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2013 Nissan Pathfinder Review

The Nissan Pathfinder has a comfortable ride, a roomy interior, and easy-to-use tech features. However, a low reliability rating pushes this crossover SUV to the back of its class.

Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy
  • Roomy, easy-to-access third row
  • Meager passing power
  • Unrefined transmission
  • Less cargo space than rivals

Rankings & Research

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder's #21 ranking is based on its score within the 2013 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Nissan Pathfinder has a score of 7.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 25 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 7.0
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Nissan Pathfinder Overview

Is the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder a Good Used SUV?

A used 2013 Nissan Pathfinder isn’t a great pick if you’re shopping for a previously owned midsize SUV. While the Pathfinder may have a smooth ride and roomy seating space, its low reliability rating and unrefined transmission make it tough to recommend. There are better 3-row SUV options in this class, including the 2013 Chevy Traverse and Toyota Highlander.

Used 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Performance and Interior

The Nissan Pathfinder has a V6 engine with 260 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, while all-wheel drive is available. The engine provides adequate pep around town, but the CVT limits passing power at higher speeds and can often feel hesitant. Fuel economy is high by class standards at 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

The Pathfinder remains fairly stable around turns, and its suspension provides a smooth ride. Even larger bumps and potholes are soaked up comfortably. The brakes slow the SUV with confidence, and the steering feels light and responsive. Unlike its predecessor, however, these driving dynamics don’t translate well off road. With only 6.5 inches of ground clearance, the Pathfinder’s adventures are best kept to muddy trails or snow-covered streets. The Pathfinder has a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

Read more about Pathfinder performance »

The Nissan Pathfinder is a 3-row SUV with seating for seven. The first and second rows are comfy and offer generous head- and legroom. Even the third-row seats can comfortably fit teens or adults during shorter trips. Getting into and out of the back seat is simple as well, thanks to the sliding second-row seats. There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The Pathfinder has 16 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third row and an airy 79.8 cubic feet with all rear seats folded.

The Pathfinder’s cabin looks and feels upscale – especially in higher trim levels, which feature many soft-touch plastics and padded surfaces. It’s a design that mirrors the Pathfinder’s corporate twin, the 2013 Infiniti JX. The audio and climate controls are refreshingly easy to use, even in models equipped with the available 7- and 8-inch infotainment screens. A rear-seat entertainment system is also available. It features inputs for video game consoles and can play two different DVDs on each of its 7-inch screens.

Read more about Pathfinder interior »

Used 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Prices

The price of a used 2013 Pathfinder ranges from about $11,500 for an S model to $17,900 for a Platinum AWD model. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 25 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve researched 25 Nissan Pathfinder reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars for a decade, and our team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experienced combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to giving helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder?

The Pathfinder has poor reliability, earning a score of two out of five from J.D. Power.

See Pathfinder reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Pathfinder?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2013 Pathfinder a safety score of Good, the highest offered, in all three areas tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the SUV a perfect five-star rating in side impact testing, as well as four stars for overall, front impact, and rollover safety.

Nissan offers the 2013 Pathfinder with an available rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and a 360-degree surround-view camera system.

See Pathfinder safety scores »

Is the 2013 Pathfinder the Best Model Year to Buy?

Nissan redesigned the Pathfinder for the 2013 model year. There were no major updates for 2014, so sticking with the 2013 model can save you money over the newer model, without sacrificing any features. That said, the 2015 Pathfinder added blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert as available active safety features. If those features are important to you, you may want to consider used 2015 models.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Pathfinder »

Which Used Nissan Pathfinder Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Pathfinder comes in four trims: S, SV, SL, and Platinum. The Nissan Pathfinder S has a CD player, an auxiliary input, tri-zone climate control, cloth upholstery, cruise control, remote keyless entry with push-button start, and alloy wheels. The Nissan Pathfinder SV trim adds a 7-inch infotainment screen, a USB input, Bluetooth, satellite radio, proximity keyless entry, rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera.

The Nissan Pathfinder SL trim adds heated leather seats (front and rear), a power liftgate, and a remote car starter. The Nissan Pathfinder Platinum adds an 8-inch touch-screen navigation system, a 360-degree-view camera, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a Bose sound system.

You may also want to consider a certified pre-owned Pathfinder. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Nissan extends the original new-car warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each vehicle must pass a 167-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Nissan warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Ford certified pre-owned program »

2013 Nissan Pathfinder and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder or 2013 Toyota Highlander?

You’re apt to pay more for a used 2013 Toyota Highlander because of its high resale value. But rest assured: it’s the better crossover SUV. The Highlander offers more confident acceleration from its V6 engine and automatic transmission. It scores higher for reliability and boasts more cargo space. It’s also available as the Highlander Hybrid, which offers best-in-class fuel economy (28/28 mpg city/highway). Go with the Toyota.

Which Is Better: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder or 2013 Honda Pilot?

The 2013 Honda Pilot has its problems. Its interior materials feel low-quality compared with the Nissan, and the Pilot handles clumsily around corners. Still, the Honda is a better buy for its superior cargo space, seating for up to eight, and better reliability rating.

Which Is Better: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder or 2013 Ford Explorer?

Like the Pathfinder, the 2013 Ford Explorer ranks at the back of this class due to its low reliability rating. Neither of these vehicles are great options if you’re shopping for a used crossover SUV.

Compare the Pathfinder, Highlander, and Pilot »

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