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2011 Nissan Pathfinder

Overview
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2011 Nissan Pathfinder Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're seeking seven passenger seating in a vehicle that is both smooth riding and fuel efficient, you may want to look toward a crossover SUV such as the GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot or, if you have the money, Audi Q7 TDI.

What's Significant About This Car?

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 the Pathfinder

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.

Bose Audio
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.

2011 Nissan Pathfinder Details
Interior

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.

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)

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2011 Nissan Pathfinder Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 443 Ratings for the 2005 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

This car was a lemon from the get go

By on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
4/10

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."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Lasted while it could.

By on Sunday, June 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

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."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Terrible Transmissions in these vehicles!

By on Wednesday, June 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
7/10

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."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Don't buy one!!

By on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Transmission messed up on the pathfinder and we didn't even have it a year!! What makes it worse is I have read it happens to most pathfinders around that year model. It happens as a result of the way the car was built. The company doesn't stand behind their product either! Don't buy this car!!"

12 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Your Transmission WILL fail

By on Tuesday, May 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 147,050

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "engine, power, 7 seats, and towing capacity."

Cons: "TRANSMISSION and Nissan's lack of customer support"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"BYPASS YOUR IN-RADIATOR COOLER FOR YOUR TRANSMISSION NOW!! This is a good truck and a good value if the transmission is not slipping. If you ever feel like it is running over gravel in 3rd or 4th gear around 40-50mph, your transmission is about to fail catastrophically. Look online to find "how to bypass radiator transmission cooler" and do it. It is an easy 30 minute fix with simple hand tools. If your transmission is god and this fix is completed BEFORE any damage has been done, this is a good truck with a strong engine and tons of room for the money."

9 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Excellent Afordable SUV

By on Thursday, April 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Price, Fun to drive, comfortable, secure, space"

Cons: "nothing!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This SUV is a very good option for families. A lot of space. Fun to drive. A lot a security options. The outside of the car is very cool and the inside even more!!! I like this series more than the new model (2013 and up). This is my 3rd pathfinder and and think it's time for change, since I don't like the 2014, I'll get the Honda Pilot 2014 at the end of this year."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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