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Toyota 4Runner vs. Nissan Pathfinder



  • ambarbambarb Posts: 1
    I have had 3 4Runners (97, 99, 04) and a Landcruiser (97) before my new 07 Pathfinder LE. I have to agree with jpp5862 in that while I think the 4Runner might have slightly better quality, I simply like the Pathfinder better.

    The 4Runner has smoother engine/transmission and I think a better suspension, particularly with X-REAS. However, it is still somehow not very satisfying to drive. It can be nervous on the highway and very susceptible to high winds. The Pathfinder's steering feels less precise, but you can drive with one finger even in windy conditions. The 4Runner feels faster, but the Pathfinder is actually faster.

    One other thing to note: these cars are within inches of external dimensions, but the interior of the 4Runner feels like a cockpit while the interior of the Pathfinder is more like a Lazy-Boy chair. The 4Runner feels and drives smaller than it is, while the Pathfinder feels bigger than it really is. Go figure.

    In the end, choose your favorite. I'm happy with the Pathfinder.
  • rentschlrentschl Posts: 69
    So now that Nissan is adding their 5.6L, 310 HP V8 as an option for the Pathfinder I wonder if Toyota will try and crap their 5.7L, 381 HP engine into the 4Runner.

    Does anyone have any information on this?

    I'm still wondering why Toyota's 4.7L engine isn't more powerful. Doing the math, if they can get 381 HP out of their 5.7L, they should be able to get about 314 HP out of their 4.7L.

    Any comments?
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    1) Torque is more important that horsepower for an SUV.

    2) My 2003 4Runner V8 has "only" 235 hp and still does 0-60 in about 7.5 seconds. How much faster do you have to go in an SUV?
  • rentschlrentschl Posts: 69
    For me there's no such thing as too much power.

    The problem I run into is with vehicles in front of me in narrow canyons that have very limited passing sections. Many drivers will go very slowly for the entire time you can't pass, only to speed up on the very limited passing sections.

    More power/torque means more safety margin in a wider range of passing scenarios.

    I've got the '03 V8 as well but I'm looking for sub 7 second 0-60.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I'd much rather have a significant improvement in fuel economy (e.g., a 3-4 liter turbo diesel) than a heavier, thirstier engine. YMMV.
  • sphisssphiss Posts: 7
    I am currently a Pathfinder owner, but I also rented a Murano during a week-long vacation in New England and was very impressed with it. My recommendation would be that if you don't need the towing capacity, 7-passenger seating or off-road capability of the Pathfinder, then the Murano will give you a better ride due to the car chassis it sits on.

    My wife and I are both tall and were a bit cramped when we test-drove a 4Runner. The upright seating position in the Pathfinder was much more satisfying to us.

    Presumably you've already made your purchasing decision since a few months have gone by, but hopefully this posting will be of use to future buyers.
  • sphisssphiss Posts: 7
    You've probably already made your purchase decision, but let me get the word out to others: AVOID THE ARMADA!!! We are just turning ours in after a 39-mos. lease (2004 model) and the lease end could not come soon enough.

    Four major problems. The first is pretty obvious - poor fuel mileage and $75 to fill up. Ouch!

    The second is build quality/body integrity. Squeaks and rattles galore, especially from the dash.

    Third: really poor ergonomics. The door handle hits me in the leg and leaves a crease. The front passenger seat leans slightly forward and forces you to plant your feet into the floorboard to stay seated. Lots of hard plastic in the cabin. Steering wheel controls not lit at night.

    Fourth: powertrain hunts for gears while towing. Holds gears too long and refuses to upshift when prompted to do so.

    Perhaps some of these problems have been corrected since the 2004 model, but Consumer Reports doesn't seem to think so.
  • I just bought a 2007 Pathfinder 4x2 LE last week with 50 miles on it, and took a trip and discovered something that is really making me dissatisfied with the Pathfinder. When you are driving at about 70 mph and hit a small bump on the highway the steering wheel shimmys or vibrates to the right and left. Stiff ride and could feel the bumps also. Gas mileage was also not what is advertised at this speed. Has anyone noticed or had their steering wheel vibrate from left or right like this on a new pathfinder when you hit a bump at this speed?
  • aggie10aggie10 Posts: 17
    Please help! I currently drive a Suburban, but I'm interested in changing to a 4Runner or a Pathfinder. My wife and I have 3 sons. We don't travel a lot, but we need some extra space for when we do travel (or get groceries), etc... The MPG is important, but not a deal killer. I just don't like the Suburban being so big (but the Tahoe only has a small amount of room in the back). Please give me your opinion. It seems like this might be the best time to buy a 2007, so I don't want to wait too long. Thanks.
  • I would look at something else if you are getting a LE price range vehicle. I like the room of the Pathfinder, but the ride is not good. I still have not found out anything on my shimmy in my steering wheel when I hit a bump. The gas is not what it should be for that size engine either. If you get one, be sure to have them knock of $5000 right off the sticker on a 2007. Not including the rebate. If they won't don't buy it.
  • Have you also looked at the Saturn Outlook / GMC Acadia CUV twins? I am also trying to decide which SUV/CUV to replace my '97 Olds Bravada and the Outlook, Pathfinder, and 4Runner are on my final list. These two GM CUVs have had great reviews since they came out in early in the year. My only concern about them is that they may have too much room in back for my needs. :confuse:
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Posts: 382
    My 2003 V6 4X4 4Runner averages 15.5mpg overall. Five people would be cramped. In the long run, it would probably be less expensive to keep what you have and pay the gas bill then to have to make new vehicle payments. Unless you need 4WD or tow, a minivan might be a consideration.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I've got a 2003 4Runner. 5 people and luggage would be a tight squeeze in a 4Runner. And the mileage isn't great either (I average 16-17 mpg combined, maybe 19 on the highway if I'm going slowly). If you think the Tahoe doesn't have enough room in back, then you'll be really disappointed with the MUCH smaller 4Runner.

    If you don't need offroad capability, I'd look at a cross-over or minivan. You'll get more room inside and less of the drawbacks of a body-on-frame SUV. Look at GM's Acadia/Outlook/Enclave.
  • aggie10aggie10 Posts: 17
    Thanks for all the feedback, everyone. It's all very helpful.
  • I looked at the Acadia and like it, but I heard they won't deal on it. I like the looks, but can't give you anything else on the vehicle. Does have a lot of room though.
  • I have a 2008 4x2 LE Pathfinder and have the SAME problem with the steering. The wheel tries to shake itself out of my hands when hitting a bump at highway speeds. Very unnerving. Any resolution out there?
  • My daughter had leased the 2004 Pathfinder because
    she liked the first one she had when she was in college. ( 1997 Model Year )
    Her 2004 lease is up and at this moment looking at another SUV. Her experience with the Pathfinder and re-acurring engine noise problems, Cd changer problem, the high service costs ....and the way she was treated by the Valley Stream, Long Island NY dealership service left her negative about Nissan.

    She had a standard 30,000 mile service checkup that cost $600.00. three weeks later when she had and she had to renew her inspection sticker, They found
    two badly worn belts ( $150.00 )that had to be replaced...Three weeks after the
    the service done at Nissan !!!!

    I have had six Toyota 4-Runners since 1989. Had few if any problems over the years
    and will buy another one when my 2006 expires. This has been a reliable SUV
    and I would highly recommend it.
  • I am looking at buying an older model 4runner or Pathfinder (around 1990ish) little earlier or later doesnt really matter to me. I have been recomended the 4runner by a few people due to it being to common and supposedly reliable. but i dont know alot either way. Does anyone have any suggestions for which one is a better car around the 1990 mark?

  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    So this is more for folks shopping used since Toyota recently released their revised 2010 4Runner. I gave the 2010 a look and while some things are improved, it's bigger, slower, and overall couldn't convince me to cough up the extra dough to go new. I like to buy very lightly used and keep the coin in my pocket.

