Arctic Blue Metallic paint, Platinum Premium Package ($2,300 -- Includes rear DVD player, dual screens mounted in front headrests, and dual-panel moonroof), Roof rack cross bars ($300), Floor mats ($200).
Naturally aspirated, port-injected V6, gasoline
DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
260 @ 6,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
240 @ 4,400
Pulley-regulated continuously variable transmission with console shifter
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
Hard to do much here with such a lazy launch, Auto AWD and a CVT. I found a smidge of time by using the transmission's S mode, but it abhors pedal overlap (chopping throttle heavily), and even in 2WD, it wasn't what I'd call snappy, nor would it allow much wheelspin. The VQ engine needs to be retired. It was once a superstar V6, but now it's just a so-so power plant and what a groaner.
Quite a nose dive and so-so stopping distances. After a few runs, there was some brake pad odor, but no smoke. Moderately soft pedal remained from first to last stop. Acceptable straight stability without feeling light or wiggly in back.
Slalom: If this Pathfinder is based on the Quest minivan, they've sure tuned the chassis to feel like it. Lazy in transition, the weight feels concentrated high and to the rear, so the nondefeat ESC is there to save the day -- but too late and too abruptly. This old-style, throw-the-anchor-at-the-last-second ESC is pretty rare these days. Most manufacturers' systems intrude earlier, less abruptly and return control to the driver sooner. It's a philosophical choice Nissan made. I made all the passes in Auto AWD to allow it to direct power where it thought it could be best used, but it's just not a sporty-feeling SUV at all -- more like a three-row people mover with an SUV wrapper. Skid pad: Again, a fairly pointless exercise with predictably low limits and ESC cutting throttle and checking understeer with brakes. Steering is remarkably light for a Nissan and entirely appropriate for the typical (new) Pathfinder driver.