A Buyer's Guide to the 2012 Nissan Pathfinder

Whether you have plans to go off-road or just want a vehicle that’s nice and roomy, the 2012 Nissan Pathfinder is definitely worth a closer look.

Key Features

As a dual-purpose vehicle, Nissan made the 2012 Pathfinder with three-rows of seating, something it’s become known for. However, it can also convert from a seven-passenger transporter to a cargo hauler by flipping the back seats down. Nissan has outfitted the 2012 Pathfinder with front-side and side-curtain airbags. You’ll also feel safer thanks to its Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

Changes for 2012

The main change to the 2012 model is on the LE and Silver models where you’ll find a very sophisticated, yet easy to use navigation system. A DVD entertainment system and moonroof are also available on the two trims. What We Like No matter which model you choose, you’ll enjoy an impressive 4.0-liter V6 engine controlled by an automatic five-speed transmission. This will put 266 horsepower at your disposal. Also, its 10-speaker Bose sound system is amazing. Much of that is owed to the two huge subwoofers Nissan included.

What Concerns Us

The third row of the 2012 Nissan Pathfinder is not especially roomy. In fact, most adults will not find it very comfortable. You’re better off folding it down and using it for storage and treating the Pathfinder as a five-passenger vehicle. Also, the door handle is a bit high on the doorframe, so if you have smaller children, expect that they’ll need help getting in.

Available Model Types

There are three different trims to choose from. The Pathfinder LE adds a DVD entertainment system to the basic model, complete with a seven-inch color monitor. Rear-seat wireless headphones are also available. A moonroof is optional as well. To that, the Silver trim adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, heated outside mirrors, remote keyless entry and ignition, a six-CD changer and Bluetooth capabilities.

Major Recalls

This model has only been recalled once. In September of 2012, Nissan learned that some of their Pathfinders had been manufactured with front-wheel hubs that didn’t meet hardness standards. As such, they would wear prematurely, with many of them eventually cracking.

Common Issues

The interior often gets brought up as something that disappoints owners. Aside from lacking a true third row, the 2012 Nissan Pathfinder also has plastic surfaces and furnishings. Some have felt that the upholstery wasn’t especially comfortable either.

Nissan Pathfinder 2012 Interior


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