All New 2013 Nissan Pathfinder

by Erica Mueller

Last week I joined about fifty other bloggers and media reporters for a day of driving in the beautiful wine country of California. We started our road trip in San Francisco where we paired up, two to a car, and drove the all new 2013 Sentras (more about that once the embargo is lifted and I can share my experience!) to Napa where we traded our Sentras for the all new Pathfinders.

2013 Nissan Pathfinder Review

Let me first state that I have a certain fondness for the color teal and that I adore large vehicles. I drive a Dodge Durango and I’m used to v8 power and truck-like handling. When I saw the 2013 Pathfinder on display, my heart skipped a beat. It was beautiful. And, it was teal. Now, it comes in many beautiful colors; I drove a dark gray model and I liked that too, but the deep teal is still my favorite.

My Immediate Impressions of the 2013 Pathfinder:

She is styled beautifully. This is not a mom-car; there is nothing minivan or soccer mom about it. The 2013 Pathfinder makes a fashion statement. An executive would love this car as much as the mom of several kids who needs all the space the Pathfinder provides.

There is space behind the third row seating. Many vehicles on the market that claim to seat seven may do just that but they won’t also haul groceries or luggage. The Pathfinder has a nice space behind the seat with extra storage under the floor board. The rear seat also sports a 60/40 split, so you can lay down either seat, or both to create more space. The second row seats also fold flat if you’re making a big haul.

The second row seats have a single lever slide and tilt feature which allows easy access to the third row. As adults, we had to test this feature several times because we couldn’t believe just how easy it was to get into the third row without climbing over things. The seats will even slide/tilt with a child’s carseat installed. This last feature made me swoon and I hadn’t even driven the car yet! I drove around with Scotty Reiss and she captured some video of me getting into the third row.

Here’s a fabulous video from Nissan detailing the cargo space and seating configuration. It also shows off that gorgeous teal exterior I was telling you about.

The next big thing to impress me was the new all-around video cameras. Rear-view cameras have been around for a while. They let you see the ground behind you so you don’t back over your kid’s bike. But the 2013 Pathfinder has four cameras, perfectly located to provide a composite view on your 8″ command center/nav screen allowing you to see all the way around the car.

Did I mention the details? Nissan paid attention to every little thing. From the buttons on the steering wheel to the stitching on the seats, everything is simply luxurious. I like that the navigation and control panels and gauges aren’t overdone. You have what you need and they’re beautiful without being overwhelming.

The Pathfinder is assembled at Nissan’s Smyrna assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. The 3.5-liter V-6 engine is assembled at the company’s Decherd, Tennessee powertrain plant. I love that it’s made right here in the US and that we’re supporting the local economy.

My 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Driving Experience

Nothing tests an SUV like a little drive in the mountains, so Nissan sent us exploring wine country in the all new Pathfinder. We drove through the beautiful mountains and valleys, enjoying the scenery along the way. I learned to drive in the Appalachian mountains and I was very impressed with the way the Pathfinder handled all the tight curves and I never would have guessed it was a v6 instead of a v8 like I’m used to: the beauty had power. Someone in front of me was a little scared of the winding road, so the first chance I got, I passed.  Think 40-70mph in about two seconds – we were in and out in a flash!

The ride is very smooth and quiet. Even with one of the windows down we were able to talk to each other and a passenger in the backseat without raising our voices. With all the windows up, it was silent and peaceful and we felt like we were riding in a sedan. The Pathfinder is powerful and will gain speed quickly but it doesn’t jerk. You don’t even feel that pick-up-and-go unless you’re driving. I got to be a passenger as well as a driver and I was really impressed with how comfortable the seating was and relished not being sore after spending over an hour on the road.. Also, who wouldn’t be tickled with heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel and a gorgeous panorama moonroof?

Parking the Pathfinder was easy. Nissan paid very close attention to visibility. I didn’t notice any blind spots while driving and I was able to park with ease. The turning radius is so tight for an SUV and seeing over the nose of the car isn’t an issue.

