2006 Nissan Pathfinder SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Nissan Pathfinder SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Nissan Pathfinder Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 270 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Nissan Pathfinder

  • Although it's as capable in the dirt as it is in the elementary school parking lot, the 2006 Nissan Pathfinder lacks the surefooted road manners and interior refinement of competitors.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Powerful V6 engine, above-average off-road ability, well-laid-out interior, flexible seating design, ample storage space throughout.

  • Cons

    Tight rear-seat quarters for adults, on-road handling not as refined as competitors, too much hard plastic inside, inconsistent fit and finish.

  • What's New for 2006

    This year the SE Comfort Package adds a six-disc CD changer, and leather seating is optional on Off-Road and SE trims. Satellite radio is now available.

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

5 of 25 people found this review helpful

Dangerous car

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Pathfinder S 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I bought a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder with 50,000 miles on it. In about 2 years the car started shaking and vibrating on the highway. I started researching and found out this is a serious problem with Nissan Pathfinders 2005-2011. The Radiator fluid mixes with the transmission fluid and causes damage and puts i you in danger in the middle of the road. The estimate today from Nissan dealer, $10, 088 and I owe $10, 000 on the car! Do your homework. The frustrating entries about this car are all over the internet, including class action lawsuits!

Pathfinder radiator leak into tranny

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Pathfinder S 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I purchased a brand new Pathfinder in 2006. A few days ago, the engine light came on. I took it to Apple York Nissan(n/c the customer service in Lancaster PA is TERRIBLE) and they informed me that I need a new transmission and radiator. I looked this up online and it happens that many people have come across this. I have a HARD time swallowing the fact that I need to shell out $5900 for a car that is not even 5 years old! Does Nisan stand by ts cars? Hell no! Would I EVER buy from them again? Hell NO! Customer service was downright awful in Lancaster. York was better. This seems to be a ongoing prob with Nissan, I have researched this prob and many people have had it...its time

Smooth sailing suv

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Pathfinder S 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I used to hear of SUV as being cumbersome and consuming. But, our Nissan Pathfinder 2006 is none of that. It is very comfortable and rolls with ease. Above all our kids are always shrieking with joy whenever its time to go out with the SUV..because it has so much space for them to pull hairs and hide! I have never regretted it, more so its ability to consume as little gas as an Xterra but more satisfying for me, my spouse and our entire family

Overall good pathfinder

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Pathfinder S 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Well built vehicle, but very cramped in back seat for anyone over 4 1/2 feet tall. MPG has been a constant 20 and 21 since we got. Very Quiet vehicle. slightly shorter than XTERRA, and not as rugged. Hits my head as I am getting in any door.

My new pathfinder

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Pathfinder S 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I just purchased this pathfinder. We looked at everything, 4runner, Escape, liberty, exconoix, etc... This was the most car for the money. I would have paid the same or 4 to 5,000 more for the other vehicles. This is much bigger than the other suvs. It was a lot less expensive as the 4runner. We even looked at the honda ridgeline, it was 33,000. So far this is a great fun suv. It looks good, has plenty of room inside, fun to drive, great cd player, good information center, good lights for night driving, great steering, tight steering, so so on gas usage, so far 15.6 mpg. in the city. Can't expect great gas milage with this size vehicle. Seats fold flat, good cargo area,great a/c.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great buy 2006 pathfinder s

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Pathfinder S 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

This is my first SUV. I love the ride and the power the v6 provides. Car feels heavy and well built. Love the third row option, its tight but what do you expect. Price was also an issue, and i think its the best bang for your buck as far as looks and performance. I also like the 6000 lbs tow capacity.


Full 2006 Nissan Pathfinder Review

What's New for 2006

This year the SE Comfort Package adds a six-disc CD changer, and leather seating is optional on Off-Road and SE trims. Satellite radio is now available.


When it was first introduced way back in 1986, the Pathfinder rode on Nissan's small truck chassis giving it the kind of bulletproof hardware and rugged image that consumers craved in an SUV. That configuration, and a distinctive two-door design, made it a hit and put the Pathfinder squarely on the SUV map. But as tastes changed, so did the Pathfinder. Nissan eventually added two more doors and moved to a more paved road-friendly unibody design to help the Pathfinder appeal to a wider range of drivers.

Its popularity continued, but for those who liked the original Nissan Pathfinder because of its go-anywhere, do-anything capability, the image was somewhat tarnished. Nissan fully redesigned the Pathfinder last year. In doing so, it switched out the unibody design for a return to a truck-based platform. This time, the underpinnings are related to the full-size Titan pickup. Although this third-generation Pathfinder is longer, taller and wider than before, Nissan's engineers managed to keep its overall length down compared to its competitors. A third-row seat is standard equipment, putting the Pathfinder in the same league as most of its peers. The standard 4.0-liter V6 puts out an impressive 270 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. The Pathfinder's four-wheel independent suspension attempts to balance ride comfort and off-road toughness, but ultimately sides with the latter.

