2011 Pathfinder New Car Test Drive
The Nissan Pathfinder is among the few SUVs available today that offers real off-road capability. We've driven over some extremely rugged terrain in Pathfinders, including off-road test tracks, and it's in the same capability class as the Toyota 4Runner, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Land Rover LR4.
The 2010 Pathfinder comes with a superb V6 engine and we highly recommend it. Pathfinder is also available with the 5.6-liter V8 engine from the Titan full-size pickup, with 310 horsepower.
Built like a truck and practically unstoppable, the Pathfinder is a seven-passenger mid-size SUV for those who require a genuine truck yet still want style and comfort during the week.
If your off-road driving consists of graded dirt roads, you desire all-wheel drive for bad weather, or tow something as light as personal watercraft, Nissan's Murano crossover will likely do the job. But if your path has tree stumps, rocks, ruts or mud, or if your boat or trailer weighs a couple of tons the Pathfinder may fit.
Yet the Pathfinder offers good handling on the road. With its independent rear suspension and large tires, the Pathfinder rides well and the rack-and-pinion steering works precisely and turns tighter than many mid-size sedans. The Pathfinder will fit easily in garages and standard parking spaces. Also, the Pathfinder doesn't require a climb to get into. Once inside, the driver and passenger are treated to luxurious accommodations and a plethora of convenience features.
The 2010 Nissan Pathfinder V6 is offered in three trim levels and with two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. The V8 engine is available only in the top-level Pathfinder LE trim and only with four-wheel drive.
Pathfinder S ($27,440) includes a 4.0-liter V6, five-speed automatic, cloth upholstery, air conditioning with rear seat ducts, power windows and locks, cruise control, immobilizer, 40/20/40 reclining middle-row and 50/50 third-row that both fold flat, active front head restraints, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rack side rails, rear wiper, rear glass and hatch opening, four map lights, seven assist grips, CD player, extendable visors with illuminated mirrors, and twelve cargo area tie-down points. It's also available with 4WD ($29,440).
Pathfinder SE ($30,610) adds an eight-way power driver seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, fold-flat front passenger seat, power adjustable pedals, dual-zone climate control and rear air, fog lamps, leather wheel (with audio controls) and shifter, running boards, body-color power mirrors, 6CD satellite-ready sound, and illuminated vanity mirrors. The SE is available with 4WD ($32,610). The SE Premium Journey Package ($3,050) adds automatic on/off headlights, HomeLink universal transceiver, auto dimming rearview mirror with compass, 17-inch machined alloy wheels, rearview monitor, roof rack crossbars, Bose AM/FM/6CD audio system with 10 speakers including subwoofer, XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, and Nissan Intelligent Key.
Pathfinder LE ($36,910) comes with leather upholstery (except the third row) and woodgrain trim, driver memory system, moonroof, heated steering wheel/front seats/mirrors, and the entire contents for the SE Premium Journey Package, plus an upgrade to 18-inch machined alloy wheels. LE 4WD ($39,110) features a more sophisticated All-Mode system with an electronically controlled transfer case. The LE V8 4WD ($42,160) upgrades further to Nissan's XN All-Mode full-time 4WD. HDD Navigation, which includes a 9.3-gigabyte Music Box hard drive, is standard on LE V8 and optional on LE V6 ($1,850). Optional on all LE models is a DVD entertainment system with seven-inch color monitor and two wireless headphones for rear-seat passengers.
Safety features on all Pathfinders include VDC electronic stability control, tire pressure monitors and ABS. Front airbags, front side-impact airbags (for torso protection) and full-length side-curtain airbags (for head protection) are also standard.