What's New for 1997
Changes to the 1997 Nissan Pathfinder include storage pockets added at all doors, a new exterior color and an available Bose sound system.
The Nissan Pathfinder has largely been overshadowed by the recently redesigned Toyota 4Runner. We think that's too bad. Yes, the 4Runner is a good truck, but it is certainly not the only import SUV on the market. By taking a long, hard look at the Pathfinder, some buyers may be reward with a truck that doesn't look like anything else on the road.
The Pathfinder sports one of the friendliest interiors of any SUV we have tested this year. Ample passenger space fore and aft, a large cargo area with convenient tie-down hooks, standard dual air bags, a killer sound system, comfortable seats, and a great view are just a few of the reasons we like this truck so much. One thing we don't like, however, are the too narrow rear doors, and the tubular running board. The combination means that passengers exiting from the rear of the truck will undoubtedly have their pants scuffed by the ineffectual running board as they try to squeeze out of the tight portal.
With Nissan's 1996 redesign came a gutsier version of their familiar V6 engine. Though not the engine of choice for speed-freaks, it moves the Pathfinder along highways and two-track roads with ease. Speaking of two-track roads, the Nissan has lost none of its sporting personality when it acquired its much-heralded car-like ride. Just ask our managing editor, who took the Pathfinder on a day-long jaunt up to the Continental Divide.
Do yourself a favor, and drop by a Nissan dealer for a test drive. You might just find yourself driving home in the perfect alternative to the Toyota 4Runner or Ford Explorer.