A Nissan Pathfinder can help take the headache out of going car camping. There are many reasons why you may love this model for your next car camping adventure. For starters, this vehicle is available in two-wheel drive as well as four-wheel drive, which is better for steep or unpaved roads. Consider models made during the fourth generation, which started with the 2013 model year, if you want a reliable vehicle at a reasonable cost.

Price and Value

The Nissan Pathfinder is a medium-sized crossover SUV that is competitively priced with other makes and models on the market. The Nissan Pathfinder trim levels offer outstanding safety features and a car-like riding experience, making them a good value.

Size and Seating Capacity

The size and seating capacity of the Nissan Pathfinder varies by model year. Those made before 2005 have five seats while those made after 2005 have seven seats. The fourth generation of Nissan Pathfinder introduced in 2013 is 197.2 inches long. This vehicle is 77.2 inches wide without counting the mirrors, and it is 70.2 inches tall. When the Nissan Pathfinder was redesigned in 2017, the vehicle still had seven seats, but designers extended it to 198.2 inches long.

Nissan Pathfinders from 2013 to 2016 have 79.8 cubic feet of cargo with the second and third rows of seats folded. There are 47.8 cubic feet of space, and there are 16 cubic feet of space behind the third row. When the Nissan Pathfinder was redesigned in 2017, the manufacturer made 16 cubic feet of storage space behind the third row, 47.8 cubic feet behind the second row and 79.8 cubic feet of space behind the first row.

Engine Specs

The Nissan Pathfinder is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 260 horsepower. It has a continuous variable time transmission. This combination gets 20/27 miles per gallon city/highway for front-drive models and 19/26 miles per gallon with all-wheel drive.

Let the Nissan Pathfinder guide your next adventureTrims and Features

Nissan Pathfinders are available in four different trim levels. All come with the same engine and the availability of two- or four-wheel drive.


The base level of the Nissan Pathfinder is the S trim level. After the 2017 redesign, this vehicle was equipped with Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera. Automatic emergency braking is available as well.


The next trim level up is the SV. This level adds fog lights, which can be a great addition as you may encounter foggy conditions in valleys and near lakes while camping. It also adds a remote start feature, which will allow you to have the vehicle already cooled when you get inside. Since many camping spots can get tight, you are also likely to love the rear sonar feature that sounds a warning signal if something gets too near your bumper when you’re going in reverse.


Campers will love the added features of the SV model. Since the rear liftgate is motion-activated, you won’t have to worry about lifting when you have your hands full with camping gear. This trim level also offers an around-view camera, so you can see completely around your vehicle when backing out of a tight camping spot. It also has added safety features, like blind-spot monitoring so that you can know when there is something in the next lane when you want to change lanes and intelligent cruise control to help you maintain a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.


The top-of-the-line Nissan Pathfinder is the Platinum. It comes with climate-controlled seats, which can be a great option when the weather turns suddenly cold or gets hotter than expected during a camping trip. This level also comes with an upgraded entertainment system and LED low-beam projector lights.

Let the Nissan Pathfinder guide your next adventureSafety

The Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the Nissan Pathfinder a superior rating for its ability to withstand front-end crashes.

Depending on the year, you can find Pathfinders with Nissan Intelligent Safety Shield Technologies. This includes models with cross-traffic alerts, which help drivers better understand what is happening behind them on the road. Intelligent Safety Shield Technologies also include lane alerts if you leave the middle of your lane or become drowsy when driving. Many Nissan Pathfinders come with rear cameras or cameras that allow you to see completely around your vehicle. Some built-in safety features are designed to prevent you from hitting another vehicle, such as adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.


While the exact ratings may vary depending on the make and trim level, J.D. Powers named the Nissan Pathfinder a very reliable vehicle. It gave the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder 82 out of a possible 100 and called it the fifth most reliable vehicle in its category. It gave the vehicle 83 out of 100 for reliability, 79 out of 100 for driver experience and 82 out of 100 for resale.

Let the Nissan Pathfinder guide your next adventureThe Takeaway

Older Nissan Pathfinders were built on a truck frame, but since 2013, this vehicle has been built on a car frame. That helps ensure a comfortable ride on potentially bumpy dirt roads to camping destinations.

The Nissan Pathfinder comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. This engine, along with the automatic variable timing transmission, gives you the power to tow up to 6,000 pounds. That is an excellent option if you want to pull a trailer to a campsite or wish to bring along your favorite water toys, such as a small boat or waterski.

Especially after the 2017 redesign, there is plenty of space in the interior of the Nissan Pathfinder. This vehicle can carry seven passengers comfortably. When the passenger space is not needed, the second- and third-row seats can be folded flat to provide even more cargo space. This can be a great option when you are taking two vehicles camping as everyone can choose to ride the other while the Pathfinder comes along with all the gear.

Many model years come with Nissan Intelligent Safety Shield, which automatically adds many features to keep you and the vehicle safer while going down the highway. You will love the rearview and all-around cameras when trying to negotiate your way into and out of tight camping spots.

While you may not find many added features in the interior of the Nissan Pathfinder, you will find an excellent value in a reliable vehicle built to handle the abuse that car camping often dishes out. You have the choice of all-wheel or four-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive Nissan Pathfinders may be the perfect choice for those who love to go camping regardless of inclement weather. If you love to go camping in rugged terrain or occasionally go off-roading, consider the four-wheel drive.

This vehicle is highly reliable, so you never need to worry about getting stranded at a remote campsite. This vehicle’s reliability also helps to ensure that your vehicle is not stuck at a mechanic’s shop when you are ready to go camping.

There are many terrific reasons why the Nissan Pathfinder is the perfect car camping vehicle. Consider one today.