of torque. A CVT and front-wheel drive are standard. An optional all-wheel-drive system automatically apportions power between the front and rear axles as needed or allows the driver to lock in a 50/50 ratio.

In Edmunds performance testing, a four-wheel-drive Pathfinder went from zero to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds, which is a little better than average. EPA fuel economy estimates are 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 19/25/21 with 4WD. Properly equipped, the Pathfinder can tow 5,000 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder came to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet, a little better than average for this segment.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Pathfinder's cabin is put together well and boasts quality materials. Indeed, you may think you're in an Infiniti once you get inside the Platinum trim level, given the variety of rich finishes and accents. Despite the abundance of features (especially in higher trims), the various controls are easy to reach and intuitive.

Seat comfort up front is very good. Same goes for the second row, which slides and reclines to optimize comfort for passengers or cargo space behind as needs dictate. Access to the third row is eased by the second row's tilt and slide feature, which can be used even when a child seat is in place. The third row offers enough headroom for 6-foot passengers, but clearance gets a little tight beyond that.

Maximum cargo space stands at 79.8 cubic feet -- about the same as an Explorer and Pilot, though significantly less than what's available from some larger three-row crossovers like the GMC Acadia.

Driving Impressions

Although Nissan likely makes the best CVT in the business, acceleration off the mark is a bit sluggish, though it pulls nicely once underway (hence the competitive 0-60 time). Overall performance is smooth and more than adequate, especially in light of the promising fuel economy figures. Although the brake pedal feels a bit spongy, the brakes themselves are strong enough, with shorter than average stopping ability.

The priority of the chassis engineers was clearly achieving a comfortable, quiet ride over broken pavement and when cruising on the highway. The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder's handling, however, is rather tepid, with lazy turn-in response and noticeable body roll when pushed. If you want to feel more connected to the road, we suggest opting for the Mazda CX-9 or Nissan's five-passenger Murano.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 76 reviews) Write a Review


Noisey

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder

There has been avibration in this car since 20000 miles ,can,t find. Driver door Handel broke, no warranty, 150$. Poor side vision for driver because of pillar. Numerous recalls.




Only path i found is to repair shop!

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder

Bought this car to accommodate children, and have regretted it for the past 3 years. The gas mileage is 25% lower than advertised, the doors slam on my legs constantly (as a result, I never let my kid climb in or out without me holding the door open). The third row seat is useless if you need to have even a load of groceries at the time - no legroom, hard to get back there to put carseats if you want to give teens/adults the 2nd row. The technology/entertainment was outdated in 2013 and even more noticeably so now. And constant repairs, including the most recent left hand door handle but in the past it's been the lift gate, airbag sensors, just issue after issue. Poor value, I would associate this poor level of quality with a much less costly vehicle.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Do not purchase this suv!

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder

Owned this vehicle for two months having the transmission replaced for the second time. The vehicle will randomly lose power under acceleration. Pull off the road put the vehicle in park and hope it starts working and your not hit in the mean time. This is issue appears to be extremely prevalent in the vehicle. Nissan and the dealerships have done an excellent job keeping this information out of the review and ratings for this vehicle. I relied on Edmunds review of the vehicle in error as they do not mention this pervasive, expensive and dangerous condition in one of the vehicles major systems the transmission. After the vehicles warranty runs out at 60k you can expect a $4900.00 bill for repair. They keep the transmission in stock and are happy to see you for this expensive repair. Nissan offers no explanation or repair for this issue so your new transmission will be the same unreliable design. Do not believe anything the dealer says out this issue as Nissan has not been able to correct this issue but continues to sell the vehicle. Even if your under warranty the fact this lose of power may happen to you in a critical driving situation should dissuade you from a purchase, not to mention the lose of use during repair. Steer clear of this vehicle. I hope this review helps others avoid my mistake.




Pathfinder 2013

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder

Excellent car



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Disappointing

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder

Rather fun to drive. HOWEVER-- I just learned today that the roof rack is not adjustable, which should be sort of a no-brainer for any suv. This is because the rails are not parallel, unlike my GMC Yukon which has an easily-adjustable roof rack. In addition, the vehicle has quite a bit of road noise including the "whistling windshield" which had to be replaced soon after purchase. Gas mileage is not impressive, and the CVT is a distraction. Our biggest concern has been the defective passenger-side airbag which has been recalled. When we asked the dealer last year (before recall) why it remained off when the seat is occupied the technician said that my wife "might not be sitting on it properly". Would not recommend.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Plop plop fix fix

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder

In the short time I have owned this vehicle , I have had to bring it in twice for a faulty passenger seat airbag. Once for the CVT computer . I have had to replace the rear liftgate shocks, a motor mount, and now two visors restricting visibility . Not to mention when the vehicle reaches speeds of approx. 70 mph the hood shakes and the latest driverside airbag recall. I am not impressed by the overall workmanship and Quality of the 2013 pathfinder .



Talk About The 2013 Pathfinder

2013 Nissan Pathfinder Discussions See all Started By

solariswest
solariswest
01-09-2016
I am currently shopping for 2015/2016 Pathfinder SL/Platinum and was wondering i could use the community's help to determine a decent lease deal. Based on my research the MSRP for this model hovers ar...


Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
12-16-2013
2013-'14 Nissan Pathfinder Among Nissan Vehicles Recalled for Brake Problem...


ohxxxio
ohxxxio
06-15-2016
With my 2013 Pathfinder lease coming due, I got the call to return my lease 2 months early for a new model. What's the latest MF and RV in Ohio for a 2016 Platinum? 36 months / 12k miles....



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