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The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder is a midsize SUV offering great value and versatility. Available in five trim levels, the seven-passenger vehicle has a starting price of $35,000 for the base model and an MSRP of $42,820 for the popular 4WD offroad Rock Creek edition.

Equipped with a 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 gas engine paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission, the Pathfinder generates 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque. The Rock Creek trim pushes 295 hp with 270 lb-ft of torque and has an estimated EPA fuel rating of 20 MPG city / 23 MPG highway.

There is a lot to love about the family-focused SUV and a few things to be aware of before making a purchase. To help make your decision easier, here are three reasons to buy and two reasons to pass on the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder SUV.

1. Reason to buy: classy interior

One of the top reasons to buy a 2023 Nissan Pathfinder is the classy interior that stands out among the competition. Ranking it among the Best SUVs for the 2023 model year, TrueCar claims the Pathfinder’s “classy interior outshines many competitors,” calling it “one of today’s most well-rounded midsize three-row SUVs.”

Last year, the family-friendly Pathfinder received a total redesign that included an upgraded interior with the option to add captain’s chairs in the second row. With ample space to accommodate all passengers, available upgrades include leather upholstery with orange highlight stitching, power-adjustable seating, and heated seats. Technology features are also plentiful, with an impressive infotainment system and driver assistance functions.

2. Reason to buy: Child safety seat-friendly cabin

The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder provides three sets of LATCH connectors for safely installing child safety seats. There are two sets in the second row and one in the third. For added protection, the middle seats in both the second and third rows also have tether anchors. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Pathfinder the highest rating possible, a Good+, indicating the child restraint system is versatile and a great feature for families with young children.

3. Reason to buy: Towing capacity

The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder lets you tow with confidence, having an impressive class-leading maximum tow rating of up to 6,000 lbs., which is considerably more than the competition. For example, the recommended towing capacity for the comparative 2023 Toyota Highlander, 2023 Hyundai Palisade, and 2022 Honda Pilot is 5,000 lbs. Even the best-selling 2023 Kia Telluride maxes out at a 5,500-pound towing capacity.

So, grab your boat or recreational vehicle and head out for adventure because the Nissan Pathfinder is ready to pull your toys wherever you want to go.

1. Reason to pass: Restricted space in the third row


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Last year’s redesign included the addition of a third-row middle seat belt, allowing room for another passenger. Despite the roomy cabin and ability to carry eight passengers, the third row is tight and could be a reason to pass, especially for large families.

While the second row of the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder includes 35.5 inches of legroom, there are only 28 inches allotted for the legroom in the third row. According to Forbes, “the quarters back there are tight for the three-row SUV segment.” By comparison, the Kia Telluride offers 42.4 inches for second-row legroom and 31.4 inches for third-row. The Chevy Traverse provides 38.4 inches and 33.5 inches, respectively.

2. Reason to pass: Limited cargo space 

Another reason to pass on the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder is the cargo space behind the third row is limited, with only 16.6 cu-ft, which is smaller than other SUVs in its class. While there is enough room for groceries, it could be an issue when taking a road trip or transporting kids to school or extra-curricular activities.