The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder is larger than ever, powered by a V-8 or V-6 engine with four-wheel or rear drive. It is still able to tow a trailer while scrambling over rocks easily, though getting around in the city is a different story.
The maximum towing capacity is around 7000 pounds, depending on engine choice, which is quite a bit more than other crossover SUVs. The Pathfinder continues to have good off-road ability, even with the fully independent suspension.
Only a few downfalls to consider are smaller passenger room and cargo space because of the body-on-frame construction and the poor fuel economy caused by its weight, especially when compared to the large crossover SUVs.
Overall, the 2011 Pathfinder continues to be an excellent off-road vehicle for having rugged, outdoor fun off of the concrete.
Body styles: midsize SUV
Engines: 4.0-liter V-6, 5.6-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Nissan Pathfinder S, Nissan Pathfinder SV, Nissan Pathfinder LE V-6,
Nissan Pathfinder 25th Anniversary Silver Edition, and Nissan Pathfinder LE V-8.
For the 2011 Nissan Pathfinder, options packages are simplified and joining the lineup is the 25th Anniversary Silver Edition.
The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder has several trim levels that include standard exterior features such as rear privacy glass, 16-inch alloy wheels, and roof rails. The Pathfinder SV adds running boards, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, and foglights. The new Silver Edition will add chrome side moldings and body color, heated mirrors, and keyless entry and ignition.
The beautiful colors for the seven-passenger SUV are Avalanche, Silver Lightning Metallic, Espresso Black Metallic, Dark Slate Metallic, Navy Blue Metallic, Red Brick Metallic, and Super Black Metallic.
A well-appointed and attractive cabin and three-row seating, along with generous interior storage space are some of the qualities that the 2011 Nissan Pathfinder offers. The front seating is comfortable enough, though the second-row and third-row seating may feel cramped. Both rows of seating folds flat, which allows a cargo space of approximately 79 cubic feet.
Many interior standard features are included such as cruise control, air-conditioning, full power accessories, manual driver seat with eight-way adjustability, six-speaker CD player stereo, and tilt steering wheel. The SV model will add upgraded cloth upholstery, power driver seat, leather-wrapped wheel, leather-wrapped shifter, rear air-conditioning, color display, auxiliary audio jack, rearview camera, tilt steering wheel, and automatic climate control.
The Pathfinder Silver Edition includes heated front seats, Bose 10-speaker audio system, satellite radio, six-CD changer, and leather upholstery. The LE V-6 has driver-seat memory functions, wood-grain trim, and heated steering wheel. Lastly, the LE V-8 gains the navigation system, based on a hard drive and provides digital music storage. The navigation system is an optional feature on the LE V-6 model. An entertainment system is available on all the LE models, as well.
Performance & Handling
There are two choices in engines offered on the 2011 Nissan Pathfinder. Standard on lower trim levels is the 4.0-liter V-6 that produces 266 horsepower with 288 lb-ft of torque. The Pathfinder LE V-8 has the 5.6-liter V-8 that can produce around 310 hp with 380 lb-ft torque. On all of the models, an automatic five-speed transmission is standard.
All of the models come with rear drive and optional 4WD part-time with a dash-mounted switch that operates the transfer case. The LE model offers a full-time available four-wheel drive. During performance testing, the Pathfinder 4WD accelerates up to 60 mph from a standstill in about 7.4 seconds. The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder is surprisingly responsive in steering and drives sporty in traffic.
The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder has many excellent safety features that are standard on the vehicles. The features include side airbags in the front seat, side curtain bags, active head restraints for the front seat, stability control, and anti-lock disc brakes. During the brake testing, the Pathfinder could stop in about 134 feet from a speed of 60 mph.
Since the government’s new 2011 procedures have been in effect, the Nissan Pathfinder hasn’t been given a rating by its standards. In 2010, for side crash tests and frontal-offset crash testing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Pathfinder a rating of ""good,"" which is its highest.
EPA Fuel Economy
Nissan Pathfinder S: 15/22 mpg city/highway
Nissan Pathfinder SV: 15/22 mpg city/highway
Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition: 15/22 mpg city/highway
Nissan Pathfinder LE: 15/22 mpg city/highway
Nissan Pathfinder LE V-8: 13/18 mpg city/highway
- Strong towing ability
- Generous storage space
- Powerful engine
- Excellent off-road ability
You Won't Like
- Gas Guzzler
- Feels like driving a truck
- Cramped seating
- Cargo space is smaller than large crossovers
Excellent for off-roading but too heavy and big for city driving.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Toyota 4Runner
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Mazda CX-9
- GMC Acadia
- Ford Explorer