We dropped our beloved 2003WRX for the Pathfinder LE. My wife drives it daily and I take it on ski weekends. Ours has everything except for the DVD navigation system. The big selling points were the looks, interior, truck chassis, and Titan running gear.
There is plenty of power and a great 4WD setup. Ours has no problem cruising at irresponsible speeds. Gas mileage is kind of disappointing (around 17-18 so far). We rarely run premium gas which may congtribute to that. The ride is very smooth but not loose. I notice a bit of body roll in firm cornering. No trouble in light off roading or on gravel. The traction control system really works, although it can be very unnerving when it works. I guarantee that it will ruin any hope of doing cookies in a snowy parking lot.
The Pathfinder offers comfortable seating for 5 with plenty of room for luggage or comfortable seating for 5 with two kid slots and very little luggage. We could pass on the two rear seats (only one kid), although it is nice to have. The seating setup is pretty flexible and easy to use. The most irritating thing is the need to move the driver/passenger seats forward to flip the back seat up so passengers can access the third row. The driver seat sits about 1" high for my tastes (I am almost 6'2"), but it doesn't leave me with a lack of headroom. My rig is a 2500HD crew cab, so this may be a relative comparison issue. It runs quiet at speed with little wind noise.
Control layout is really good. Switches are high quality. The automatic HVAC is excellent at maintaining the cabin temperature and cooling/heating quickly. One disadvantage we noticed with the DVD navigation system was the placement of the CD player. That was the primary reason we didn't get that option. Steering wheel controls would benefit from a CD selector (can pick track and volume). Homelink is great and the keyless entry system synchronization to user settings is awesome.
The Bose stereo is pretty good and the MP3 player is great. The Bose system, much like all Bose products in my opinion, sounds great within it's comfort level but don't really deliver the true custom-quality sound that MB Quart or other premium systems do. It is very well integrated and loud for most people. It sounds great with the DVD player. Overall, among the best factory systems I have ever heard, but nothing like the custom system in my truck.
The roof rack is great, but finding the @#$@# Yakima mighty mounts was a huge pain (they are the same as the later Nissan Quest minivans). The running boards offer pretty good access to the rack, but it isn't a car so you will need somebody 5'8" or taller to help with the goods.
There are lots of neat hooks, compartments, and accessories all over the place which help things. The rear door/window arrangement is great. The heated seats are fast and offer two distinct settings (toasty and unchilled). Sunroof is awesome.
We hauled 23 boxes of laminate flooring home from Costco along with a full compliment of miscellaneous groceries with no problems.
Downside: The rear seat HVAC control is stiff. There is some unpleasant engine roar around 20-40 MPH. The need to move the front seats forward to access is irritating.
Amount Paid (US$):
2005Model and Options: