• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    2013 Nissan Pathfinder SL


    • Transformation from rough and tough to family friendly.


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    October 30, 2013

    The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder caused quite the ruckus when it was introduced at the 2012 New York Auto Show. Nissan announced that the new Pathfinder was leaving its off-road roots that it had for the majority of its life and was turning into a crossover. Of course, most everyone in the automotive world went mad and complained that Nissan was tarnishing the good name of the Pathfinder by going the crossover route.

    However, Nissan is having the last laugh as sales of the new Pathfinder are booming. In 2011, Nissan moved 25,935 Pathfinders. So far this year, Nissan has more than double that with 63,826 Pathfinders finding a good home. But there comes a question; with this transformation, has Nissan been able to make a crossover that deserves the Pathfinder name?

    2013 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4WD 2

    When I first saw pictures of the 2013 Pathfinder, I thought it looked awkward. In person, it still looks awkward to my eyes. I think it's due to Nissan trying to mesh two design philosophies into one vehicle. Up front is the design language that Nissan uses for its trucks and SUVs. You have a trapezoidal grille and massive headlights that are surrounded with chrome trim. The side profile and back end are more reminiscent of Nissan's passenger sedans with flowing lines and a large greenhouse.

    The Pathfinder's interior is your standard Nissan fare with a plain looking design. Material quality ranges from soft-touch on the interior's touch points to hard materials along the bottom of the dashboard. There is wood trim along the center stack and console that adds a nice touch.

    2013 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4WD 13

    Taking center stage on the center stack is a seven-inch screen. At first, I thought it was touchscreen that was broken since it wasn't responding. Then I realized Nissan pulled a bit of a bait and switch. If you want a touchscreen on your Pathfinder, you have to step up to the Platinum model which costs an extra $5,000 over the SL model. To move around the system, you have a set of buttons and a large knob below the screen. Once you get the hang of how to work the system, it becomes somewhat easier. But in the back of my head, I'm wondering why Nissan just doesn't go ahead with a touchscreen for the SL.

    That's not the only problem with the Pathfinder SL's tech. The other one is with the Bluetooth system. To start, you can only make phone calls with the system and not stream any audio from your phone or audio device. Nissan has rectified this with the 2014 SL by making it an option, but I think this should be standard across the Pathfinder lineup. Also trying to pair my phone was a pain in the butt ordeal. Whereas most systems have you go into the settings menu to pair your phone, the Pathfinder has you use the voice button on the steering wheel to setup your phone. The only way you know this is by either looking in the owners manual or accidentally hitting the voice button. The setup process is thankfully painless, as is answering phone calls. Trying to make a call is another story. Nissan's voice system couldn't figure out what name I was trying to say and would ask me to repeat. I just found it easier to say the number or dial from my phone and send it to the vehicle.

    2013 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4WD 11

    Click images to enlarge

    The Pathfinder SL comes with seating for seven people. Comfort varies on where you're sitting in the vehicle. Up front, passengers will find plush seats with good support and adjustments. The second-row offers passengers an abundance of head and legroom. Sadly, I didn't find the seats as comfortable because there isn't enough seat padding and I found the second-row isn't set as high like in the GMC Acadia. The third-row is easy to get to thanks to Nissan's EZ Flex Seating System which flips up the bottom cushion and tilts the back cushion to make the seat more compact and easier to move. This system also allows the seat to be moved if there is an infant seat by only tilting the back cushion. Space in the third row is tight for legroom, while headroom is decent.

    For Powertrain and Ride Impressions, See The Next Page.


    Powering all Pathfinders is the well-known 3.5L VQ V6 with 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet torque paired with Nissan's XTronic CVT. You have the choice of either front-wheel or ALL-MODE 4x4-i. In my notes for the Pathfinder, the power delivery feels like the vehicle is climbing a hill while struggling to keep the speed prior to reaching an rpm where the power delivery becomes more immediate. The engine doesn't feel as powerful on the lower end as it does on the higher end. I'm not sure if this is an issue with the engine's computer or the CVT. Speaking of the CVT, it does a excellent job of keeping the 3.5L V6 quiet, except when you accelerate and the prolonged drone enters the cabin. The EPA rates the 2013 Pathfinder at 19 City/25 Highway/21 Combined. During my week, I saw an average of 22.1 MPG.

