Pros/ Smooth drivetrain, easy-fold second row, general ease of use
Cons/ Large Rock Creek badges, fuel economy penalty, third row space
Bottom Line/ A stalwart road trip vehicle, the Pathfinder earns a more ruggedized trim this year with the Rock Creek.
Table of contents
- 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Review
- Nissan Pathfinder vs Volkswagen Atlas Comparison
- 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Review: First Drive
- Nissan Pathfinder vs Mazda CX-9 Comparison
- Nissan Pathfinder vs Honda Pilot: Which SUV is Right for You?
- Nissan Pathfinder vs Kia Telluride: Which SUV is Right for You?
- Nissan Pathfinder vs Toyota Highlander: Which SUV is Right for You?
- Nissan Pathfinder vs Subaru Ascent: Which SUV is Right for You?
- Detailed Specs
- Editor's Verdict
2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Review
In its early days, the Pathfinder was quite the off-roader.
Fans around the world loved the first few generations of this rugged Nissan for its go-anywhere capabilities and SUV sensibilities. But over time, consumer’s tastes changed, and the Pathfinder morphed into more of a family hauler than a trail crawler.
For the 2023 model year, Nissan is attempting to recapture the Pathfinder’s former off-road image, and even some of its capabilities. The key element to this change is an all-new trim level called 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek.
There’s a trend in the world of SUVs right now for ruggedized looking models. Even if a vehicle may never really go off-road, consumers want it to look the part. It’s an image thing. Much like those who wear hiking boots to a shopping mall or full athletic gear to the movie theatre.
Nissan Pathfinder vs Volkswagen Atlas Comparison
There’s a whole lot of crossover between these two crossovers.
Both the Nissan Pathfinder and Volkswagen Atlas come with three rows. There’s a large, naturally-aspirated V6 under each nose, sending power to all four wheels. In the case of these two specific examples, they’re also both red, with twin-five-spoke wheels. They’re both the respective range-toppers of their lineup, too.
That’s what makes this comparison so interesting. Managing editor Mike Schlee and I spent a week with these two mid-sized SUVs, determined to figure where their respective strengths lie, especially as relatively left-field choices in a crowded segment. Is one the clear choice for families? Let’s find out.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder Review: First Drive
Like a suit, the difference between a good and great crossover comes down to the details.
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder may look like an entirely different suit on the mid-sized rack. That’d be the modernized styling; a new material, if you will. Nissan has stuck with the same basic bones for this latest three-button—er, three-row—crossover, however. From there, the Japanese automaker has tweaked the pattern. Taking inspiration from past Pathfinders, the 2022 model is more rugged, but it also blends in smarter technology, more practicality, and a vastly improved interior.
The detail changes Nissan has wrought on the Pathfinder increase its usefulness, its refinement, and its overall desirability. All this elevates the Pathfinder above your typical off-the-rack mid-sized crossover, turning a forgotten option into one of the class front-runners.
Nissan Pathfinder vs Mazda CX-9 Comparison
To suggest all-wheel drive three-row crossovers are popular is akin to saying the sun is a bit hot. Or the Montreal Canadiens are off to a bad start this season.
Trawl through any suburban neighbourhood and you’ll find hundreds of the things, parked in driveways of mid-century homes and McMansions alike.
Which is why it’s a big deal when an automaker overhauls their entry in the segment. Nissan gave its Pathfinder a rethink for 2022, draping it in sheetmetal much more angular and truck-like than last year’s model, which was lumpen and unremarkable. Mazda treated its CX-9 to a mid-year refresh, hence the decimal point in its name, appending it with updates to the grille and interior trim.
Nissan Pathfinder vs Honda Pilot: Which SUV is Right for You?
Nissan’s adventurous three-row mid-size crossover, the Pathfinder, is all-new for 2022.
It boasts dramatically reimagined styling and, perhaps most notably, a nice, conventional nine-speed automatic in place of the old continuously variable transmission. But apart from that, not all that much has really changed. It still rocks the same engine as the previous-generation model, and much of the same technology and features – although the packaging and distribution of that content may have changed.
Considering all this, is the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder sufficiently “new” to thrive in a contentious three-row mid-size SUV segment? How does it stack up against its direct competitors – like, say, the 2022 Honda Pilot?
Nissan Pathfinder vs Kia Telluride: Which SUV is Right for You?
This is a comparison of two vehicles at the differing ends of their lifecycle; the Nissan Pathfinder versus Kia Telluride.
The Nissan Pathfinder is all-new for the 2022 model year and features new styling, new technology, and an all-new transmission. The Kia Telluride on the other hand is in its final year of its current guise, with a mid-cycle refresh occurring for the 2023 model year.
Despite being on the market for a few years, does one of the perennial favorites in the three-row SUV segment, the Kia Telluride, still have what it takes to compete with the newer Nissan Pathfinder? We dive deep into the features and capabilities of each vehicle to find out as we pit the Pathfinder head to head with the Telluride.
Nissan Pathfinder vs Toyota Highlander: Which SUV is Right for You?
Nissan Pathfinder vs Toyota Highlander. It’s a rivalry that’s been going on for over 20 years.
Originally, the Pathfinder was more of the rugged SUV while the Highlander was little more than a raised-up, all-wheel drive minivan. But over the decades the two models have slowly evolved to meet in the middle as comfortable, three-row family vehicles that still have acceptable off-road capabilities.
The Highlander has been on sale in its current form for three years now and will be getting a full mid-cycle refresh later this year. Currently, it can be had with a multitude of powertrains, including a traditional V6 or a full-hybrid system. The Pathfinder on the other hand is all-new this year, sold exclusively with a V6 engine and a new nine-speed automatic transmission.
Nissan Pathfinder vs Subaru Ascent: Which SUV is Right for You?
The big three-row SUV continues to be the vehicle of choice for growing families.
Technically crossovers, these mid-size vehicles offer seating for 6 to 8 passengers along with enough cargo capacity for long road trips. With all-wheel drive and generous ground clearance, they’re sure-footed driving conveyances that can take a large family off the beaten path in a variety of weather conditions. Best of all, they are generally very easy to drive and user friendly.
This sounds like the perfect market segment for Subaru to produce a vehicle and after the mis-steps of the previous Tribeca, the Japanese brand nailed the formula with the Ascent. Available in 7 or 8 seat configurations, it comes standard with all-wheel drive and a turbocharged BOXER engine.
|Price /||$35,000 - $49,870|
|Engine /||3.5-liter 6-cylinder|
|Power /||284–295 hp|
|Torque /||259–270 lb-ft|
|Drivetrain /||FWD / AWD|
|Fuel Economy (city/hwy) /||20 mpg / 23–27 mpg|
|Cargo Capacity /||16.6 cu ft|
Our Final Verdict
|Quality & Styling||8.0|