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Why you should buy this car: The Pathfinder is an SUV from the old school: tough, reliable and capable. In SE guise, the Tennessee-built truck isn t afraid to bash some boulders and plug some mud. The Pathfinder s exemplary 6000lbs. towing capacity means one boat can pull the other. Surprisingly, the heavyweight, V6-engined SUV is faster than a speeding bullet. OK a bowling ball (imparting that exact same sense of something very heavy going very quickly). But the rest of the accommodation is spacious and inviting. And the price is right ‚ÄĒ especially in today s buyer s market.

Why you shouldn t buy this car: If you re not an off-roading, boat-towing kinda guy; if you don t live somewhere where it s a good idea to keep emergency space blankets in the glove box; it s time to face facts. Fifteen mpg ain t enough. Not for a family car that schleps five people (the Pathfinder s tippy-up way back seats are best suited to Oompah Loompas). If you re a suburban sophisticate or city slicker who simply must have an SUV, the new (though equally piggy) Ford Explorer V8 is the Ritz to the Pathfinder s Motel 6.

Suitability Parameters
· Speed Merchants: No
· Fashion Victims: No
· Treehuggers: No
· Mack Daddies: No
· Tuner Crowd: No
· Hairdressers: No
· Penny Pinchers: No
· Euro Snobs: No
· Working Stiffs: Yes
· Technogeeks: No
· Poseurs: No
· Soccer Moms: Yes
· Nascar Dads: No
· Golfing Grandparents: No

· Manufacturer: Nissan
· Model tested: Pathfinder SE
· Model year: 2006
· Price as Tested: $33,240
· Engine type: 4.0-liter DOHC 24-valve V6
· Horsepower: 270hp @ 5600 rpm
· Torque: 291ft-lb @ 4000 rpm
· Redline: TBA
· Wheels and Tires: P265/70R16 BFGoodrich Long Trail OWL tires
· Drive type: four-wheel-drive
· 0 - 60: 8.4 seconds
· 1/4 mile: you d be lucky
· Top speed: don t ask, don t tell
· Fuel economy city/highway: 15/21
· NHTSA crash test rating front/side/rollover: 4/5/3

[by Robert Farago]

Jalopnik Reviews: 2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE, Part 1, Part 2 [internal]