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.
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!
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.
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!