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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 451 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

DO NOT BUY

By on Monday, November 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

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
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Roomy and comfortable for a family"

Cons: "Bum Transmission."

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

"Had major transmission problem at 78000 miles. Dealer replaced transmission and radiator and had SAME problem 15 months later. NOT NISSAN QUALITY"

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

LOVE my Pathfinder!

By on Monday, November 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,700

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, reliable, good looking, comfortable"

Cons: "It could use a little more punch ;)"

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

"I have had my truck for 5 years now and I love it! I just passed 100,000 miles and it is as good as the day I got it. Please note that I do get regular maintenance and repairs done right away. Basically if you take care of it, it will take care of you. It has never broke down on me so that's worth a ten alone!"

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Strong, Reliable Performer

By on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

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."

11 people out of 18 found this review helpful

The best SUV I have ever owned,best of all RWD

By on Friday, August 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

i have had 7 since 1986 absolutly the best

By on Thursday, July 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 223,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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."

14 people out of 22 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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