2003 Pathfinder New Car Test Drive
Nissan Pathfinder is a powerful, quick performer. It feels surprisingly light and agile and offers wonderfully quick throttle response. The current design has been with us for awhile now, but the Pathfinder still looks contemporary.
Nissan now has three sport-utilities, and that'll soon grow to four. If Nissan's entry-level Xterra is considered tough gear, then the Pathfinder is premium equipment. Pathfinder offers luxury features and refinement not found in Xterra, yet still provides genuine off-road capability. The Pathfinder competes with the Toyota 4Runner.
Leather upholstery is standard on the Pathfinder LE, the top model for 2003. Side-impact airbags and curtain air bags are standard on the LE. Pathfinder SE models get re-styled six-spoke 16-inch wheels and titanium-colored interior accents. All Pathfinders feature a new four-spoke steering wheel and an electronic rear hatch window release.
A new Dynamic Control Package includes electronic stability control, traction control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Also, a choice of XM or Sirius satellite radio is now available on all Pathfinders.
All Nissan Pathfinder models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, which provides 240 horsepower and 265 pounds-feet of torque. All come with a four-speed automatic transmission. All offer a choice of rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Pathfinder comes in SE and LE trim levels.
SE ($26,799) comes with an eight-way adjustable driver's seat, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, cruise control, automatic on/off headlights, air conditioning, power windows and locks, heated power mirrors, an AM/FM/cassette/CD audio system, remote keyless entry, flip-out liftgate glass with intermittent wiper, tilt steering wheel, and P255/65R16 mud-and-snow tires on 16-inch six-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels.
LE ($31,099) adds leather upholstery, a power sunroof, side-impact and side-curtain air bags, eight-way power for the driver's seat, four-way power for the passenger, halogen fog lights, 150-watt Bose audio with a six-disc in-dash CD changer, 17-inch alloy wheels with 245/65 mud-and-snow tires, running boards rather than step bars, roof rack cross bars, wood-tone trim, automatic temperature controls, Homelink universal transceiver, a cargo net and retractable cargo cover. Body-color mirrors and splash guards help distinguish the LE from the black-trimmed SE.
SE 4x4 ($28,799) models rely on a two-speed transfer case with shift-on-the-fly capability. LE 4x4 ($33,799) models upgrade to an All-Mode push-button system that lets the driver select 2WD, Auto, 4Hi and 4Lo. A limited-slip differential ($249) is available for improved traction in slippery conditions. Two-wheel-drive Pathfinders are propelled by their rear wheels.
The new Dynamic Control Package ($749) includes the Vehicle Dynamic Control electronic stability system, traction control, and a tire-pressure monitor system. Satellite navigation ($1,999) is available for LE models and a mobile entertainment system is available with DVD ($1599) or VHS ($1299).
A Leather Package for SE 4x2 ($1999) includes perforated leather seating surfaces, eight-way power driver seat, four-way front passenger seat, simulated leather door trim, front seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, dual visors with illuminated vanity mirrors; the same package for SE 4x4 ($2199) also includes heated seats. A Sunroof Package ($1099) is available for SE that includes one-touch power sunroof, temperature gauge, digital compass, dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors, Homelink.