The Nissan Pathfinder is a three-row, 7-passenger SUV with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and available AWD. That helps make it a comfortable family hauler ready for summer duty on the softball, baseball and soccer fields. With a roomy and comfortable cabin, the Pathfinder can get your kids and water toys to the beach as well.

The 2019 Pathfinder comes in S, SV, SL and Platinum trims. Probably the biggest news for the Pathfinder this year is the addition of a “Rock Creek” special edition that adds unique treatments inside and out. The Rock Creek edition is offered in SV and SL grades in 2WD and 4WD. I was pretty stoked to see a blacked-out Rock Creek edition roll up as this week’s test car.

For an extra $995 the Rock Creek edition of the Pathfinder gets you dark 18-inch wheels with all-season tires, a 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 over-fenders and unique badging on the front doors. Every Rock Creek Edition also features a standard trailer tow hitch and harness, making this SUV capable of hauling up to 6,000 pounds. On the inside, the Rock Creek edition gets two-tone seats and contrast stitching on those seats, the door, the console lid and steering wheel.

There’s also a Rock Creek Tech package ($980) that adds NissanConnect infotainment with navigation, Sirius XM Traffic, heated cloth front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated outside mirrors. A Premium Package adds Bose 13-speaker sound and a power panoramic moonroof.

I gave my test Pathfinder a pretty good workout on a road trip to Dallas for the Texas Auto Writers’ Auto Roundup last week. The Pathfinder accelerated strongly thanks to the V6, the ride was quiet and the cabin was comfortable. It proved to be an excellent highway ride.

The V6 develops 284 horsepower and sends 259 lb.-ft. of torque to all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission. I’ve never been a big fan of CVT transmissions, but Nissan does a good job with them, adding something called “D-Step Logic Control” to simulate the shift points of a regular automatic transmission. CVT transmissions also help with fuel economy, and the Pathfinder is EPA-rated at 26 mpg on the highway.

Inside the Pathfinder cabin you’ll find plenty of room for the driver and six passengers. Headroom in the front row and Row 2 is 42.2 inches and 39.4 inches respectively. Back in Row 3, headroom drops to 37.8 inches, but Nissan was smart enough to make Row 3 a seat for just two kids rather than three. Row 2 has some neat seats that recline as well as slide fore and aft, making access to the back row easier. The 50/50 split third row seats fold down to reveal 47.4 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold down Row 2 and you’ll have nearly 80 cubic feet of room.

Starting in the low $30s, the 2019 Pathfinder is a front-drive SUV with an excellent package of safety technology that earn it a “Top Safety Pick” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a 5-star overall safety rating from the government.

Available safety technology includes intelligent cruise control, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, LED headlights and rear sonar. The Pathfinder also has a rear door alert system that reminds the driver to check the rear seat if the rear door was opened at the start of the trip.

Infotainment and vehicle controls are via NissanConnect with voice recognition and an 8-inch touchscreen with crystal clear graphics. However, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not supported.

SL and Platinum grades have a motion-activated rear liftgate, and a dual moonroof is standard in the platinum trim. Available features include leather seating, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescoping, Nissan’s fantastic around-view camera system, tri-zone air and Bluetooth.

2019 Nissan Pathfinder

SV 4WD Rock Creek Edition

Engine: 3.5-liter V6

Horsepower/Torque: 284/259 lb.-ft.

Transmission: Continuously variable

Price: $35,960 ($39,675 with options & freight)

EPA Mileage Estimates: 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway/22 mpg combined

Estimated Highway Range: 429 miles