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2019 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4WD Rock Creek Edition Review by John Heilig - It's E15 Approved

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By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2019 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4WD Rock Creek Edition
ENGINE: 3.5-liter V6
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 284 hp @ 6,400 rpm/259 lb.-ft. @ 4,800 rpm
WHEELBASE: 114.2 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 198.5 x 77.3 x 70.6 in.
TIRES: P255/60R18
CARGO CAPACITY: 16.2/47.4/79.5 cu. ft. (3rd row up/down/all rows down 
ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway/18.3 mpg test
CURB WEIGHT: 4,662 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Mazda CX-9, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot
STICKER: $44,455 (includes $1,095 delivery, $3,800 options)
BOTTOM LINE: At the mid-point in Nissan’s SUV range, the Pathfinder offers three-row seating and good cargo capacity.

Nissan offers a bunch of sport utility vehicles. The Pathfinder falls somewhere in the middle, in more ways than one. It incorporates styling that’s more traditional than the Murano and Rogue, for example. It isn’t Nissan’s prettiest SUV, but it’s set to do the job, with seating for seven or enough cargo capacity to carry a lot of stuff.

Like most three-row SUVs, base cargo capacity with all three rows up isn’t great. For example, I had to lower the third row seat backs just to get my golf bag in back. But, with that third row lowered, cargo capacity almost triples from 16.2 cubic feet to 47.4 cubic feet. So you can still carry four passengers and just about all the luggage they’d need, even if those passengers are female members of my family. Additionally, those third row seat backs lower and raise easily. It’s the same with the second row seat backs, should you REALLY need carrying capacity.

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 284 horsepower. This is enough power for the Pathfinder. In addition, the CVT transmission was quiet and not whiny in normal operation. The only real noise in the generally quiet vehicle was some tire noise on rough surfaces, like concrete.

Our tester was the Rock Creek edition, and Rock Creek logos were on everything - fenders, floor mats, seats, cargo floor. That alone almost fills the $995 option cost. The total cost for the Rock Creek edition is $3,800 for what is basically a style package. Part of the package is a nice Bose sound system.

The navigation system is easy to program and recalculates almost immediately when I diverged from the suggested route to a better one that I knew. 


The instrument panel is clear with white-on-black dials and red pointers. There’s a nice 3D effect with the information panel between the two major gauges. In the middle of the dash is an infotainment screen with the standard suite of options. Six buttons to make choices are sometimes hard to distinguish. 

Nissan introduced the “overhead view” camera plus the rear view when you shift into reverse. You can also turn these cameras on independently. I like the overhead view because it allows you to park more precisely between lines. 

Interior styling is highlighted by “carbon fiber” trim and red accents. Internal storage consists of a cubby at the base of the center stack that has two USB and a 12-volt outlet. The center console/arm rest has two levels with the releases for both labeled. In total, it’s deep with USB, AUX and 21-volt outlets. Pockets on the sides of the transmission hump can hold papers, phones or even tablets. 

Front seats are comfortable and are easy to enter and exit. Second row legroom is excellent and third row legroom is decent. My granddaughter said the third row seating was comfortable, and she had no problems getting back there.

There’s excellent visibility all around, although the rear headrests tend to obstruct the driver’s rearview vision.

My biggest complaint with the Pathfinder is, in reality, a small one. The key fob is a terrible design, with buttons that are so similar you can lock the doors when you want to unlock them. Surely, Nissan can do a better job.

But overall, the Nissan Pathfinder is a good three-row SUV that’s loaded with practicality.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate