I live in a rural area where four wheel drive rigs are a part of life, and this pathfinder is one of the better 4x4s I have ever driven. If you are looking for a "soccer mom" car, get a van. On the other hand if you are looking for a small affordable 4x4 that can go anywhere, get a Nissan Pathfinder. It has the ground clearance and power to get anywhere you want and is still small and light enough to get decent (about 22 mpg highway) millage. The only downside is that the XE model does not come with a limited slip in the back, reducing performance somewhat in snow / mud, but it is otherwise an excellent vehicle.
Excellent vehicle reliability, easy maintenance, ready availability of parts.
Could use a limited slip in the back, fuel economy does leave a little to be desired, although it is not bad for a 4x4