2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition. Photo: CarPro.


REVIEW:  2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition

Written By: Jerry Reynolds | Jul 10, 2023 5:23:49 PM

I’ve spent this week with the very attractive and very capable 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek edition. 

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition

The Pathfinder was redone in 2022, but the Rock Creek is new for 2023.  This SUV has many unique features that are different from the regular Pathfinder, including higher ground clearance.


I find the exterior to be extremely attractive.  The black roof over the white body looks terrific.  I love the Nissan grill and the way the LED headlights flow into the body, the rear quarter panels are flared slightly, the 18” wheels and Toyo tires are functional and look terrific.  A rear spoiler looks great, and the Rock Creek badging on the sides and tailgate are very well done.



What’s under the hood is also different on the Rock Creek version versus the regular Pathfinder.  You’ll find a naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V6, with no turbos.  It is putting out 295-horses and a strong 270-pound feet of torque.  It is mated to a conventional 9-speed automatic transmission that has shift paddles.  As you would imagine, the Rock Creek Edition is 4-wheel drive, that is what this SUV was built for.


Nissan did a great job with the interior as well.  The leatherette and fabric heated seats are very comfortable and roomy.  The gauge cluster is simple and easy to read with a configurable driver info center right in the middle that is controlled from the steering wheel.  There is some light orange stitching across the dash and across the door panels, but overall, the interior if fairly minimalistic.


Center dash, easily within reach, is an 8” touchscreen that handles the audio system, Bluetooth, Sirius XM, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a host of apps, and it houses the backup camera with cross-traffic alert.

The center console houses the gear shifter, a couple of large cup holders, the electronic emergency brakes, the Auto Hold button, and a button to turn off the start/stop system.  This is also where you control the drive modes, which include:  snow, mud/ruts, sand, tow, auto, sport, and eco.

The back seats have captain’s chairs, and they offer good legroom and headroom, there are fold-down armrests, and the seats slide forward & backward.  There is also a nice center console between the seats that is easily removable for easier entry to the 3rd-row seat.  Second row occupants get air vents and can control their own temperature, and also has USB ports and a power outlet.


The 3rd-row seat has limited room and is best suited for children.  The 2nd-row captains will flip over for 3rd-row access, or again, you can remove the center console.  Cargo area is also fairly small, but there is underneath storage that would hold a lot of additional cargo out of sight.

Standard Equipment

The Pathfinder Rock Creek comes well-equipped. Most notable are: 18” bead-lock design wheels, remote start, LED fog lights, tubular roof rack, 10-way power driver’s seat, heated seats, and a trailer hitch.


On the safety front, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane intervention, high-beam assist, rear automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, backup sensors, and adaptive cruise control.

It also has Nissan’s terrific ProPilot Assist.  ProPILOT Assist is a hands-on driver assist system that combines the Intelligent Cruise Control and Steering Assist technologies and includes a stop and hold function that can bring the vehicle to a full stop, hold in place and can bring you back up to speed when traffic starts moving again, and it works great.

Ride and Drive

The Pathfinder Rock Creek is an extremely capable off-roader but is also a wonderful daily driver.  Handling is superb and the ride was much better than I expected especially in the auto drive mode, but for more fun on the pavement, put it in sport mode.  The Rock Creek was also very quiet inside.

Fuel economy is rated at 20 in town, 23 on the highway, and 21 overall.  It seemed to be doing slightly better.

Options and What You'll Pay

Everything you see is included with the Rock Creek package except for the 2-tone paint for $790 and there are all-season floor mats and a cargo liner.  Total MSRP with transportation is $45,250 with destination.


This is a great SUV.  Thankfully the CVT is long gone, and although it doesn’t have a moon roof, air-conditioned seats, or a power tailgate, it is still one of the best values in a midsized SUV on the market today.

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  1. What I liked most:  The terrific looks and incredible value. 
  2. What I would change:  Make a power tailgate standard equipment.
  3. MSRP:    Base price $42,820/Total MSRP: $45,350 with transportation. 
  4. Fuel Economy:  Rated at 20 city/23 highway/21 combined. 
  5. Odometer reading when tested:   11,900 miles.
  6. Weight:   4,605-pounds/5,900-pound GVWR.
  7. Spare Tire:  Compact Spare Tire.
  8. Length-Width-Height: 197.7" long/77.9" wide/70.9" high.
  9. Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.6 gallons with fuel filler on the driver's side.
  10. Official Color:   Pearl White Tri-Tone White/Black Roof.
  11. Towing Capacity: 6,000 pounds.
  12. 2023 Pathfinder Rock Creek in a few words:  A fantastic SUV that looks great and is just an outstanding value.
  13. Warranty: 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/60,000 mile power train warranty with roadside assistance.  

  14. Final Assembly Location:  Smyrna, Tennessee.
  15. Manufacturer's website: Nissan