    2013 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4WD 8

    My test Pathfinder came equipped with Nissan's ALL-MODE 4x4-i and it offers three different models via a knob in the center stack,
    • 2WD: Leaves the Pathfinder in front-wheel drive
    • Auto: All-Wheel Drive system kicks in if the system detects a loss of traction
    • Lock: All-Wheel Drive System stays on for a certain amount of time and at certain speed before switching back to Auto.

    I mostly left the system in 2WD, but I switched into Auto when a nasty storm rolled through and dumped a lot of rain. The system did its job and I got to my destination safely.

    2013 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4WD 1

    As for ride and handling, the Pathfinder is one of the more plush riding crossovers on sale. The suspension isolates bumps and road imperfections from passengers. Steering is light and doesn't really have that much feel, the two traits that are common in the class and are acceptable. One disappointment was how much wind noise the Pathfinder exhibited, especially around the a-pillars.

    The Pathfinder's transformation of being a rough and tough SUV to family friendly crossover has mostly worked out. Nissan got most of the basics right with a comfortable ride, plush interior, high fuel economy numbers, and some clever features. However, some odd decisions made with the infotainment unit, a horrid bluetooth system, and the odd behavior of the powertrain rob the Pathfinder of the best-in-class crown. If Nissan can address these problems in the near future, then we might have a real competitor to GM's Lambda family.

    2013 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4WD 4

    Click image to enlarge

    Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Pathfinder SL, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas.

    Year: 2013

    Make: Nissan

    Model: Pathfinder

    Trim: SL i-4X4

    Engine: 3.5L VQ V6

    Driveline: All-Wheel Drive, CVT

    Horsepower @ RPM: 260 @ 6400

    Torque @ RPM: 240 @ 4400

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/25/21

    Curb Weight: 4,312 lbs

    Location of Manufacture: Smyrna, TN

    Base Price: $36,070

    As Tested Price: $40,470 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:

    SL Premium Package - $2,650.00

    Roof Rail Cross Bars - $300.00

    Illuminated Kick Plates - $275.00

    Carpeted Floor Mats - $200.00

    Splash Guards - $175.00

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    I have to say that while I know this CUV will be successful for them and the fit and finish looks solid, I do not like the look. Very plain, generic and just jelly bean shape ugly. The interior will appeal to those that like a plain simplistic dash and layout in my opinion.

    Great Write up Bill, nice job. :)

