There was a time when the Nissan Pathfinder was a true SUV, and the Pathfinder Rock Creek is a half-hearted attempt to return to the model’s rugged, off-road roots.
The first through third generations were chassis SUVs; the first generation was little more than a Nissan Pickup with a covered bed. The third generation, introduced in 2004, was a legit 4Runner fighter, sharing a platform with the Frontier and Titan. You might even get a V8 at some point! Then customers stopped caring, and so did Nissan, and for a while the Pathfinder became just another drop-shaped seven-seat crossover with a CVT transmission. The recently introduced fifth-generation Pathfinder is an attempt to return to this robustness. And the new Pathfinder Rock Creek is a half-hearted attempt.
“From urban jungle to accessible natural beauty just minutes from town, Pathfinder Rock Creek has both the style and the gear to create an adventure just about anywhere.” This is how the vice-president of Nissan, Michael Colleran describe Rock Creek. Don’t get too excited about all this. Emphasize style because that’s what you get with this Rock Creek.
And when I say style, I don’t mean it looks good — I mean you get everything you need watch like you can tackle a trail as you cross the Costco parking lot.
- Off-road tuned suspension with 5/8″ lift
- 18-inch beadlock-style wheels fitted with all-terrain tires
- Tubular roof rack with a load capacity of up to 220 pounds
- Exclusive front fascia with dark V-grille and mesh insert
- Rock Creek badge
- Exclusive leatherette + cloth seats with Rock Creek embroidery
- Orange contrast stitching on seats, steering wheel, dashboard, center console and door panels
- Standard Smart Surround View Monitor with off-road mode
Yes, you read correctly. You get a full ⅝ inch lift and lock style wheels. I’m surprised they didn’t add a snorkel and gas can on the rear hatch that can’t be removed. Surprisingly, Nissan gave the Pathfinder Rock Creek more power. No, you don’t get the Titan’s 5.6-liter V8 (IIf you are reading this, Nissan— think about it), but you get an 11 horsepower boost over the standard Pathfinder’s 284 horsepower. That extra horsepower is necessary because you also get a towing capacity of 6,000 pounds.
Color combinations will be limited to four two-tone colors and six monotone colors. No word on pricing, but I wouldn’t expect to see this thing for less than $40,000 when it goes on sale this summer.