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.
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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.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 14
  • cty
/
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Don't buy a used one

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

I bought my Pathfinder brand new. Last week after 245,XXX miles the dreaded transmission radiator problem took her down. I've replaced the catalytic converters twice, the fuel pump, both O2 sensors, Oil Pressure sensor, Camshaft position sensor, the u -joint. I got 180,000 miles out of her before all of these problems and she's never left me stranded along the road. Brand new these cars are good, but unfortunately this is my 4th and final Nissan. So if you see a used one on the lot with around 150k miles on it. Move on and save yourself some dough.




Buyer beware

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

Please Google search Nissan Pathfinder transmission problem prior to purchasing this vehicle used. What may/will happen is after 80k - 100K miles there will be a complete transmission failure. There is an obvious defect in the radiator / transmission which allows radiator fluid to go into the transmission. Once this happens you will need a complete transmission and radiator (about a $5-6K+ fix). There is a class action lawsuit against Nissan USA and they may cover 1/2 of the expenses but you will still be out of $3K in out of pocket expenses. There is also a catalytic convertver / O2 sensor problem which will not allow the vehicle to pass smog (If you live in CA) and costs $1200 to fix.




176,000 miles and still going...

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

I bought my Pathfinder new in 2006. With two kids and my job, I'm constantly on the road. This SUV has lead up to its name. It's been everywhere. I keep the oil changed regularly, on my 3rd set of tires & brakes. It does a great job. Other than the typical wear issues, the only thing I can complain about is the 93 octane fuel requirement. With gas prices as high as they are, it's not unusual to pay $60+ for a tank of gas. I tried the 87 octane the first year, and I did not like the performance. I went back to 93 octane and haven't changed. I've had nine vehicles in my life, and this is the only car I've driven that has never given me problems. It's a great vehicle.



6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Owned since new

by on
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.



14 of 22 people found this review helpful

Major problems!!!!!

by on
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!!!!!!




45,300 miles and going strong

by on
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.



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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.

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Talk About The 2006 Pathfinder

2006 Nissan Pathfinder Discussions See all Started By

bjerry53
bjerry53
02-08-2010
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...


sbonds
sbonds
08-07-2013
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...


mick9
mick9
05-03-2006
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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