Car of the Week - May 7, 2001

2001 Nissan Pathfinder

The sturdy reliable Nissan Pathfinder debuts for 2001 with a shot of muscle via a new 250-horsepower V6 engine, making Pathfinder the most powerful SUV in its class. Also new are an in-dash navigation system and an entertainment system for rear seat occupants. On LE models, an automatic All-Mode four-wheel-drive system operates in 2WD, automatic 4WD, 4WD-Hi and 4WD-Lo, all selected using a simple rotary knob on the dashboard.

The Pathfinder retains its substantial maximum cargo carrying capacity of 85 cubic feet. The very comfortable front seats can be made to fold flat - enabling you to wait out a rain storm lounging in the back watching the "Godfather" trilogy on the fold down roof screen.

We tested this beast in the Hollister Hills off-road area during the Western Automotive Journalist's Media Days and it came through with flying colors hidden somewhere deep beneath the layers of mud and dust. Driving around town and on freeways this week proved that the kinder and gentler side of the Pathfinder is equally enjoyable.

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