On pavement, the ride is still smooth for the most part, but gets a bit sloppy over bumps. Handling is decent, too, but when the corners tighten up, the body rolls and the tires squeal, reminding you that this Nissan SUV is related to the Xterra, not the Murano. With a maximum ground clearance of as much as 9.1 inches on 4WD off-road models, steep approach and departure angles, and an underbody design that tucks everything underneath up above the frame rails, the Nissan Pathfinder is right at home in the dirt. A Hill Descent Control (HDC) system maintains a low speed (roughly 3.5 mph) on steep descents, while a Hill Start Assist (HSA) system eliminates the need for fancy footwork on steep climbs by holding the vehicle in place as you go from the brake to the throttle. It also offers four-wheel electronic limited-slip control that moderates the power to all four wheels individually for maximum traction and a low-speed throttle map that offers more precise control while creeping over boulders.

Now as capable off-road as anything in its class, the 2006 Nissan Pathfinder has returned to its roots, while its standard seven-passenger seating allow it to keep up in the cutthroat world of midsize SUVs. Unfortunately, it sacrifices the nimble handling of the old Pathfinder in the name of off-road capability. And although its cabin is kid-friendly and well equipped, it's not sized well for adults, and build and materials quality is inconsistent. There are many choices in the midsize SUV class, and we recommend that you try some of them before deciding on the Nissan Pathfinder.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The four-door Nissan Pathfinder SUV offers four levels of trim to suit varying desires for simplicity or luxury. The base XE puts together the usual list of expected amenities like 16-inch alloy wheels power accessories, keyless entry, a CD stereo and cloth seating for seven. The SE adds slightly larger tires, foglights and a power-adjustable driver seat, in addition to a longer options list. The SE Off-Road trim comes standard with heavy-duty Rancho shocks, underbody skid plates and even larger tires than the standard SE. The top-of-the-line LE is upgraded with upscale amenities like 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, heated leather seating and a Bose audio system. Optional items include a navigation system and a DVD entertainment system.

Powertrains and Performance

The Nissan Pathfinder is powered by a 4.0-liter V6 engine rated for a stout 270 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only transmission available, and both two- and four-wheel-drive versions are offered. XE, SE and SE Off-Road models have part-time 4WD, while the LE gets a full-time system with an all-wheel-drive mode. SE Off-Road models feature advanced traction systems like Hill Descent Control (HDC), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and electronic limited-slip control for enhanced off-pavement capability.


The Nissan Pathfinder comes standard with stability control and four-wheel antilock disc brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and BrakeAssist. LE models come standard with side airbags for front occupants and side curtain airbags that protect all three rows. These are optional on all other models. In NHTSA testing, the Pathfinder earned four out of five stars for front-occupant protection in head-on impacts. Five stars were awarded for protection of both front and rear occupants in side-impact crashes.

Interior Design and Special Features

The new Pathfinder's large overall size allows for good passenger room in the first and second rows, while fold-flat seats give it a maximum cargo capacity of 79.2 cubic feet, about average for this class. There's plenty of space up front for the driver and front passenger, but the second-row seats are snug when it comes to toe and shoulder room. As in most midsize SUVs, the Pathfinder's two-passenger third-row seat is for kids only. The cargo area on SE and SE Off-Road is coated in plastic to allow the transport of wet or muddy items.

Driving Impressions

The Pathfinder's powerful V6 provides ample power for just about any type of driving. Ride quality is generally smooth, but the 2006 Nissan Pathfinder feels a bit sloppy over bumps. During normal driving, body motions are well controlled and the steering is nicely weighted. Tighter cornering results in more body roll than we'd like, however. Off the pavement, these compromises turn into advantages. The same suspension that has it fumbling in the suburbs gives it plenty of travel when negotiating deep ruts. Impressive as the Nissan SUV is in the dirt, competitors like the 4Runner and Explorer offer more balanced dynamics overall.


Talk About The 2006 Pathfinder

2006 Nissan Pathfinder Discussions See all Started By

I just purchased a 2006 Pathfinder with 29k. Love it, but am very concerned about this so called auto hill descent control feature. It is the SE model but does not have a hill descent control optio...

So reading through some of the posts, looks like I'm not the only one with a Pathfinder (2006) that refuses to start. Unfortunately for me, my car has 114,000 miles on it so it's not covered under the...

2006 pathfinder diesel auto 18000 miles dealer says needs all 4 discs and pads has anybody come across this amount of wear in such a short time...

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