android, 2023 nissan pathfinder starts at $36,295, adventure-oriented rock creek at $44,115

The Nissan Pathfinder’s 2022 redesign brought a more rugged exterior, a contemporary interior with increased space, a new transmission and a host of new tech and safety features. For 2023, the Pathfinder returns with minor changes and a base price of $36,295 (all prices include destination charge), plus the addition of the new Rock Creek trim. Shoppers considering the Rock Creek will, however, pay a considerable premium for its off-road appointments with a $44,115 starting price.

What’s New?

Aside from the new Rock Creek variant, the 2023 Pathfinder sees a short list of updates: SL models get standard wireless charging; a 10-way power-adjustable passenger seat is added for the SL and highest-end Platinum; and a new captain’s chairs package with a removable second-row console is offered on the Platinum.

Powertrain and Capability

2022 Nissan Pathfinder | Cars.com photo by Leslie Cunningham

All 2023 Pathfinder models are powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine making 284 horsepower and 259 pounds-feet of torque. It’s paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the previous generation’s continuously variable automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available on all trims except the Rock Creek, where it comes standard. The Pathfinder’s adventure-oriented features include seven driver-selectable modes (Standard, Sport, Eco, Snow, Mud/Rut, Sand and Tow), a towing capacity of up to 6,000 pounds and standard trailer sway control.

In addition to a lower starting price, forgoing the Rock Creek offers a slight fuel economy advantage: Most Pathfinder models get up to 21/27/23 mpg (city/highway/combined) with FWD, according to EPA ratings, while the Rock Creek drops to 20/23/21 mpg.

Tech and Safety

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

Standard tech features include an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; a larger 9-inch touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, head-up display and 360-degree camera system are available. A suite of safety and driver-assist features comes standard as part of Nissan’s Safety Shield 360: automatic forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and high-beam assist. Optional features include blind spot intervention, lane departure steering assist and traffic sign recognition. Nissan’s ProPilot Assist is standard on higher trims and adds hands-on driver-assist tech like lane-centering steering and adaptive cruise control down to a stop.

The 2023 Pathfinder recently earned a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and performed well in two new tests: a side impact crash test and nighttime pedestrian detection system evaluation.

Trims, Pricing and Release Date

On sale now, the 2023 Pathfinder comes in five trims: S, SV, SL, Rock Creek and Platinum. Starting prices for the S and SV increase by $360, the SL by $880 and the Platinum by $830. With marginal changes for 2023, shoppers can save by choosing a 2022 model. Below is a breakdown of the Pathfinder’s trims, standard features and starting prices; AWD adds $1,900 to the S, SV, SL and Platinum. (All prices include a $1,295 destination fee.)

  • S: $36,295
  • SV: $39,115
  • SL: $42,715
  • Rock Creek: $44,115
  • Platinum: $49,265

The Pathfinder S comes exclusively with a second-row bench seat for up to eight occupants and gets standard cloth seats, a 7-inch digital gauge cluster and six-speaker sound system. Standard exterior features include LED headlights, a chrome grille and badging, body-colored mirrors and bumpers, and 18-inch painted aluminum-alloy wheels.

The SV offers optional second-row captain’s chairs to seat seven and adds heated front seats, heated side mirrors, a roof rack, leather-wrapped steering wheel, adaptive cruise control and ProPilot Assist.

The SL builds on that with a power liftgate, leather seats, a 9-inch touchscreen, built-in navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and wireless charging. It also comes with a more advanced version of ProPilot Assist that adjusts speed based on curves and traffic signs.

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

Available exclusively with second-row captain’s chairs, the new Rock Creek features an off-road-tuned suspension, 18-inch beadlock-style wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires, a tubular roof rack, tow hitch and harness, LED foglights and a 360-degree camera system with an off-road mode. Other visual cues that set the trim apart include a dark-painted grille and Rock Creek badging, plus imitation leather and cloth upholstery with orange stitching found inside.

The range-topping Platinum adds a standard power tilting panoramic moonroof, motion-activated power liftgate, 20-inch machined aluminum-alloy dark-gray wheels, 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, head-up display and a premium Bose 13-speaker audio system.

Versus the Competition

The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder’s starting price falls mid-pack among its three-row competitors: The 2022 Ford Explorer starts at $37,005; the 2023 Hyundai Palisade at $36,245; the 2022 Kia Telluride at $34,725; the 2022 Subaru Ascent at $33,970; and the 2022 Toyota Highlander at $37,190.

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