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 (37 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Owned since new

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

I have owned my Pathfinder LE since new when I bought it in early 07. I have not had any problems with it. It currently has 52K and change miles on it. I have not had the radiator failure like most people have, the brakes are still good. I did get the TPMS sensors replaced because the dealer broke one but they paid for it. I am glad I have this SUV and the fact that is is a 2006 it has more horsepower and torque than the later models, since Nissan detuned the 4.0l V6 so they can sell the V8. I have driven it cross country four times and it never gave me any problems.

45,300 miles and going strong

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

After 6 years of truoble-free service pulling a 21 ft Boston Whaler (occassionally) I recently had the fuel gauge problem. The dealer notified me of the extended warranty for this issue but that it has expired a day earlier! What? I called Nissan Consumer Affairs and after some back and forth with the dealer they approved the repair under warranty. Nissan even will reimburse the $99.00 "diagnosis" fee from the dealer. I was also informed of the extended warranty for the transmission/coolant issue until 6/2014 or 80,000 miles. So far, no problems with that. The vehicle sits outside all the time in FL. No problems with the exterior or interior. Still have the OEM tires.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

06 pathfinder owners beware.

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

I recently purchased a used 2006 Nissan Pathfinder, I usually would not have purchased a foreign vehicle but a lot of people I know were saying what a great product Nissan had. But to my dismay I have found it to be a very expensive piece of junk. I have had the vehicle for 3 months, I paid $16,877.00 for it, it had 91,545 miles on it when I purchased it and I travel 130 miles a day to and from work. I had mentioned to the dealer that I thought that that may be too many miles, he said oh no! Nissans are known to go 250,000 miles or better. I have taken very good care of my vehicles as they are my main mode of transportation. Last week end I was on my way home from CT to MA when all of a sudden I experienced an awful vibration while driving down the interstate, I pulled over and shut the vehicle off and then started it back up again, it seem to be running fine until I tried to move it, it then started to vibrate and shake again. I called my brother who is a mechanic and he came and picked me up and towed the vehicle back to his place on a car trailer. He jacked the vehicle up and saw that the transmission appears to be wet. He then opened the dip stick tube to check the fluid and found the transmission to be full of anti-freeze. I called the dealer and they said they could not do anything because a used car warranty is 1200 miles or 1 month. I was really getting aggravated so I started to search the symptoms on the web, only to find that I am not the only one with this issue, it appears to be a design flaw with the 2006 Nissan Pathfinders and Nissan has not done a recall on them, although they did extend the warranty for the radiator assembly and transmission from 36 months/36,000 miles to 96 months/80,000 miles, including damage, repairs, replacement, and related towing resulting from this issue if you purchase the vehicle new. So this reinforces that they are aware of the issue and that they should recall or make good for the problem. I contacted Nissan Assist and they informed me that there was an issue and that they were aware, I explained that I purchased the vehicle from a dealer and that it was over the warranty mileage and they stated that Nissan may assist me anyways where I had just purchased the vehicle, and that I needed to get the problem diagnosed by a Nissan dealer and the call consumer affairs with the estimate, and they gave me a case number of 7180191. So I did as I was told hoping that Nissan would stand behind their product and assist me. I towed the vehicle to Bertera Nissan in Auburn, Ma. Where they gave me an estimate of $6360.58 to do the repairs, the service person said that this was a common problem and that they would be replacing the transmission and the radiator. I called consumer affairs and gave them the estimate and they said that a regional specialist would contact me within a day; she called me today and said that they would not do anything and that I would have to figure out how to get it repaired on my own. I think that this is very bad PR on Nissan’s part, I know that I would not by your product ever again after only owning one of your vehicles for only 3 months.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Bad experince

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

I paid $41,000 for this car and guess what? At 54,000 miles transmission gone, I heard about this problem before but never believed in that and I was always saying its the driving habits but its not, this SUV is junk, v6 and only gets 12 to 14 miles a gallon, brakes and rotors at 28,000 miles, tire pressure sensors at 40,000 miles and many more trips to the dealer, today I got rid of it after replacing the transmission with 22,000 loss, worst resale value, Nissan does not make a good car and I will never ever by Nissan again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Done with it

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

I purchased the car 3 years ago, I got the le with navigation and dvd. First when I got the car the screen used to tell me 325 miles to empty. Then year later went down to 290. Then again went down to 272 exactly. And I still won't get the 270. The most is 240 miles per full tank. I took it to the dealer and told me nothing wrong with it. The same day I decided to get rid of it. Same hour drove couple block to Honda dealer and I got the Odyssey true 8 passenger unlike the pathfinder 7 passenger and barley fit 6. This car has the worst fuel economy and not comfy at all. Lots of vibration when you press on gas. The hood always shaking to the point I had to stop 2 times to check on that.

Great suv

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

This SUV is great in every way possible. Purchased this car in 2007, the car has 40,000 miles on it, the only problem is the tire pressure sensor and was replaced by the dealer in, less than 20 min for free because I have 6 years warranty or 75,000. I traded my pathfinder for 2010 maxima to get better mileage. Sure enough the next morning returned the maxima and got my truck back. The ride and the confidence you have when you drive this truck make it worth the extra money for the gas. I love this truck and after what happened I appreciate it even more.

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

Gas Mileage


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