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2010 Nissan Pathfinder

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2010 Nissan Pathfinder Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors


Nissan's 2010 Pathfinder mid-sized SUV offers room for five, plenty of power for towing and hauling and a progressive design that is both stylish and rugged. While car-based crossover SUVs are growing in popularity, there is still a large segment of the population that wants a sturdy body-on-frame design, which provides a more capable off-road platform and the ability to tow heavy loads. Until recently, Nissan buyers who required the pulling power of a V8 had to move up to the full-size Armada, but the addition of an available V8 engine to the Pathfinder powertrain choices means owners can stick with a modest-sized SUV and still tow up to 7,000 pounds.

You'll Like This Car If...

Even if you seldom go off-road, you might still appreciate the Pathfinder's ability to give the most accomplished nameplates a mud-run for their money. And if you're looking for a people-mover that comes across as more mountain man and less soccer mom, the Pathfinder should more than suffice.

You May Not Like This Car If...


{The 2010 Nissan Pathfinder makes no attempt to mask its rugged capabilities behind a soft exterior, and its ride and handling are far from car-like. Although a welcome addition, the big V8 engine is not particularly fuel-efficient, making this Pathfinder option costly in the long-term.

What's New for 2010

In addition to some new interior/exterior color combinations, the LE-V6 now features as standard equipment a power glass moonroof, while the LE-V8 gains standard navigation. The Off-Road trim has been discontinued.

Driving It Driving Impressions

We spent time in both two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive Pathfinders, including the LE-V8 model, and came away impressed by both our off-road and on-road experiences. In particular, the LE-V8's XN All-Mode four-wheel drive, which can distribute torque to all four wheels (up to 50 percent to the front wheels when needed), was appreciated during our steeper, more strenuous off-road exploits. Back on the streets, where even major off-road enthusiasts will log most of their miles, the vehicles shifted smoothly, turned confidently and delivered a ride that seemed pleasant enough for even longer road trips.

Favorite Features

Folding Three-Row Seating
The Pathfinder converts quickly and easily from seven-passenger troop transport to cavernous cargo hauler.

Bose Audio
With its ten speakers and powerful subwoofer, this system may not literally be able to blow the doors off the Pathfinder, but it sure feels like it.

Vehicle Details Interior   photo

The big story for the 2010 Pathfinder continues to be its roomy interior, especially as third-row seating has become a requirement of the mid-size category. Like most SUVs in this class, the Pathfinder's third-row seat is better suited to small children or, for adults, quick jaunts across town. Unlike many, the Pathfinder's third-row folds completely into the floor, and center and third-row seats fold flat without requiring removal of the head restraints. Combined with the folding front passenger seat, the cabin is able to swallow lengthy cargo, but the Pathfinder's interior is just as well suited to everyday commutes, and delivers a roomy, comfortable environment.

Exterior   photo

The Pathfinder's design features mesh easily with Nissan's current philosophy in creating a rugged, purposeful exterior befitting the vehicle's lineage and ability. The bold front end mimics other Nissan models such as the Armada and Frontier, tying in a familial theme. The Pathfinder has grown larger over the years – the latest growth spurt necessary to accommodate its optional V8 engine – but overhangs both front and rear remain appropriately short. The factory roof rack looks rugged, but it might not match the weight ratings or versatility of some aftermarket units.

Notable Standard Equipment

Noteworthy as standard on all three trim levels are the impressive V6, fold-flat third-row seating, five-speed automatic transmission, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system, front side and side curtain airbags and a tire pressure monitoring system. The LE V6 includes 18-inch alloy wheels, leather-appointed first- and second-row seats with four-way power front passenger seat, heated steering wheel, Bose audio system with 10 speakers and subwoofer, driver's memory package (seat, mirrors and pedals), heated outside mirrors, automatic on/off headlights, RearView Monitor, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone connectivity and Nissan Intelligent Key. The Pathfinder LE -V8 adds the 5.6-liter V8, XN All-Mode 4x4 system, navigation and special badging.

Notable Optional Equipment

SE models offer the SE Premium Journey Package which adds automatic on/off headlamps, auto dimming rearview mirror with compass, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, RearView Monitor, roof rack crossbars, Bose audio with six-disc CD changer, XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity and Nissan
Intelligent Key keyless entry and start. The new LE V8 Value Package offers a DVD player, 7.0-inch color monitor for rear passengers, rear seat wireless headphones and power moonroof. Also available is a HDD Navigation Package with 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive, DVD Mobile Entertainment System (LE only), and power moonroof (standard on LE).

Under the Hood

The Pathfinder's standard 4.0-liter V6, which is a Nissan workhorse, is a powerful and torque-happy engine that's well-suited to the needs of the average SUV owner. For those who need extra horsepower and towing ability, the optional 5.6-liter V8 is the obvious answer, adding an additional 100 foot-pounds of torque and 44 more horsepower.

4.0-liter V6
266 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
288 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 (2WD), 14/20 (4WD)

5.6-liter V8
310 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
388 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (4WD)

Pricing Notes

Available in three trim levels, S, SE, and LE, the Pathfinder's pricing is consistent with others in this category. Prices range from just under $28,500 for a base two-wheel-drive S to nearly $48,000 for a nicely equipped four-wheel-drive LE V8. Before you head out to buy a new Pathfinder, be sure to check out our Fair Purchase Prices to see what consumers are currently paying for their new vehicles. The Pathfinder's resale value is expected to stay slightly higher than the Ford Explorer, remain on par with the Chevrolet Tahoe but fall short of the Honda Pilot and Toyota 4Runner.

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