The Pathfinder is essentially a minivan in SUV disguise and competes with other three row vehicles that have seven seats. An roomy interior and easy access moves it closer to a family-friendly minivan substitute, which could be a good thing. Overall the Pathfinder is practical but rather boring to drive and doesn't stand out against its many peers.
The Pathfinder has a pretty comfortable ride, decent power, and straightforward controls. The second row has a handy feature: It can slide forward to clear a path to the third row even when a child seat is installed in it. Kids will probably like the two-person third row just fine, but adults won't be comfortable there, so this car isn't a great choice for car-pooling grownups. Furthermore, mounting child seats can be a bit of a chore.
Handling is a major disappointment. The Pathfinder lumbers through corners like a larger vehicle. Nissan's very nice 3.5-liter V6, conjoined with one of the better CVT transmissions, delivers its power unobtrusively. We averaged 18 mpg overall, which is par for the course in this class but not outstanding. The small back window inhibits the view straight back, an all-too-common flaw in contemporary vehicles. Interior quality lacks any pizzazz or the polish we'd expect from a vehicle scratching $40,000.