• 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
When we say that our long-term 2013 Nissan Pathfinder has been busy, we mean it. Want proof? In the past month, the big, brown Nissan was only idle enough for us to take it in for its 11,500-mile routine service and to shoot a couple of new photos of the long-termer in Detroit.

Most recently, the Pathfinder spent a few weeks in the hands of AOL Autos' executive editor Sharon Carty, who used the three-row CUV to haul her entire family from Detroit to New Jersey and back... twice. That's a pretty serious amount of miles, but it gave Sharon a really solid look into how the vehicle holds up for the needs of a family with kids of different ages.
2013 Nissan Pathfinder - rear seat video screens2013 Nissan Pathfinder - second row seats folded forward

For starters, when you're transporting three kids on a long journey, the dual rear-seat entertainment system is a nice thing to have. But it isn't without fault, as Sharon describes.

The screens are mounted into the back of the front seats, which quickly posed a problem.

"The screens are mounted into the back of the front seats, which quickly posed a problem: The third row passenger couldn't see the screen. My 13-year-old daughter removed the headrests from the second row of seats, and that made the situation better. But not perfect. Instead of hearing peaceful bliss while they watched the movie, I heard a lot of, 'James! Move your head!' Or 'James! I can't see!'"

That gripe aside, the interior of the Pathfinder continues to be a point of praise, for not only its functionality for hauling large loads of people, but for the fact that it's generally very comfortable. After seven months and 12,000 miles of hard use, the cabin is holding up well, with no signs of wear or discoloration to the beige leather, aside from a couple of small stains in the rear of the cabin (darn Carty kids!).

2013 Nissan Pathfinder - Dashboard
2013 Nissan Pathfinder - navigation screen2013 Nissan Pathfinder - engine bay

For road trips like the one Sharon encountered, two other talking points came up: fuel economy and ease of use for the onboard navigation system. On the miles per gallon front, "fuel economy ranged from 19.2 mpg to 23.5 mpg," Sharon notes. That's about right, considering the car is rated at 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway and these jaunts to Jersey and back did involve a full vehicle and some city driving and stop-and-go traffic on the highway. The navigation, though, seemed to be a particular point of issue.

The GPS is way off in its time estimations for long trips.

"The GPS is way off in its time estimations for long trips. It predicted it would take us 12 hours to get to NJ – a trip which in 10 years of living in the Midwest has never taken us more than 10 hours, even with stops with the kids. It also directed us through surface streets in the Bronx while heading to the zoo, even though the zoo is right off the highway."

We'll be sure to watch for more navigation errors as the Pathfinder continues on in our hands. And since we have a couple more big trips planned for the summer months, we'll be keeping a close eye on fuel economy, as well. Stay tuned.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      Karl_T
      • 1 Year Ago
      They seem to be pretty damn popular with soccer mom's around here/Des Moines, IA. Far too bland and soft looking for my taste. The back is far too busy, and far too minivan looking as well.
      Wymanator
      • 1 Year Ago
      "The GPS is way off in its time estimations for long trips." I experience the same thing in my 2013 Nissan Quest. For some reason it estimates that it will take me 12 minutes to go 10 miles on a highway where the speed limit is 70. Go figure.
      Bradford
      • 1 Year Ago
      The best description of this vehicle is one I saw months ago in the comments of a previous autoblog article: "A Pathfinder that doesn't find paths."
      jay4e
      • 1 Year Ago
      I do not get why most of america think this is better than a minivan? looks like a minivan, probably drives like a minivan, yet has none of the advantages of a minivan...
        BipDBo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jay4e
        Functionally, I agree, that this is 99% minivan. As I see it, the differences between a three row CUV such as the Pathfinder and the typical minivan are: * CUV has bigger tires * CUV has swinging, rather than sliding rear doors * Minivan hood slope is shorter and closer in angle to that of windshield rather than flatter, longer and more truck-like in appearance. One exception is the Chevy Uplander * CUV often has higher ground clearance and floor * For reason above, CUVs, typically have less usable interior volume, usually much less cargo area behind third row. * For reason above, CUVs typically have higher CGs and lower crash worthiness * CUVs often cost much more $, typically 5-10 K more than comparable minivan * CUVs are popular because people think they look less like mom-mobiles.
          Susan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BipDBo
          The big wheels are utterly stupid for this type of vehicle - purely a styling element that adds profit for the manufacturer and tire sellers.
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BipDBo
          You have not priced an Odyssey, it's the most expensive vehicle at Honda.
      rmkensington
      • 1 Year Ago
      This thing is really ugly, and really expensive. I dont understand why anyone would pick this over a Tahoe or Explorer.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rmkensington
        [blocked]
        Vinuuz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rmkensington
        And the Tahoe and Explorer can be bought for free. Thank you for your education.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Vinuuz
          [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
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          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
      carboy55
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am crying laughing at all the haters who call it a soulless minivans as it sets sales records month aftrer month. I'm glad I don't have stock in your companies. The only cars you're happy with are Ferrari 358s that get 35 mpg and have stick shifts for under $25 grand. Get real.
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 1 Year Ago
      So this big seven passenger CUV is getting the same mileage as the tiny cramped Veloster at Autoblog.
      Andrew
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sounds like the only paths it's found so far are paved superhighways... :)
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Go look at a Xterra, does not seat seven but looks rugged off road like is cheaper and is based off the Frontier truck platform.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cruising
        As long as they keep making the Xterra and it continues being on a truck platform I have no problem with the Pathfinder now being a CUV. Every vehicle in your lineup doesn't have to be a traditional BOF SUV with lots of off road capability.
        Susan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cruising
        "Looks rugged" - is that important?
          Cruising
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Susan
          To many below apparently yes, and same goes for the new Cherokee, have you read those topics? Some people love a rugged looking truck that is capable off road nothing wrong with that. There is reason these vehicles have a hardcore fanbase, sure the new one sells a bunch but the reason they fell in love with the truck in the first place is because of it's rather rugged off road deal. Auto enthusiast are passionate people, I'm not passionate about said vehicle but their is nothing wrong with people voicing there concerns.
      KingTito
      • 1 Year Ago
      As someone who had an early 90\'s Pathfinder (red, manual transmission), this family truckster, station wagon thing kills my soul. I can\'t believe they purloined the name and assigned it to this. However, if this is what people are buying and will buy, all the power to Carlos Ghoon and his crew.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @KingTito
        [blocked]
          Susan
          • 1 Year Ago
          He said manual trans. At least he knew how to drive.
          KingTito
          • 1 Year Ago
          I took it everywhere. Camping, fishing, mountain biking. Loved that machine. All with your wife of course.
      RetrogradE
      • 1 Year Ago
      I only "want proof" that Matt Davis loved it, then I'll buy one (since he just keeps telling us to 'drive one').
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