• Image Credit: Copyright 2013 Chris Paukert / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2013 Chris Paukert / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2013 Chris Paukert / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2013 Chris Paukert / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2013 Chris Paukert / AOL
Not Just For Families

The image you see above is what appears on the infotainment display when you shift the Pathfinder into reverse. In addition to a standard backup camera, on the right is Nissan's Around-View Monitor, and it's one of my favorite bits of technology that any company has come out with in recent years. I spend the majority of my time in downtown Detroit, where I often have to negotiate tight instances of parallel parking, and having the ability to get a full bird's-eye view of the vehicle in motion is really helpful for trying to squeeze into smaller spaces. I've used this functionality on several other Nissan and Infiniti vehicles, and though I don't doubt my abilities to park a big vehicle in a small space, having the added assurance from this system is really nice.

In our last update, one of our staffers talked about the Pathfinder's rear passenger compartments from a family point of view, which is something I wouldn't normally get to experience. I don't have children, I have no desire to have children, and thus, sliding second-rows and collapsable third-rows are merely "oh, hey, neat" features to me, aside from the random times I need to carry a big load of cargo.

Girls riding in second and third row seats of our long-term Nissan PathfinderGood thing, then, that I have plenty of friends who will gladly cram into the back of whatever I'm driving rather than take their own cars when we all want to get together. At one point, I packed the car full of six adults (say hello to Anabel, Darcie, Jennifer and Allison, who all opted to smile for this photo), and not a single one of them complained about things like legroom or headroom while riding in the Pathfinder – not even in the way-back. It's important to note: If you're going to put people in the third row, remind second-row passengers to be courteous and slide their bench forward. There's a huge amount of legroom to be had behind the front seats with the second row slid all the way back, but it seriously cuts out on third-row accommodations. When I didn't have the car packed full of folks, I preferred to just leave the third row folded into the floor with the second row slid all the way back.

Doing this, though, brought up a question: Why no power-folding third row? This sort of feature is available on many six/seven-passenger vehicles, and seems like an odd omission on our Platinum-trim Pathfinder. Still, the third row is simple enough to negotiate from the tailgate, with easy-to-use straps that don't require much effort in order to flip the seats up.

When I did have the Pathfinder loaded full of ladies, I was reminded of an earlier point brought up by editor-in-chief John Neff: this thing feels seriously sluggish when carrying a full brood. To be fair, I haven't driven competitive vehicles like the Ford Explorer or Chevrolet Traverse with every seat filled, but I'm willing to bet it's a similar story.

2013 Nissan Pathfinder interior

That said, I really enjoy driving the Pathfinder. It's quiet, comfortable, and all the good things I said about the vehicle during my First Drive experience in California are proving to stand true even after extended use at home. What I like the most, though, and this is sort of contrary to the way I normally feel about vehicles, is the light, open, airy feeling of the interior, a lot of which has to do with the parchment-colored trim that we opted for on our test car. I recently sat in a Explorer, which just felt dark and gloomy by comparison, mostly thanks to the Ford's thick A-pillars and chunky plastic surfaces. The Pathfinder, on the other hand, is simply more comfortable overall, with a much more premium-feeling cabin and better, easier-to-use tech.

I'll soon be handing the Pathfinder out for another series of loans to the rest of the staff, so stay tuned for those updates in the coming months. And after how much I enjoyed having the Nissan over the past couple of months, I just hope it won't take as long for me to get another big stint behind the wheel.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      Jakes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, is selling like hotcakes and the design is not offensive (is basically a Nissan Highlander) but you gotta give props to Nissan as it's working for them.
      Patrick Johnson
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like they copied a Subaru. If I want a Subaru, I will buy a Subaru. The Pathfinder used to be about 4X4, not getting groceries. Oh well.
        Greg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Patrick Johnson
        The same thing happened to the Ford Explorer. At least Nissan still makes the Xterra and Armada for real off-road duty and Ford still offers the Expedition among their sea of soft crossovers.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      So what paths will this find?
        Greg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        The shopping and elementary school paths.
      jtav2002
      • 2 Years Ago
      There's no E in Xterra people.
      BlackandMild
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ashame how they took a REAL truck and neutered it to nothing more than a big front wheel drive car thats shaped like an SUV- Really? Has crack become legal in Japan?
      sean65
      • 2 Years Ago
      BTW, in real life... the new Pathfinder looks less than pleasing. Stance is more Subaru Forester than Nissan Xterra. Wavy fender line, erm, no thanks. Rear end, ummm, low and large. Too bad.
        Henry
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sean65
        The "Wavy fender line" is my main beef with the vehicle too. I thought I was alone. It makes me consider Toyota Highlander even though they are not in the same league until I found out the new model is about to come out. I need one soon but I am not yet convinced. I need something to complement my wife's Armada for the kids.
      D.Smithee
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh, sweet Pathfinder--what have they done to you?
      Frank Wulfers
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great value and good design. Just wish you could buy a base model with moonroof and navigation because I don't need or want all the other stuff. And definitely don't want to spend spend $10K extra for the upper levels and get the few options you actually want.
        foxtrot685
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frank Wulfers
        Yes, the product planner/manager who arranged the options sheet needs to have a kick in the rear. Why should I have to go full zoot to get a fairly common option?
      riserburn99andre
      • 2 Years Ago
      Too bad they made it look like a wagon instead of a SUV.
        michigan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @riserburn99andre
        SUVs are basically station wagons anyway
      Turismo4GT
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe Nissan didn't make power folding third row seats an option in the Pathfinder to offer it as a 'premium' feature on the JX...oops, make that QX60 (damn you, Infiniti).
        Thorin78
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Turismo4GT
        that's not even a feature in the JX for 2013 so no. I think the power folding equipment would've taken up the space for the bose system which is situated behind and blow the 3rd row. We bought it because of the movable 2nd row with a car seat to allow people get into the 3rd row. Awesome.
          Jaclock LaGlock
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Thorin78
          Or maybe they didn't want the extra weight that comes along with such a system. As it's been said, the engine output isn't anything to write home about so, it was probably best not to have anything else in the vehicle that could lessen the performance even more. This isn't a bash on the Pathfinder, it's just my assumption.
        pavsterrocks
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Turismo4GT
        Man, you people are spoiled... so you have to push a lever and fold the seat yourself! One fewer thing to break over the long-term.
      SFGiantsFan35
      • 2 Years Ago
      For what it may be worth to someone regarding passenger comfort and power with a full crew compliment... I rented a GMC Acadia last June during a vacation in the northeast US (MA to PA). 6 adults (4M/2F and its worth noting all the guys are 6 feet tall and over) and everyone was comfortable (1 of the guys in the third row no less) and the Acadia had plenty of power in the city and highway. I was genuinely impressed with (surprised by?) it... except for the ugly front end (IMO).
      blasds78
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not a fan of anything Nissan has introduced since the Maxima and 370Z. The current Altima, Versa, Sentra, Murano, Quest, Juke, Cube, and now, the Pathfinder...they all look horrible compared to each model's class leaders. They may not be the worst in this area, but they're far from the lead.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @blasds78
        [blocked]
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