The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder is the culmination of what began as a compact sport utility vehicle. The Pathfinder has since increased in size, weight and stature.
Today, the 2011 Nissan Pathfinder is considered a midsize sport utility vehicle that is capable of accommodating seven passengers. The Pathfinder comes in five different trim levels: S, SV, Anniversary Edition, LE V6 and LE V8.
The entry-level S Pathfinder comes equipped with rear privacy glass, full power accessories, 16″ alloy wheels, roof rails, cruise control, air conditioning, manually adjustable driver seating, an adjustable steering wheel and a six-speaker audio system equipped with a CD player.
The SV is far more generous in terms of standard features. The SV includes fog lamps, running boards, 17″ alloy wheels, automatic head lamps, nicer (cloth) seating, power driver seating, leather accents on the steering wheel and shifter, electronically adjustable pedals, two-zone automatic climate control, rear air conditioning, a rearview camera and an onboard computer.
In recognition of the Pathfinder’s 25 years of glory, Nissan is offering a special Anniversary Edition trim level. The Anniversary Edition provides heated mirrors, exterior chrome accents, keyless entry, leather seating, heated front seats, power passenger seating, Bluetooth connectivity and a Bose audio system equipped with a six disc CD changer and satellite radio.
The LE V6 will give you 18″ wheels, driver memory, a sunroof, an attractive wood grain trim on the steering wheel and heated steering wheel. With the LE V8, Nissan requires that you swap out the sunroof for the larger 5.6 liter V8 engine. The LE V8 also includes a GPS navigation system with digital music storage.
For better or worse, Nissan does not offer additional options for the S, SV and Anniversary Edition trim levels. Nissan does, however, offer a choice of two different engines. The bottom four trim levels include a 4.0 liter V6 engine that produces 266 horsepower. The highest trim level, however, includes a 5.6 liter V8 that provides 310 horsepower. All trim levels are matched with a five-speed automatic transmission. Rear wheel drive is standard on all trim levels. However, a four-wheel drive feature is available, which may be activated through a shifting mechanism.
Fuel economy definitely has room for improvement. The V6 engine gets an estimated 15 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway. The V8, however, gets an unfortunate 13 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highway.
The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder also includes a standard set of safety features such as stability control, active head restraints for the front seats, antilock disc brakes, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags.
Where the Pathfinder clearly excels is in the area of its interior design. The cabin is attractive and spacious. There is substantial passenger and cargo room. The front seats are especially comfortable, offering a considerable amount of room for the fidgety driver. Once the second and third row seats are followed downward, a total of 79 cubic feet of cargo space is made available. This amount of cargo room is about the expected average for the class.
The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder is an attractive and powerful vehicle. Nissan has balanced performance and comfort very well. The vehicle is responsive at both slow and highway speeds. Despite having undergone 25 years worth of refinement, the Pathfinder still drives and feels like a sport utility vehicle or truck, rather than being more like a car, as you would expect out of a crossover. Nevertheless, this appeals to many prospective purchasers.