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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
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 462 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

Great truck.

By on Sunday, June 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 185,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good value"

Cons: "Watch the history on repairs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I have had my Pathfinder since new. LE package. Very dependable over the years. Only a couple things have needed attention. The brake rotors are thin and tend to warp. The VDC had an issue that Nissan had a hard time trying to get a REAL answer to. The BOSE system had an issue on one of the speakers that sounded like aliens. So for 7 years it has been a pretty good SUV."

I love Pathfinders!

By on Sunday, June 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great visibility, super reliable"

Cons: "Seat belt clips hard to clip when sitting there."

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

"This is my third Pathfinder. All of them have been great cars. Super reliable and a great car for the money. I have owned Chevy trucks, suburban and vans (good), Ford Explorer,Aerostar and Truck(bad), Honda Accord (okay), Volvo sedan (okay), Nissan Frontier (great), Dodge Van,Vista and Truck(okay), Jeep cherokee (okay), etc. Lots of Cars and the Pathfinder has been the best. I have had the 2008 Pathfinder bought used for about three years and not one bit of trouble. It has lots of get up and go, great in the snow. My only complaint are where the seat belts clip in-in the back seats. Probably changed in the new models."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Don't buy Nissan

By on Saturday, May 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 123,000

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
5/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Poor quality"

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

"I bout the car new November 2006, It has served my family well until recently. The radiator is leaking fluid into the transmission and like so many, I have found out there is no recall. I am stuck with the decision to place $6K to repair or get rid of it. The vehicle was serviced during the regular cycle and has turned out to be a piece of trash. Will never suggest anyone buy Nissan."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

have had my pathfinder for four years and love it

By on Monday, May 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,282

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "comfortable and smooth to drive in"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"have had my truck since brand new had one flat tire my fault and had fast easy response would recommend to anyone"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Greatest Investment

By on Friday, May 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 139,000

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

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

"I purchased this truck as a Lease return. I has been the best vehicle to own. I have only had normal wear and tear items to attend to. I does great both on pavement and on off-road (running Grapplers). I have taken this vehicle cross country and have many compliments on the comfort of the leather seats and lumbar support. Running Premium gas I actually average close to 28 miles to the gallon highway (not kidding!). My mechanic shop is always impressed with the quality of the parts used on this vehicle, they say it is heavy built and designed to last. The third room is roomy compared to the other comps I looked at and has reasonable access. I love that when I do not have my trailer I can still load 20 bags of mulch thanks to the fact the back two rows lay completely flat. I would love to get a newer version, but can't part with this truck (thanks for all the offers I get to buy it from me though ) :). Love that this is on the truck frame and not the uni-body like so many now have. Sadly this wonderful design was only produced until 2012 or I would have considered another one. But If you are looking at a 2007 they are great! However,they often rare to find, as most owners keep them, like me."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Good SUV

By on Tuesday, March 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I like the looks, the power and just everything about it. I wish the gas mileage was better but I knew that going into my purchase."

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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