This 2013 Nissan Pathfinder video review features information about fuel economy, price and safety, as well as technology features like Bluetooth and the rearview camera. We compare it to other large family crossover SUVs.
The Nissan Pathfinder was one of the first off-road-ready SUVs that people started using as the family station wagon. Well, this lighter and more efficient Pathfinder has ditched any of that off-roading pretense. It's now a three-row crossover fully prepped for school runs and summer road trips.
The Pathfinder is a little smaller and less useful than some other family haulers. It's still plenty big and even adults can fit in all three rows, but when you sit in them all back to back, you're likely to notice a difference.
The same goes for its smaller cargo capacity at 79.8 cubic feet. That's still useful, and about the same as Ford's Explorer.
Its slightly smaller size does pay off behind the wheel. It's more maneuverable than most, but it doesn't feel nimble like Mazda's CX-9. We think most people will appreciate its comfortable ride and confident handling.
In terms of safety, the government gave it four stars for overall crash protection.
Its 260-horsepower V6 engine is about what you'd expect from this segment, as is its front- or all-wheel drive. But the transmission is something different. It's a continuously variable automatic transmission, or CVT, that primarily helps it get better fuel economy — 21 or 22 mpg combined, depending on the drivetrain. But its power delivery is strange since it doesn't work through gears. You may get used to it; you may hate it.
The Nissan Pathfinder starts at around $29,000, but we think most folks would be happier with the $32,000 SV model that gets Bluetooth, a rearview camera, iPod connectivity and a power driver seat. This is a loaded Platinum that isn't too far off in terms of equipment from the Infiniti QX60.
You'll definitely notice a difference between the two in terms of interior quality, but they essentially share the same electronics interface. Nissan's mix of buttons, voice commands, touchscreen and a multi-purpose knob is arguably the best and most user-friendly interface offered by any brand. This definitely gives the Nissan Pathfinder a leg up.
In the end, our top choices in this segment are the GMC Acadia, Ford Flex and Mazda CX-9, but we definitely think this family-oriented Pathfinder is well-rounded and worth a look.