Nissan announced a new off-road-prepped variant of the Pathfinder for the 2023 model year, called “Rock Creek”. The new SUV will debut at the New York International Auto Show with a slightly more powerful engine, beefed-up suspension, and subtle visual tweaks to communicate its rugged nature.
The new Pathfinder Rock Creek is distinguished by the black-themed V-motion grille, the Rock Creek badging, a tubular roof rack that can hold up to 220 pounds (100 kg) of gear, and a set of 18-inch beadlock-style rims shod in grippy all-terrain tires. The model is available in six colors and four two-tone combinations.
More importantly, the new rugged Pathfinder is fitted with an off-road-tuned suspension. The Rock Creek sits slightly higher from the ground compared to the rest of the Pathfinder range, thanks to a 5/8-inch (15.88 mm) lift. This is not as impressive as the 2-inch lift kit of the Project Overland Pathfinder concept that debuted in SEMA last year, but it is certainly an improvement over the standard variants.
More importantly, the 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 295 hp (220 kW / 299 PS) and 270 lb-ft (366 Nm) of torque, which is slightly more than the standard 284 hp (212 kW / 288 PS) and 259 lb-ft (351 Nm) thanks to a revised fuel mapping. Faithfull to its adventurous character, the Rock Creek is exclusively available with Nissan’s Intelligent AWD system, and the nine-speed automatic transmission. The standard tow hitch receiver and harness allow a 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity.
Inside the cabin, we find a combination of leatherette and fabric upholstery, Rock Creek badges embroidered on the seats and central armrest, plus orange stitching all around. Standard equipment includes the Intelligent Around View Monitor with an Off-Road Mode, and captain’s chairs for the second row which means that the Rock Creek is only available as a seven-seater.
The first deliveries of the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek are scheduled for late summer 2022 together with the entire MY 2023 range, following the official debut of the SUV at the New York International Auto Show between April 15 and 24.