The ride is a little softer, since I have taller tires, plus the suspension isn't as stiff. The nose dips a little when braking. As far as being whippy, I haven't had to make any sudden maneuvers to test. The daily drive seems fine and it's easier to pull into parking spots and turn. Most of my driving is highway, but you do feel the wind a bit more. My work doesn't shut down, unless there is a state of emergency, so I needed the 4wd. The Pathfinder helped me out a few times last winter. Glad it had 4low.
I have 2 little guys and can fit them in the back. My 22 month old points at it when we are outside and wants to go for a ride. I guess he really likes being able to see better. Granted there isn't as much room in the back for them, the big seats still fit. We have Britax seats and they are fairly large compared to some. The wifes only complaint so far, is no step. To me that sounds like I need to get sliders that stick out enough to step on.