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$11,091 - $15,118
$29,290 - $43,970

Pros & Cons

  • Good towing capability
  • Cheap interior materials
  • Unimpressive fuel economy

Rankings & Research

The 2012 Nissan Pathfinder's #22 ranking is based on its score within the 2012 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Nissan Pathfinder has a score of 7.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 61 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 6.6
Performance: 7.0
Interior: 7.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.0
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2012 Nissan Pathfinder Overview

The 2012 Nissan Pathfinder comes standard with a V6 engine that reviewers said had sufficient power for around-town driving, but could occasionally use a bit more power for uphill sprints. Reviewers agreed that the available V8 engine has ample power, but note that V8-equipped models get fairly poor fuel economy. A five-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, while part-time and full-time four-wheel drive systems are available, depending on the trim. The 2012 Pathfinder gets up to an EPA-estimated 15/22 mpg city/highway, which is a bit low for the class. Although some wrote that it’s not as comfortable as its crossover rivals, test drivers said the Pathfinder rides fairly smoothly over imperfect roads. However, a few critics were let down by the Pathfinder’s truck-like handling, and noted that a large turning circle can makes it difficult to maneuver. Reviewers added that the Pathfinder is a good tow vehicle, especially when equipped with the V8.

Test drivers mentioned that much of the 2012 Nissan Pathfinder's cabin is built with hard plastics. They found the front seats generally comfortable and supportive and wrote that the middle-row seats have ample head- and legroom, provided the driver seat isn't pushed too far back. Most said the third-row seats are tiny, though that’s a common criticism in this segment. The 2012 Pathfinder comes standard with a six-speaker stereo, while dual-zone automatic climate control, a rear-seat entertainment system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and navigation are available. The Pathfinder offers 79.2 cubic feet of total cargo capacity, which is comparable to what many three-row SUVs offer, but also well short of the space found in the most cavernous SUVs in the class.

Other SUVs to Consider

Reviewers said the 2012 Toyota 4Runne is one of the more off-road-capable vehicles in the class. The 4Runner also offers more total cargo space, and it gets better fuel economy than the Pathfinder.

The 2012 Dodge Durango is one of the few rivals that is also available with a V8 engine, and reviewers said that it provides plenty of power. Test drivers also praised the Durango for its composed handling and upscale interior.

Compare the Pathfinder, 4Runner and Durango »

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