ABS standard. Side air bags available from 1999, standard from 2003. Head protection air bags available from 2003, standard from 2009. ESC available from 2003, standard from 2005.
With this iteration, the long-running Pathfinder was transformed from a truck-based workhorse into a softer, gentler, car-based SUV with three rows and seven seats. The enlarged interior and easier access moved it closer to a family-friendly minivan substitute. But we found the Pathfinder to be a little too much like a minivan. It's practical but really boring to drive and no longer capable of the off-road ruggedness and substantial towing capacity of the old vehicle.
While it handles most of the everyday-driving basics pretty well, the Pathfinder doesn't stand out from the pack. It has a pretty good ride, decent power and straightforward controls. The second row can slide forward to clear a path to the third row. Kids will probably like the two-person third row seating just fine. Adults won't be comfortable there though, so this isn't a great choice for car-pooling grownups. Furthermore, mounting child seats can be a bit of a chore.