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To bring you this comprehensive review covering the 2008 Nissan Pathfinder, the experts at TheCarConnection.com consulted some of the most respected review sources. TheCarConnection.com’s editors also drove the Pathfinder to add more driving impressions and details where they provide you with the best information possible.
- Responsive V-6 and five-speed automatic
- Impressive towing ability
- Off-road toughness
- Available tech features such as Bluetooth and Music Box
- Rather hard ride
- Skimpy front seats
- Stability control isn’t standard
Nissan's mid-size, truck-based Pathfinder is a comfortable, luxurious SUV for those who need traditional truck ruggedness for heavy towing or moderately strenuous off-roading. Newly available on the 2008 Nissan Pathfinder is a 310-horsepower, 388-pound-feet version of the 5.6-liter V-8 used in the larger Titan and Armada trucks. This first V-8 ever offered in the Pathfinder helps it tow up to 7,000 pounds, and it offers 100 more pound-feet of torque than the 4.0-liter V-6 edition.
The standard 266-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 provides adequate power for most types of driving and gets significantly better fuel economy, yet still offers a tow capacity of up to 6,000 pounds. Both engines are available with either rear- or all-wheel drive. With the V-8 and four-wheel drive, the 2008 Nissan Pathfinder is rated a dismal 12 mpg for city driving.
The 2008 Nissan Pathfinder has the toughness, along with short overhangs and good ground clearance, for off-roading, and its four-wheel-drive system has an electronically controlled transfer case with a separate low range and Auto mode that switches to four-wheel mode once slip occurs. The system is aided by electronics such as Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist, which help maintain traction when off-roading. The one letdown is that the Pathfinder's suspension doesn't have the wheel articulation needed for more precarious boulder-scrambling.
The interior is configured to make the most of the Pathfinder's space, with a flat-fold passenger seat in front, a 40/20/40-split second row, and a 50/50-split third row. Both the second and third rows can fold down to the same level, enabling a long, flat cargo surface, and by folding the front passenger seatback forward against the lower cushion, the Pathfinder can reach a cargo length of up to 10 feet. There is a large storage area hidden away under the second-row seats and a handy small storage area inside the back door. A 200-pound-capacity roof rack is standard on the 2008 Nissan Pathfinder, including a handle to help in step-up and loading.