Nothing spices up a vehicle lineup more than a “special edition.” it usually appears well into a vehicle’s lifecycle, to breathe a little new excitement, and give folks a reason to stop by the dealership for a fresh look-see. Nissan is no stranger to the concept, and this time it’s their 3-row Pathfinder utility that’s “rock”ing a new do.
It’s called the Rock Creek Edition, and it’s basically a more rugged-appearing 2019 Nissan Pathfinder. With it Nissan is paying homage to their Pathfinder heritage, while giving buyers a new, beefier-looking option.
Available in both SV and SL trims, the Rock Creek Edition can be had in front or all-wheel-drive, in one of seven colors.
Rock Creek adds a lots of black trim to the exterior, along with unique 18-inch wheels. Fender moldings are a little more industrial looking, there are added splash guards, and a tow hitch is also included; with which you can pull a hefty 6,000-lbs. of trailer.
Interior changes fall along the same lines; two-tone seats, contrast stitching throughout the cabin, and what Nissan calls “premium metallic trim.”
Now, you can crank this SUV up a notch, as they say; with a Tech package that gets you Nissan Connect with navigation, and heating elements applied to the front seats, steering wheel, and exterior mirrors. Otherwise, it’s the same Pathfinder that we’ve come to know and mostly love.
Three rows of seating are standard of course, with 7-passenger capacity; and Nissan’s EZ Flex Seating System allows wide access to the 3rd row. A good 16.2 cubic-ft. of cargo space lies behind the 3rd row; folding it into the floor expands the space to 47.4 cubic-ft., and there’s a max of 79.5 cubic-ft. with all the seats folded.
Familiar 3.5-liter V6 still cranking out the power, currently rated at 284-horsepower and 259 lb-ft. of torque; working through the ubiquitous Xtronic CVT.
Off the line, it’s not exactly a tree slug stuck in sap, but there’s no real sense of urgency from this Pathfinder, either. Power builds slowly but surely; taking us to 60 in 7.9-seconds.
Likewise, through the cones, a relaxed pace is preferred; keeping things as smooth and steady as possible, as virtually any forceful maneuvering at all, triggers some aggressive braking action from the stability control system.
But, only moderate body roll to deal with, despite a very plush and soft nature. Steering felt surprisingly heavy, and not so quick that it would get you into family trouble.
An average braking distance of 118-feet is quite good for a large, luxury-minded crossover. We experienced very minimal fade and good stability, just an occasional pull to the left to deal with.
Of course it’s away from the track where you experience the best of what the Pathfinder has to offer; and that’s great comfort, and a plush ride typically found only in much more expensive utilities.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 19-City, 26-Highway, and 22-Combined. Our average? Right on, at 22.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular.
Well, the good news is the Rock Creek package is only a $995 option, putting the SV a $36,410 and the SL at $40,060. But you will still need to add $1,690 more if you want to back up the rugged look with all-wheel-drive.
As you might expect, since the Pathfinder went the crossover route for 2013, it has never been a big hit with the off-road crowd, and the jelly bean style hasn’t helped matters either. But for families looking for a super-comfortable and roomy utility however, the Nissan Pathfinder has been a perfect vehicle at the right time. The 2019 Rock Creek Edition doesn’t change any of that, it just adds a more rough-and-tumble look to what is already a great SUV.
Engine: 3.5 liter
Torque: 259 lb-ft.
EPA: 19 mpg city / 26 mpg highway