2010 Nissan Pathfinder SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2010 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 266 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 Nissan Pathfinder

  • The 2010 Nissan Pathfinder can tame the wilderness with its off-road skill, but it's not as adept in the concrete jungle. Consumers just wanting a comfortable seven-passenger midsize SUV will be better served by a large crossover.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Plenty of power from V6 and V8 engines, attractive cabin with good ergonomics, generous storage room, strong towing ability.

  • Cons

    Guzzles gas, cramped second- and third-row seats, less cargo space than large crossovers, feels truckish to drive.

  • What's New for 2010

    The number of available configurations has been significantly reduced for the 2010 Nissan Pathfinder. The SE Off Road trim bites the dust, while options packages have been reorganized.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (6 total reviews)

Limited edition pathfinder

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Vehicle: 2010 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

we own a 2010 Nissan Pathfinder LE and we love it. plus it does have a navigation system and we used it but we are not so crazy about it and it does have heated seats. it has 3rd row seats to but we never use them because we only have 3 people in our family.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Dependable, but not exceptional

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Vehicle: 2010 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I purchased this vehicle new in April of 2010 as a replacement for my 2005 Chevy Trailblazer which was becoming undependable mechanically. It was important to me to get a nice “cockpit fit” with comfort and electronics, and a dependable vehicle. My first observation is that I had to buy a much more pricey vehicle than what I really wanted in order to get just a few options that I found important. That would not be all that bad, if those features worked as promised. The day I drove the vehicle off the lot, it had two deficiencies: The Bluetooth connection for the phone did not sound good and the windshield was improperly installed, causing an awful noise in the wind and at high speeds. After much effort and loss of use (mostly the fault of Faulkner Nissan in Harrisburg, PA and not Nissan itself other than allowing the actual defect to leave the factory), the noise is fixed. The Bluetooth issue appears to be a result of poor design and is not fixable. I’ve owned several vehicles with a built in cell connection of some type and I frequently rent vehicles for work travel so I have a lot of vehicles to compare this one to. The extremes: Talking on my phone in the Trailblazer was like being in a sound booth; simply perfect, connected via OnStar with a Verizon account—I even got better reception than I did with the cell phone itself. The Pathfinder is the absolute worst I have ever experienced. It is almost bearable if the vehicle is not in motion, but it is impossible to carry on a normal phone conversation when at speed. So, if you are looking for only intermittent emergency use of the Bluetooth/cell feature, this might get the job done for you. If you are looking to return calls and conduct business while on the move, I suggest you look elsewhere. I should also note that the Bluetooth in this vehicle is only for the phone. If you want to play music from your iPhone, you’ll need to use an RCA cable (coupled with the fact that you need to charge your phone then from one of the 12V power outlets, you’ll have at least two wires running around your vehicle. Beyond these issues (which are obviously important to me), the vehicle is average. 18.4 MPG, almost no matter what I am doing. It is a good dog transported as I leave the 3rd row set down all the time so the space in back is bigger. My pooch likes the rear A/C. The 2nd row of seating looks big to me and I imagine it is fine for kids, but my workmates tell me there is no leg room when we go to lunch. I get it serviced on time and there have been no significant mechanical issues beyond those I have already mentioned. You could do worse. Just don’t buy from Falkner Nissan in Harrisburg, PA.

Nice suv

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Vehicle: 2010 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I actually have the 2010 diesel pathfinder in Spain. TONS of torque. Unbelievably quiet on the road. It always surprises me how quiet a ride it has when I pull out on to a highway after being off-road. My mileage thanks to the diesel averages around 30-35 miles to the gallon. Fit and finish of the dash is not as good as my Toyota but still not terrible. After 6 months I am pretty happy with it. The 7 seats are great with the kids and in-laws. Bose package is also very nice.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Great suv

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Vehicle: 2010 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I use 87 octane gas, have had it since 8/14/10 and have not noticed any problems with using regular gas. I average @ 16 miles per gallon in the city. The ride is quiet and compliant. This is a good value for your dollar.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2010 le 4x4 with nav

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Vehicle: 2010 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I drive mainly in the city, and it has all the power that I need. It uses some gas, but i think 15 miles per gallon is good in the city. I have owned the pathfinder for 4 weeks and it meets all of my expectations.

My 3rd one

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Vehicle: 2010 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Just paid off and traded in my 2005 Pathfinder with 116,000 miles and got the same model. Had no problems with it and the previous 2001 at 130,000 miles. My wife loves the new one, because of the interior comfort and new techno updates such as "keyless". The Pathfinder does not get the best milage, but I average 19 to 20 MPG with 70% freeway driving. Plenty of room for 4 passengers and all their suitcases and laptops. Doubles as an excellent vehicle for my outdoor pursuits. It is not a race car and driven sensibly it tracks on snow and ice like a champ with the auto. Excellent amenities compared to competition, which I always look at and then go back to Pathfinder.

Full 2010 Nissan Pathfinder Review

What's New for 2010

The number of available configurations has been significantly reduced for the 2010 Nissan Pathfinder. The SE Off Road trim bites the dust, while options packages have been reorganized.


