Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan’s Pathfinder evolved from a pickup-truck-based SUV to a large family-minded crossover when this fourth-generation model bowed for 2013. Available in either front- or all-wheel drive, the Pathfinder received a mild facelift for 2017 that included a new direct-injected V6 with 284 horsepower along with an updated continuously variable transmission.

Today’s Pathfinder isn’t our favorite-driving three-row SUV, and it trails the class in terms of infotainment tech, but it’s comfortable and capacious, plus Nissan has done a fine job keeping this model updated with new safety features. Starting at $31,040 before options and delivery, the 2018 Pathfinder remains in the hunt against rivals like the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Escape, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander and Volkswagen Atlas.

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Editors' First Take

We've seen a major influx of off-road-oriented trim levels and special packages for crossovers and SUVs over the past few years, many of which are mostly relegated to rugged-looking cosmetic changes and a set of rubber floor mats. But that's not the case with the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek. While it's not exactly on the same level as something like a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, the new Pathfinder Rock Creek has legit off-road upgrades that make it pretty damn fun to wheel on a trail.

There are two main upgrades that give the Rock Creek its increased capability. Its beadlock-style 18-inch wheels wear super chunky Toyo Open Country all-terrain tires that are wider than the all-seasons on regular Pathfinders, and the combination looks pretty rad. The Rock Creek's suspension has also been lifted by 0.6 inch -- not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but when you're off-roading, every bit helps. And it's better than the previous-generation Rock Creek, which kept that Pathfinder's standard suspension height.

Most of the Rock Creek's other additions are admittedly for styling's sake. Luckily, I think they make the Rock Creek look freakin' cool, more interesting and purposeful than the already attractive standard Pathfinder. The front end gets a gloss black grille with a large mesh pattern, a redesigned bumper mostly made of black plastic and a larger silver faux skid plate. The side skirts and rear bumper have the same design as the normal Pathfinder but are fully made from black plastic. It also gets a tubular roof rack with a 220-pound load capacity, lots of Rock Creek badging and some exclusive exterior colors, like the Baja Storm you see here.

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