Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

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Thread: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

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    Firebird Concept (the turbine one) bballr4567's Avatar
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    Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    We (wife and I) are looking to replace her 2007 Maxima with a new vehicle in the coming few months. We both love the Maxima but its lack of space and miserable MPG (I get better in the GTO) is really starting to get to us. We started to look at 7-8 passenger SUVs as we are planning for a family in the next few years and want this to be her last vehicle for a while yet.

    Now, there was a lot of bah humbugging around the new generation Pathfinder. The move from BOF construction to unibody is always seen as a way to destroy a vehicle. Here, it works 100%. I've been in the last generation Pathfinder, a 2011, and while capable of pulling and going off road the interior space was cramped and I couldnt even sit in the second row because of the lower door shape wouldnt allow my size 14 shoe to fit in. It was a good off roader but sales have literally jumped off the cliff in the last five years for the whole segment.

    The first thing that stands out is the interior. It does have some plastics but they neither look or feel cheap and they are pretty well minimalized throughout the cabin. The cloth seats are a mix of microfiber and some other type of fabric but it works great as a base seat instead of cheap leatherette. The interior is well laid out and the center stack is easy to use. The only concern is trying to adjust your mirrors as the adjustment is located way towards the front of the vehicle on the drivers armrest. It was a stretch for me to reach it and Im 6'5". The best feature about the whole interior is the sliding second row. It has almost 8" of adjustment and can even be put almost all the way back with the third row laid down. The other very nifty thing about the second row is the ability to egress and ingress the third row without removing a car or booster seat. Why havent automakers made this standard in everything??



    The exterior loses its bulky look but the Pathfinder still has very good stance and shall I say even a little sporty looking. It wont win any awards but it certainly wont shun buyers with an outrageous look.






    After getting myself familiarized with the controls we took it out for a quick 10 minute drive. The first thing I noticed was the immensely improved CVT. There is no torque steer, no weird noise and even though it kept the RPMs down on the whole drive it never felt like I was lacking for power. Even though the Pathfinder is no small vehicle it drove almost exactly like our Maxima. It didnt feel large like many of the competitors that I have driven. One of the most noticeable things about the whole drive was how quiet the new Pathfinder is. I usually do all my test drives with the radio off to see if I can notice anything out of the norm and it certainly excelled to me. Despite being down on power compared to all other 8 passenger vehicles, it is certainly not the slowest. Nissan worked the magic here with a large cross over that weighs in at much less than anything else. It helps with the MPG, feel and overall driving ability of the large vehicle.


    Nissan really got it right here. When compared to others in the segment the SL ($34,850) level we are looking at comes in 4-5k cheaper than the Acadia SLE2 ($41,200), Traverse LTZ ($40,205) and Explorer Limited ($38,100). If you add the SL premium package you get dual sunroofs and an upgraded 10 speaker Bose system and it still comes in under the Acadia and Traverse. Why does the middle trim level have to compete with the top from GM? Well, we HAVE to have memory seats in this vehicle. With me being 6'5 and the wife being 5'9 our driving positions are just too different. GM doesnt even off it except on the top of the line models. Why is that? Another thing that is great is the intellikey. GM doesnt have that either. What also is crazy is that the Enclave, Acadia and Traverse are all within $2k of each other when equipped nearly the same.



    *Photos are from the dealer. Who takes a picture with half the vehicle in the shade? Also, I have no driven the new 2013 GM crossovers as inventory is still really low in my area.

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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    Not "crazy" at all. Since they're basically the same vehicle with minor trim differences, GM is telling you to pick the 'brand' that appeals to you the most.

    And as to one of your concerns about getting out of the Maxima, how's the fuel economy going to be in anything in this segment? And as for the memory seat, how often will it get used?

    Last thought-I see you quoting MSRP's. The final prices may be significantly closer. But if you want the Nissan, buy it.

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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    Memory seat gets used anytime both of us go somewhere. It'll be her main vehicle but when we take it, I drive it. Its on our Maxima and gets used daily. No joke.

    The 2013 GMs have nothing on the hood right now and even if there was, there is no way that the Acadia will drop $6k to match the MSRP of the Pathfinder and then you have to factor in the deals on the Pathfinder as well. Even the Traverse cant match it on the price. If we use USAA pricing the Acadia still ends up over $4k more. In fact, using USAA pricing the Enclave is the cheapest! Never would of thought that.

    The Lambda's are rated at 17/23 and the Pathfinder is 20/26 for FWD. On my short little interstate jaunt the instant readout was above 25. Considering we are lucky to get around 15-16 in the Maxima we will likely see a jump in MPG with a much larger vehicle.

