There was a time when the Nissan Pathfinder was a proper SUV, and the Pathfinder Rock Creek is a half-hearted attempt to get back to the model’s rugged, off-road roots.
The first through third generations were body on frame SUVs; the first-gen was little more than a Nissan Pickup with a covered bed. The third generation, introduced in 2004, was a legitimate 4Runner fighter, sharing a platform with the Frontier and Titan. You could even get a V8 at one point! Then customers stopped caring, and Nissan did too, and for a time, the Pathfinder became just another blob shaped seven seat crossover with a CVT transmission. The recently introduced fifth-gen Pathfinder is an attempt to return to that ruggedness. And the new Pathfinder Rock Creek is a half-hearted attempt at that.
“From the urban jungle to the natural beauty that can be reached within minutes from the city, Pathfinder Rock Creek has both the style and hardware to create an adventure just about anywhere.” That’s how Nissan’s VP of Michael Colleran describes the Rock Creek. Don’t get too excited about any of that. Put emphasis on style because that’s what you’re getting with this Rock Creek.
And when I say style, I don’t mean it looks good — I mean you’re getting everything you need to look like you can tackle a trail while you traverse the Costco parking lot.
- Off-road tuned suspension with 5/8-inch lift
- 18-inch beadlock-style wheels mounted with all-terrain tires
- Tubular roof rack with up to 220-pound load capacity
- Exclusive front fascia with dark V-motion grille and mesh insert
- Rock Creek badging
- Exclusive leatherette + fabric seats with Rock Creek embroidery
- Orange contrast stitching on the seats, steering wheel, instrument panel, center console and door panels
- Standard Intelligent Around View Monitor with Off-Road Mode
Yep, you read that right. You get a whole ⅝ inch lift and beadlock style wheels. I’m surprised they didn’t add on a snorkel and a gas can on the rear hatch that can’t actually be removed. Surprisingly, Nissan did give the Pathfinder Rock Creek more power. No, you don’t get the 5.6-liter V8 from the Titan (if you’re reading this, Nissan — think about it), but you do get an 11 horsepower increase over the standard Pathfinder’s 284 hp. That extra power is needed as you get a 6,000-pound towing capacity as well.
Color combinations will be limited to four two-tone colors and six monotone colors. No word on pricing, but I’d wouldn’t expect to see this thing for less than $40,000 when it goes on sale this summer.