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Toyota 4Runner vs. Nissan Pathfinder



  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    See sentence number two in my post. I looked over a 2010 SR5 4x4, drove it, and while they have improved several areas (seat comfort for one) I didn't feel it was worth the cost of going new. The dash (as in many new Toys) did not impress me at all. We pay cash for our vehicles (unless there's really a good finance offer) so it's hard to really justify the price swing between new/used. The wife likes them brand spanking new but she keeps them a lot longer than I do.

    I really haven't had any wonderful experiences with Toyota since about 1994 so I don't buy into the reliability thing. Our GX470 has had quite a few more repairs than expected (including a transaxle at 70k miles) and the steering rack was on it's way out on my Tundra at 50k miles. I'll go with what I like best and let the reliability chips fall where they may. I have some other reasons I leaned towards the Nissan over Toyota this time but they don't directly play into this comparison. If I was sold on buying new, it would have been a more difficult decision.
  • Very good compression.

    I am in a market to buy a new 2010 TE 4Runner and I am still in agreement with you. Wrt reliability, I have a 1993 4Runner since brand new and I am hoping somewhat of similar results.

    All my family and friends own Toyota and I must say I agree that Toyota’s quality has been dimensioning from experience as well as reviews. My wife’s 2007 V6 Camry Sport is an example. However, similar to agnosto I have had poor experience with Nissan. I do not like change or regularly repair vehicles as I see them as functional products. Not get me wrong, looks are important but secondary to me personally. As I said I have been running my 4runner for 17 years using it for every day use as well as hunting and fishing though out year.

    In my humble view, here is how two compare:

    Nissan PF,
    Modern stylish looks – internal & external
    Much better options
    Better on the Road performance
    Very poor gas mileage
    Poor longevity
    Average reliability

    Toyota 4Runner
    Best off road performance
    Best longevity
    Best fuel economy in its class
    Ugly styling – in and out
    Poor options
    Below average on road handeling on base model
    Average engine performance – power and acceleration
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    I pretty much agree with your pros/cons although I'm doing quite good on fuel with the PF. It's rated 14/20 and i'm averaging 19 on my commute. My Tundra was rated 14/17 and I averaged 14 on the same drive.
  • jluskjlusk Posts: 2
    I am on the ledge about to jump into an '09 Pathfinder. I am trying to find out everything I can about them thru current and former owners. You have given me some good info agnosto. But there are quite a few Toyota fans saying otherwise. We are a Nissan family. We've owned 2003 and 2005 XTerras and loved them both. My wife drives a 2007 Sentra and it's been great. So I've only looked at the Pathfinder and Xterra. I worked out the deal for the Pathfinder and am about to close it on Monday but I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing. What kind of mileage will I get. What should I expect with maintanence costs and schedule? I've read that the PF weighs in at about 5000lbs. Is it sluggish, cumbersome or succeptable to any related issues? Any input from anybody with firsthand knowledge is GREATLY appreciated.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    I'm assuming you've driven the PF before I would think you'd be familiar with performance etc. If you haven't then you really should before buying. That being said, there's nothing cumbersome or sluggish about it. Performance is quite good even with the weight. My only advice on buying used is to watch our for rental units. This goes for both PF and 4R because the vast majority of late-model used right now are rental returns. A quick glance at the car fax will show this and they're usually "S" or very basic SR5 models for the 4R. I won't buy a rental return because they're usually higher mileage, mediocre condition, and questionably maintained. I bought my PF SE from a private party with documented service history.
  • I recommend that you read the Lemon Aid Car guide and it talks about the common problems that you should look for. You will find it in any book store.

    Wrt to gas mileage, my friend owns one which we use for soft outdoor activities. Gas consumption is very poor.

    As for rental, be VERY CAREFUL. These vehicles are part time 4WD and should not be driven in dry road condition. Failure to do so will cause serious and costly damage to drivetrain. The damage often shows itself in later years of ownership. People renting 4x4 vehicle often know very little about them and experiment on these trucks.

    Wrt car fax, this report ONLY shows what has been reported. Accidents are often unreported and resolved between two parties to avoid increase in insurance premiums. These accidents will not appear since they have not been reported.

    Good Luck,
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    At first glance, it does seem like the PF is consuming a lot of fuel. However, the tank is a relatively small 21 gallons and the gauge seems to be very conservative. I've yet to buy more than 16 gallons even with it on empty. Doing the math though it has been getting 18-20 mpg through 2,000 miles. Far better than my previous commuter so I can't complain. How you drive (and where) will have the biggest effect on fuel consumption.
  • jluskjlusk Posts: 2
    I agree it is a nice ride despite its weight. Thank you for bringing up the rental scenario. That is one question I did not ask and is a very scary prospect to me.
  • what about leased suvs? are those something to stay away from
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    edited December 2010
    Obviusly there are different levels of desirability. Best bet is a cherry private party purchase with excellent maintenance history and a prior owner you can chat with. Next would be a privately owned trade-in...sometimes you can chat with the previous owner here and they'll generally tell you the truth. Then a leased trade-in, then a rental return. I wouldn't rule out a leased vehicle but generally the previous occupant will have only done the minimum required maintenance (hopefully). I'm not a maintenance freak or anything but the few vehicles I've leased with no intention of buying certainly weren't treated as pleasantly as something I plan to own for awhile.
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