Used 1998 Nissan Pathfinder

1998 Nissan Pathfinder
List price range

Pros

  • Fresh shape, wonderful interior, good reliability.

Cons

  • Steep price, engine could be stronger.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

The recently redesigned Toyota 4Runner has largely overshadowed the Nissan Pathfinder. 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 rewarded with a sport-ute that is better than most of the others on the road.

The Pathfinder sports one of the friendliest interiors of any SUV that we've tested in recent years. 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. A few things we don't like, however, are the too narrow rear doors and tubular running boards. This poorly planned combination means that passengers exiting from the rear of the truck will undoubtedly have their pants dirtied by the ineffectual running board as they try to squeeze through the small door.

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 editor-in-chief, who took the Pathfinder on a day-long jaunt along the Continental Divide and managed to squeeze the truck through some nasty Jeep trails without scratching the paint.

The Nissan Pathfinder gives a competent on- and off-road ride, while surrounding its passengers in surprising comfort and luxury. Our favorite model is the tough-looking SE five-speed equipped with the Off-Road Package and Bose Audio/Sunroof Package. If you require a rugged yet sophisticated vehicle for hauling your tribe around town and over the hills, the Pathfinder deserves your attention.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Nissan Pathfinder.

One to Keep
judger21, 4/21/2012
Bought our 98 Pathfinder LE new ('back in the day') & have loved it ever since. Basic & expected maintenance only & rolling strong at 189,000 miles & counting. Does everything & still is the backbone of the family fleet (Altima & Juke) in terms of usability, versatility (boat, dogs etc.), safety, & confidence in bad weather. Will drive it until either I or it give(s) out.
Satisfied for what it is
John Doe, 3/12/2009
I've owned the SUV for almost 4 yrs and put in 30K+ miles. Serves my purpose well as a daily driver and offers alot of utility. Taken it for skiing as well as runs to Home Depot and such. Cargo capacity is good w/seats folded. Biggest complaint is mpg as I only manage 14mpg, but within estimated range. Handling at highway speed not the best, but that's a given since its based on an outdated truck platform. Wet/snow performance is good so long as tires are up to task. The Bose stereo is a major PITA to replace as modification to the OEM Bose speakers are necessary. Would recommend to anyone looking for a cheaper 4WD vehicle that offers good reliability and adequate driving characteristics.
Pretty Ignorant But Got Lucky
luckyloulou, 11/8/2014
Back in 2004, when I needed a vehicle, I went into a small Mom & Pop used car dealership and said, "All I have is $10,000. What SUV's do you have?" They showed me one vehicle which happened to be a 1998 Nissan Pathfinder le. Looked good and I bought it, it had 80,000 miles on it. I was lucky! Sadly, she was wrecked/totaled the other day and had 260,000 total miles on her and was still going strong. Paint still looked good. I alone drove her 180,000 rough miles and spent a total of $9,509. in major n minor repairs/maintenance and tires in 10 yrs time. She had started every day of her life, except for when she had a dead battery, or alternator, or bad ignition coil. (R.I.P dear friend!)
Cash For Clunkers Victim
Ace Skater, 7/12/2009
I bought my Pathfinder brand new in 1998 and it's still going strong 220,000 miles later. Cabin held up well and still looks great. Things to watch out for: real axle seals (leaked, had to have both replaced), fuel throttle body (replaced, was sticking from bad fuel and had a coolant leak), AC (replaced compressor, replaced fan speed switch (x2), replaced blower motor and its speed control resistor (x2), harness wires toasted from being too thin), and that coolant rubber hose inside the engine (!) that gets overlooked when replacing the timing belt, water pump, and other hoses.) All-in-all it's been an AWESOME truck for me! Definitely buy one if you can find one that's been well maintained.
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Features & Specs

MPG
14 city / 17 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
168 hp @ 4800 rpm
MPG
14 city / 16 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
168 hp @ 4800 rpm
MPG
14 city / 16 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
168 hp @ 4800 rpm
MPG
14 city / 18 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
168 hp @ 4800 rpm
See all Used 1998 Nissan Pathfinder features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Marginal

More about the 1998 Nissan Pathfinder
Used 1998 Nissan Pathfinder Overview

The Used 1998 Nissan Pathfinder is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include LE 4dr SUV 4WD, SE 4dr SUV 4WD, XE 4dr SUV 4WD, LE 4dr SUV, and XE 4dr SUV.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Nissan Pathfinder?

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Which used 1998 Nissan Pathfinders are available in my area?

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