Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2019

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The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder is a midsize SUV however it fails to stand out in this competitive class according to U.S. News and World Report. In trying to strike a compromise between off-road capability and family hauling, its performance in both categories is only mediocre.

Reviewers do concede that the 2011 Pathfinder offers more power than some of its competitors, and its cargo space is uniquely versatile.

However, they complain that the Pathfinder’s gas mileage is lower than that of most other affordable SUVs, and its two rear seats are too small to accommodate adult passengers.

Compare Auto insurance Quotes for the Nissan Pathfinder online!

Nissan Pathfinder Auto Insurance Rates

If you select the basic Pathfinder S trim with 2-wheel drive and a V6 engine, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) estimates annual auto insurance premiums of around $969 nationally for most good drivers with seven or more years of experience on the road, though.

With a driving record of only three to six years, your cost of auto insurance could be much higher however with national average premiums hovering around $1,806.

Adding 4-wheel drive to the base model not only adds $2,000 to the Pathfinder’s price, it also adds about $150 per year to your auto insurance bill.

Upgrading to the Pathfinder Silver trim increases the vehicle’s price by almost $10,000 over that of the base model, but it only drives the cost of auto insurance up by about $80 per year.

The priciest Nissan Pathfinder available is the V8 LE trim with 4-wheel drive. Opting for this model will cost you more than $15,000 extra, and it will increase your annual auto insurance premium by about $800, the NADA reports.

Compared to other midsize SUVs, the NADA’s projected auto insurance rates for the Nissan Pathfinder are quite low. By way of comparison, a typical Toyota Venza driver will pay around $1,144 per year for auto insurance, and a Mazda CX-9 owner will pay about $1,129 per year.

Chevy Traverse drivers can expect to pay about $1,118 annually, and annual rates for the Ford Explorer are also around $1,100.

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Safety Ratings for the Nissan Pathfinder

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2011 Nissan Pathfinder high marks for its performance in front and side impact collision tests, but the vehicle only earned scores of “Marginal” for its performance on rear crash tests and roof strength tests.

The federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has only conducted one test on the 2011 Pathfinder so far. The test was intended to measure the vehicle’s ability to perform evasive maneuvers at high speeds without rolling over.

The Pathfinder earned three out of five stars in this test, which is typical for a midsize SUV. The NHTSA calculated that the vehicle has a 22.8 percent chance of rolling over in a crash.

Nissan Pathfinder Safety Features

The Pathfinder may not have exceptional rollover scores, but it combats this by incorporating an extensive airbag system. All three rows of passengers are protected by supplemental side curtain airbags, and the two front passengers are shielded from impact by dual-stage front airbags and supplemental front-side airbags.

The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder is also equipped with additional safety features like these:

  • Electronic brake force distribution
  • Tire pressure monitoring
  • Whiplash protection
  • Anti-lock brakes

Nissan Pathfinder Warranty Info

Nissan warrants its vehicles, including the Pathfinder, for 36 months (three years) or 36,000 miles. The vehicle’s powertrain is warranted for an additional two years or 14,000 miles after the limited warranty expires.

Nissan’s powertrain and limited warranties are both comparable to those offered by competitors like Toyota and Honda. Kia and Hyundai both offer significantly longer warranties.

Reliability Scores for the Pathfinder

The 2011 Pathfinder scored a 6.0 on J.D. Power and Associates’ 10-point scale for reliability. By way of comparison, a 6.0 was the most common reliability score in the midsize SUV category, with a total of 11 vehicles earning it.

Seven midsize SUVs earned 8.0s, including the Honda Pilot and the Ford Edge. The Ford Explorer and the Subaru Tribeca both earned 7.0s, and the Kia Sorento, Mitsubishi Endeavor, and GMC Acadia all earned 5.0s.

In 2010, the Pathfinder earned a “Below Average” rating for initial mechanical quality and an “Average” score for initial design quality. In 2011, the Pathfinder’s mechanical quality score increased to “Average,” but its design quality score fell to “Below Average.”

The most recent dependability scores for the Pathfinder are from 2007 and 2008, and they were average for both years.

Nissan Pathfinder Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is a big weakness for the Nissan Pathfinder; in fact, it has the second-lowest fuel economy of any affordable midsize SUV. It gets just 15 miles per gallon in city driving, which ties it with the worst-performing Mitsubishi Endeavor.

The Pathfinder gets 22 miles per gallon in city driving, which is just one mile per gallon higher than the ratings for the Endeavor and the Subaru Tribeca.

If fuel economy is an important consideration for you, the best performer in this class is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid with a 28 mpg fuel efficiency in town and on the highway.

Drivers who are not prepared to fork over nearly $40,000 for hybrid technology though could also consider the Kia Sorento or the Toyota Venza.

Find Affordable Car Insurance Quotes for the Nissan Pathfinder today!

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