I've been happy with my 2005 Pathfinder LE for 1 year and 6 months now. Some people complain about the gas mileage, but that is the trade-off for horsepower, the Pathfinder can really accelerate. The 4.0 liter V-6 is rated at 270 horsepower. The fuel economy is better when I am easy on the accelerator, but it is always nice to know that I can step on the accelerator and pass other vehicles with confidence.
The suspension is sound, with very little roll on tight corners. The Pathfinder has a good turning radius, making it easy to park and in making U-turns.
The brakes are good, as good as can be for a large vehicle. There have been complaints about the brakes squeaking, I had the same problem when cold braking in reverse. The brake squeaking has since cleared up, for the most part. It is likely due to the non-asbestos brake pads.
The interior is spacious, with room for both the driver and passenger to rest their arm on the center console. The fit and finish of the interior is good. I didn't find the stereo and cruise control buttons on the front of the steering wheel to be very well placed, but they are not intrusive to steering. However, putting the cruise control buttons right in front of the steering wheel has made me use the cruise control more, which has certainly improved gas mileage.
Several refinements that I have found useful: There are large compartments on the bottom of the doors to hold all kinds of items. There are also can/bottle holders at the bottom of the doors. The illuminated digital compass and thermometer in the rear view mirror are quite handy at times and visually pleasing. The push style map lights are easy to find in the dark. The burl wood finish in the LE models add a refined touch.
The Pathfinder was built for non-smokers, as there are no ash trays in the vehicle. The glove box could use more room, but the center console makes up for it. There are numerous power adapter outlets in the front of the cabin for cell phones, inverters etc. One outlet is always on, so when the vehicle is totally turned off, there is still a working outlet, very useful for charging your cell phone while away from the vehicle.
The climate controls are a little complicated, especially the dual climate controls in my LE model. It should be noted that I have never bothered to look at the owner's manual to learn how to easily operate the climate controls. The heated seats are awesome in cold weather, they heat quickly to keep you warm while the heater gets the driver's compartment warm.
The 6 CD Bose system is great, loud enough to vibrate all of the mirrors, without distortion. Since the CD player supports MP3 format, I have a rolling jukebox that has about 1500 songs on board.
The Pathfinder is a solidly built vehicle. There is an added sense of security in driving a vehicle that has precise suspension, driver, passenger and side curtain airbags, anti-whiplash head rests, and of course, anti-lock brakes. I have the 4 wheel drive package and it has been useful when driving off road in very muddy conditions and on steep inclines.
The high profile driving position is comfortable and gives a full view of the road ahead and on the sides of the vehicle.
Although I have mostly praise for the 2005 Pathfinder LE 4x4, there have been some issues: After 1 month of ownership, the glove box lock mechanism came out of the glove box when I pulled the key out. The dealer replaced the locking ring that holds the lock in place. After 4 months of ownership, the rear windows would not roll up when activating the driver's side master switches. It was resolved by replacing the driver's master switch cluster. After 1 year of ownership, the driver's side mirror remote control switch would not move the mirror up and down. Resolved by replacing the entire mirror unit, housing and all. All issues were resolved under warranty and I haven't had any issues with the vehicle since then.
Overall, I have been satisfied with the Pathfinder's interior and exterior fit and finish. I have been very satisfied with the engine, suspension and braking.
Amount Paid (US$):
2005Model and Options: