Nissan Pathfinder

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 23:10
ThreadID: 29708 Views:12205 Replies:4 FollowUps:10
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I am currently looking at buying a 4wd in the next 6 months or so. I am looking at the Prado or the Pathfinder. At this stage the Pathfinder is in front. Does anyone have any feedback good or bad about the current Pathfinder. I have no experience in this area and would greatly appreciate any advice i can get. Has anyone had any problems with it? My intended use is around town (4 kids and don't want a people mover), beach runs and genaral 4wding that is not to extreme.
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Reply By: Member - Kingsley N (SA) - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 00:47

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 00:47
We had a previous model 2003 Pathfinder TI. It was a very luxurious and capable 4WD but lacked range. The new model still has the range problem. Admittedly it is only relevant when on long outback treks, but the Prado has a 180litre tank.

I presume that you intend to use at least one of the third row of seats on a regular basis. Have you checked out the access for this ? It looks to me like your little tackers have to trample over the second row or use the tailgate with a big step up.

AnswerID: 148650

Follow Up By: chook47 - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 16:22

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 16:22
The center outside seats are relativly easy to fold up and allow easy access to the rear. The only concern i have is the thickness of the seats to allow the flat floor when they are folded down.
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Reply By: herkman - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 12:31

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 12:31
As a Prado owner, there are aspects you should know.

1. The diesel is not very fuel efficent.

2. Requires 5000 km service intervals.

3. Parts can be expensive.

4. 3rd row of seats are a pain if you leave them in.

5. Power is lacking if you are towing in hills.

6. Resale value will drop when the new model comes out.

However it is well proven with no apparent bad vices.

However the Pathfinder seat set up is good, especially if carrying only four people in rear. You can leave one seat stowed for easy access.

Engine is good, but like all CRD engines is noisy on induction, but then that is not too often.

Service intervals are 10,000 km.


AnswerID: 148728

Follow Up By: chook47 - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 16:31

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 16:31
Do i get a hint you are not entirely happy with the Prado? At first i was keen on the Prado as the Pajero 3rd row seat is a bench seat and allows no flexability in the 3rd row. I will only consider the Pajero if i got an extremly good deal. I had blown off the nissan but decided to give it a look. I was surprised to find that the 3rd row seat has the most room out of the 3. Both in leg room and space behind the seats. The other advantage is $4000-$5000 cheaper than the other 2 with more "fruit". It allow me to add more for the same price.
As a novice in 4wd's my only concern is buying a car that won't go where i want it to. As mentioned i am keen on the beaten tracks and the beaches.
FollowupID: 401933

Reply By: johannagoanna - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 16:22

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 16:22
Hi chook47, unfortunately the Pathfinder Club of Australia's Forum is down at the moment! If it was up, it would be a wealth of information for you. All of the guys that have purchased the new one are very happy with it! The address is and then you go to the forum from there. It should be back up in the next few days. We have a 2001 Pathfinder now, and love it, if I could afford it I would buy one of the new ones in a flash! - Jo
AnswerID: 148760

Follow Up By: chook47 - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 16:33

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 16:33
Thanks for the web site and the news it is down at the moment. I found it on google last nite but got the not found error.
FollowupID: 401934

Reply By: Rodos - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 21:06

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 21:06
The Pathfinder forum is the place to go for into, as already mentioned. To declare my hand I spent about 6 weeks deciding between the Prado and the Pathy and went for the Nissan. Pick it up this week (after a 5 week wait!).

Suggest you work out your criteria and decide on that. Different things will be important to different people.

Depends which Prado you are comparing to. I was not comparing against the Grande as it is a not more expensive, rather the model below. For the Pathy it was the ST-L model as it has the better 4WD features and the TI does not have diesel, just nicer stuff.

They are basically the same size. However the Pardo has a higher ceiling height because the measurement for the Pathy has the roof racks included. So the Prado feels roomier when you sit in it, but this also makes it feel like a bigger car (wife did not like that as much).

The diesel engine in the Pathy is more powerful than the one in the Prado in both power and torque. Great fuel economy.

The rear seats in the Pathy fold away, but there is only two. In the Prado they fold up so they are in the way unless you pull them out. But the Prado will sit 3 in the last row (well 3 stick people).

The interior features of the Pathy are better. For example it has climate control and most important if you have children there is air into the middle seats (I could not believe the Prado did not have this!).

The build quality is better in the Prado, it feels nicer. The Pathy is a little plastic and the front seats are just passable.

Last big thing from me was the price, the Pathy is cheaper by enough to put up with some of the lesser interior quality issues.

