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What Car? says

2 out of 5 stars

For This is a real workhorse: it's good off-road, and has a fine degree of practicality, too

Against Some rivals are bigger inside. They also ride and handle better, and have more class

Verdict This is a fine car, but we'd rather spend a bit more and get a Land Rover Discovery

Go for… 2.5 dCi

Avoid… 4.0 V6 T-Spec

Nissan Pathfinder 4x4
  • 1. Compared with rivals like the Land Rover Discovery, the Pathfinder is something of a bargain
  • 2. Most models have foldaway seats in the boot, but they're best left to kids
  • 3. It's a fine off-roader, but the Pathfinder is shown up by rivals on the road
  • 4. The most sensible option is to avoid the costly-to-run petrol and stick to entry-level trims
  • 5. Expect good reliability: Nissan does well in reliability surveys, and other 4x4s from the company have proved very hardy
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Nissan Pathfinder 4x4 full review with expert trade views

The Pathfinder has its own distinct place in Nissan's 4x4 line-up, between the X-Trail and Patrol.

It looks suitably rugged inside and out, but what it loses in outright style, it makes up for with hard-wearing practicality. The driving position is good, the dash is well laid out, and there's enough space for five adults, albeit a little less than in rivals like the Land Rover Discovery.

In most models, there's also a folding third row of seats in the huge boot, to make the Pathfinder a seven-seater, but these are really only suitable for children.

It's a fine off-roader, too, but shown up by rivals on the road. The ride is firm at low speeds, the body rolls a lot through bends and the diesel engine is noisy. All in all, a Discovery is a far better drive.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Navara with an estate body. Too expensive new so much better used buy

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

There's a choice of two engines, but the 4.0 V6 petrol comes only in the most expensive trim and has the highest running costs, so it's a distant second-best to the 2.5-litre diesel.

This comes in a variety of trim levels, and all but the most basic have seven seats. However, as these two rearmost seats are really only suitable for children, there's little point in buying a seven-seat version. Instead, treat it as a go-anywhere five-seat car with a huge boot.

All versions are well equipped, with even the basic S trim (our favourite) getting climate control, six airbags, four electric windows and a CD player. SE added a CD-changer and driver's seat height adjustment, while SVE had leather upholstery and T-spec included sat-nav.

From May 2006, the range was reduced to four trim levels: Trek took over from S, Sport replaced SE, and T-spec became Aventura. However, our favourite remains the most basic model.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Most at Nissan dealers and most are 2.5 dCi with SE spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Compared with obvious seven-seat rivals such as the Land Rover Discovery and Volvo XC90, the Pathfinder is something of a bargain to buy - and that's despite the fact that most used models are still within the Nissan dealer network, something which helps to keep prices up.

If you ignore the petrol engine, which is expensive to buy and keep going, the running costs on a Pathfinder don't look too bad. Both fuel and insurance costs are on a par with those for the Discovery and, while a diesel XC90 is cheaper to fuel, it's more expensive to insure.

The routine servicing costs also look good - considerably lower than a Discovery's and slightly better than an XC90's. To cap it all, if you need unscheduled work on the car, there's more good news: Warranty Direct says both dealer labour rates and average repair bills for Nissans are at the lower end of the scale.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Navara with an estate body. Too expensive new so much better used buy

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

The Pathfinder has been the subject of two recalls. The first concerned cars built up to the end of September 2005, where the propshaft may not have been installed correctly; and the second affected cars built before the end of January 2006, where there was a possibility of a problem with the steering.

However, these are the only problems we have heard of with the car, and all cars are still covered by the new-car warranty anyway. The online reviews from owners are almost uniformly positive, with no reports of any mechanical problems. Just about the only reservations people had concerned the ride.

Still, that's no more than you might expect. Nissans traditionally does very well in reliability surveys, and other 4x4s from the company, such as the Patrol and X-Trail, have proved very hardy. This is all backed up by figures from Warranty Direct, which show that the claim rates on Nissans are less frequent than average.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Most at Nissan dealers and most are 2.5 dCi with SE spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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