2005 Nissan Pathfinder: In The Autoblog Garage Day 5

The most important aspect of any SUV, at least to me, is how much cargo can it hold and how easily can you fold everything down to fit the latest Ikea, Home Depot or Costco purchase. Because let's face it if you're going camping you have time to figure everything out beforehand. If you're stuck in a rainy parking lot and just bought a new jumbo TV because it was on sale then you're in a hurry.

Pathfinder rear cargo 250

The Pathfinder does the flip down thing really well. Third row seats fold flat in a snap and I?m sure most of us would keep them down at all times unless there are more than two children in the family. This leaves a rather large, hard-floored cargo area. Let me just say I love the hard plastic idea for an SUV. Actually if I had my way the entire interior floors of SUVs, trucks and minivans would be durable hard plastic instead of cheap carpet that is harder to clean. One innovation the Honda Element did right I guess.

Pathfinder Heads down 250Back to the Pathfinder. The second row seats have carpeted backs so when you fold them down there isn?t a complete hard floor and they don?t fold completely flat. There is a trick to get them to swing up against the front seats but the basic pictogram on the seat couldn?t help me figure it out. After ten minutes I was reaching for the manual. I doubt though that most folks would bother with this step because even though the second row isn?t flat, it is flat enough. I?d rather all three rows fold flat with that hard plastic all around though. There?s really no need for the pouches on the second row seats anyway.

Pathfinder Heads up 250The pouches do accentuate that the Pathfinder is packed with useful knickknacks. There are compartments, hooks, nets, cup holders and pockets everywhere.  Also the headrests in the second row seats are built into the seats. This is the neatest idea. When you see it you wonder why everyone doesn?t do that.

If you wanted to you could spend a day configuring the Pathfinder for a long road trip, camp out or tailgating excursion and you?d probably have a good time doing it. I was surprised at how much I liked the vehicle and am looking forward to what Nissan has in store for their next batch of cars. You remember cars right Nissan? Pathfinder gauges

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