The 2010 Nissan Pathfinder once again packs nicely powered V6 or V8 engines, solid off-road capabilities, an attractive interior design, ample storage room and impressive towing capacity.
Originally, the Pathfinder was primarily intended as a serious, "rough-and-ready" off-road vehicle. But while maintaining significant rough-terrain abilities, the Pathfinder has transitioned to family on-road use, and the 2010 version is the best ever.
It's still based on the same truck chassis as the sturdy Nissan Titan and Armada. And while still a decent off-pavement performer, the Pathfinder has now dropped its Off Road Package, thereby easing off of some of its "go anywhere" abilities. It remains, however, a strong performer when it comes to towing duties, with maximum towing capacities of 6,000 pounds with the V6 engine and 7,000 pounds with the V8.
Overall, the versatile 2010 Pathfinder makes a solid choice for those with regular towing needs or who also like to trek out to their cabin in the woods. For those shopping in this segment, other worthy contenders include the Ford Explorer and the Toyota 4Runner.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2010 Nissan Pathfinder is categorized as a midsize 7-passenger SUV and is available in four trims: S, SE, LE and LE V8.
Standard features on the base Pathfinder S include full power accessories, air conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry, 16 inch alloy wheels, a tailgate with a separate glass hatch, a receiver hitch, rear tinted windows, roof rails, a front skid plate, a tilt steering wheel, an 8-way manually adjustable driver seat and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player.
Moving up to the SE model adds an 8-way power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, upgraded cloth upholstery, rear air conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 17 inch alloy wheels, foglights, power-adjustable pedals, running boards, a multi-information color display and an auxiliary audio jack.
There's also the SE Premium Journey optional package that includes a rearview camera, keyless entry and ignition, roof rail cross bars, an auto-dimming mirror, automatic headlights and a 10-speaker Bose audio system with satellite radio and a 6-disc CD changer.
The Pathfinder LE gets everything in the Premium Journey package, plus a sunroof, leather upholstery, a 4-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, driver memory settings, a heated steering wheel, 18 inch wheels, heated side mirrors and wood-grain trim accents.
There's also an optional LE Navigation package (standard on the V8) which includes hard-drive-based navigation, real-time traffic and 9.3 gigabytes of digital music storage. A rear entertainment system is also an optional feature on the LE.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering the 2010 Pathfinder is a choice of two engines, both considered class leaders. Standard on all models except the LE V8, is a 4.0-liter V6 that produces a robust 266 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission on both rear and four-wheel drive models. The four-wheel-drive system on the S and SE is a part-time system with a shift-on-the-fly transfer case controlled via a dash-mounted switch. The Pathfinder LE is outfitted with a full-time four-wheel-drive system.
In performance tests, a 4WD Pathfinder was timed from a standstill to 60 mph in a very respectable 7.4 seconds. The EPS-estimated gas mileage for a 2010 Pathfinder with rear-wheel drive comes in at 15 mpg city and 22 mpg on the highway. The 4WD is rated at 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway.
The LE V8 model is equipped with a 5.6-liter V8 that's good for a hefty 310 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. It is also paired with the 5-speed auto transmission, while four-wheel drive is standard. The LE V8 is EPA-rated at 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway, and runs the 0 - 60 mph sprint in a very quick 7 seconds.
Standard safety features on the 2010 Nissan Pathfinder include stability control, antilock disc brakes (ABS), front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and front seat active head restraints.
In government crash testing, the Pathfinder received four out of five stars for front-impact crash protection.
The 2010 Pathfinder's cabin is attractive and user-friendly with a bit of a luxurious ambience, particularly with options such as navigation, Bluetooth and keyless entry/ignition.
The front seats are comfortable, supportive and roomy. However, the second-row is somewhat tight and could use additional leg and shoulder room. And the third-row is only suitable for children. Cargo space is satisfactory, however, thanks to both rear rows being able to fold flat, and comes in at 79 cubic feet.
The 2010 Pathfinder is a solid performer with either engine. The LE V8, for example, is a full 2 seconds faster than the Ford Explorer V8 to 60 mph. And with either engine, the automatic transmission shifts smoothly and is perfectly timed. And for a vehicle of this size, it possesses almost sporty handling with its responsive and precise steering.
That said, while most drivers will be satisfied with the Pathfinder's overall driving experience, it should be remembered that it is still a truck-based vehicle, not a car-based crossover.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try Bank Repossessed Vehicles And Government Auto Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them at no cost in your own area.
2010 Nissan Pathfinder:
S FE+, RWD: list price: $27,540, invoice price: $25,807
S, 4WD: list price: $29,540, invoice price: $27,678
SE, RWD: list price: $30,890, invoice price: $28,618
SE, 4WD: list price: $32,890, invoice price: $30,468
LE, RWD: list price: $37,050, invoice price: $34,315
LE, 4WD: list price: $39,250, invoice price: $36,349
LE V8, 4WD: list price: $42,300, invoice price: $39,171