Roadshow Video Reviews
2013 Nissan PathfinderPathfinder reads the market and now crawls the mall more than the trail.
Nissan calls the new Pathfinder the next generation SUV. That's basically code for we've largely given up on off road. But for most of their buyers, I bet that a bulls eye. Let's check out the 2013 Pathfinder in 4-wheel drive trim and platinum level. Check the tech. The last Pathfinder was just take a horrid-looking thing like some in the Pentagon would put out an RFP form. This is a pretty boy. You can see it's got a lot of the DNA from the Infiniti JX. And on to the skin, things are different as well. No longer body on frame. It's now a Unibody vehicle like a car. In fact, it shares a platform with the Murano and the MaxiMa. The big engines are gone too. It used to get a 4L V6 or a 5.6 V8. No more. Now, single engine, 3.5L V6, an old standby. If you're having trouble spotting the new generation Pathfinder, just look for the second road handles. For the first time ever, they're not on the C-pillar. They're down on the door. Now the inside, this thing is Infiniti everywhere. Yeah, it's a Nissan, but they've really brought a lot of Infiniti Qs up in a lot of Nissans lately and this one has gotten a huge dose of it. Here are things to look for. In the center of the 2 dials, you've got this nice LCD screen, not that crunchy-8 bit nonsense that Nissan did forever ruining their dashboards. Beautiful gauges as well. Look over here, that's the Infiniti controller. We've seen showing up in Nissan's for a model year or two with a rotating ring and enter button in the center and these compass buttons around it, all of this is in Infiniti stuff as there's this of sort of dual dogbone lay out of the climate controls below it there in the audio settings. Now since we have the platinum trim here, we have some nice features in the dash. The navigation system is one of them. You don't get that in every Pathfinder as you might imagine. Beyond that, nothing really new here. We've seen this sort of look of map. It'll give you all kinds of different views as a great bird's eye view, but it still looks a little childish to me and sometimes the streets are incredibly tortured. They haven't done a great job of calling out a lot of those street labels in this current generation, which goes back years now. And if you don't wanna use the controller or the dedicated buttons, or the touchscreen 'cause you're picky that way, you can always use the voice command, which is I'd say basic, but very robust. -Would you like to access for-- -Navigation. -navigation. Please say-- -Address. -address. What state please? For Canada-- -California. -California. -And notice how fast I can whiff through an address there, but I still have to do it bucket style. One little module at a time, but there's excellent voice prompt commands on the screens. You don't have to memorize some stupid syntax. That's a good thing. Also on this car, we've got an elaborate camera system, which is weird because we're missing some other technologies for driver assistance, but not camera. I put this guy on reverse, look what I get. I've got a rear camera. I've got the around view monitor all for angles around the vehicle and if I hit the camera button again, I get this sort of down corner look at the right-front wheel. So, you've got an amazing richness of cameras on this vehicle that's part of this platinum trim level. As for the entertainment system, you've got just about everything you care about and all you're missing on things you don't care about with the exception of HD Radio. I was surprised to not find HD Radio on this vehicle, standard or optional, AM and FM and satellite radio of course are in there. Sat radio is very responsive in this guy by the way. It clicks up the information for a new station like that, which I like. On to the aux menu here, you're going to find your auxiliary inputs as you can see audio and video are available. There's CD and/or DVD here in this slot and Bluetooth streaming has good medi tech support. We also have a rear seat entertainment system on this guy that's a little something out of the 90s. You got dual screens on the back that can watch a DVD or a portable plug-in through RCA jacks. But the kids are gonna have an iPad. They're never gonna use that. Don't waste your money. Now in its new highly suburbanized role, the Pathfinder is nothing if not a people hauler. So, let's see how people get in the third row. I get to see. I got a nice, big haul right here to do that. If that's too complicated to make happen, it's not worth it. So, let's see how easy it is. There's one big leaflet on the shoulder of the seat. You pull that up and just push the whole mess forward. Now, I got one over here as well. That's actually quite easy. It gives you a real haul. Once you get back there, you find a bench reminiscent of the one in the reformatory in all of her twist, [unk] doesn't care. I must say Nissan deserves yet another award for this implementation of their legendary V6, in this case for ugliest engine bay. It's just to see of cheap black plastic. So, again, people who buy this thing aren't gonna be engine aficionados and they've gone in the well for the company's standard 3.5L V6. Pathfinders used to have either a 4L V6 or a big 5.4L V8, both gone. Smaller engine, but 260 horse, 240 foot pounds of torque, move this roughly 4400-pound beast up to 60 in a round 7.5 seconds. Nissan doesn't actually publish a number while delivering 1925 MPG and that's all-wheel drive. That's a pretty good number for the size and weight of this vehicle being lagged around by this engine. If you go with 2-wheel drive, you get a little bump in MPG, the 2026. And I'm intrigued that they looked at a number of engine components relatively high in the engine bay. This upper level of the air intake for examples way up here it says kinda offroad technique when you want a vehicle to ford deep water. The only time this is gonna ford deep water is when a water main breaks at the mall. So, what's it like driving a '13 Pathfinder? It's like a big ole bowl of vanilla ice cream. It's very vanilla. Interestingly, it's one of the few vehicles I've seen lately who's automatic transmission, we'll talk about that in a minute, does not have a shiftable gate or a sport mode or paddles. Now, this is not truly an automatic. It's a continuously variable transmission and I'm ready to pronounce it perhaps the best ever made. When I got on this car and I always do my blind taste test when I first get into a car that comes in our garage, I don't look at any of the data. I drive it first. I could have swoons with an automatic with actual gears. It is not. And that's a testimony to how firm and direct and sort of responsive it is, so nice job on the CVT, but Nissan's always done that. Power delivery is perpetually good as well, but there's something urgent or responsive about it so it's a vehicle that feels like it's sort of not a driver's vehicle in any condition whatsoever. The handling is pretty wallowy. It's not, you know, it's not dangerously so, but there's something exciting about driving this Pathfinder in any way shape or form. Let's talk about room inside. This is a nice spacious vehicle now, which is one of the knocks against the earlier generations of Pathfinder, real spacious, lots of elbow and shoulder and head room. If I look back over the corner, dreadful blind spots and the far corners, but the sides are nice and open for good visibility. Okay, let's price a 2013 Pathfinder. Platinum trim pretty much in a top of this the stack about $42,000. Now, I'd add to that platinum premium package, 2300 more is gonna get you that very cool panoramic glass roof of a second and third row, tri-zone climate control, fewer arguments about that on a long road trip and a largely useless rear seat entertainment system, I'd like to pull that out, but it's part of the package and the deal is pretty good overall. So all in, it's a prettier Pathfinder. It's car [unk] so that's a one choice smaller engine maintains credible all-wheel drive and much better fuel economy. Nothing impressed me about driving it, but that isn't the point in this guy. It hauls people and stuff well while being very suburban and that's gonna be a bulls-eye on the intended buyer.