Hope that helps. Do your research and do lots of test drives.
AnswerID: 148810

Follow Up By: chook47 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:42

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:42
How is the Pathy going? Did you consider the Terracan?
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Follow Up By: Rodos - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 08:19

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 08:19
The Pathy is great. Just got back from a few days at Nelson Bay. Great drive, family enjoyed it. Spent a day at Stockton beach. Had difficulties which were driver related I suspect. Once we got near the water all was fine. Very happy with everything so far.
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Follow Up By: chook47 - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 09:45

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 09:45
Thanks Rodos!
I have read a story in a 4wd mag claiming that there is not a lot of room and is quite cramped in the middle row. What did your kids think? How old are they? My younger twins are 5 and at the smaller end of 5 year olds so 3rd row room should not be a hassle. I only plan to sit 1 up the back. Did your kids sit in the middle seat of the middle row? Was it uncomfortable? When we had a look the kids said it was a little uncomfortable. It also mentions that the on road handling is is not particularly good unless the road is smooth. Does that sound right or is it a motoring journo not driving it like the everyday family would? How was fuel ecomomy? Do you have the TD?
Your input is greatly appreciated!!!
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Follow Up By: Rodos - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 14:53

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 14:53
Hi chook47. My eldest son is 12 and 5" tall (and growing fast) and he finds it comfortable. You can't move the middle seats forwards or back but that is standard. I think you can adjust the tilt. All the children like that there is no floor arch where the middle seat is like in our Commadore, much better for the middle person. The children love the rear seat, more so the younger ones. The foot well is good, our Commadore has a rear seat added and there is no well and the Prado does not have one either. We had 3 adults and 4 children in it to stockton beach and no one complained. Its great that the children get in and out of the rear seat via the middle row (either side), much more convenient that through the rear door. The kids and pop the middle seat easily. We have been sitting two in the middle and one in the rear, reduces poking.

Road handling is hard to answer. I traded in an Audi A4 which handled great and I have never owned a 4wd before. As for reviews read a lot, I found lots that contradicted each other. Also depends on what type of driving you plan on doing.

Fuel economy was great. It got down to 10.3 l/100Km but Stockton beach sent it up again. I expect to be able to get it lower without difficulty.

I found the cruise control great. Never had it on a manual before and it worked better than expected. At 110kph in 6th gear it went up any hill (eg North on Mooney Mooney Bridge) without needing to change down or feel under too much load. All that tourque comes in handy.

Do lots of test drives, keep going back to the dealers, take the family along. There were lots of factors in our decision and in the end you have the look at the entire package and get the best for what you can afford.

Happy hunting.

FollowupID: 404667

Follow Up By: chook47 - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:20

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:20
Drove the manual and auto pathfinder 2day. Manual ST and Auto ST-L. Went for a test drive 2day because it is raining. Don't no when it will rain next in Townsville. Very impressed!!! I see what you mean about 6th gear. Accelerated from 80 to 110 in 5th up a small rise. No probs at all. It will take a little getting used to not quite having the smooth ride and quietness of my VX commodore. Please keep me informed on how you are going. Still a little while off in getting mine. These are not cheap vehicles! Did you leave too much air the tyres when you hit the beach?
Feel free to use my email.
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Follow Up By: chook47 - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:21

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:21
My email is
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Follow Up By: Rodos - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 16:03

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 16:03
Well as for getting stuck on the beach I put 50% down to driver inexperience and 50% at tuff conditions. We took the longer track in off Lavis Lane.

Through the bush before you hit the dunes was a long sand track that was very soft and very deep. I let the tires down to 20, think it was the wrong grear and lack of momentum.

One guy got bogged behind me (he had to stop, I was in the middle of the track) amd said he had driven it 10 times and never seen it this bad or got stuck before (or on Fraser). That made me feel a little better.

Once we go out into the dunes it was fine. Even for a dune we could not make it up there was gravity to come back down and choose another way. I do my driver training course in Feb, hope there is some sand! You would have to be kidding yourself if you thought you could pick up all of these skills straight up. I remember my first bush ride on my dirt bike, lots of mud because of the rain, I lost count of the number of times I fell off and I think my mates spend more time waiting for me than riding. A few years later there was little that could stop me.

The best place for ongoing Pathy information is the PCoA but the forum is still down! I hope once the holidays are over it gets fixed!

Glad you enjoyed the test drive. Its a different ride to my old car but I also know its a different type of car built for a different purpose. I find it better to drive though and put up with the bit of extra noise and other things. The kids like the extra space.
FollowupID: 404909

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