Adds cool features to an old SUV

The Rock Creek Edition is a special-edition version of the Nissan Pathfinder that includes new accessories and a few extra features at no additional cost. Introduced at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, it freshens up the somewhat dated fourth-generation Pathfinder, which was launched in 2012 and went through a mid-cycle upgrade for the 2017 model year. Offered on SV and SL grades (no soup for you if you want the base model or the range-topping Platinum trim), it costs only $995. Nissan says it will save you $1,315 compared to a similar vehicle with all those features ordered separately, but is it worth it? Let’s find out in the review below.

What Makes the Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition Special?

  • looks sporty rather than rugged
  • black exterior trim
  • almost no chrome
  • enhanced wheel arch protection
  • unique 18-inch wheels
  • Rock Creek badges
  • two-tone upholstery
  • red stitching
  • metallic trim
  • standard V-6 engine
  • 6,000-pound towing rating
  • two optional packages
  • costs only $995 extra
The package adds a ton of black-painted styling elements and removes almost all chrome

Although the Rock Creek badge suggests an adventurous, off-road-oriented package, this SUV looks more like a sportier iteration of the proven fourth-generation Pathfinder. That’s mostly because the bundle adds a ton of black-painted styling elements. Up front, there’s no trace of chrome on the grille (apart from the "Nissan" logo) or in the foglamp sockets.

The SUV becomes a bit more rugged onto the sides thanks to the black molds that Nissan slapped over the wheel arches, but the black mirror caps, door handles, and roof rails contribute to the darkened, somewhat sporty look. The unique 18-inch wheels are also darker than usual, but the rims have lighter inserts toward the edge for a classy look. The profile is rounded off by special badges on the front doors that contain "rock creek" lettering in black and what appears to be a stylized mountain formation.

2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition
- image 821774
The profile is rounded off by special badges on the front doors

The rear fascia carries over without major changes, but just like the front end, most of the chrome is gone. Both the trim atop the license plate and the model lettering is now black, leaving only the "Nissan" logo chrome. Nissan says the Rock Creek edition is available in seven exterior colors, but there’s no list to browse. However, the presentation model shows a cool, slightly dark and metallic shade of green that looks a lot like the Midnight Pine Metallic option you can get on the Pathfinder SL. Paint options probably differ depending on trim, but expect to find colors like Mocha Almond Pearl, Caspian Blue Metallic, Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, and the mandatory white, grey and black.

The Pathfinder’s interior is far from fancy, mostly because it’s a bit dated and because Nissan designed it for the affordable segment, but the Rock Creek package adds a cool two-tone upholstery. The seats have a light grey center section and black sides, stitched together with bright red thread for an eye-catching contrast. The same stitching adorns the door panels, the center console lid, and the steering wheel. The metallic trim on the center stack, center console, and the door panels enable a premium-like appearance.

2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition
- image 821783
Two optional packages add premium features and tech

The fact that the Rock Creek Edition is offered on the SV and SL trims also helps, as these versions are well-appointed when it comes to comfort and technology. The SL, for instance, comes with leather door panels, leather steering wheel and shift knob, stainless steel kick plates, heated front and outboard rear seats, and a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat.

Nissan also offers two packages for the Rock Creek Edition. First up is the Rock Creek Edition Technology Package for the SV version. For $980, it adds NissanConnect with Navigation and Services, SiriusXM Traffic, NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM, heated cloth front seats, heated steering wheel, and heated side mirror. Most of these features are standard on the SL trim. If you opt for the higher price SL model, you can add the Rock Creek Edition Premium Package, which includes a Bose 13-speaker premium audio system and the power Panorama Moonroof for $2,110.

2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition
- image 820082
The 3.6-liter V-6 engine cranks out the standard 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque

So is there anything special under the hood? Nope. The Rock Creek Edition comes with the Pathfinder’s standard 3.6-liter V-6 engine. It cranks out 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque and mates to the familiar Xtronic automatic transmission. The good news is that the Rock Creek Edition retains the Pathfinders solid 6,000-pound towing rating, a best-in-class feature.

And this isn’t just PR talk; the Pathfinder can tow up to 1,000 pounds more than the Honda Pilot and Subaru Ascent and up to 700 pounds more than the latest Ford Explorer. But "best-in-class" isn’t completely accurate though, as the Dodge Durango comes with a 6,200-pound rating, an extra 200 pounds over the Pathfinder.

