2023 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum Review – Road-Trip Ready

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
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Fast Facts

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum AWD Fast Facts

3.5-liter V6 (284 horsepower @ 6,400 RPM, 259 lb-ft @ 4,800 RPM)
Transmission, Drive-Wheel Layout
Nine-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, MPG
20 city / 25 highway / 22 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
Fuel Economy, L/100km
11.6 city / 9.2 highway / 10.5 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)
Base Price
$49,870 (U.S.) / $60,883 (Canada)
As-Tested Price
$54,785 (U.S.) / $69,233 (Canada)
Prices include $1,295 destination charge in the United States and $2,130 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.
2023 nissan pathfinder platinum review road trip ready

It was just my luck that I was assigned a 2023 Nissan Pathfinder earlier this year for a week that included a road trip of almost 150 miles.

There are worse vehicles to while away the mile in.

There’s not much new here unless you care about the available Rock Creek Edition. Which, of course, is not the trim I drove, as evidenced by the headline.

The Platinum trim I drove is the top dog of the lineup, and the features list shows that.

We’ll get to that. On the road, the 3.5-liter V6 (284 horsepower, 259 lb-ft) is a smooth operator, though the Pathy occasionally feels a tad too heavy when you need to pass. Nissan doesn’t saddle this beast with a CVT – you get a nine-speed automatic transmission instead.

Speaking of heaviness, the Pathy does feel a tad ponderous when handling, but not terribly inappropriate for the class/segment. That said, the freeway ride is smooth. Add in a mostly quiet cabin – some noise does trickle in at higher speeds – and this is a nice ride for a road trip.

Sadly, the steering feel is a bit artificial.

Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist system is helpful when used on the proper highways, and it worked better than older versions of the system that I’ve tested. It’s also enhanced over past versions – not only does it follow lane lines to keep you centered, but it can come to a complete stop and accelerate in stop-and-go traffic. The version available on the Platinum can even adjust speeds for curves. Setting it requires a couple of button pushes, and then you can be semi-hands-free for a bit.

The cabin has easy-to-use buttons and knobs but the materials can feel a little downmarket at times, and the typical tacked-on infotainment screen rears its ugly head yet again. I dug the customizable digital gauge cluster, though the shifter and I never did become friends. At least the drive-mode selector is easy to work, though the mode that probably appeals to most of us the most – Sport – doesn’t exactly turn the Pathy into a tall GT-R.

The Platinum came loaded, of course, with standard features such as a 360-degree camera, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, high-beam assist, intelligent lane intervention, blind-spot intervention, intelligent forward collision warning, head-up display, heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, leather seats, tri-zone climate control, wireless charging pad, a power liftgate, ProPILOT, front and rear sonar, smart cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, satellite radio, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bose audio, panoramic moonroof, LED headlights and taillights, and 20-inch wheels.

Heated second-row captain’s chairs and a removable second-row center console were options, along with a cargo package, LED fog lamps, two-tone paint, and interior lighting. Those options took the base price from a tick over $49K to just under $55K.

The Pathfinder is no longer the rugged SUV of the past. Nor is it the too-soft roader it was a generation ago. It’s now just another large crossover, doing large crossover things.

The thing is, it does those things well, it’s priced within range of its competition, and it’s a good road tripper.

It’s in the muddled middle of the segment – and while that sounds a bit like damning with faint praise, it really isn’t. Like the smaller Rogue, the Pathfinder won’t turn heads or dominate its segment, but that’s OK. It does what it needs to do well, and that should be enough.

If you doubt that, take a freeway test drive in one.

[Images: Nissan. Note -- Pics are of various trim levels]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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3 of 46 comments
  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Nov 06, 2023

    Almost $55,000, for a Nissan? Nope.

  • Wjtinfwb Wjtinfwb on Nov 06, 2023

    At 50k I think I'd take a hard look at an Explorer ST. 3.0 Twin Turbo and AWD. ST's are running 12's with tune and low 11's with some mods. Interior is low-rent but I amy be able to overlook that.

  • Sobro My guess is it's just a plain scam. Very few pictures? CheckPrice too good to be true? CheckEnough "real car" info to convince the gullible it's a real car? CheckWeird story as to its provenance and location? Check
  • Analoggrotto So when the toyota 2ZZ engine is mounted in the Fwd Celica GT-S the YAMAHA casting on the head is prominent but it becomes hidden in the MR configuration on the Lotus cars. You have to pull out the passenger's side rear fender liner to see it.
  • JLGOLDEN It's really cute, and I'm sure the EV driving experience is a delight for those who give it a whirl. I hope this is enough to keep FIAT on the North American map! But, I fear dealers won't move enough units to justify investments in FIAT parts/service training for the long haul.
  • JLGOLDEN After most of these cars left their duty in rental fleets, they went on to lives with multiple changes of ownership and visits down the auction lane. Can Ford find the current owners and get these things repaired?
  • Abraham I rented a Kona EV - or tried to. I got in, turned it on and the battery had not been charged, displaying only about 25% state of charge and remaining range of 72 miles. It was driving ran outside and I was deciding if I wanted to keep it and find a charger or give up and get a regular vehicle. After about 3 minutes the displayed range dropped to 67 miles, then two minutes later dropped again to 64 miles, all without moving an inch with nothing turned on except the ignition. So the true remaining range was a complete crap shoot. I gave up and got a crappy Buick Encore with “unlimited” range instead.