1997 Nissan Pathfinder XE SUV Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1997 Nissan Pathfinder - Consumer Reviews

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1997 Pathfinder Consumer Reviews

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READ THIS!!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By arob0505
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Pathfinder SUV LE 4dr SUV


Review

My father bought a 1997 Pathfinder LE loaded off the showroom in 1997. He was a traveling sales rep and he sold me the car in 2004 with 265k. I drove it until it had 310k and gave it to my little brother in law for his 16th birthday present. He drove it for another year and a half and traded it in on a new Scion. I absolutely loved how smooth the tranny shifted, how quiet the engine was and how roomy the interior was. I loved it so much that I am buying another 1997 SE in 2 days! I think it is one of the best and most underrated SUV's ever made. It eats the snow and dirt and never dies. GET ONE!!


Favorite Features

Comfort, Quiet, Great looks, 4x4


Suggested Improvements

MPG


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Loved it!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By prodigy1
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Pathfinder SUV XE 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

I bought my pathfinder used for $3500 and it had 160k miles on it. It was the base model with a/c and a Manuel trans. It was rough around the edges but the interior had held up amazingly. Everything on the inside looked in mint condition. The a/c still worked great. The 4wd was amazing and functioned perfectly. I was rough on this truck but it never gave me any issues. Fitted a snorkel to it and hurricane season was no problem for me. It would go through anything! Overall a great truck. It was reliable and durable. I handed it down to my sister and she killed it by way of not changing the oil. It had 221k miles.


Favorite Features

Drivetrain was awesome


Suggested Improvements

None


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So far so good. Nice SUV with gas mileage like a car.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By adspof
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Pathfinder SUV XE 4dr SUV


Review

Just bought it after selling my 1996 Ford Bronco which I loved but at 11 mpg was beginning to feel the pinch. So thought a stickshift 2 wheel drive Pathfinder would do the same as I don't 4x4 ever really. I like the lite but sturdy feel and I just feel like I am saving gas as I coast everywhere in nuetral 1/2 the time and use the gas the other 1/2 it seems. Only issues have been general maintenance stuff I guess, as never had to deal with on the Bronco. I have already had to to the front struts, carrier bearing at center of driveshaft, right side exhaust manifold (cracked), charcoal cannister, trailing arm bushings to stop "pathfinder death wobble". If paid a shop $2,000 so did on own.


Favorite Features

The design. It just looks sharp for being 1997. Seats fold flat pretty easily and good height to climb in and out of. Not really a good SUV for someone really tall or really fat because doors are tight, seat is tight and overall inside room tighter than say a Ford Escape. I am 5'10" 200 pounds so average and feels perfect. Like the stock wheels that came on the next level up from mine so bought a set with tires at local wrecker for $120 all 4. What an improvement over the silly steel wheels. Add some light tint all around and a pretty expensive looking ride in my opinion.


Suggested Improvements

Knocks sensor goes out on these so locate it somewhere it can actually be serviced easily. My god under the manifold? Really? Guy on Youtube has "Pathfinder Knocks Sensor Relocation" video that is excellent. 4 hour job now becomes 20 minutes. Wonderful!! Also I assume Nissan redesigned the rear trailing arms so that when the bushings go bad you don't wreck. You cannot drive over 35 mph with these bushings bad unless you want to lose control.


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Fantastic First Car!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Shea
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Pathfinder SUV LE 4dr SUV


Review

My great uncle sold this car to me cheap soon after I got my license last December. Now, it was in great condition mostly thanks to my uncle treating it like his firstborn son since he bought it in '97, but what a great car he chose! I've had it for almost a year and it's required shockingly little maintenance for a 13-year-old car. 130,000 miles hasn't slowed it down a bit. It drives great, even in bad storms and intense heat. My parents and I feel safe knowing that I have a sturdy reliable car to get around with. I was definitely dealt a good hand with my first car compared to some clunkers my friends were landed with. My compliments to Nissan, this sucker's going to last me for years.