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

      Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. CARBIZ
      CARBIZ
      (56 years old)
    2. crash
      crash
      (29 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      Mazda is already known for building vehicles that are fun to drive and is garnering one for their distinctive designs. One area that Mazda might not get a lot of credit is the constant improvements they make to their lineup. Take for example the Mazda6 sedan. Since its launch back in 2013 as a 2014 model, Mazda has been updating the 6 with new improvements and features to make it better. For example, when we drove the 2016 Mazda6 back in 2015, it featured new dashboard and infotainment system that made it more pleasant to be in. For 2017, Mazda has introduced two big changes for 6 - one dealing with handling and the other dealing with overall refinement.
      First up is Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control. This system monitors steering and throttle input (along with a few other things according to the brand), and when it deems necessary, will reduce engine power to shift weight to the front. This is said to improve overall handling in a corner. Here’s the thing, I really can’t tell if this system makes the 2017 Mazda6 a better handler than the previous 6 I drove back in 2015. The model shows the sharp handling characteristics that has made it one of the best driving models in the class with little body roll and steering that feels direct.  I would need to drive both a 2016 and 2017 Mazda6 back to back to see if there is a difference. The other improvement for the 2017 Mazda6 will be noticed by anyone going for a ride; a quieter interior. Mazda has added a bit more sound insulation for the 6 and it makes for a more pleasant driving experience. There isn’t as much wind whistle as there was in previous 6s I have driven. You still do get a fair amount of tire noise, but that’s more due to the 19-inch wheels fitted on the Grand Touring. The 19-inch wheels also make the ride slightly rough with various bumps being transmitted clearly to the backsides of you and your passengers. Mazda hasn’t messed with anything else for the 2017 6 and that’s mostly a good thing. It still retains the striking good looks of the outside, especially in this bronze color seen here.  The Mazda6’s interior is towards the top of the class with a modern design, high-quality materials, and an easy to understand control layout. The leather seats offer the right amount of comfort for long trips. Those sitting in the back will have no complaints in terms of head and legroom. Under the hood is a 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Sport and Touring models get the option of either a six-speed manual or automatic, while the Grand Touring makes due with only the automatic. The engine is a spritely performer with strong acceleration and having the power ready to go when needed. The six-speed is quick when it comes to downshifts. But the transmission does stumble when it comes to upshifts as it is slow to respond when you need that punch of power. At least the automatic transmission does feature paddles on the steering wheel to allow for some manual control to solve this. The continuous updates Mazda makes to the vehicles should be applauded as it helps keep them competitive in light of tougher competition. The 2017 Mazda6 is a key example of this. You might not be able to detect one of the changes made, but the other one us quite noticeable and makes the 6 that much better. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 6, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Mazda
      Model: 6
      Trim: Grand Touring
      Engine: 2.5L DOHC Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700
      Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/35/30
      Curb Weight: 3,305 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hofu, Japan
      Base Price: $30,695
      As Tested Price: $34,530 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      GT Premium Package - $2,500.00
      Machine Gray Metallic - $300.00
      Door Sill Trim Plates - $125.00
      Cargo Mat - $75.00
    • By William Maley
      Mazda is already known for building vehicles that are fun to drive and is garnering one for their distinctive designs. One area that Mazda might not get a lot of credit is the constant improvements they make to their lineup. Take for example the Mazda6 sedan. Since its launch back in 2013 as a 2014 model, Mazda has been updating the 6 with new improvements and features to make it better. For example, when we drove the 2016 Mazda6 back in 2015, it featured new dashboard and infotainment system that made it more pleasant to be in. For 2017, Mazda has introduced two big changes for 6 - one dealing with handling and the other dealing with overall refinement.
      First up is Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control. This system monitors steering and throttle input (along with a few other things according to the brand), and when it deems necessary, will reduce engine power to shift weight to the front. This is said to improve overall handling in a corner. Here’s the thing, I really can’t tell if this system makes the 2017 Mazda6 a better handler than the previous 6 I drove back in 2015. The model shows the sharp handling characteristics that has made it one of the best driving models in the class with little body roll and steering that feels direct.  I would need to drive both a 2016 and 2017 Mazda6 back to back to see if there is a difference. The other improvement for the 2017 Mazda6 will be noticed by anyone going for a ride; a quieter interior. Mazda has added a bit more sound insulation for the 6 and it makes for a more pleasant driving experience. There isn’t as much wind whistle as there was in previous 6s I have driven. You still do get a fair amount of tire noise, but that’s more due to the 19-inch wheels fitted on the Grand Touring. The 19-inch wheels also make the ride slightly rough with various bumps being transmitted clearly to the backsides of you and your passengers. Mazda hasn’t messed with anything else for the 2017 6 and that’s mostly a good thing. It still retains the striking good looks of the outside, especially in this bronze color seen here.  The Mazda6’s interior is towards the top of the class with a modern design, high-quality materials, and an easy to understand control layout. The leather seats offer the right amount of comfort for long trips. Those sitting in the back will have no complaints in terms of head and legroom. Under the hood is a 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Sport and Touring models get the option of either a six-speed manual or automatic, while the Grand Touring makes due with only the automatic. The engine is a spritely performer with strong acceleration and having the power ready to go when needed. The six-speed is quick when it comes to downshifts. But the transmission does stumble when it comes to upshifts as it is slow to respond when you need that punch of power. At least the automatic transmission does feature paddles on the steering wheel to allow for some manual control to solve this. The continuous updates Mazda makes to the vehicles should be applauded as it helps keep them competitive in light of tougher competition. The 2017 Mazda6 is a key example of this. You might not be able to detect one of the changes made, but the other one us quite noticeable and makes the 6 that much better. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 6, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Mazda
