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  • Writer's pictureAlain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

2020 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

This week we are reviewing the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder in the Rock Creek edition. Our vehicle was assembled in the United States at the Smyrna, Tennessee plant. Our test car has an MSRP of $47,298 CAD.

Fun Factor: 5

Can it Family: 8

Fuel-Friendly: 6

HWY-warrior: 8

Karaoke Friendly: 6

Baby-friendly: 7

City Cruising: 5

Nissan has revamped the Pathfinder to make it more rugged-looking in this Rock Creek edition, without sacrificing its versatility. The look makes a big difference in our minds, with the current design, the Pathfinder is going back to its rugged off-roader roots. The Pathfinder is equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine delivering 284-HP and 259 lb-ft of torque. The Pathfinder did reasonably well in our real-life acceleration test 0 to 100km/h; we were able to achieve 100km/h in 8.95 seconds while transporting our 5 passengers family. We do not have the official acceleration times from Nissan at this moment. With these figures, it might not be the fastest. Still, we enjoyed the simplicity to handle for a vehicle this size; even smaller drivers will rejoice in driving such a vehicle without too much difficulty because the car doesn't feel as big as it is.

Naturally, the Pathfinder will be able to haul up to 7 passengers; of these, 5 may be adults while the 3rd row is really only spacious enough for kids. In the Rock Creek model, the bolstering was quite comfortable on all seats and even those in the 3rd row. Our model also offered heated seats for the driver and co-pilot, as well as the 2nd-row outer seats. The front seats provide all the amenities someone would look for when getting a large 7-passenger SUV; the heated seats are quite warm even for those colder winter days. The heated steering wheel function works as intended; however, the location to turn it on/off is hidden to the left of the steering wheel, requiring you to take your eyes off the road to turn it on. The heated seats for the second row are difficult to access for children as the controls for the back row are located on the lower part of the center console (see photo). Talking about that center console, it has 2 outlets one is a standard USB, and Nissan thought of future-proofing your vehicle by also having a USB-C charging port.

How's the fuel consumption of the Pathfinder? On the HWY, we saw an average of 9.2L/100km and in the city 15.3L/100km, with a total average consumption of 11.2L/100km with most of our usage done on the HWY. The test was done with temperatures oscillating between +2c to +7c. Nissan announces the following fuel consumption 8.9L/100km on the HWY and 12.1L/100km in the city. We found that the Pathfinder is most efficient at HWY speeds; we achieved these results easily with 5 passengers inside it.

As mentioned above, the Pathfinder feels most comfortable on the HWY and on long road trips, even with a fully packed vehicle you still have an excellent realistic fuel consumption. It also has rear cross-traffic alert, and Blind Spot Warning standard on all models excepts the base S model. The system has been set up in a way that will not end up being annoying when the system activates. The Pathfinder also offers emergency braking; the system isn't intrusive as with other cars we've tested recently and would only turn on if it senses a real emergency.

The Pathfinder offers a good sound quality with the Bose sound system that rocks 13 speakers. The sound is as clear in the driver's seat as in the 3rd row. If this isn't enough the Platinum version of the Pathfinder also offer 2 screens and a pair of headphones for those longer journeys. Where the Pathfinder is somewhat of a let down is that its infotainment is starting to show its age. It does not offer Apple Car Play nor Android Auto. The information found in the Pathfinder is limited to a couple of apps such as a performance window, clock, compass, user guide and a maintenance log. The integrated navigation system is also starting to look dated with a basic interface. On a brighter side if you still listen to CD's you'll be happy to find that you can still play these here.

The installation of car seats is quite pleasant in the Pathfinder. Since the doors open wide and a variety of car seats can fit inside. The Latch/ISOFIX ports are visible and their access is practical and straightforward. It took us about a minute to finish the installation of a car seat from start to finish. You can easily fit 2 car seats in the 2nd row and still have a child sitting in the middle. The 3rd row seats do not have any latches, kids with booster seat however can still take place there. Once a car seat is installed, it will not be possible to gain access to the 3rd row; if you do have 2 car seats installed, the 3rd row becomes somewhat obsolete.

City driving is convenient with the Pathfinder as the steering is light and agile, making it easy to park; it also gives that feeling of not being to wide. It also offer a 360-degree camera to see everything around the camera, however due to the low resolution of the screen at night the visibility is limited. The fuel consumption is also a factor to take into consideration while operating the Nissan Pathfinder, we found that in stop & go traffic, it was less efficient than other SUV's in it's class. A hybrid power train would undoubtedly help lower these figures.

Why would we buy the Nissan Pathfinder or what we liked about it: It is reasonability priced for a 7-passenger SUV that also offers 4-wheel drive, good fuel economy on the HWY, easy to drive.

Why we wouldn't buy the Nissan Pathfinder or what we didn't like about it: No Hybrid system offered at this time, 3rd row not accessible if two car seats are installed, ageing design and would require a refresh inside starting with its infotainment.

Nissan Canada has lent us this vehicle for one week as a press vehicle, we have no affiliation with Nissan Canada, and the above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the vehicle referred to above.

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