2009 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4X4


Brawny, roomy, and proudly un-hip.
Brawny, roomy, and proudly un-hip.

I was reminded, for some strange reason, of Cassius Clay’s “Ugly, slow bear” taunt of Sonny Liston in 1964 during a week’s test of the now 23-years-old Pathfinder.

It isn’t particularly ugly—though you won ’t find it in the Louvre—but it’s a big ol’ bear of an SUV, about as out-of-style in 2009 as is “Breaking Bonaduce” or saying the word “New-kew-lar”. It’s all lug and utility and can-do; there’s nothing snap-snap or whoah-dig-this about it.

Am I complaining? Not at all, especially after piling seven family members into its interior and getting them all where they needed to go, safe and sound. Visibility, a must when considering an SUV, is particularly excellent all around even with a full house. The V-6 complains a little when you step on it (opt for the V-8 if you need more oomph), mileage is particularly feeble at 14 city, 20 highway but if you’ve got a job to do or a crew to haul, this is your ride.  Base price: $32,510 As tested: $36,340 Josh Max, AutoGigolo.com

Plenty o' room for the gang, the dog, the bike, the guitar, and more.
Plenty o' room for the gang, the dog, the bike, the guitar, and more.


• Rugged exterior design, long wheelbase, short front and rear overhangs

• Aggressive front and rear styling, including powerful hood, grille, front and rear
bumpers, rear liftgate

• Aggressive geometric fenders, angled strut-style grille

• C-pillars with Nissan SUV signature high-mounted rear door handles

• Highly functional roof rack with integrated front and rear grips
• Available side running boards (standard on all trims except S)
• Two new exterior colors (eight total) – Red Brick and Navy Blue

Engine and Driveline
• 5.6-liter DOHC V8 producing 310 horsepower and 388 lb-ft of torque (LE-V8); aluminum
block with cast iron cylinder liners, forged steel crankshaft, microfinished crankshaft and
camshafts, graphite-coated pistons, 6-bolt main bearing caps, single-stage timing chain
• 4.0-liter DOHC V6 producing 266 horsepower and 288 lb-ft of torque (S-V6, SE-V6, LE-
V6); aluminum block with cast iron cylinder liners, microfinished crankshaft and
camshaft, molybdenum-coated pistons, Nissan variable Induction Control System
(NICS), Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), silent two-stage
timing chain
• Standard 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission
• Standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)
• Available XN All-Mode part-time 4-wheel drive system (S, SE)
• Available All-Mode automatic 4-wheel drive system with 2WD/AUTO/4HI/4LO modes,
electronically controlled transfer case (LE V6, LE V8 models)
• Standard tow hitch
• Up to 7,000 pound towing capacity with LE V8 model, up to 6,000 pounds with V6

Suspension, Steering and Braking

• High-strength F-Alpha platform – fully boxed, all-steel ladder frame
• Independent all-steel double-wishbone front suspension with stabilizer bar
• Independent double-wishbone rear suspension with stabilizer bar
• Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering
• 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-channel, 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with
Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD)
• 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P245/75R16 (S)
• 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P265/65R17 BFGoodrich Long Trail tires (SE-V6)
• 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P265/60R18 BFGoodrich BSW tires (LE V6, LE-V8)

Interior Features

• 7-inch color multi-information display with available RearView Monitor (except S)
• Illuminated switchgear (all models except S)
• Available heated steering wheel (standard on LE models)
• Gated shifter design with grip shifter (all models except S)
• Standard 2nd and 3rd row flat-folding seats with 7-passenger seating
• Available Nissan Navigation System with 9.3GB Music Box hard drive
• Available Nissan Intelligent KeyTM with twist start (available on LE models only)
• Available Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System
• Available 10-speaker Bose® audio system with 6CD autochanger (1CD with Navigation
Package), MP3 capability and XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold
• Fold-down front passenger seat (all models except S and LE), 40/20/40 split 2nd row
seat with center reclining portion, 50/50 split 3rd row seat
• Available leather-appointed 1st and 2nd row and 1st row power memory seats on SE-V6
(standard LE models)
• Power-adjustable foot pedals (all models except S-V6)
• Standard power windows with driver and front passenger auto-up/down and safety
• Dual-zone automatic temperature control, rear air conditioning (all models except S)
• Available DVD video entertainment system
• Wood-toned interior (LE models only)
• Two available interior colors – Graphite and Cafe Latte

Safety and Security

• Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags with
seat belt sensors and a front occupant classification with 3-point front seat belts with
pretensioners and load limiters
• Standard supplemental front seat-mounted side-impact air bags
• Standard roof-mounted supplemental curtain air bags for side impact and rollover head
protection for outboard passengers in all three rows
• 3-point seat belts for rear seat occupants, including 2nd row center position
• Front seat Active Head Restraints
• Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones
• LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchor system
• Standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Models and Manufacturing

• Available in 4×4 and 4×2 drive configurations and in four models: S-V6, SE-V6, LE-V6
and LE-V8 (4×4 only)