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When you think of Nissan SUVs, there’s a good chance the Pathfinder comes to mind. Now the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek is even more competent on and off-road. If there are three things this sport utility vehicle hits out of the park: style, power, and safety.

The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek isn’t your basic SUV

The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek
2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek | Amanda Cline, MotorBiscuit

Nissan put a lot of thought into the Rock Creek trim, which sets it apart from the other options in the Pathfinder lineup. We spent some time with the 2023 Rock Creek and thought the upgrades made a big difference in the three-row SUV. This version gets an off-road-tuned suspension and a 5/8-inch lift to make driving easier over non-paved surfaces. Those looking for the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek price will be happy to know it starts at $43,020 this year and comes with standard four-wheel drive.

The 18-inch beadlock wheels with all-terrain tires add to the utility, as does the 220-pound capacity roof rack. Nissan added a tow hitch receiver harness that offers a 6,000-pound towing capacity, almost doubling the towing numbers for the regular Pathfinder.

While driving around, Nissan’s Intelligent Around View monitor was helpful. Cameras on the front and back allow the driver to see things that might be out of view, ranging from shipping carts to boulders. Off-Road Mode will enable you to see things in the blind spots without getting out of the seat. While the Rock Creek trim is built to tackle off-road adventures, it is still comfortable and suitable for the daily drive. There are plenty of creature comforts and modern tech that drivers want with a brand-new SUV.

Does Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek require premium gas?

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek details
A 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek | Amanda Cline, MotorBiscuit

Regarding the Rock Creek’s fuel economy, it requires premium fuel to get all of the power offered by the Intelligent 4WD and its 3.5-liter V6. This power boost is one of the things the SUV hits out of the park. Nissan says you can use regular fuel, but without it, it won’t get the 295 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. Using regular fuel, the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek gets 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque.

If you are considering the Rock Creek trim, there’s a good chance you will want the extra horsepower offered with premium fuel. Four-wheel drive is another added benefit, giving the driver more control when needed. Even with all these features that add to its capability, the Rock Creek Pathfinder is still quite comfortable. Orange stitching on the seats looks nice and matches some of the other trim-specific details.

The second-row captain’s chairs make getting into the third row easier. It also makes getting in and out easier for everyone in the back. There were at least 16 cupholders and plenty of other thoughtful storage throughout the cabin. In addition, the third row folded easily and offered more cargo space. It gets 16.6 cubic feet of storage space with all the seats in place or 80.5 cubic feet with both rows folded.

The NHTSA and IIHS gave the Pathfinder high safety scores

Nissan Safety Shield 360 adds plenty of standard safety systems to increase the safety of the Pathfinder. Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert come on all trim levels. Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist, and Rear Automatic Braking are also included.

Two different agencies gave the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek the stamp of approval. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t fully tested the 2023 Pathfinder yet, but it gave the SUV a four-star rating on the overall front tests and a five-star rating for the side crash tests. Safety systems like Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Crash Imminent Braking met NHTSA’s performance criteria. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2023 version its Top Safety Pick Plus award. The Nissan SUV received high scores on all crashworthiness tests and the new crash avoidance and mitigation tests.

The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek is pretty well-equipped for whatever happens, either on or off-road. For the daily driver, the Pathfinder is stylish and safe. It is also pretty capable for those weekends you need to drive through sand and dirt, which not everyone can say.


2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Review: Cool, Calm, and Collected