2023 Nissan Pathfinder

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The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder is proof that today’s SUV shoppers love the look of a rugged truck, but they aren’t willing to give up the mod-cons that make a modern sport-utility practical, convenient, and comfortable.

This latest Pathfinder is so new, that Nissan opted to skip a model year. That’s right, this midsize 3-row SUV jumped past 2021 and went straight to the 2022 model year with this latest generation. For that reason, by and large, we expect the 2023 Pathfinder to remain mostly carryover.

With its blunter front end and more squared-off shape, the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder has an exterior inspired by Nissan’s pickup trucks and SUVs circa the mid to late 1990s. Don’t be surprised if Nissan plays up this more rugged image with a special edition model or off-road themed variant at some point, and this could certainly happen during the Pathfinder’s 2023 model year.

Nissan is adding a rugged Rock Creek model to the Pathfinder lineup for 2023. It sports a slightly lifted suspension, 18-inch all-terrain tires on unique wheels, a revised front grille and lower bumper, and standard all-wheel drive.

The V-6 gets a power boost in the Rock Creek model to 295 horsepower. The Rock Creek’s interior differs from the regular Pathfinder with special cloth and vinyl upholstery, orange stitching, and Rock Creek badges on the seats and center console.

ENGINE AND IMPLEMENTATION

While the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder retains the 3.5-liter V-6 from the previous-generation model, it drops the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) in favor of a new nine-speed automatic. The V-6 makes 284 horsepower in most models but is cranked up to 295 in the Rock Creek trim.

Front-wheel drive is standard but all trims can be equipped with all-wheel drive. Upgrading to the all-wheel-drive system also adds a set of seven drive modes, including the off-road-focused Sand and Mud/Rut model.

At our test track, our front-wheel-drive Pathfinder SL test vehicle got to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds; the model with all-wheel drive managed it in 6.6 seconds. Those results mean the all-wheel-drive Pathfinder is quicker than the Kia Telluride and the Toyota Highlander.

Handling is utterly forgettable and not in the least entertaining, but the Pathfinder’s ride is fairly smooth, and Nissan’s attention to sound-deadening elements makes the cabin extra quiet when cruising.

ENERGY AND REAL-WORLD MPG

According to the EPA, the most efficient Pathfinder is actually the one with optional all-wheel drive, which earned ratings of 21 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined; the front-wheel-drive model earned the same city and combined ratings but only 26 mpg highway.

On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, our all-wheel-drive test vehicle beat its EPA rating and returned 28 mpg. For more information about the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

INTERIOR, CONVENIENCE, AND BOOTH

The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder sports a modern and trucklike interior design with comfortable front seats and well-placed controls.

Three rows of seating can accommodate up to eight riders, but buyers can choose to swap the standard second-row bench seat for captain’s chairs—a desirable feature in a family crossover—that reduce capacity to seven.

Nissan has integrated storage cubbies throughout the cabin, including a large bin below the center console that’s accessible by the driver or front-seat passenger.

Upper trim levels come appropriately decked out with luxuries such as semi-aniline leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and a panoramic sunroof.

IN-VEHICLE INFOTAINMENT AND INTERCONNECTIONS

An 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard and runs the latest version of the NissanConnect software interface; a larger 9.0-inch display is standard on the SL and Platinum models. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard and the former can be synced wirelessly on upper trims.

A 12.3-inch digital gauge display, an onboard Wi-Fi hot spot, a wireless smartphone charging pad, SiriusXM satellite radio, a head-up display, and an in-dash navigation system are all optional features. A fairly basic six-speaker stereo is standard but a 13-speaker Bose system is optional.

PROTECTION AND DRIVER-ASSISTANCE ASPECTS

All Pathfinders come with a host of driver-assistance features as standard, including automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic high-beam headlamps. A semi-autonomous driving mode that Nissan calls ProPilot Assist is standard on SV, SL, and Platinum trims.

For more information about the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.

PHOTOS

2023 Nissan Pathfinder

2023 Nissan Pathfinder

2023 Nissan Pathfinder

2023 Nissan Pathfinder

2023 Nissan Pathfinder

FULL SPECIFICATIONS

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE
Base/As Tested: $34,560/$51,790
Options: Platinum trim, $12,780; lighting package, $795; two-tone + premium paint, $745; running boards, $730; carpeted floor mats, $255

ENGINE
DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 213 in3, 3498 cm3
Power: 284 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 259 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm

TRANSMISSION
9-speed automatic

CHASSIS
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 13.8-in vented disc/13.0-in vented disc
Tires: Hankook Dynapro HP2
255/50R-20 105H M+S

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 114.2 in
Length: 197.7 in
Width: 77.9 in
Height: 70.7 in
Passenger Volume: 145 ft3
Cargo Volume: 17 ft3
Curb Weight: 4638 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 6.6 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.2 sec @ 93 mph
100 mph: 18.2 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.4 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 7.1 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.6 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 5.1 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 119 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 179 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.83 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 19 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 28 mpg
Highway Range: 510 mi

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 22/20/25 mpg

2022 Nissan Pathfinder SL
Vehicle Type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE
Base/As Tested: $34,560/$45,795
Options: SL trim, $6180, SL premium package (panoramic moonroof, 20-inch wheels, towing package, second-row heated captain’s chairs), $2900

ENGINE
DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 213 in3, 3498 cm3
Power: 284 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 259 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm

TRANSMISSION
9-speed automatic

CHASSIS
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 13.8-in vented disc/13.0-in vented disc
Tires: Hankook Dynapro HP2
255/50R-20 105H M+S

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 114.2 in
Length: 197.7 in
Width: 77.9 in
Height: 70.7 in
Passenger Volume: 145 ft3
Cargo Volume: 17 ft3
Curb Weight: 4481 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 6.7 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.3 sec @ 94 mph
100 mph: 17.7 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 7.1 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.5 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.8 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 119 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 179 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.80 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 21 mpg

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 23/21/26 mpg

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