2006 Nissan Pathfinder SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Nissan Pathfinder SUV

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Nissan Pathfinder Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 270 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (38 total reviews)

14 of 22 people found this review helpful

Major problems!!!!!

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

I have had my car 3 years and i am still making payments i have replaced the cadillac converters and one co2 sensor which has cost me 2200.00. Now i found out my tranmission is slipping which if you do research on it alot of people are having the same problem! No recall i guess nissan could care less about you after the sale will never own another one!!!!!!




Loved it when it worked

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

bought a used 06' SE from carmax with a 60 warranty(thankfully) engine wise and looks wise a great SUV but had a few problems with it that were dangerous IMO. Rear diff had to be replaced and luckily under warranty at 49k miles! two different occasions the car would out of nowhere not steer more than 10 degrees to the left and deemed dangerous IMO. replaced under warranty both times and this might have been a lemon cause how soft it was driven. The steering issue the first time was the rack and pinion and the second time was the steering column IMO it was the steering column the whole time. Overall great looks and feel in driving when it steered properly! Great engine and powerful for a re




Good with a few flaws

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

This was a fine SUV for the price. The ride was good for a truck based SUV with plenty of power. However, with the power comes pretty meager gas mileage. On my daily commute, mainly highway driving, I barely averaged 17.5 mpg. The second row seating has relatively little leg room and is very tight with a rear facing child car seat. The car seat is literally touching the front seat unless the front seat is pulled way almost to the dash. The third row is useless for adults. It would be great if you could skip the third row and take the extra leg room. Overall, the Pathfinder is a great vehicle with great utility. Performs very well in the snow.




Tranny

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

There is a problem with the pathfinder that seems to be happening everywhere. For some reason the coolant from the radiator is leaking into the tranmisson and it is killing the tranny. Nissan says that is your problem not theirs. That is a cost of 7000 to fix. Can not afford to take that chance. Traded in my nissan and got another car and will never buy a nissan again.




Loving my pathfinder!!!

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

I bought my 2006 Pathfinder back in Sep 09 with 34k on it and so far I love this vehicle. It has proven so far to be pretty reliable. When we had the big snow storm in DC I had 2 feet of snow in front of my truck and I didn't even shovel in front of the truck because just wanted to see how strong my truck was and proved to be a monster and just drove right over it in 4WD low. It has good pickup and takeoff power as well. The truck tire pressure light came on and I was worried because didn't see no problem but sure enough 2 weeks later I had a flat tire from a nail so the sensor was right to come on. The only drawback is that I only can put 16 gallons of gas in it and the 3rd row is small.




Suprised at quality glad i

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

Upgraded from Xterra to pathfinder. The VDC and SLIP lights on the dash have gone on and off since I got it dealer couldn't find anything wrong. At 15K I had a flat tire and found out the jack would barely lift the car high enough to change the tire on a flat surface being that I was on the shoulder it would not lift the car high enough so I had to borrow another jack to finish the job, also the jack jammed fully extended and would not go down had to drive off it. The fuel sensor went at about 47K, I purchased a ext'd 10year warranty which covered repair. The tires and brakes will be replaced this week at 51K. I average 16.7 mpg. Fun to drive aspect wore off quick quite boring to drive now.



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.

Introduction

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.

Safety

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

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 14
  • cty
/
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs