With decent fuel economy and a compliant ride, it is easy to see why the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder has become a strong contender in the midsize crossover segment. Regardless of trim, every Pathfinder is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with a CVT. It produces 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque, and can accelerate zero to 60 mph in 8 seconds. While this is not winning any races, it is definitely average for a vehicle of this size. Pathfinder comes standard as front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available, and it can tow 5,100 pounds, which is certainly impressive for a V6. One of its greatest selling points is its fuel economy, as it returns a respectable 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. This crossover handles itself confidently on the road. A well-tuned suspension provides a smooth ride, and although acceleration can be a bit sluggish, it has plenty of get-up-and-go, when you need to merge or pass on the highway. On the downside, steering can be a little unresponsive, and there is noticeable body roll around turns.
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• Tri-zone Entertainment - With three screens, all passengers can be happy. Front seat passengers can use their navigation system and enjoy audio while rear seat passengers enjoy 7-inch DVD monitors in the back of the front headrests. Kids can watch movies or play video games, and wireless headsets are included.
• Navigation - An advanced navigation system gives you vividly clear maps, turn-by-turn directions, SiriusXM® and Bluetooth to make getting to your destination a breeze.
• Nissan Intelligent Key - Never fumble for your keys again! As long as you have your key fob in your purse, pocket, etc., you can unlock doors and start the engine.
• Audio - An optional 13-speaker Bose® system is available that includes a CD player, USB interface and 7-inch color multi-information display.
Crash test scores are not yet available for the 2013 Pathfinder. Considering it has been redesigned it is hard to say if it will follow in the footsteps of a predecessor. One can only hope for improvement because although it scored “Good” in front and side-impact crash tests, roof-strength only received a marginal rating. Braking capabilities have been tested on the 2013 model, and it delivered average results, taking 124 feet to stop from 60 mph. A few features worth mentioning include:
• Rear door safety locks
• Post collision safety system
• Tire pressure monitoring
• Traction control
• Child seat anchors
• Engine immobilizer
• Remote anti-theft alarm
• Seatbelt pretensioners
• Stability control
• Electronic brakeforce distribution
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Emergency braking assist
Nissan did a fantastic job redesigning Pathfinder. It went from being a boxy, boring and outdated sport utility vehicle to a sleek, aerodynamic and sporty looking crossover. On the downside, it gave up its truck-like roots that were always ready for off-road action to become a more comfortable family vehicle. It boasts plenty of curved angles, a roof rear spoiler and an athletic stance. You can even customize with a few optional features.
Seating in all three rows is more than generous. Many three-row crossovers can only accommodate small children in the very back, but Pathfinder welcomes 6-foot passengers with more than enough legroom and head clearance. The seats are quite comfortable too, especially the first row, and the second row slides and reclines; a feature much appreciated to achieve optimal comfort and easy access to the third row. The layout is quite nice. Materials are good quality, especially at the Platinum level, and the controls are all thoughtfully placed, easy to identify and simple to use without taking your eyes off the road for long periods of time.
Cargo space is generous, but it does not quite compete with other vehicles in this segment. Behind the front seats, there are 79.8 cubic feet, but with all seats in place, there are only 16 cubes.