Favorite Features

Timeless build, beginner-driver friendly, good A/C & heat, reliable, low-maintenance, secure


Suggested Improvements

Gas mileage (but to be expected on an older SUV)


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Biggest piece i've ever bought
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By kyle
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Pathfinder SUV XE 4dr SUV


Review

I bought this car used from my uncle with 98,000 miles and ever since I've owned it, it has been nothing but trouble. Replaced the manual transmission and drive shaft $1800. Struts and shocks are so bad the car wobbles as you're driving. The drive shaft has already messed up again just recently as an experienced owner I will never buy another Nissan any make or model.


Favorite Features

i hate this car it is the worst car i have ever driven


Suggested Improvements

the whole entire thing


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great suv
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By bk
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Pathfinder SUV SE 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

I have owned 3 pathfinders along the way. First was a 1996 se, then went to a 2001 with the 3.5l and now I am back in a 1997. They all have been absolutely great vehicles! Never left me stranded anywhere, go through snow up to the bumpers, repairs are rare and they hold their value. The only complaint I had was going from my 1996 with 150,000 miles to the 2001 with 80,000 miles, I expected the same fuel mileage and was disappointed. A year later and I was back in the 1997 and regained some of the fuel mileage back again. This is a cant miss suv. Why pay thousands more for a 4 runner?


Favorite Features

4wd is awesome


Suggested Improvements

1996-1999 model needs more leg room for people above 6 ft tall.


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Best vehicle I've ever had
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Gary
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Pathfinder SUV LE 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

When the recession hit, I could no longer make monthly car payments so I saved up some money and bought my used 97 pathfinder with cash. I researched and found this is one of the best SUV's for reliability. I replaced all belts, hoses, water pump,timing belt and bought 4 new tires. I recently drove this on a 3000 mile trip and it did wonderful. I love this truck despite that it does get thirsty. This vehicle will run for another 100,000 easily. Love it.


Favorite Features

4x4 and build quality. They don't make em like this anymore. Will keep this forever.


Suggested Improvements

It's slow and thirsty, but I don't get any speeding tickets so maybe that's a good thing?


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Still the one
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By hmp49
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Pathfinder SUV XE 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

Mileage, handling, braking, transmission, better than when it was new. Engine is smooth as silk. Changing oil every 3,000 miles, transmission every 30,000, serviced only at dealer. Using Michelin Mud and Snow tires with Nitrogen really brought up the MPG, get an honest 19 mph on the highway.


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Good, solid, reliable vehicle
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Tim
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Pathfinder SUV SE 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

I bought this SUV in 8/05 with 118K and it now has over 182K. Besides routine maintenance and tires, I have only had to replace a thermostat, water pump, and muffler ($600 total). I would recommend the vehicle to anyone looking for a reliable SUV.


Favorite Features

Roominess, reliability


Suggested Improvements

I average about 19 MPG (mostly highway)- could be better/could be worse


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Even more reliable than I am.
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Cee.PerezGo
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Pathfinder SUV SE 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

This car has gotten me through thick and thin. I have been careless at times not changing the oil regularly but even so... it's still charging forward. I love to give her all she's got especially in parking lots, I feel like I'm flying a plane. I've had to replace the exhaust a couple of times as it rusts through as well as the runners. I have an oil leak in the engine but it's still going strong. A check engine light showed up about a week ago but my mechanic said it's nothing just a sensor near the fuel system. It's nothing important just related to the emissions. Otherwise a magnificent vehicle. Very comfortable as people always tend to fall asleep when they're driving with me.


Favorite Features

Reliability, comfort and resiliency. A big difference in 4WD mode. I can plow through anything. Transmission runs smoothly except it clunks hard sometimes.


Suggested Improvements

Weak in snow in 2WD. Can't even get out of an inch of snow. Acceleration needs to be quicker even for this model. Fuel efficiency. Rear seating could be larger.


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