2023 Nissan Pathfinder

2023 Nissan Pathfinder
2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rearward Vision
2023 Nissan Pathfinder Dashboard
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2023 Nissan Pathfinder Review: The Path To Freedom

by Michael Butler

The Nissan Pathfinder enjoyed a redesign for the 2022 model year and still feels fresh in 2023 thanks to a spacious and well-equipped interior, and a brawny exterior design. The eye-catching exterior design in particular makes the Nissan Pathfinder's competitors such as the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride look a little tame. The Pathfinder rides on a unibody chassis and is powered by a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6, producing 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque in most trims and a bit more in the new Rock Creek. Power is sent to the front, or all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Pathfinder offers seating for up to eight, and when the rear seats are folded, it also offers a ton of cargo space. With the new Rock Creek trim on board for 2023, the Pathfinder also becomes a decent off-road machine.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2023 Nissan Pathfinder Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Pathfinder?

For the 2023 model year, Pathfinder fans in the USA can expect a new Rock Creek trim to join the lineup. This new trim features suspension lifted by 5/8 inches, some hardcore all-terrain tires mounted on 18-inch beadlock-style wheels, a unique front grille and lower bumper, a tow-hitch receiver with a 6,000-pound towing capacity, a tubular roof rack capable of carrying 220 lbs, LED foglights, a surround-view monitor, standard AWD, and a dedicated off-road driving mode. The interior of the Rock Creek trim boasts special cloth-and-leatherette upholstery with orange stitching and special badging. Under the hood, the Pathfinder Rock Creek's V6 engine gets a boost to 295 hp and 270 lb-ft (on Premium gas only).

Pros and Cons

  • Strong towing capacity
  • Decent ride/handling balance
  • Quiet and comfortable
  • Lots of interior space
  • Impressive standard safety gear
  • Lacks some power
  • Higher trims get expensive
  • It's not a driver's car
  • Old-school naturally aspirated V6

What's the Price of the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder?

The price of the Nissan Pathfinder is a little more expensive at the top end of things than most might like, but there's still value to be had at the entry point of the range. The most affordable is the base S at an MSRP of $35,000. An SV retails for $37,820, while the SL comes with a $41,420 sticker price. The Rock Creek costs $42,820, while the top-of-the-range Platinum trim starts at $47,140. Adding an AWD system to any of these models adds $1,900 to the price. These prices exclude the handling and destination charge of $1,295.

Best Deals on 2023 Nissan Pathfinder

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
Rock Creek
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Trims and Specs

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Handling and Driving Impressions

The 2023 Pathfinder is a three-row SUV, not a two-door sports car; always keep that in mind. This car isn't much fun to drive and won't excite the driver, even on the best canyon roads. Instead, it offers predictable and solid handling, exactly what most people look for in a family SUV. The steering is responsive and light, making city driving a breeze, but don't expect much feedback. The overall ride is smooth, but second- and third-row passengers might complain of choppiness on poor surfaces. Unfortunately, the Pathfinder's turning radius is huge, which makes navigating tight spots a chore. Thanks to added soundproofing in the cabin, the Pathfinder makes for an impressively refined highway cruiser, and that V6 offers enough power to haul this SUV along at cruising speeds. That said, it needs to be wound up a little; the engine lacks the bottom-end punch of turbocharged rivals and the transmission can be found napping at times when demanding instant passing power.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder A Good SUV?

The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder is the perfect no-nonsense choice for a family looking for a spacious and capable SUV in the midsize class. The Pathfinder offers tons of value for money, and still feels fresh after last year's refresh. Under the hood, the old-school V6 engine keeps chugging away without complaint, and the fuel economy isn't terrible either. The list of standard features is good, and the standard driver assistance features are even more impressive. Where the new Nissan Pathfinder truly shines however is inside the cabin; there's tons of space for people and all of their stuff. We do think the touchscreen could be a bit larger, and it's rather boring to drive, but these are small niggles in an otherwise well-rounded package. You probably won't find a road-test review of the Nissan Pathfinder where it finishes in first place, but it's a solid effort, even if doesn't quite challenge the class leaders.

What 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Model Should I Buy?

When it comes to non-premium SUVs, it seems a little silly to pay nearly $50,000 for a fully loaded one. But thankfully, the Pathfinder has a good spread of features to make it a strong contender even in lesser trims. In our eyes, one rung down from the top is a good buy. Starting at $41,420, the Pathfinder SL gets leather upholstery, a power tailgate, and the larger nine-inch infotainment screen replete with Wireless Apple CarPlay. A surround-view camera and additional safety features also make it a comprehensive package. You'll need the towing package if you want to tow the full 6,000 lbs available, and if you live in a state with regular snow, we'd definitely spring for AWD. Otherwise, all the extra niceties you could want can be added via the SL Premium Package, adding the 13-speaker Bose sound system, a panoramic moonroof, heated rear seats, and second-row captain's chairs.

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