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2019 Nissan Pathfinder Review: 7 Reasons to Buy & 3 Reasons Not To

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The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder is a capable three-row SUV with fresh upgrades for 2019, but it’s taking on tougher competition as the fight for the third-row kicks into high gear.

We’ll help you decide if you should buy the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder, or if you are better off looking at the competition.

2019 Nissan Pathfinder Pricing

Nissan offers five Pathfinder Trim levels, plus a special Rock Creek Edition that you can add on to the SL or SV trims. All trim levels are available in 2WD or 4WD. The Pathfinder starts at $31,530 and goes up to $44,560 for the Platinum 4WD.

What’s New

For 2019, Nissan adds in rear parking sensors, Type C USB ports in the front and back. The SC trim now comes with adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert standard. LED headlights are standard on the SL and Platinum trims.

Rock Creek Upgrades

What do you get with the Rock Creek Edition?

What do you get with the Rock Creek Edition?

I spent the week in the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition. This is a special edition that includes interior and exterior upgrades that throwback to the rugged nature of the Pathfinder’s past.

The biggest upgrades that you get with the Rock Creek Edition are; dark 18-inch wheels with 255/60R18 all-season tires and a plethora of black accents and Rock Creek badges. On this model, you get a black mesh grille, black roof rails, black door handles and mirrors, black front and rear accents and black molded over-fenders. It all adds up to a more rugged look. The Rock Creek Edition includes a standard to hitch, harness and splash guards and the same 6,000 pound towing capacity as the rest of the Pathfinder lineup.

The model I tested came with the SL Rock Creek Edition Premium Package that adds in a 13 speaker premium audio system and a panorama moonroof.

Reasons to Buy the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder

  1. Strong V6 Engine
  2. Rock Creek Edition Offers Bold Style for a Good Price
  3. For Comfortable Zero Gravity Seats
  4. Easy Access to Third Row Seating
  5. For Great Towing Capacity Standard
  6. For Convenience Features
  7. For Fuel Economy

Reasons Not to Buy the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder

  1. Ride May Be Too Stiff For You
  2. Cargo Room is Below Average
  3. Don’t Buy if You need CarPlay & Android Auto

Buy for a Stong V6 Engine and Good Handling

The Pathfinder is capable and handles nicely.

The Pathfinder is capable and handles nicely.

All the 2019 Nissan Pathfinders include a strong V6 under the hood with good acceleration, power, and fuel economy. I never felt like I was lacking get up and go to accelerate into traffic or to pass a car. The continuously variable transmission is well behaved for everyday driving and it works well with the V6.

Steering control is good and even though the Pathfinder is a bigger SUV, it’s easy to maneuver in the city and around parking lots. You can choose off-road modes with the 4WD model. Testing in dirt and a little mud the Pathfinder felt confident in four-wheel-drive mode. Ground clearance is 7 inches, so this is more about dealing with slick surfaces, snow, and mud than serious offroading.

Buy the Rock Creek Edition For a Bolder Style

The Rock Creed Edition offers bolder style.

The Rock Creed Edition offers bolder style.

If you’re looking for a Pathfinder with a bolder look, check out the Rock Creek Edition You get black molded over fenders, black front, and rear accents, a black license plate finisher and black badging. You also get Rock Creek badging on the doors.

Inside you’ll find more badging, high contrast stitching and a metallic interior trim as well as badged floor and cargo mats.

This package is $995 and you can pair it with the SV Rock Creek Edition Technology Package or the SL Rock Creed Edition Premium Package for other upgrades.

Buy For Comfortable Zero Gravity Seats

 

The front seats are super-comfortable Zero Gravity seats.

The front seats are super-comfortable Zero Gravity seats.

The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder features Zero Gravity Seats upfront, and they are seriously some of the most comfortable seats you will find in a car. The space inspired seats offer just the right amount of room for your body and the perfect mix of cushion and firmness.

If you plan to take a lot of road trips or spend a lot of time commuting, this is a feature that you will love every time you get in the car.

Buy For Easy Access to Third Row Seating

There's easy access to the third row.

There’s easy access to the third row.

The Pathfinder offers easy access to the third-row with seats that are easy to move forward and enough room for an adult to easily get into and out of the third-row.

While adults won’t want to spend a long trip back there, they will fit and can get in and out.

Kids will find it even easier to get in and out and to control the second-row, simplifying pickups and drop-offs.

Buy for For Great Towing Capacity Standard

The 2019 Pathfinder offers a 6,000-pound towing capacity, which will allow you to tow a wide range of items with the right equipment. This should allow you to tow some of the following items;

  • Small utility trailers
  • Pop up campers
  • Aluminum boats
  • A Jet Ski
  • Outboard boats & Small ski boats
  • ATVs
  • Small horse trailers
  • Most towable campers

While you will need to double-check the weights, this is a very capable amount of towing with a class three hitch.

Buy For Driver Convenience Features

There are many nice driver convenience features.

There are many nice driver convenience features.

The 2019 Pathfinder includes Nissan Intelligent Mobility which includes an array of driver convenience features.

This includes Automatic Emergency Braking which will alert you to a potential collision and even engage the brakes. This is available on all trims.

The Intelligent Cruise Control is a must-have feature that keeps you with the flow traffic up to your set speed. Just set your cruise control speed and choose how much distance to keep between you and the car in front of you and the car does the rest. You still need to handle all the steering, so this isn’t ProPilot Assist, but it’s a great addition for road trips.

You also get Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross-Traffic Alerts. This will let you know if someone is in your blind spot with a small light near the mirror and an alert when you are backing up if the system detects traffic.

The Intelligent Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are included on the SV and higher trim levels.

On the SL and Platinum trim levels, you get a 360 camera view that makes it easier to get in and out of tight parking places. You can see an overview or zoom in to a specific view.

These all work very well and help deliver a well-rounded driving experience.

Buy For Fuel Economy

This three-row SUV has the power on tap to let you tow, but it’s also fuel-efficient when you’re hauling people around.

All the trim levels are rated for 20 MPG city, 27MPG highway and 23 MPG combined. That’s in line with what we saw during our testing.

Ride May Be Too Stiff For You

One reason that you may not want to buy the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder is that the ride is stiffer than some of the competition.

While the overall comfort is better than previous generations, the ride can still feel jarring on rough roads.

This is definitely a personal preference, so make sure you test it out on a rough road to see how it feels.

Cargo Room is Below Average With the Third Row in USe

If you need a lot of cargo room while using all three rows, you may need to pass on the Pathfinder.

The Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer both offer more cargo space with all the seats in use.

Don’t Buy if You need CarPlay & Android Auto

The infotainment system is easy to use, but there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto support.

The infotainment system is easy to use, but there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto support.

Nissan offers CarPlay and Android Auto in a variety of vehicles, but the 2019 Pathfinder doesn’t support either of these features.

This is a frustrating omission in a 2019 model, even with a good overall infotainment system available.

Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow you to connect your phone to the vehicle with a USB cable to see maps on the main screen (including Waze), choose music, take calls and hear and reply to texts.

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