Live thread: One week with a 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek

Staff
By Staff Writer
Aug 11, 2023 | Nissan, New Car Review, pathfinder, Live Thread, Nissan Pathfinder

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

Wanna ride shotgun with the GRM crew?

Welcome to this week’s test vehicle, the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek.

Based on the mid-grade SV trim, the Rock Creek makes numerous changes to the standard model to offer a more off-road-focused experience–or at least the appearance of it.

Rock Creek-exclusive equipment includes an “off-road tuned suspension” with 5/8-inch lift, 18-inch beadlock-style wheels, all-terrain tires, unique leatherette/fabric seats with “Rock Creek” embroidery and an “Intelligent Around View Monitor with Off-Road Mode” similar to the one found in the Frontier PRO-4X.

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Comments
OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/11/23 12:51 p.m.

Is Nissan still going with CVT for these?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/11/23 12:56 p.m.
OHSCrifle said:

Is Nissan still going with CVT for these?

Nope. It gets a new nine-speed automatic. In fact, Nissan mentions that fact twice in the span of two back-to-back paragraphs:

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/11/23 1:09 p.m.

And the new box is much appreciated. The vehicle just feels more together. 

More to come as we put some miles on it. Last night’s photo location wasn’t quite as remote as it looks. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/11/23 1:09 p.m.

Speaking of the Pathfinder, we had an early third-gen as a long-termer that we treated with all the respect of a shovel. It towed our race cars and carried our gear. We beat the snot out of it and, despite the miles, it came back for more. I can’t recall it ever leaving us down. (Disclaimer: A few plastic interior pieces did fall off, but at some point our car had been disassembled for a repaint as it was previously used for Nissan’s marketing efforts.)

You’d see those truck-based Pathfinders everywhere. If you wanted a Japanese SUV and didn’t want to go with Toyota, Pathfinder was likely your answer. 

Then, for 2013, Nissan moved the Pathfinder to a car-based chassis. And, as I understand it, the new one still uses that same car-based D platform that dates back to circa 2007.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/14/23 12:58 p.m.

And we have a window sticker:

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/15/23 3:07 p.m.

After putting a few more miles on it, yes, the traditional auto is a big upgrade over the CVT. It just now feels more real, if that makes any sense. CVTs have gotten better over time, but they still feel a bit unconnected. 

So, if anything, props to Nissan for the move back to a traditional auto.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
8/15/23 3:59 p.m.

That color is nice, hard to call that thing a pathfinder when it's not a body on frame like the older ones. Just like Honda with the Passport. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/15/23 4:01 p.m.

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

Just wait until you hear what they did to the Mustang :)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/15/23 4:19 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

Just wait until you hear what they did to the Mustang :)

Or the Mitsubishi Eclipse. :)

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/15/23 9:44 p.m.

Does it have a first aid kit?

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