The Pathfinder was a very tempting work proposition for us and we were attracted to the huge practical interior and rugged style. However, the drive wasn't so good and we struggled to find the right gearbox/engine compromise. The manual required huge movements of the gearlever to make ponderous progress and the auto was just awful with it never really knowing which gear it wanted to be in! Nissan should really change the auto set-up; pulling over 3,000rpm at 65mph is a recipe for disaster with NVH levels. Also the engine is only a four pot and you really are always aware of that. Ride quality is a plus point but overall it's a wierd mis-match of excellent body and quite good chassis with poor engine and gearboxes. Nissan should go the Jeep Grand Cherokee route and source a wonderful CRD V6 with creamy smooth auto box. That's what we did and bought the Jeep instead and it's a huge success. Drive them all then make your choice!
I update my comments on life with a Pathfinder after a year and 19,000 miles. All I can say is life is very easy, it is totally reliable and does everything we ask of it as a family 4X4 living in rural North Yorkshire. It tows a double horse trailer extremely well, cruises on motorways in complete comfort and is ideal for the country lanes around us. It has all the extras you would expect and exudes a feeling that what ever the road conditions / users you will arrive without problem.
As it approached its 18000 mile service I rang a Nissan dealer for a menu price and was quoted £290 inc. The following day the supplying franchise dealer called and offered to do the service for £180 inc including collection and delivery. I think that is good value. The Pathfinder required nothing other than a service, no little job or things to fix. Would a Land Rover Discovery have achieved such reliability?
The running costs are significant, the fuel consumption sits at 26 mpg, ours is an auto. The road fund tax is high but that is not Nissan fault. I estimate it has depreciated about £6000 in the first year but that will even out and if life continues as is we will not be selling it with less than 100,000 on the clock !
I bought the Pathfinder in March 2006, T SPEC model. I was attracted by the price and high spec. Within 2 days the offside folding door mirror ceased to fold. It took 5 (five) visits to the dealer to get this put right. In the meantime both number plates fell off, the T-SPEC badge fell off, one of the folding rear seats became stuck and could not be folded and a pipe to an airvent came undone behind the dash. On my 5th visit to the dealer regarding the mirror I was not surprised to find that they were going out of business. 2 days after finally getting the mirror fixed the other one failed and the passenger side electric window became very tardy in operation. I took it to another dealer and was catagorically told that Pathfinder nearside windows did not fold electrically, this by a "Senior Technician". Then the SatNav unit failed. This meant that there was no radio,cd,clock,trip computer,bluetooth,rearview camera and of course Satnav. This took 5 weeks to repair.
All of these things happened in the first 3 months of ownership. Since then everything has been trouble free (34,000 miles) and I do think that the car is very good and economical for its size. The spec is excellent and its rearview cameras makes me think that they should be compulsory on all vehicles. Reading the other reviews has made me apprehensive about the clutch.
For the price you can't beat it. True, some of the plastic could look better, but it's certainly tough enough. It is big, economical on fuel, cruises all day at 80-90mph on the motorway, comfortable to drive, sat-nav etc excellent.
Just the one question, if anyone can help.
It is in the garage at the moment after 120,000 km with a busted clutch. They tell me they cannot get hold of the parts. I have heard that there was a technical bulletin issued in June/July 2007 on this by Nissan UK, and that Nissan UK have replaced clutches under warranty with heavy-duty items. My garage are saying it is out of warranty due to the mileage. I say that for a car that has never been off-roaded or overloaded this is not acceptable.
If anyone can let me have more details on this bulletin, giving reference numbers, or exact text that I can quote back at them, please let me know.
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