      Model: 6
      Trim: Grand Touring
      Engine: 2.5L DOHC Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700
      Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/35/30
      Curb Weight: 3,305 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hofu, Japan
      Base Price: $30,695
      As Tested Price: $34,530 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      GT Premium Package - $2,500.00
      Machine Gray Metallic - $300.00
      Door Sill Trim Plates - $125.00
      Cargo Mat - $75.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      We have been wondering what kind of impact the Mitsubishi and Nissan alliance would bring to the table. According to a report from Automotive News, it looks like delays for a couple of key products for the diamond star brand.
      Speaking with supplier sources, Mitsubishi has pushed back the redesigns of the Outlander and Outlander Sport crossovers. Originally, Mitsubishi was planning to launch the next Outlander "in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019", while the Outlander Sport would follow a year later. Now, the Outlander has been pushed back to late 2019 or 2020 and the Sport to after 2020.
      The delay is due to a review being undertaken by Mitsubishi and Nissan to search for a way to share architecture and parts with the Rogue and Rogue Sport. According to sources, the goal is to "commonize underpinnings and components" to save money while keeping an outer identity distinct to each brand.
      Mitsubishi confirmed the review but declined to comment on any delays.
      This delay could be a big blow for Mitsubishi's dealers in the U.S. who have been clamoring for new products. Joe Bizzarro, chairman of Mitsubishi's national dealer advisory board told Automotive News that no such delay was discussed during a meeting with dealers earlier this year - leading us to suspect this delay has come up recently. Dealers have yet to be notified about this delay.
      Right now, the only new product destined for Mitsubishi's U.S. dealers is the upcoming Eclipse Sport due in early 2018.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      We have been wondering what kind of impact the Mitsubishi and Nissan alliance would bring to the table. According to a report from Automotive News, it looks like delays for a couple of key products for the diamond star brand.
      Speaking with supplier sources, Mitsubishi has pushed back the redesigns of the Outlander and Outlander Sport crossovers. Originally, Mitsubishi was planning to launch the next Outlander "in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019", while the Outlander Sport would follow a year later. Now, the Outlander has been pushed back to late 2019 or 2020 and the Sport to after 2020.
      The delay is due to a review being undertaken by Mitsubishi and Nissan to search for a way to share architecture and parts with the Rogue and Rogue Sport. According to sources, the goal is to "commonize underpinnings and components" to save money while keeping an outer identity distinct to each brand.
      Mitsubishi confirmed the review but declined to comment on any delays.
      This delay could be a big blow for Mitsubishi's dealers in the U.S. who have been clamoring for new products. Joe Bizzarro, chairman of Mitsubishi's national dealer advisory board told Automotive News that no such delay was discussed during a meeting with dealers earlier this year - leading us to suspect this delay has come up recently. Dealers have yet to be notified about this delay.
      Right now, the only new product destined for Mitsubishi's U.S. dealers is the upcoming Eclipse Sport due in early 2018.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      In a not surprising move, President Donald Trump announced today that his administration will reopen a review into the 2025 fuel economy standards set by the EPA before the end of President Barack Obama's term. 
      “We’re going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again. There is no more beautiful sight than an American-made car,” said Trump at an event in the former Willow Run bomber factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan - soon to become a testing ground for autonomous vehicles.
      "These standards are costly for automakers and the American people. We will work with our partners at DOT to take a fresh look to determine if this approach is realistic. This thorough review will help ensure that this national program is good for consumers and good for the environment," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
      In the closing days of President Obama's second term, the EPA announced that it would keep the strict standards that will require automakers to raise their fleetwide fuel economy average to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Automakers cried foul, saying the upcoming standards are costly and out of touch with the current market (i.e. low gas prices and people gobbling up crossovers, pickups, and SUVs). 
      It is expected that the 54.5 mpg average will drop, but no one is sure how much it would drop.
      Reaction to this announcement has been mixed. Automakers and lobby groups approve of this move as it allows them to focus on building vehicles people want, instead of being pushed into building vehicles that will not sell.
      "The Trump Administration has created an opportunity for decision-makers to reach a thoughtful and coordinated outcome predicated on the best and most current data," said Mitch Bainwol, chief executive of the AutoAlliance, an industry lobby group that represents a number of automakers including Ford and GM.
      Other groups are not so pleased with this move.
      "Today's announcement of backtracking on vehicle standards for model years 2022-2025 puts at risk tens of billions of dollars of fuel savings for consumers and big reductions in tailpipe emissions," said Therese Langer, transportation program director for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, in a statement.
      "Any delay in settling efficiency standards introduces uncertainty that will disrupt manufacturers' product planning. What is certain is that technological stagnation is not a recipe for continuing the remarkable success our domestic manufacturers have achieved in recent years."
      Democratic U.S. Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts tells Reuters this move could actually hurt consumers.
      "Filling up their cars and trucks is the energy bill Americans pay most often, but President Trump's roll-back of fuel economy emissions standards means families will end up paying more at the pump," said Markey
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters, Roadshow

      View full article
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)