Nissan boasts that the Pathfinder provides “premium features for all passengers,” and especially if you spring for one of the higher trim levels, and some key options, that's true. Features offered at the top of the 2013 Pathfinder lineup include a dual panorama moonroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, heated-and-cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, and two memory settings for the driver’s seat, the steering wheel, and audio/navigation settings.
Nissan is offering the Pathfinder in four different trims--S, SV, SL, and Platinum--each with a choice between front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. Nissan points out that the Pathfinder costs less than the base Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, and Chevrolet Traverse and costs less than all but the Highlander and Pilot at the top end of the lineup.
At the base S level, the 2013 Pathfinder includes the tri-zone climate control system, an Advanced Drive Assist trip-computer display, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a six-speaker sound system with six-disc changer, although Bluetooth hands-free connectivity isn't included. Step up to the SV and you get Intelligent Key entry and start, roof rails, Bluetooth, and a seven-inch color monitor with RearView monitor and Rear Sonar.
The mid-range SL provides a hint of luxury, with leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, remote engine start, and a power liftgate; and for $2,650 extra you can opt for a Premium Package with Bose 13-speaker premium audio, a dual panorama moonroof, and trailer-tow prep (offered separately for $400 on the other models).
Opt for the top-of-the-line Pathfinder Platinum and for a bottom-line price of about $42k (4WD) you get the tow package, cooled front seats, the Bose audio system, navigation, and an Around View Monitor, all with a higher-resolution eight-inch WVGA display.
With the available Nissan Navigation System, you also get XM NavTraffic and NavWeather functions, a Zagat Restaurant Guide, Bluetooth streaming audio, and voice recognition. Also on offer is a tri-zone entertainment system that lets you play separate programming for each of the two seven-inch rear screens (DVD, gaming input, or photos), all while front-seat occupants can listen to their own programming.
The dual DVD entertainment system is offered as a standalone port-installed option, as is a cargo package, illuminated kick plates, and a few other minor items.
What's missing on the Pathfinder is the taste of high-tech convenience features that are starting to jump from luxury brands down to the mainstream. The Ford Explorer, for instance, offers MyFord Touch, a more sophisticated, albeit sometimes frustrating, interface, as well as things like adaptive cruise control or a blind-spot system. The Pathfinder's dash also feels a little cluttered functionally. Both the screen system that comes with most versions and the higher-resolution navigation screen look like they're going to be touch screens but instead rely somewhat (or entirely, for the smaller one) on a rotary controller and series of buttons below.