A couple of weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to head to San Francisco for a test drive and review of the 2013 Nissan Sentra and 2013 Nissan Pathfinder. I’m really excited about both of these cars. They’re sleek and beautiful; yet, Nissan has focused on making them practical and affordable for families.
2013 Nissan Sentra Review
A smaller family could definitely take to the road in the Nissan Sentra.
It has some fun features that are useful for those long road trips:
- Great Gas Mileage – The Sentra averages 34 mpg. More impressive is to me is that the highway fuel economy is 39 mpg – great for those long road trips.
- Leg Room – The Sentra has the interior feel of a mid-size vehicle with tons of legroom in the back – even when the front seats are pushed back all the way. You can definitely seat 5 people, comfortably for daily use.
- Trunk Space – Nothing is more frustrating than trying to cram your family’s belongings in a trunk that is too small. The trunk of this car is big with 15.1 cubic feet. It’s definitely big enough for several large suitcases and all of the stuff that a family of 4 might need for a road trip.
- Quiet – With the windows rolled up it was virtually noiseless inside the car. It was perfect for carrying on a conversation or listening to music.
- NissanConnect Options – The navigation system includes hands free text messaging. It will read your texts and allow you to reply while keeping both hands on the wheel. Pandora radio capability, NavTraffic, and NavWeather functions are also available. There are also Google POIs and send to car functions – meaning you can plot out your directions on your computer before you get in the car and have the directions ready and waiting for you in the car.
- Easy Fill Tire Alert – As someone who just had a debacle trying to fill my tire with air, I think it’s an awesome feature. If air is being added or removed from the tire, the horn will honk when recommended tire pressure has been reached. No more tire gauges are needed.
- Dual Temperature Control – The driver and front row passenger can control his/her own temperature. My husband can be freezing while I’m nice and warm – conflict avoided.
- USB Connection Port – This is key if you bring along your iPod when you travel
2013 Nissan Pathfinder Review
We have a family of five, so I really fell in love with the Nissan Pathfinder. In a word, this car is awesome – perfect for family vacations. It has much more cargo space than a standard SUV (at least in my opinion). In fact, I think it’s similar to the space that I have in my minivan. It drives beautifully. I’m no driving expert, but I do know that when I drive I like to feel like I’m in control of the road, not that the road is controlling me. It gave a super smooth, quiet ride. In fact, with the windows rolled up, you couldn’t “hear” your car powering along the highway. It was perfect for listening to music or having a conversation. I also had to keep an eye on my speedometer. The ride was so smooth, I would sometimes find myself accelerating way over the speed limit.
Some of my favorite features include:
- EZ Flex Seating System – This means that you can have your car seat installed and still easily access the 3rd row seating. If you’ve ever had to climb over the car seat to get in the back, you are probably as excited as I am about this feature.
- Around View Monitor – This allows you to see all around your car.
- Seats 7 – Actually, I should say that it provides COMFORTABLE seating for 7. Typically, 3rd row seating is tough for anyone over age 8, unless you like sitting with your knees at the same level as your shoulders. The Pathfinder’s 3rd row seating is the same level as the rest of the car, and the seats recline.
- Power Liftgate – This is available in a lot of SUVs, but since I don’t have it in my own car, I look for it. The ability to close the back hatch from inside the car is important to me, especially when I’m in the carpool lane at school. My kids can just throw things in the back and hop in.
- Tons of “Gotta Have” Extras (standard on some models) – heated AND cooled front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, Remote Engine Start, Dual Panorama Moonroof (I love this feature), Tri-Zone Entertainment System (no more fighting over movies/music/game options), DVD Navigation System that includes traffic, weather, and restaurant guide information.
- Towing Ability – I know a lot of people tow jet skis and other equipment on their road trips. The 2013 Pathfinder can tow 5,000 lbs.
- 120V Power Outlet (Only available in Platinum and SL models) – It’s a real plug, for real electronics. There are also the standard 12V outlets and USB port.
Guest blogger Diane Campagna lives in Rhode Island with her husband and 3 children. You can read about her attempts to be the mom who can do everything at http://www.mainstreetmommy.com, and get Walt Disney World travel advice from her at http://www.disneyworldmoms.com.
Disclaimer: Nissan provided me with travel/hotel accommodations to attend the Nissan Pathfinder and Sentra media preview. Of course, all opinions are my own.