2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Preview

Chris Teague | Apr 12, 2022

Many automakers have successfully built slightly more hardcore versions of existing models, and now Nissan's jumped on that train. The Pathfinder SUV got a makeover for 2022, which brought more muscular styling and better drivetrain components, and now Nissan is releasing a new Rock Creek trim level for 2023. The variant gets a lift kit with beefy all-terrain tires, unique styling elements, and exclusive interior accents.

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Front Quarter View

All 2023 Pathfinder models get the same 3.5-liter V6 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission, but the Rock Creek receives more power and standard 4-wheel drive (4WD) to bolster its off-road street cred. Nissan differentiates the SUV inside with orange accents and stitching throughout.

The Pathfinder Rock Creek should slot into the lineup near the top, putting its price tag in the high-$40,000 range. Nissan is usually conservative with its options offerings but does sell two upgrade packages for the standard Pathfinder, so the Rock Creek may have its own options packages.

What's New for the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek? - Find the best Nissan deals!

  • All-new trim package adds to the existing Pathfinder line
  • Standard surround-view camera system
  • Standard interior finishes include exclusive leatherette and fabric upholstery with orange stitching and Rock Creek embroidery
  • More powerful than the standard Pathfinder, with 295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque
  • On sale in late summer 2022

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Exterior - Find the best Nissan deals!

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Rear Quarter View

Nissan says updates made to the Pathfinder for 2022 gave the SUV a "return to rugged," which meant ditching the continuously variable transmission (CVT)and massaging its exterior styling. The grille features Nissan's signature "V-motion" shape and is flanked by C-shaped LED headlights. The overall look is boxier and more muscular than the rounded, frumpy shape from years past.

The Rock Creek model builds on that foundation with unique badging around the exterior and a 5/8-inch lift kit. Nissan installs 18-inch bead-lock-style wheels with all-terrain tires to complete the beefy off-roader look. Functional items outside include a tubular roof rack with a 220-pound capacity and a tow hitch receiver.

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Interior - Find the best Nissan deals!

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Interior Dashboard

The Pathfinder's interior got an overhaul for 2022 and picked up only minor changes for the 2023 model year. The SUV gets a standard third-row seat and a bench in the second row, giving it 8-passenger seating. Buyers can opt for second-row captain's chairs, which cuts seating to seven.

The Pathfinder Rock Creek adds leatherette and fabric upholstery with exclusive embroidery and orange contrast stitching. The orange accents continue throughout the SUV's interior, including the steering wheel, center console, and door panels. Rock Creek also adds second-row captain's chairs as standard equipment.

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Specs - Find the best Nissan deals!

The 2023 Pathfinder hasn't changed mechanically, but the Rock Creek picks up more horsepower and torque. The SUV comes with a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque when running on premium fuel. A new 9-speed transmission showed up last year and remains in place for 2023. In the Rock Creek, it sends power to all four wheels via standard 4WD. The move away from a CVT gives the Pathfinder a more robust and responsive drivetrain and makes it much more engaging to drive. The Rock Creek variant adds off-road-tuned suspension and a 5/8-inch lift kit. It rides on 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires.

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Safety - Find the best Nissan deals!

The 2023 Pathfinder should retain the safety features and configurations of the previous model year. That means a full suite of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) for all but the base S trim and the availability of Nissan's ProPilot Assist system starting with the SV trim. Most variants come standard with blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic warning, automatic emergency brakinglane-departure warning, and more.

The 2023 Pathfinder hasn't been crash-tested yet, but the 2022 model scored decently in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) evaluations. The SUV earned "Good" scores in most crash-test categories except for head restraints and seats, where it picked up an "Acceptable" rating.

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Technology - Find the best Nissan deals!

The 2023 Pathfinder comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen and NissanConnect services with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Wireless Apple CarPlay is available for higher trims, so the Rock Creek may come with upgraded tech. Other standard features include SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth, and voice controls. The Rock Creek adds a standard surround-view camera system with an exclusive Off-Road mode to help navigate trails.

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Competitors - Find the best Nissan deals!

There's no shortage of exceptional competitors in the Pathfinder's class. Rivals include the Ford BroncoHyundai PalisadeJeep Grand CherokeeKia Telluride, and many others.

Nissan is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of April 12, 2022, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.

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