As more time passes in the Pathfinder I find myself actually enjoying the behemoth of an SUV. Folks, the 4x4 SE I'm in gets 15/21 mpg for city and highway and that's not great but could be worse considering I would replace a full size Expedition (14/19 mpg) with this Pathfinder that is almost 20 inches shorter in length.

The biggest change with the all new Pathfinder is the fact that it is based on the Nissan Titan truck. My fianc?e actually pointed out how much different it was from the much plusher previous version that acted more refined and less truck-like. Now that Nissan has the Murano for the folks that want a car-like ride the Pathfinder makes sense for those that want more 4x4 action.

Pathfinder Stack 150Inside things are also more truck-ish. All the surfaces are made of a sturdy plastic but the steering wheel and automatic shifter are wrapped in very nice leather. There are compartments everywhere and numerous power outlets (although no 12Vs) for either the camper or techno-geek. The seats are a sturdy fabric and a dark color that will hide the dirt it will inevitably gather.

I?ll admit I haven?t been on authentic off-road courses but I can still tell the Pathfinder would do a great job at it. And I like the ride around town as well. The main faults are the loud engine and questionable transmission. But neither one should prevent buyers in the market for a large SUV.

Staring at the center stack and listening to a few CDs there would be no doubt in my mind I?d add a nice after-market unit and all new speakers. The stock unit isn?t that bad and handled my test CDs fairly well. But the layout lends itself to addition and why not make the thing a moving entertainment system.

There?s also lots of utility with the three rows of seats and hard plastic cargo area. We?ll delve into that on the final day of the test.

Check out Day 1 and Days 2-3.

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