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2011 Nissan Pathfinder Review

The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder is a capable truck-based SUV with real off-road ability and seating for seven. However, shoppers looking for a family-friendly, comfortable crossover should look elsewhere.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful available V8
  • Basic, practical interior
  • Lots of available tech features
  • Disappointing fuel economy
  • Cramped third row

Rankings & Research

The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder's #20 ranking is based on its score within the 2011 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Nissan Pathfinder has a score of 7.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 56 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 6.7
Performance: 7.1
Interior: 7.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Nissan Pathfinder Overview

When the Nissan Pathfinder was originally introduced, the SUV segment was full of off-roaders that shared components with pickup trucks. But these days, many owners use their SUVs for family duty. As a result, many SUV shoppers want a crossover that’s also easy to drive and versatile. Reviewers said that the 2011 Pathfinder straddles the line between being an off-roader and a family SUV, which prevents it from accomplishing either goal particularly well.

Because of its truck-based underpinnings, the Pathfinder doesn’t have the smoothest ride and it doesn’t get great fuel economy. The Pathfinder comes with either a V6 or V8 engine, but reviewers noted that the available V8 is powerful and good for towing. 

See the full 2011 Nissan Pathfinder specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee does a much better job of combining off-road abilities with refined road manners and an updated interior. The Grand Cherokee outshines the Nissan in nearly every way. The Grand Cherokee gets better fuel economy, better safety scores and performs better on and off the pavement. With so many advantages, the 2011 Grand Cherokee is worthy of consideration.

If you don’t mind the Pathfinder’s basic interior, but need more off-road capability, consider the 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser. The FJ Cruiser has a similarly basic interior, but it’s much better for off-roading. Although the Pathfinder outdoes the FJ Cruiser with two more seats and an available V8 engine, if you want a reliable, great-looking vehicle with lots of off-road ability, the FJ Cruiser is a good choice.

Compare the Pathfinder to the Grand Cherokee and FJ Cruiser »

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