With the introduction of the redesigned 2005 Pathfinder, it’s clear that Nissan has decided to take this SUV back to its old-school, pickup truck roots. Like the all-new Xterra, the Pathfinder is built atop the F-Alpha frame used by the full-sized Titan and mid-sized Frontier pick-‘em-ups. The Pathfinder also shares its design flavor and some interior parts with the rough-and-tumble Xterra, but adds a third-row seat for seven-passenger capacity and a whole bunch of extra cubes for cargo. Obviously, the Murano will serve the touchy-feely crowd that demands the utility of an SUV but wants a vehicle that drives like a car. The new Pathfinder is meant for rough-housing, not running errands.
After hundreds of miles driving a well-equipped 2005 Nissan Pathfinder SE Off-Road with 4WD, we discovered that it is competent at work or play. From the rain-ravaged desert trails in Riverside County, to the crumbling city streets of Los Angeles, to the smooth freeways laced across southern California, the Pathfinder proved it is no longer a compromise. Rather, it is an exceptionally comfortable, multi-talented vehicle that is quite pleasing to live with – if you don’t mind averaging 15.4 mpg with its powerful V6 engine.