The Nissan Pathfinder is a sport utility vehicle (SUV) designed to offer a comfortable drive without sacrificing off-road capability. As a result of this design decision, it is a slightly niche vehicle that is not going to appeal to all drivers. The competition becomes a bit stiffer if the Pathfinder is only used for everyday driving.
The Nissan Pathfinder has a large, roomy interior that can hold seven passengers or has a large amount of cargo space. In other words, it is a versatile vehicle that can be used to transport people through the city one day and then lug cargo through backcountry roads the next. The large four-liter, V-6 engine provides ample power under any conditions, and its handling is decent for a vehicle of its size.
Off-road capability is the main draw of the Pathfinder over some other Nissan models, like the Murano, that have similarly large and appointed interiors. The Pathfinder performs well enough for everyday driving to be a good option, but the off-road performance is a mark above most of its competitors.
Body Styles: sport utility vehicle (SUV)
Engines: 4.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Nissan Pathfinder XE, Nissan Pathfinder SE, Nissan Pathfinder SE Off Road, Nissan Pathfinder LE
The 2005 Nissan Pathfinder received a major overhaul from the previous year’s model. A third row of seating was added to allow for greater passenger capacity. A four-liter, V-6 engine is now standard for all Pathfinder models, as opposed to the smaller 2.7- to 3.5-liter engines found in the earlier models. The exterior of the vehicle became slightly more rounded and sleeker.
The 2005 Nissan Pathfinder is built on the same platform as the larger Armada SUV. The two are almost indistinguishable unless compared side-by-side. The redesigned body is sleek and curved, which is a significant improvement over the older, much block-like models. It is not quite as aerodynamic as smaller vehicles, but it is not an unattractive like some boxy SUVs.
The Pathfinder has higher than normal ground clearance, since it is designed as an off-road vehicle. It does tower over many vehicles as a result of this design. The smooth lines save it from being a potential eyesore innate to vehicles of similar height to the Pathfinder.
The interior for the Nissan Pathfinder is very large and can either be devoted to passengers, cargo space, or a combination of both depending on how the seats are arranged. The standard features are not particularly extravagant, but they are functional and well appointed. Power seats are standard in all models, except the XE.
Optional features, like leather seats, a six-disc CD player, built-in DVD player, and infrared headphones can be used to make the interior much more luxurious than would be expected from a vehicle that has mainly been designed for off-road use.
Performance & Handling
The Nissan Pathfinder is a large vehicle and does not boast the same performance as smaller cars, but it is competitive in its size category. The four-liter engine provides enough power to give a decent rate of acceleration for such a large vehicle. Drivers used to small vehicles may find the Pathfinder to be a bit unwieldy, but anyone familiar used to driving an SUV is not going to be in for any real surprises.
All the models of the Pathfinder are designed to be driven off road. The SE Off Road has some optional features, such as trail tires and hill start assist, that make it easier for off-road driving, but the lesser models are still quite capable. The off-road handling is significantly more impressive than the on-road performance when compared to similar-sized and -priced vehicles. The Pathfinder is a good choice for someone that has to drive on unpaved trails regularly.
The Nissan Pathfinder has driver and passenger airbags and an anti-whiplash restraint system standard. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes further enhance the safety of the vehicle. The Pathfinder received a five-star safety rating in side collisions and a four-star safety rating in front collisions from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA).
EPA Fuel Economy
Nissan Pathfinder: 14/21 mpg city/highway
- Good off-road performance
- Large amounts of storage
You Won't Like
- Off-road performance is irrelevant to most drivers
- Poor gas mileage
Provides the power and traction needed for back country roads and some off-road driving without sacrificing comfort.
If You Like This Vehicle
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