Back in the 1990s, Nissan found a path to success with its Pathfinder SUV -- one of the pioneers in the class of rugged off-roading vehicles that made the transition to family on-road use. Yet with rising gas prices and the advent of crossovers, the 2010 Nissan Pathfinder finds itself on a path that no longer leads to the promised land of abundant sales and healthy profits. While this latest model is the best yet, it's a relic of a different time and really only makes sense for a narrow range of shoppers.

The 2010 Pathfinder is based on the same sturdy truck chassis as the full-size Nissan Titan and Armada. This helps to boost the Pathfinder's off-roading credentials, but realistically its large size and the discontinuation of the Off Road package mean that dedicated mud-slinging and rock crawling aren't very likely. The Pathfinder is still a strong candidate for towing duties, however, thanks to stout V6 and V8 engines capable of towing 6,000 and 7,000 pounds, respectively, when properly equipped. Both of these engines are class standouts, providing ample thrust whether hooked up to a trailer or not.

There are downsides to this truck frame, however. The first is weight, which conspires to drag down gas mileage and handling ability as compared to those of large crossover SUVs like the Ford Flex and GMC Acadia. Additionally, that body-on-frame construction robs the cabin of passenger and cargo space, both of which pale in comparison to those aforementioned crossovers. For people who never plan on towing or finding an unpaved path somewhere, a large crossover is a much wiser choice.

However, if you do routinely tow a boat or venture to a cabin in the woods, the 2010 Nissan Pathfinder is still one of the strongest members of the traditional midsize SUV class. It's quicker and more luxurious than the Dodge Durango and Ford Explorer, though its longtime rival, the Toyota 4Runner might eclipse it this year thanks to an extensive redesign. Kia's refined Borrego might also be worth a look. All said, though, the Pathfinder should suit you well as long as you'll be able to take advantage of its strengths.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Nissan Pathfinder is a midsize seven-passenger SUV offered in four trim levels: S, SE, LE and LE V8. Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, rear tinted windows, a receiver hitch, roof rails, a tailgate with separate glass hatch, a front skid plate, keyless entry, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, an eight-way manually adjustable driver seat and a six-speaker stereo with CD player.

The SE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, running boards, foglights, upgraded cloth upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, power-adjustable pedals, a leather-wrapped wheel and shifter, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air-conditioning, a color multi-information display and an auxiliary audio jack. The SE Premium Journey package adds roof rail cross bars, keyless ignition/entry, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming mirror and a 10-speaker Bose stereo with six-CD changer and satellite radio.

The LE adds the Premium Journey package items plus 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, heated side mirrors, heated front seats and steering wheel, leather upholstery, driver memory functions, a four-way power passenger seat and wood-grain trim. The LE Navigation package (standard with the V8 model) adds a hard-drive-based navigation system, real-time traffic and 9.3 gigabytes of digital music storage. A rear-seat entertainment system is also optional for the Pathfinder LE.

Powertrains and Performance

Two engines are offered for the 2010 Nissan Pathfinder. The 4.0-liter V6 that is standard on all but the top trim level is good for 266 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard, while both rear- and four-wheel drive are available. The four-wheel-drive system available on S and SE models is a part-time system with a shift-on-the-fly transfer case operated with a dash-mounted switch. The LE gets a full-time four-wheel-drive system. In performance testing, a 4WD Pathfinder went from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. Estimated fuel economy is 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined with rear drive and 14/20/16 with 4WD. Properly equipped, the V6 can tow 6,000 pounds.

The Pathfinder LE V8 gets a 5.6-liter V8 that produces 310 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. It, too, gets a standard five-speed auto, and four-wheel drive is standard. Our tests resulted in a quick 7.0-second sprint from zero to 60 mph. Of course, this comes with a fuel economy penalty of 13/18/14 mpg. Properly equipped, the V8 model can tow 8,000 pounds.


The 2010 Nissan Pathfinder comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front seat active head restraints, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags.

In brake testing, the Pathfinder LE V8 came to a stop from 60 mph in 134 feet, which is about the norm for truck-based SUVs. In government crash tests, the Pathfinder was awarded four out of five stars for frontal crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it the highest possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside the Nissan Pathfinder, occupants will find an attractive cabin with excellent ergonomics. Optional amenities like navigation, Intelligent Key (keyless ignition/entry), Bluetooth and a hard-drive-based music server only add to the luxurious ambience. Front seating is quite comfortable, but the same cannot be said for the other positions. Second-row passengers will feel cramped, particularly longing for foot and shoulder room. The third row is suitable for children only, and even they will find access problematic due to the Pathfinder's high-mounted door handles and tall step-in height. The cargo space accommodates a maximum of 79 cubic feet -- typical for this class -- thanks to the ability of both rear rows to fold down flat.

Driving Impressions

With either engine, the 2010 Nissan Pathfinder is an impressive performer. The eight-cylinder variant smokes the Ford Explorer's V8 on the way to 60 mph by a full 2 seconds, and its automatic transmission provides perfectly timed and smooth gearshifts. The steering is surprisingly responsive and sharp, especially for an SUV of this size, giving it an almost sporty feel in traffic. However, the Pathfinder still drives more like a truck than a car-based crossover, with its heavy curb weight and pronounced body roll.

Talk About The 2010 Pathfinder

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs