Used 1997 Nissan Pathfinder Review

Edmunds expert review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.