My Nissan Pathfinder Review in Pictures

Why the 2013 Pathfinder is the Perfect Family Car

  • Room enough for everyone (up to 7 passengers), and the groceries!
  • The third row seat is easy to access with a single slide/tilt Ez-Flex seating system for one-handed control.
  • Tri-Zone entertainment means the kids can watch what they want and control their entertainment from wherever they sit.
  • The 4th generation Pathfinder’s 3.5L V-6 runs on regular unleaded gasoline and gets 26MPG. That combined with the 500lb weight-loss from the previous model makes it the best-in-class for fuel economy and a great choice for any family.
  • Intuitive 4-wheel drive ensures a good grip in any driving condition so you and your family are safe.
  • Tow up to 5,000lb with the tow package. Think camping, boating and trailering the family horse…
  • The Pathfinder starts at just $29,000 and tops out around $40,000 which is very competitive for a family car!

In Summary

Would I buy this car? Absolutely. I’ve already told my husband that when our Durango needs replacing (something I hope isn’t too soon, cause I like having a paid-for car!) I want a Pathfinder. I’ve test driven lots of different brands and models and so far, this is the car I’ve been the most impressed with.

If you’d like to learn more about the 2013 Pathfinder, you can check out the #2013Pathfinder hashtag on Twitter and like the Nissan Pathfinder Facebook page.

Nissan paid for my travel to and from California and two nights of lodging as well as meals so I could experience the Sentra and Pathfinder vehicles. All opinions are mine!



Email Author    |    Website About Erica Mueller

A web developer and tech blogger, Erica can be found talking WordPress and tech gadgets at EricaSays.com and offering WordPress and Graphic Design services at TechnoMomDesigns.com. She also owns MomPrepares.com, a blog dedicated to encouraging women to prepare their families for life's unexpected twists and turns. Erica resides in north east Texas with her husband and 2 sons. Follow Erica on Twitter.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly October 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I’m not exactly in the market for a car (my 2007 Quest is holding up great), but I do love that this is a family car and an SUV. I think that’ll be my next car since I’m kind of over the whole minivan thing. ;)

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2 Erica Mueller October 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I totally get that. I’m not a minivan fan either. However, I did see the new Quest (didn’t drive it or ride in it, but I took a peek inside) and it’s pretty slick. If I had to have a minivan, I’d consider it. Scotty said her family drove one for a week and her kids said it was their favorite car. Ever. She really liked it too.

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3 Angela England October 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm

It has enough room for 7 people AND a Sam’s Club run/grocery store trip? That’s pretty much the minimum level for us! :-D

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4 Erica Mueller October 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm

It does! I mean it’s not a TON of space behind the 3rd seat, but I think as much as your van has. :-) I was so impressed.

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5 Melissa Angert October 15, 2012 at 7:02 pm

WOW! We’re actually looking for 7-passenger SUV and I never thought of the Pathfinder. I love that it has room for 7 AND a trunk. Usually you have to pick – and the MPG is great too! I’m heading over to the site now to drool :)

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6 Erica Mueller October 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Melissa, oh trust me, I did! The problem is, it’s not for sale yet. I think they said early November is when we’ll be seeing it on the lots. They don’t even have it listed on the site yet, but if you go to http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/channels/us-united-states-nissan-models-pathfinder you will find some posts from Nissan that are all about the new model. They have photos, press releases, etc there.

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7 Danyelle Franciosa October 15, 2012 at 7:08 pm

That is extremely beautiful. That car really looks amazing. Is it the latest car of Nissan? Very beautiful indeed. I love this car very soon. :)

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8 Erica Mueller October 15, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Danyelle, this and the Sentra are the big deal right now. They’ve both had a complete makeover so while they’ve been produced and part of the Nissan lineup for years, the 2013 models are totally different. They’ve really pumped up the style and luxury!

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9 MommyNamedApril October 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm

we’re car shopping now too… wish we could afford a pathfinder!!! :-)

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10 Erica Mueller October 22, 2012 at 9:08 am

April, the cool thing is, the Pathfinder is actually going to be affordable. If compared to some other SUV’s, especially the nice ones like Ford Explorer or Flex, this is much cheaper. You can get the top of the line model with all the extra for around $40k and it starts much lower.

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11 Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} October 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm

That looks like a REALLY sweet ride!

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12 Erica Mueller October 22, 2012 at 9:29 am

It is, and fashionable too. I was really tickled to see a REAL family vehicle that is not a minivan. Something a mom with style could be proud to drive without sacrificing space and convenience.

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13 Mike August 28, 2013 at 6:02 am

Looks like a great family car, thanks for the detailed review. At $29k starting price you definitely get a lot of car for your money, although I imagine it’s pretty thirsty on gas due to its size and weight. Still, if you need the flexibility of the seven seats and the practicality that the 4WD offers then I agree it’s a great choice.

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