Used 1998 Nissan Pathfinder Review

Edmunds expert review




What's new for 1998

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.

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.






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.