1998 Nissan Pathfinder Review

Used Pathfinder for sale
List Price Estimate:$803 - $1,618
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Fresh shape, wonderful interior, good reliability.
  • Steep price, engine could be stronger.

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.

1998 Highlights

The only changes to the 1998 Pathfinder include chrome bumpers for the XE model, the addition of air conditioning to XE and SE standard equipment lists and additions to the XE Sport Package equipment.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 Nissan Pathfinder.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.88 out of 5 stars
One to Keep
LE 4dr SUV 4WD
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.
4 out of 5 stars
Good SUV
SE 4dr SUV 4WD
I bought this used at 68K and currently have 135K on it. It runs well and I've had no major issues. Everything I have fixed I would consider it maintenance with most being done after 100K. Starter, alternator, water pump, timing belt, brakes, shocks, struts, tires, exhaust. Has a "tick" in the engine at colder temp's but goes away. The brakes are "grabby" but it could be the calipers going.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Pretty Ignorant But Got Lucky
LE 4dr SUV
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!)
3.88 out of 5 stars
Satisfied for what it is
John Doe,03/13/2009
SE 4dr SUV 4WD
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.


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

More about the 1998 Nissan Pathfinder

Used 1998 Nissan Pathfinder Overview

The Used 1998 Nissan Pathfinder is offered in the following submodels: Pathfinder SUV. Available styles include LE 4dr SUV 4WD, SE 4dr SUV 4WD, LE 4dr SUV, XE 4dr SUV, and XE 4dr SUV 4WD. Pre-owned Nissan Pathfinder models are available with a 3.3 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 168 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1998 Nissan Pathfinder comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual.

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

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1998 Nissan Pathfinders are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1998 Nissan Pathfinder for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1998 Nissan Pathfinder.

Can't find a used 1998 Nissan Pathfinders you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Nissan Pathfinder for sale - 2 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $13,488.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 11 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $12,240.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Pathfinder for sale - 6 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $17,258.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $19,053.

Should I lease or buy a 1998 Nissan Pathfinder?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Nissan Pathfinder lease specials