2002 Pathfinder New Car Test Drive
Nissan's Pathfinder is a powerful, quick performer. Its demeanor is more carlike than other SUVs. The Pathfinder has become more of a premium SUV as the Xterra has filled the value role. Last year, a new V6 engine gave the Pathfinder dramatically more powerful engine. New styling two years ago gave the Pathfinder a handsome, more contemporary look.
New for 2002 are redesigned front seats, a new grille, body-colored bumpers and fender flares, titanium-accented step rail and roof rack and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Pathfinder comes in two trim levels, each available in two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive versions: SE 4X2 ($28,649); SE 4X4 ($27,649) with a five-speed manual (the only model with a manual transmission); SE 4x4 automatic ($28,649); LE 4X2 ($28,999) LE 4X4 ($31,499). The former XE base model is gone.
All Pathfinders are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, which provides 250 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque with the manual transmission and 240 hp and 265 pound-feet with the four-speed automatic.
Two-wheel-drive Pathfinders are propelled by their rear wheels. Buyers can chose between part-time, shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case or, with the Pathfinder, a push-button All-Mode 4WD system.
Pathfinder SE comes with eight-way adjustable driver's seat, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, cruise control, automatic on/off headlights, air conditioning, power windows and locks and heated power mirrors, an AM/FM/cassette/CD audio system, remote keyless entry, flip-out liftgate glass with intermittent wiper, tilt steering wheel, large cupholders, dual front air bags and child safety seat anchors.
Pathfinder LE adds mud and snow-rated tires, halogen fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rack cross bars, wood-tone trim, Bose audio system with an in-dash, six-CD changer, automatic temperature controls, HomeLink Universal Transceiver, a cargo net and retractable cover and the availability of push-button 4WD.
Options include leather seats, a one-touch sunroof, mobile entertainment and navigation systems and a limited-slip differential.