First of all, if you plan to haul people and don't anticipate towing much or regularly off-roading, you should look into more carlike choices like the Ford Edge, Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, or Nissan's own Murano.
The Pathfinder's design is already several years old, but it feels thoroughly modern next to the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, which mates dated styling with a cramped interior and subpar performance and will soon be discontinued.
The Toyota 4Runner is another possibility, with plenty of off-road ability, though it has a noisier interior and a harder ride and can get quite expensive at the top of the line.
The Ford Explorer has a nicely updated, comfortable interior with more standard safety features across the line, but it doesn't possess the sturdy off-road ability of the 2009 Nissan Pathfinder.
An alternative might be the Dodge Durango, which offers a slightly larger package overall, though it doesn't handle the road especially well.
Each of these vehicles has poor fuel economy and a less-than-ideal ride, and most shoppers would be better suited with a modern crossover design from these automakers.
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|2009 Nissan PathfinderBrowse Used Listings||2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazerBrowse Used Listings||2008 Dodge DurangoBrowse Used Listings||2008 Ford ExplorerBrowse Used Listings||2008 Toyota 4RunnerBrowse Used Listings|
|12 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy||12 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy||13 MPG City / 19 MPG Hwy||13 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy||14 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V6||Gas I6||Gas V6||Gas V6||Gas V6|
|2WD Sport Utility||N/A||2WD Sport Utility Vehicle||N/A||2WD Sport Utility Vehicle|
|2WD 4-Door V6 S||2WD 4-Door LT w/1LT||2WD 4-Door SXT||RWD 4-Door V6 XLT||RWD 4-Door V6 SR5 (Natl)|
|Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|4 Door||4 Door||4 Door||4 Door||4 Door SR5|
|Automatic||Automatic w/OD||Automatic||Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/OD|