2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition
- image 821782
The Rock Creek package costs only $995, which saves you $1,315

Still, Nissan’s midsize SUV will provide a lot of fun, enabling you to tow two-axle trailers that can carry small boats, flatbeds or campers. The trailer tow hitch comes standard, as do the splash guards.

How much for the Rock Creek Package you ask? Well, it costs only $995, which saves you $1,315 compared to similar features ordered separately according to Nissan. The bundle is offered on SV and SL grades, in both 2WD and 4WD configurations. Specifically, the SV Rock Creek Edition starts from $35,265, while the SL Rock Creek Edition comes in at $38,915. Add the SV Technology Package, and the SL Premium Package and pricing jumps to $36,245 and $41,025, respectively. Before the AWD system (which sets you back another $1,690) and other options, obviously.

2019 Nissan Pathfinder specifications

Engine VQ35DD
Cam design DOHC
Orientation Transverse-mounted
Cylinders / configuration 60-degree V6
Block / head composition Aluminum/aluminum
Displacement (liters / cc) 3.5L / 3498cc
Horsepower 284 @ 6,400 rpm
Torque (lb-ft) 259 @ 4,800 rpm
Bore & stroke (mm) 96 x 81
Compression ratio (:1) 11.0
Spark plugs Iridium-tipped
Maximum engine speed 6,600 rpm

Further reading

2017 Nissan Pathfinder High Resolution Exterior
- image 681941

Read our full review on the 2017 NIssan Pathfinder.

Nissan today unveiled a new 2019 Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition, which goes on sale this spring with a package price of $995.1 The Rock Creek Edition special value package offers unique exterior and interior treatments that emphasize the rugged Pathfinder heritage.

The package pricing reflects a savings of up to $1,315 (versus similar equipment priced separately)2. The Rock Creek Edition package is offered on Pathfinder SV and SL grades, in both 2-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations, and in a choice of seven available exterior colors.

"The Rock Creek Edition name was chosen to connect to Pathfinder’s family outdoor adventure-minded target customers," said Scott Shirley, vice president, CMM & Marketing Operations, Nissan North America, Inc. "By offering the Rock Creek Package on a range of grades, drivetrains and colors, buyers are able to customize their Pathfinders to their precise tastes."

Key exterior differences between the Rock Creek Edition and standard 2019 Pathfinders include unique dark 18-inch wheels with unique 255/60R18 all-season tires, black mesh grille, black roof rails, black door handles and outside rearview mirrors, black front and rear fascia accents and license plate finisher, black molded overfenders and black model, grade and 4WD badges (if so equipped) and unique badging on the front doors.

Interior changes include unique Rock Creek Edition two-tone seating surfaces and badging, high contrast stitching on seats, door, console lid and steering wheel and premium metallic interior trim.

Every Rock Creek Edition also features a standard trailer tow hitch and harness and splash guards. Both 4WD and 2WD Pathfinder models feature best-in-class 6,000-pound towing capability3.

Two additional options are available with the Rock Creek Edition. The new SV Rock Creek Edition Technology Package features a MSRP1 of $980 and includes NissanConnect® with Navigation and Services, SiriusXM® Traffic, NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM®4 (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), heated cloth front seats, heated steering wheel and heated outside rearview mirrors.

The new SL Rock Creek Edition Premium Package, with a MSRP1 of $2,110, adds Bose®5 13-speaker Premium Audio System and Power Panorama Moonroof.

All 2019 Pathfinder models are equipped with a 284-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 with Direct Injection Gasoline™ (DIG) system and Xtronic transmission. Torque is rated at 259 lb-ft. Standard maximum towing capacity is a best-in-class3 of up to 6,000 pounds, giving owners the ability to tow two-axle recreational trailers, whether for watercraft, flatbeds or campers.

Pathfinder’s stylish, adventure-ready interior includes comfortable seating for seven and features Nissan’s innovative EZ Flex® Seating System™ with LATCH AND GLIDE®, a 2nd row tilt and glide seat that allows easy 3rd row access with a child safety seat still installed6. All 2019 Pathfinder models also include standard Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Nissan’s innovative Rear Door Alert7(RDA) system, which can help remind customers of items that may be forgotten in the rear seat.

Also available are Intelligent Around View® Monitor (I-AVM), Bose®5 13-speaker premium audio system, Dual Panorama Moonroof, Motion-Activated liftgate with liftgate position memory and NissanConnect® with Navigation and Services.

The 2019 Pathfinder is offered in 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive configurations and a choice of four well-equipped grade levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: