New Car Review:  2019 Chicago Auto Show

2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek: First Look

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author photo by Eric Brandt February 2019
  • The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition adds off-road styling to the crossover
  • Includes black exterior trim and black molded overfenders
  • MSRP $995

Most crossover SUVs might spend the vast majority of their time on the pavement, but for drivers who want a little off-road style with their practical crossover, a new option is now available. It's the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek edition (introduced at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show) which takes Nissan's roomy, family-friendly, 3-row crossover and gives it an off-road makeover.

The Rock Creek edition adds exterior upgrades to the Pathfinder that include black exterior trim all around in the roof rails, badging, mirrors, 18-in wheels, door handles, and in the front and rear fascias. It also adds black molded overfenders along the bottom of the body.

This package is available on the mid-range SV and more luxurious SL trims of the Pathfinder. The upgrade has an MSRP of $995, which Nissan says reflects $1,315 in package savings compared to similar equipment priced separately. That means the price of a Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition ranges from the mid-$30k to low-$40k range depending on options.

Surprisingly, 4-wheel drive is not standard on the Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek edition, this package can be had on either 2-wheel drive or 4WD variants of the Pathfinder. What does come standard on every Rock Creek model is a trailer hitch and harness, unique all-season tires and splash guards. The Nissan Pathfinder boasts a best-in-class 6,000-lb towing capacity on both 2WD and 4WD models.

On the inside, there's Rock Creek badging on the floor mats and 2-tone seats and there's high-contrast stitching all around the interior. This package also includes premium metallic interior trim.

If you want a few extra features in your Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek edition, there are a couple of other options available with the rugged appearance package. There's the $980 SV Rock Creek Technology package, which adds NissanConnect services that includes navigation and SiriusXM, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated mirrors. For the fancier SL, you can the $2,110 Rock Creek Premium Package, which throws in a Bose 13-speaker audio and a power panoramic sunroof.

The Nissan Pathfinder's top competitors are the Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander, but neither of those SUVs has an off-road appearance package quite like this one. The Pathfinder Rock Creek edition's closest competitor is perhaps the Subaru Ascent 3-row crossover, which is family friendly with a distinct off-road personality with each model coming standard with all-wheel drive and X-Mode.

The Rock Creek package brings back hints of the Pathfinder's off-road heritage. Before it was a road-going crossover, the Pathfinder spent many years as a more rugged off-road SUV similar to the Toyota 4Runner. The Rock Creek edition might not add much mechanically to improve off-road performance, but it certainly gives this SUV an interesting new attitude that off-road enthusiasts might find attractive.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek: First Look - Autotrader