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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Attila

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19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
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Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

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Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
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20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
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I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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