So far so good. Nice SUV with gas mileage like a car.
written on 04-07-2012
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.
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!!
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?
It's been a good vehicle. The only nits are mileage - but I knew about that going in - and cup holders. Oh, it has two cup holders in the front but one is basically useless. Other than that, it still looks good and the Bose CD is incredible. It also has a great, throaty roar that belies the fact that it is far from a race car.
I've owned a 1997 Pathfinder since 1997 and as a busy Realtor, I've put over 133,000 miles on it. The only major repair that has been done is a new timing chain put in back in 2003. GREAT VEHICLE -- my only hangup is how Nissan designs their cars to where only the dealership can fix it.