Nissan Enters the Family-Oriented SUV Market with Redesigned 2013 Pathfinder

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder seven-passenger crossover deliver excellent fuel economy and features a roomy interior, but is lacking in other areas.

With three rows of seating, the 2013 Pathfinder is Nissan’s attempt to compete with other family-friendly SUVs, including the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Dodge Journey.

The entry-level, front-wheel drive S model has a base sticker price of $28,650 excluding destination charges, which places it in direct competition with the aforementioned competitors, as well as the Toyota Highlander and Chevrolet Traverse.

The new Pathfinder also offers the roomiest passenger compartment in the segment.  Although the third-row seat is intended for children, it offers plenty of head and legroom for adults. The third- and second-row seats recline and the second-row bench slides to allow easy access to the rear of the compartment.

Cargo space, behind the third-row seat is ample, although not as spacious as that offered by the Explorer, Pilot and Traverse.

The Pathfinder’s D-pillar design creates a large blind spot which obstructs the driver’s view when attempting to navigate the vehicle into tight parking spots, and make lane changes.

Instrumentation is well laid out and features large dials and gauges, and Nissan has equipped the Pathfinder with lots of storage compartments for sunglasses and personal electronic devices.

Nissan’s voice recognition system is slow to respond and some consumers have complained that hands-free calls have poor audio quality.

Although the Pathfinder delivers best in class fuel economy, its V6 engine delivers less horsepower than all other competitors except the Honda Pilot.

All models feature a continuously variable transmission.

The Pilot is also lacking when it comes to noise suppression. Road, wind and engine noise are noticeable at higher speeds.

The redesigned 2013 Pathfinder features contemporary exterior styling across the model line, which includes the S, SV, SL and the top-of-line Platinum, which has an MSRP of $39,550.  All four four-wheel drive models deliver an EPA estimated 20 city / 26 highway mpg.

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