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2023 Nissan Pathfinder Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: S vs SV and SL, Rock Creek and Platinum

What 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Trim Should You Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

A midsize SUV with three rows will check all of the boxes for many families. They are typically not the most efficient vehicles, and they can be a bit difficult to maneuver, but they make up for it with their versatility. Midsize SUVs typically have more satisfying performance and better off-road capability than a minivan as well.

The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder is a prime example of both the highs and lows of a midsize SUV. This year, a brand-new trim level makes its debut on the list of options. Nissan has named it the Rock Creek trim, and it is advertised as a more rugged version of this SUV. Features like standard all-wheel drive help to back this claim up. The interior is upgraded with orange stitching on a blend of vinyl and cloth upholstery that is exclusive for this trim level.

With a new trim added to the mix, there are now five versions of the Pathfinder available for shoppers. The key to selecting the right trim level is being familiar with what every option has going for it. This guide will help.


Compare the S vs SV Trims. What is the difference?

The entry-level Pathfinder S has a starting price of $35,000. For this, buyers get the same engine that is underneath the hood of every other 2023 Pathfinder. It is a 3.5L V6 that makes 284 horsepower along with 259 lb-ft of torque. The Pathfinder pairs this engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Like most Pathfinder models, the S trim has an independent strut front suspension and independent multi-link rear suspension. This trim level sits on 18-inch dark-painted alloy wheels. Front-wheel drive is standard for the S, but even this base model can be upgraded to four-wheel drive.

The standard exterior lights for the 2023 Pathfinder are pretty impressive. This SUV comes with automatic LED headlights along with LED daytime running lights. The taillights are LED as well. A rear spoiler is standard, and the Pathfinder also has rear privacy glass as well as UV-reducing solar glass to keep occupants comfortable.

Moving to the interior, the Pathfinder S comes equipped with tri-zone automatic climate control and rear air vents. There is an in-cabin microfilter as well, plus a push-button start. This trim has 10 cup holders and four bottle holders so that passengers can stay hydrated. Further adding to the convenience of this SUV are things like four cargo tie-down hooks and a storage area under the cargo floor.

Like many entry-level models, the Nissan Pathfinder S has only a manually adjustable driver's seat to help with comfort. Naturally, the front passenger seat is manually adjustable as well. This model has a second-row bench, meaning there is seating for up to eight people inside. The S trim keeps things simple with cloth-trimmed upholstery. Piano Black interior trim finishes off the look of the Pathfinder S cabin.

The S trim level of the Pathfinder has an 8-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. It runs the wired versions of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Bluetooth is also included, as well as Nissan's hands-free text messaging assistant. This entry-level model has two USB-A and two USB-C ports as well.

Quite a few advanced safety features are included when drivers choose the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder S. This SUV comes with Nissan Safety Shield 360. It includes blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, pedestrian detection, driver attention monitoring, and rear parking sensors. There is also front and reverse collision mitigation. Rounding out the standard safety features are automatic high beams and a rear seat alert.

The SV trim level is up next, and it has the same powertrain and wheels as the S. It does gain heated and body-colored side mirrors with integrated LED turn signals. This trim level also adds black roof rails to give drivers another place to haul gear. The SV is available with a power liftgate, power moonroof, and tow hitch receiver.

A remote engine start is added to the Pathfinder beginning with the SV trim. This model also gets illuminated mirrors in the sun visors. There are also now 12 cupholders, in case 10 were not enough. More importantly, the SV trim level has a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat with 2-way power lumbar support. Heated front seats are also standard from this trim on up.

The SV trim level sticks with a second-row bench on its standard equipment list. That said, this model can swap that out for second-row captain's chairs. Doing so will also add a removable second-row console with cupholders. The SV trim gets a tad more sophisticated with a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

This version of the 2023 Pathfinder comes with NissanConnect services. Drivers are given six months of the Premium Package and five years of the Select Package. The SV also adds ProPilot Assist, which essentially combines adaptive cruise control with lane centering to make life even easier on the driver. Going to the SV over the S trim of the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder will cost buyers just under $3,000.

Compare the SV vs SL Trim Levels. What is the difference?

There are no changes to the performance of the Pathfinder SL. This model moves around the town with 18-inch alloy wheels, but they have a machine finish instead of the dark-painted finish found on the previous two trim levels. This model also offers 20-inch alloy wheels to drivers who would prefer them. Also setting this trim level apart are the silver roof rails that replace the previously standard black ones. Otherwise, the exterior of the SL looks the same as that of the SV.

The exterior of the SL does gain a power liftgate, which is a handy feature for busy families. A few important upgrades are made inside of the Pathfinder SL. This trim gains rear sunshades, for example, along with an auto-dimming rearview mirror. That mirror has a universal garage door opener built-in. While previous models come with one 12-volt power outlet, the SL is the first to give drivers two.