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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    The Acadia does have something like 20 more HP, plus it doesn't have the 10 blank "hey cheapskate what options didn't you get" switches on the left side of the dash, I thought Japanese manufacturers had stopped doing that.

    You could probably get a great deal on a left over 12 with all the options.
    Last edited by MCGARRETT; 12-31-2012 at 12:16 PM.

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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    bballr4567, do you carry a GM credit card? If so the top-off bonus is likely to be offered early January which is usually good for an additional $2K or $3K AFTER all other available incentives are applied. This could make the Lambda's far more competitive for your purchase consideration.
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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    Quote Originally Posted by MCGARRETT View Post
    The Acadia does have something like 20 more HP, plus it doesn't have the 10 blank "hey cheapskate what options didn't you get" switches on the left side of the dash, I thought Japanese manufacturers had stopped doing that.

    You could probably get a great deal on a left over 12 with all the options.
    The good thing about the buttons is you cant see them when you are in the driving position. Annoying, yes but not a deal breaker.

    Despite the Acadia having 28 more HP and 30 lb/ft more TQ, it takes 8.3-5 seconds to get to 60. The Pathfinder takes 7.5-7. The Acadia is almost 400lbs heavier.

    Neither one of us want a '12. If we are buying a new vehicle its going to be at the beginning of its design life plus she likes the new Acadia way better than the old.

    Quote Originally Posted by tripowergto View Post
    bballr4567, do you carry a GM credit card? If so the top-off bonus is likely to be offered early January which is usually good for an additional $2K or $3K AFTER all other available incentives are applied. This could make the Lambda's far more competitive for your purchase consideration.
    Yup, but the allowance for any Lambda is $1500 for 2013s.

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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    Yup, but the allowance for any Lambda is $1500 for 2013s.
    Usually when the GM card top-off bonus is offered the "allowances" are over-ridden by the bonus thus the full $2K or $3K can be used on ANY GM vehicle during the offer period. GOOD LUCK!!
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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    Quote Originally Posted by tripowergto View Post
    Usually when the GM card top-off bonus is offered the "allowances" are over-ridden by the bonus thus the full $2K or $3K can be used on ANY GM vehicle during the offer period. GOOD LUCK!!
    True, true. We just got the GM card last month so itll be interesting if we get a top off offer.

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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    Nice looking car but that CVT is just a deal killer. I can tell you that the explorer is a great car and you will love it as i recommended one to a family member and has been great and agree with your wife that the new Acadia is way better looking.

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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    Quote Originally Posted by LetsRace View Post
    Nice looking car but that CVT is just a deal killer. I can tell you that the explorer is a great car and you will love it as i recommended one to a family member and has been great and agree with your wife that the new Acadia is way better looking.
    See, we quite like the CVT because of highway trips. No annoying 6-5 downshifts driving through the hills from here to Nashville. That is a real deal breaker.

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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    Very nice review, bballr4567! The new Pathfinder appears to be an impressive new entry among 7-8 passenger vehicles. Cars.com reported that Pathfinder tied for the title of fastest selling model in November 2012, remaining on dealer lots an average of only six days before finding a customer.
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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    Buy some smaller shoes.

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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    I've had clients mentioning and comparing the MDX to the new Pathfinder for the first time, so that is a very good sign for Nissan. Two I've had have still gone with our MDX because of liking the vehicle, brand & perks, drive, feel and known resale more in the end, but it has been compared and comes up in discussion now.

    Interesting vehicle, and very well done by Nissan. The CVT is much improved but still a CVT, however in this application they seem to have done really well with putting the MPG's up higher than most and having them be achievable--abnormal for a Nissan VQ V6, at least previously.

    We'll see how this one goes. I think it will for sure be a much better seller than past Pathfinder's, for sure.

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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    The Infiniti JX seems to be gaining traction where I live far more than the Pathfinder, and I do not know if that is on the strength of it's attractive lease. The thing that irks me about the Lambda's also would about the Pathfinder which is the lack of a more powerful engine option, and although I find the Lambda's better in some ways the Explorer Sport's optional 365 hp engine is quite attractive.

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    Re: Quick Review: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SV FWD

    Quote Originally Posted by germeezy1 View Post
    The Infiniti JX seems to be gaining traction where I live far more than the Pathfinder, and I do not know if that is on the strength of it's attractive lease. The thing that irks me about the Lambda's also would about the Pathfinder which is the lack of a more powerful engine option, and although I find the Lambda's better in some ways the Explorer Sport's optional 365 hp engine is quite attractive.
    See, even though down on power, the Pathfinder really isnt lacking at all. It instantly gets to the VQs broad TQ band and allows you to not go full throttle for power. I was truly surprised.


    caddycruiser, Im surprised people are cross shopping with the MDX honestly. Very interesting to know!

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