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.
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!)
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 Handling at highway speed not the best, but that's a given since its based on an outdated truck platform.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.
This is a good truck if it's taken care of. Previous owner lied about what he said he did to it, like regularly changing the oil. Took it to get fluids flushed a week after I got it and my mechanic said that was some dirty oil. I bought it with 175k miles on it for $2000 and I've put $3000 into it. New tires, brakes all around, new front axle, bearings repacked all the way around, rear shocks, alternator, battery and a few other maintenance repairs. Still needs front struts and catalytic converter. Has an oil leak. No rust. Other than that, I really love the truck. Took it 4-wheeling today in the snow. Fun. Giving the truck to my nephew when he turns 16. Hope he gets a lot of use out of it.
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.