The SL is the trim level where the front passenger gets a 10-way power-adjustable seat. Like the SV, the SL comes standard with a second-row bench but also offers the captain's chairs if buyers are only looking for seating for seven. This Pathfinder goes with leather-appointed seats for the first and second rows. It adds heat to the steering wheel and opens up the option of having heated second-row seats.

Gun Metallic interior trim replaces the Piano Black found in lower trim levels. The SL is upgraded with a 9-inch touchscreen, and it also gets integrated navigation. NissanConnect is still included, but buyers get a five-year trial for the Select and Plus Packages here. The Apple CarPlay feature becomes wireless as well, although the Android Auto feature is still wired.

The Pathfinder SL gains one extra USB-A port. A bit more exciting is the addition of a wireless charging pad. The ProPilot Assist feature gets upgraded with navigation. Rounding out the upgrades for the Pathfinder SL is a surround-view monitor that makes parking and backing out a bit less stressful.

There is a price jump of around $3,500 between the SV and SL trim levels. This is somewhat justified, mostly by the additional tech and safety features that join the standard equipment list.

Compare the SL vs Rock Creek. What is the difference?

The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek is a brand-new offering. It has the same engine underneath the hood, but it manages to make 295 horsepower as well as 270 lb-ft of torque with it. This version of the Pathfinder is only available with four-wheel drive.

An off-road-tuned suspension is equipped on the Rock Creek model. An enhanced transmission cooling system, which has been optional up until this point, comes standard for the off-road-oriented Rock Creek trim. While every Pathfinder has drive modes to choose from, this version has seven choices rather than five.

Underneath the Pathfinder Rock Creek trim are 18-inch beadlock-style alloy wheels. This trim cannot be had with 20-inch wheels. This is the only 2023 Pathfinder model to come standard with all-terrain tires. On top of the Rock Creek trim, drivers find a black tubular roof rack. There are also a variety of Rock Creek badges, a unique grille design, and even an exclusive front fascia.

The Pathfinder Rock Creek comes standard with the tow hitch receiver. This model does lose some of the convenience found on the SL trim. It does not have a power liftgate, for example. The Rock Creek is also not available with a power moonroof. Inside, the rear sunshades are missing, along with the universal garage door opener. This trim also goes back down to one 12-volt power outlet.

For whatever reason, the Pathfinder Rock Creek gets rid of the power-adjustable front passenger seat. The driver's seat is not downgraded, however. This model is only available with the second-row captain's chairs. It shows off exclusive seats with specialized Rock Creek badging.

This is not the end of the bad news for the Rock Creek trim. The 8-inch touchscreen is back, and the navigation system is missing. Apple CarPlay is also wired once again. This trim level even deletes the extra USB-A port found in the SL model. The Rock Creek has the standard ProPilot Assist, without the added benefit of navigation.

The Rock Creek model costs right around $1,500 more than the SL trim. It may lose several of the tech features, but it does add a little something extra to the performance of this midsize SUV. Buyers should note that it costs $1,900 to upgrade the other trim levels from front-wheel to four-wheel drive, which makes the Rock Creek a bit more appealing after all.

Compare the Rock Creek vs Platinum Trim. What is the difference?

The Platinum trim of the Pathfinder loses the extra power and the off-road-oriented suspension found on the Rock Creek. It does get to keep the towing features, however. This trim rides around exclusively on 20-inch alloy wheels. The Platinum model also gets power-folding side mirrors with a reverse tilt-down feature.

This version of the Pathfinder goes back to silver roof rails. They are joined by chrome body side moldings. This is the only version of the Pathfinder that drivers get a hands-free power liftgate on. Features that were removed by the Rock Creek trim, such as the rear sunshades, come back for the Platinum.

In addition to the best features from the previous trims, this top Pathfinder adds things like rain-sensing windshield wipers and ambient interior lighting. It is the only trim to gain a 120-volt AC power outlet. The driver's seat, steering wheel, and side mirrors all gain memory settings as well.

The second-row bench is back for the Platinum, although the seven-seat arrangement is also an option. This trim level has climate-controlled front seats, meaning they are both heated and ventilated, along with leather-trimmed seats featuring quilted inserts. This trim comes standard with a panoramic moonroof and a premium sound system from Bose. Downgrades made to the tech by the Rock Creek, such as the smaller touchscreen, are no longer present in the Platinum trim.

Choosing the Platinum trim will mean paying over $5,000 more for the Pathfinder.


Final Thoughts

Thanks to the standard engine and list of safety features, there is no bad choice when it comes to the 2023 Pathfinder. If possible, however, buyers will want to step up at least to the SV trim level. It has a variety of nice upgrades, including heated front seats and ProPilot Assist.

The Rock Creek trim may appeal to those who want to spend more time off road. While the SL and Platinum trim levels are fancy, they are not worth their added cost.

Most families will be well-served by the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder SV.

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2022 Nissan Pathfinder Trim Levels