    I haven't seen many folks talking about the '08+ Pathfinder here which received an updated dash/exterior so I thought I would chime in.

    I have owned a lot of Toyota's over the years. Wife has a GX470 currently and I was coming out of a Tundra. Never owned a Nissan before.

    The 4R is very aged in the dash/controls/layout department. Someone said it looks like a cockpit and that's about right. Fairly straight-up dash with small buttons, old-school HVAC display, and not much beyond the basics. PF has a nice big LCD screen which gives you mpg, maintenance reminders, actual psi in tires, XM song name/artist, etc. You can control a lot of features through the menus, like auto headlamp timing. Nice touches on the SE include auto-dimming review mirror, power pedals, backup camera, and full power seat.

    PF interior is not as high of a quality materials as 4R. The PF has a great design though with very good style and good controls. The only neg to the PF ergonomics is the knob to roll through XM/FM channels is a bit of a stretch (and I have long arms). You can roll through the presets with the steering wheel button, but not all channels. The other neg to the 4R to me is that it just felt smaller inside and more enclosed. Seems like the windshield was too close or something.

    The cargo area on the PF with 3rd row seats folded is nice utility grade plastics, but stuff slides around really easy. The 3rd row seats on the 4R aren't useful at all in my book because they don't fold flat which is where I want them 80% of the time. With 3rd row out, 4R has better cargo area and is carpeted which I prefer.

    I was only shopping V6 models. I won't tow more than 5k with this and it's mainly my daily-driver. While I need good performance (I do a lot of short two-lane passing) the V6's are both adequate. PF V6 is stronger than 4R in most every category, although the 4R transmission is a better shifter. It holds gears longer and downshifts just when it should. PF has a good manual mode though which makes up for some of that. It's clearly geared more toward fuel economy as it likes to stay in the upper gears more but it's not hard to convince to downshift either. PF makes more noise at WOT than the 4R but it's not a bad noise at all. In fact the PF V6 has a nice growl when you get on it but otherwise is very quiet. Highway cruising, both are reasonably quiet.

    Handling is also a big deal for me because my commute is 60 miles of twisty mountain 2-laners. The 4R Sport had excellent handling and ride control, which was largely due to the XREAS suspension. Very impressive however I've seen a lot of failures of those shocks which are expensive and don't have aftermarket options. I probably would have bought that feature though simply because it was probably worth any potential problems. Comparing base suspension, the PF handles better than 4R but it's not quite as sophisticated. It has a little more hop when you hit bumps and not quite as controlled of a ride. Steering in the PF is very good, maybe a little tighter than the 4R but again the slight hop when hitting bumps comes through the steering more. Both are very good, particularly considering they're riding a truck platform. Yes I probably would have appreciated something like a Murano or Highlander more in the handling/ride department, but neither meet my needs for 4x4 or towing.

    Deal breaker: Seat comfort

    I have read a lot of complaints about the seats in the 4R. Once sitting in them, I couldn't believe how bad it was. Seat is not upright enough and headroom is tight. Also, the seat cushions are very short and provide no thigh support. My wife has a GX470 (same platform as 4R) so I really couldn't imagine there was that much of a difference, but apparently the GX and 4R are completely different in the seats and head room. I drove every model 4R out there and the seats were the same regardless of cloth/leather/power. I'm tall so I'm sure that makes it worse, but it basically ruled out the 4R for me regardless of anything else. PF seats had more power options, good lumbar, bigger seat, and more upright. Between all that and the power pedals there is no problem finding a very comfy spot.

    Had the seats been more comfortable it would have made a more difficult decision but I think I still would have gone for the PF. The extra features, better performance, and nicer interior really was hard to pass up.

    Found a very low mileage private party 2008 PF SE with even more features than I wanted for about $8k off a new one. Got 22mpg on the trip home so can't complain.
  • agnostoagnosto Posts: 205
    Did you sit in a 2010 4Runner? I own the 2010 4Runner Limited and the seats are very comfortable and I am 6'4". Also, about Nissans, talking about personal experience, I would not even get one even if it would be offered to me 100% free...
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