The Nissan Pathfinder first hit the market back in 1986 as a rugged two-door SUV. The 2006 model is more streamlined with four doors, but still maintains a truck-based style. It is longer, wider, and taller than its predecessors. It is available in four trim levels: XE, SE, SE Off-Road, and LE. The 2006 Pathfinder’s underpinnings are related to those of the full-size Titan pickup truck. Now in its third generation, it's taller and wider than previous generations.
Body Styles: 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
New features for the 2006 Pathfinder include a Comfort Package for the SE that sees the addition of a six-CD changer. Leather seating has also been introduced for the Off-Road and SE Trim levels, while satellite radio has also been made available.
The 2006 Nissan Pathfinder features short overhangs and pronounced fender flares. Rear door handles are vertically located on the C-pillars, and there is an integrated bumper out front. The Pathfinder’s grille is easy to compare to that of the Nissan Armada. The Pathfinder is built on a 112.2-inch wheelbase and is 187.6 inches long, while standing 70.1 inches tall. Optional exterior features include running boards, heated mirrors, and a sunroof. Furthermore, the LE boasts 17-inch wheels and sunroof, while the XE gets 16-inch alloy wheels.
The 2006 Nissan Pathfinder offers ample space that seats seven people. When the second row of seating is folded flat, it offers a total of 79.2 cubic feet of cargo room. While the other three models have cloth seating, the LE offers leather seats with heating capability. It also has a sunroof. The XE includes an AMFM radio with CD player, while the LE has a Bose audio system.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Nissan Pathfinder provides a smooth ride. Due to its high ground clearance, it also manages well off-road. It also ascends and descends hills well due to the Hill Start Assist (HAS) and Decent Control (HDC) systems. However, it does not take tight corners well, sometimes causing the body to roll. The V-6 engine provides adequate power for most situations. While it is a decent enough performer off-road, it lacks the on-road refinement of many competing models. Ride quality on pavement is smooth for the most part, however it gets a little rougher on bumpier roads or rough terrain. The Pathfinder also delivers good handling despite some body roll on tight corners.
The 2006 Nissan Pathfinder is powered by a 4.0-liter, V-6 engine that’s rated at 270 horsepower and generates 291 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a five-speed automatic. Both two-wheel and four-wheel drive are available with the SE, SE off-road, and XE models having part four-wheel handling and the LE being completely four-wheel drive.
The 2006 Nissan Pathfinder gets standard side airbags that are standard in the LE and optional on all other models. The NHTSA testing on head impacts reveals a four out of five star rating for protection of its front seat occupants. It also receives a perfect five star rating for its ability to protect both front and rear occupants during a side-impact crash.
EPA Fuel Economy
Nissan Pathfinder V6: 14/21 mpg city/highway
- Plenty of space for cargo and passengers
- Formidable off-road capability
- Suitable for use as a standard family car
- Powerful V-6 engine
You Won't Like
- Second and third row of seating lack adequate legroom
- Many competing models offer more refined handling
- Overabundance of hard plastic in cabin
- Fit and finish are inconsistent
Capable on- and off-road, but lacks the refinement and on-road distinction of many of its competitors.
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