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!)
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.
Recently bought this 1998 Pathfinderw ith only 59,000 miles. I drove it only 3,500 miles over a nine month period and the transmission died. I would have had better luck with a Chevy or Ford! The driver seat is small and uncomfortable. The gas milage is terrible, but I knew that buying it. The back seats' fold down setup is poor. The rear window leaks and the front windows don't close tight enough to stop the howl at higher speeds. I used the ratings and comments on this site to make the choice to buy this SUV. I really don't like this truck and now I feel like I made a bad choice.