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2012 Nissan Pathfinder Overview

Zac Estrada
Automotive Editor - January 17, 2012

All Pathfinders get a standard 4.0-liter V6 with 266 horsepower and a five-speed automatic. Power goes to the rear wheels unless the four-wheel drive option is specified. Most Pathfinder 4WD models have a part-time system, but the LE has a full-time system. The LE also has the option of a 5.6-liter V8 engine with 310 horsepower, bringing towing capacity up to 7,000 lbs.

Standard equipment on the base Pathfinder S includes air conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors, remote keyless entry, privacy glass, cruise control, six-speaker audio system and seating for 7.

See our picks for best SUVs in the CarsDirect SUV Buying Guide.

The SV adds a power driver's seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control with a rear air conditioning setup, backup camera and AUX input.

The Silver Edition gets leather seats, keyless entry and start, heated front seats and Bluetooth. Finally, the luxury LE trim gets 18-inch alloy wheels, memory settings for the driver's seat and mirrors and a navigation system.

The Toyota 4Runner offers an off-road oriented Trail Edition and has a nice V6, but is smaller and doesn't offer a V8. The Jeep Grand Cherokee has better engines, nicer interior and is more fuel efficient, but lacks a third row. The Dodge Durango has a bigger third row and is nicer to drive, but lacks the Pathfinder's off-road credentials. Finally, the Ford Explorer is much better on-road and has better in-car technology, but its car-based platform limits off-road and towing abilities.

While it's old by today's standards and can be heavy on fuel, the Pathfinder is a worthy alternative to the car-based crossover and likely meets the needs of people who need a sturdy SUV to transport passengers or cargo over lots of different terrain. All models are well-equipped and have better towing capacity than most crossovers.

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