In the past year or so I think I've only reviewed a few SUVs, the Cadillac SRX, Mitsubishi Outlander and the BMW X3. For some reason there's always been a car coming in and not an SUV that interested me enough to review it. Then of course it is also winter now and the desire for some more suitable vehicles to tackle sub-zero weather makes a bit more sense. So in comes the all-new Nissan Pathfinder.

Even though I like the redesign of this SUV there?s nothing about the genre itself that gets you ?excited? to go for a drive. Unless of course you ?re in a Cayenne Turbo. That?s the unfortunate realization I have at the start of my holiday week in the Pathfinder, no matter how good it is at its job I won?t be white knuckling it around curves or flooring it from a dead stop. Instead I?ll be safely cruising through some of the worst winter weather in recent years. Maybe I have good timing getting this thing in the garage for this particular five days.

Pathfinder wheelFirst impression of the seven-seater is that the interior is nicely done for an SUV. It feels rugged without the sense that anything is missing (unlike the Xterra). My favorite parts of the cockpit, strangely, enough are the two stubby stalks on either side of the steering wheel to control the standard lights, signals and wipers. They?re just very cool and extremely ergonomic and easy to use. I?ll post pictures of them later.

I also think the dual climate control is nicely done and if I wasn?t wearing gloves when entering the car they?d be easier to adjust I?m sure. I even like the placement and small window for the environmental information, it?s neat and military-esque. The seats are also quite comfortable and look rugged enough to repel lots of stains.Pathfinder A/C 425

The 270 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque is plenty even for the considerable bulk it has to propel but the engine is also quite loud. Road noise is kept down for the most part if not in 4WD. So far I have been pretty mindlessly driving along taking as many bumps
as the city can throw at it. More observations coming tomorrow.

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