We just picked up the 2006 Nissan Pathfinder, which will be getting Car Tech's full review treatment over the next week. On first impression, the 2006 Pathfinder is a competent SUV. It is a little short for a seven-seater, leading to a shortage of legroom for both second- and third-row adult passengers. But those fewer couple of feet really tell in the car's handling and all-round responsive feel. Taking it for a short blast on the freeway, the Pathfinder reminded us a lot of the. While it lacks the Commander's HEMI power, the Pathfinder is no slouch: it packs a 4-liter V-6, which is capable of a respectable 270 horsepower. And its performance prowess is not limited to the highway. The 4x4 Pathfinder costs about $2,000 more than the rear-wheel-drive models, but that price premium gives you a car that has some chance of--ahem--finding paths away from the asphalt: Rancho performance shocks, "rugged trail" BF Goodrich tires, and Nissan's All-Mode automatic 4WD system combine to give the Pathfinder some serious off-road credentials.
Our tester is a top-of-the-range LE model, which includes a bevy of standard comfort features (leather trim/heated seats/trizone climate control). Our favorite standard feature is the 10-speaker Bose audio system, which plays MP3s and sounds great.
Our car is also optioned up to the teeth with DVD-based navigation (the same joystick-operated system that we saw in the); a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones; and Sirius satellite radio, although we couldn't get the latter to work. We'll keep trying and get back to you with the results in our full review later this week.