2012 Nissan Pathfinder Price, Review, Specs, what car reviews, The Pathfinder is Nissan’s midsize SUV. The original Pathfinder was introduced in 1985, long before sport utilities became fashionable, as a 2-door vehicle based on the 4WD pickup and was praised for its off-road abilities. Changes in U.S. vehicle import laws spurred the evolution of the Pathfinder into a 4-door in 1990. In the middle of the 1999 model year a new Pathfinder debuted that was no longer truck-based, featuring a unique MonoFrame construction for a smoother, quieter ride. The all-new 2005 Pathfinder is built on an all-steel frame based on the full-size Armada SUV, offers three rows of seating, and is assembled at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee manufacturing facility. The 2012 Nissan Pathfinder lineup receives just a couple of tweaks including the addition of the navigation system as standard equipment on the top-of-the-line LE trim level.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2012 Nissan Pathfinder is a midsize seven-passenger SUV offered in five trim levels: S, SV, Silver, LE V6 and LE V8.
Standard equipment on the entry-level S model includes 16-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, roof rack rails, air-conditioning, an eight-way manually adjustable driver seat, cruise control, full power accessories, a tilt steering wheel and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player.
The SV adds 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, running boards, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air-conditioning, upgraded cloth upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, power-adjustable pedals, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7-inch color multi-information display, a rearview camera, a six-disc CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack.
Step up to the Silver trim level and you get heated mirrors, body-color/chrome side moldings, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, a four-way power passenger seat, heated front seats and Bluetooth.
The LE V6 model comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rack crossbars, driver seat memory functions, a heated steering wheel, wood-grain trim and a navigation system with digital music storage. The top-of-the-line LE V8 loses the standard sunroof but gains the 5.6-liter V8 engine and four-wheel drive.
The options list is short and includes a sunroof and the rear-seat video entertainment system.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2012 Nissan Pathfinder is offered with a choice of two engines. The 4.0-liter V6 makes 266 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque, while the LE V8 model gets a 5.6-liter V8 that produces 310 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only transmission offered.
Rear-wheel drive is standard, while a part-time four-wheel-drive system featuring a shift-on-the-fly transfer case is an option on S, SV and Silver models. LE models can be had with an available full-time four-wheel-drive setup.
The LE V8 model made a quick 7.0-second sprint from zero to 60 mph in our testing. But that slight performance gain comes with dismal fuel economy numbers of 13/18/14 mpg. Properly equipped, the V8 model can tow 7,000 pounds.
The 2012 Nissan Pathfinder comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front seat active head restraints, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Pathfinder its highest possible rating of “Good” in both frontal-offset and side crash tests but a second-lowest score of “Marginal” for the roof-strength test.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside the cabin, the 2012 Nissan Pathfinder’s front seats are comfortable enough, but second-row passengers will find foot and shoulder room in short supply. The standard third-row seat is really only suitable for kids, and they’ll have a hard time getting back there because of the elevated placement of the Pathfinder’s rear door handles and its high step-in height. The Pathfinder’s interior design is also showing its age, with a ho-hum look and a lot of small buttons on the center stack.
When it comes time to transport cargo, the interior’s 40/20/40-split second-row and 50/50-split third-row seats fold down to create a flat load floor and 79 cubic feet of cargo room. This is less than most large crossovers.
No matter which engine you choose, you’ll find that the 2012 Nissan Pathfinder performs admirably, with both the V6 and V8 producing strong acceleration. The five-speed automatic transmission helps make the most of this power with smooth, well-timed gearshifts.
In fact, the driving experience feels almost sporty thanks to precise, responsive steering. The Pathfinder can’t escape its truck-based roots, though, and there’s the usual body roll during cornering, while a suspension calibrated for hauling and towing delivers a stiff-legged ride on bad pavement.
2012 Nissan Pathfinder Price :
MSRP range: $28,940 – $43,620
Invoice price range: $27,117 – $40,391
2012 Nissan Pathfinder Specs :
Drivetrain : Rear Wheel Drive
Curb Weight (lbs) : 4428
City (MPG) : 15
Hwy (MPG) : 22
Horsepower : 266@5600
Torque (lb-ft) : 288@4000
Wheelbase : 112.2
Length (in.) : 192.3
Width (in.) : 72.8
Height (in.) : 72.0