1996 Nissan Pathfinder Consumer Review: 16 years old and still going s

1996 Nissan Pathfinder - Consumer Review

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful
16 years old and still going strong
By gpapgar on


1996 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4dr SUV 4WD


At almost $4.00 a gallon, I'm driving it less and less. I was riding home from work this winter in the dark and enjoying the Christmas lights at 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) from the back of my even-more-ancient Yamaha.

But, mpg aside, when I do drive my 96 Pathfinder, I have an absolute sense of confidence. At 16 years old with only 95000 on the odometer, I think I could get another 16 out of it. Nothing has gone wrong with the vehicle since I have owned it (second owner). Recently, at about 90000 miles, I replaced the timing belt and water pump just because it was time. Most of the exhaust system was rotted away this year. $400 later, with a shiny new exhaust, we're still just rolling along.

Best Features

Favorite feature is the bombproof nature of the vehicle. Utter reliability without any doubts. I am thinking about driving the James Bay Road and Trans-Taiga road (Look them up.) this Summer, or maybe next I have no questions about this cars ability on the pavement or off.

Worst Features

Well, it's waaaay too late to improve this particular model, but gas was cheap and Nissan didn't give a hoot about mpg apparently. Also, Nissans have always had a reputation for rusting away. At my Pathfinder's age and mileage, I'm surprised that there is not much rust at all. 96 was the first year for unibody construction and better quality steel. If you're contemplating buying one of these you don't have to worry about the horror stories of rusty frames breaking in half when you are on a bumpy road.
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