By KBB.com Editors
The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder offers room for seven, a choice of V6 or V8 engines, and a design that is both rugged yet elegant. As it is one of the few mid-size SUVs still offering a body-on-frame platform, the Pathfinder is ideally suited for off-road adventuring as well as towing heavy loads. Tow rated up to 7,000 pounds, the Nissan Pathfinder surpasses similarly sized crossover SUVs without sacrificing interior comfort or overall drivability. And, while the fuel economy of the V8 is hardly impressive, the potent 4.0-liter V6 actually returns fairly decent EPA estimates and should prove more than enough for most SUV owners' needs.
If you're looking for a way to haul seven people without the "Soccer Mom" stigma associated with driving a minivan, check out the 2011 Nissan Pathfinder. The Pathfinder's four-wheel-drive system is capable of challenging the best off-road vehicles in the industry, proving that its rugged image isn't just for show.
In celebration of the Pathfinder's 25th anniversary, Nissan introduced a limited production Pathfinder Silver Edition. In addition to specially designed machine-finished aluminum wheels, the 2011 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition includes such luxuries as leather seating with Silver Edition badging, heated seats and side mirrors, and a Bose audio system.
Driving Impressions After spending a few days behind the wheel of both two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive 2011 Nissan Pathfinder, including the LE-V8 model, we came away thoroughly satisfied with both our off-road and...on-road experiences. One feature that won universal praise from our editorial staff is Nissan's XN All-Mode four-wheel drive system found on the LE V8. Unlike rudimentary four-wheel drive systems, XN-All Mode can distribute torque to all four wheels, and up to 50 percent to the front wheels when needed. The system's ability to overcome all obstacles was particularly appreciated during our steeper, more strenuous off-road exploits. When not playing in the wild Texas outback, the Pathfinder behaved like a perfect family wagon, delivering smooth shifts, confident turning ability and a stiff but still civilized ride.
Folding Three-Row Seating
The Pathfinder converts quickly and easily from seven-passenger troop transport to cavernous cargo hauler.
With its ten speakers, including two powerful subwoofers, this system may not literally be able to blow the doors off the Pathfinder, but it sure feels like it.
Like so many mid-size SUVs, the 2011 Nissan Pathfinder offers room for seven passengers, but in reality its third-row seat can only comfortably accommodate kids who are around 10 years old. When not in use, the Pathfinder's third-row seat folds completely flush into the floor, and its second-row seating can be folded flat without needing to remove the head restraints. As for comfort, the Pathfinder's interior is equipped with firm but supportive seating, a logically designed dash and instrument cluster and plenty of storage throughout the cabin. We particularly fancy Nissan's choice of cloth seating material, which is both durable and attractive.Exterior
The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't try to impress with whimsical styling and new-age architecture; it's just a straightforward, slab-sided SUV with a purposeful look and the goods to back it up. With a familial front end shared with other Nissan trucks such as the Armada and Frontier, the Pathfinder is easily identifiable as a Nissan product. Whether in a crowded parking lot or boulder-strewn wash, Pathfinder's short front and rear overhangs and somewhat narrow body allow easy maneuvering. While we applaud the factory roof rack's handsome good looks, we fear it might not match up with the weight ratings or versatility offered by leading aftermarket systems.
Noteworthy as standard on all three 2011 Nissan Pathfinder 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.
Option packages for the 2011 Nissan Pathfinder are limited to the LE trim. The Value Package adds a DVD player, 7.0-inch color monitor for rear passengers, rear seat wireless headphones and power moonroof; also available is a navigation package and a DVD entertainment system. Standalone options include fog lights, a hatch tent kit, side running boards, keypad entry and vehicle alarm.
The 2011 Nissan 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.
266 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
288 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 (2WD), 14/20 (4WD)
310 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
388 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (4WD)
By DlitFull on Saturday, August 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"We bought our Pathfinder LE 4x4 in 2010 used with 22,000 miles on the odometer. Bottom-line is that the vehicle has been a solid, reliable performer. Not impressed on the cost to keep the vehicle on the road but I am meticulous and it does go to the dealership. All this in respect to the fact that we have Nissan’s Gold Preferred Protection Plan. It has paid for itself twice over. If we didn’t have the protection plan and adding the cost covered by the protection plan, I would have gotten rid of the vehicle a long time ago. I do like the style of Pathfinder. It rides and acts like a truck. And so along those lines, not the most sure footed in snow and that is with Michelin LTX MS2s all the way around for the last 60K miles. Interior is adequate and holding up pretty good to a 3 yr old. Finding baby seats to fit the back seat had us wondering if we were going to have to sell the thing trying seats out in front of Babies-R-Us a couple of years ago expecting our child. Car seat number 3 worked after putting it in the middle of the back seat. To this end, outside looks of the Pathfinder can be deceiving. Interior is pretty tight and unforgivable as compared to the more spacious interiors of new (and even smaller) SUVs on the road today. Plastic throughout the vehicle is plenty, can crick and creak, and subject to getting marred up easily. Leather seats are holding up pretty good. Gas mileage for mixed city/highway is 16.7 mpg solid. Long trips…as high as 17.6 mpg."
By Guz on Friday, August 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "RWD overdrive off button, so much more"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This SUV has been the best one we have owned. We would have bought another, but they went to front wheel drive.The new one seems like a mini van."
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By jimbo on Thursday, July 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 223,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"have never have a major problem and all were sold with over 250,000miles.Just the regular upkeep and was in timber business and a lot of hard miles."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Bub on Wednesday, July 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "getting rid of it"
Cons: "the car"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Best feature about this car was the extended warranty I bought! Can't imagine how much it cost the insurer. Drive train failed, motherboard failed, U joints, catalytic converter, Fuel tank issues. emission valve and canister issues. I get a service emission related code, take it to the dealer and they want me to pay 700 to make a modification because of a faulty design...glad to get rid of this thing before I go bankrupt...not to mention the fear of driving it because of potential breakdown."
10 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Island Gal on Sunday, June 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Personal experience: 2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE Sport Utility 4D offered a lovely beginning with my family and I. From sports games to family gatherings and travel around our island. However, recently, I have had to overcome pricey obstacles with my Pathfinder. A new set of tires, engine problems, steering problems, and now, my vehicle died out and stalled. I am seriously considering a new vehicle."
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Gil on Wednesday, June 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I had no problems with the truck until it passed 107,000 miles and then with no warning the transmission went out while I was driving on the freeway, I barely managed to get to the side of the road safely. Then I find out that its not if the trans is going to give out but when is it going to give out. Nissan knows about the problems with the transmissions in the Pathfinder but wont stand behind their product. It cost me $5200 to get car repaired and Nissan wouldn't pay a dime towards the repair. I have owned 3 other Nissans in the past but I will NEVER buy another of their vehicles."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful