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Toyota 4Runner vs. Nissan Pathfinder

It's time to lease a new SUV, after an exhaustive search, it's down to the Pathfinder and the 4-Runner.

Pathfinder LE with Nav
4-Runner Limited V8 with no Nav

Lease numbers are within $25/month of each other.

I really could care less about long term durability, it's gone after 36-48 months

Any input on the way to go?


  • How funny. Just got out of a 2004 4Runner V-8 Sport Edition. I purchased a 2007 Pathfinder SE with Comfort, Premium and DVD packages.

    Here's why I chose the Pathy over getting another 4Runner: Ride, Noise, and Horsepower is all comparable. Pathy V6 vs. Toyo V8- While towing numbers are a plus for the Toyota, 7300 lbs, while the Pathy is 6000, I think MPG is the better compromise. How often do you tow? I got a 22 ft ski boat and I take it out 6 times a year. 6000 is respectable while still 1000 more than a Toyo V6. Getting 4 MPG more(Pathy V6 vs. Toyo V8) is a good trade off. Seating: You get 7 seats standard, optional in the Toyo. And saying "you can only fit children in the 3rd row" applies to both vehicles and most SUVs in the midsize class. Driver Position: In the Toyo you sit in a very low-to-the-floor seat. The Pathy is more of a chair, where your legs are closer to vertical rather than horizontally streached out. Controls: I never really liked the Toyo's set up for HVAC control. I don't have Navi on my Pathy, so I'm not sure if the controls are melded into that system or not. Cargo Space: The Pathy is better in this respect.

    The Toyo does have better 2nd row sholder room. But I'm never back there, so what do I care, right? Lol. I'm not sure if you're getting any premium sound with the 4Runner, but the BOSE in my Pathy is KILLER. I sat in the back with my daughter the other day in a mall parking lot watching a DVD while the Mrs. was shopping, and I couldn't believe how good the sound was. It gives my home setup a run for the money.

    All things considered, I feel I made a great choice and love the styling. The engine is super torquey and gets great mileage while being able to tow a decent load.
  • Follow up on the 4-Runner VS. Pathfinder.

    Went to the local Toyota dealership on Saturday. I had already called several stores and they ALL were very difficult to deal with. Upon our arrival, the salesperson I was e-mailing was tied up, so they sent over another rep.
    He was the ultimate in "cheesy" salesman. After 2 hours of pulling teeth, we sat down to run some numbers. Before they would quote me, they insisted in a credit app being filled out. I informed him of our credit score, and told him that we would not buy that day. We were only going to compare the price of the Toyota vs. the Nissan. He went to "check with the manager" if he could even quote us a price! After waiting around for 30 minutes, we got up, walked out, and drove to the Nissan dealership and bought the Pathfinder.

    Funny thing is, we liked the 4-runner a little more, and may have went with it, if it wasn't for the dealership experience.
  • They're slightly different animals.

    I have been looking at this extensively for weeks -

    The V8 toyota to v6 pathfinder is closer to apples to oranges than apples to apples.

    two major differences between the two is the wheelbase and inrerior layout with the all the seats down.

    The pathfinder has a 4+ inch longer wheelbase than the 4runner.

    To me, that has got to be a noticeable difference in ride, and also in less rollover potential

    In terms of cargo - with all seats folded down - the pathfinder length of cargo area is a full 7+ inches longer - I say plus+ because the tailgate is rounded and bulges another inch longer in the center to give you 8" - I actually measured this on both vehicles

    If you compare the 4.0 liter path, to 4.0 liter toy - the pathfinder comes far out better, IMHO.

    What I did, was go to a local Carmax for weeks, and kept driving and trying them, along with comparing specs - I also wanted to see what they felt like with around 30K on them.

    The Toyota is a tighter, more solidly built, more solid feel and quieter engine - plus has better resale.

    The Pathfinders (compared 4 liter to 4 liter) are more powerful, better braking, more towing, more hauling -

    the pathfinder is a slightly larger vehicle - the pathfinder is closer to being a small suburban than 4runner is -

    As an old fart that has put many, many road miles on his life - if you're on the road much, those 4 inches of wheelbase are going to mean more than most people realize.

    While I just made a deal for a used pathfinder with everything on it but the leather package - I didn't really compare amenities - I am interested in performance, towing, size, wheelbase -

    None of this may matter to you, but these were considerbably important differences to me.

    Last but not least, one other thing I noticed that is also a common user complaint - pathfinder is somewhat noisy under hard acceleration - On the other hand, hard accelaration was surprising - that thing will fly and get up there quickly - I wasn't expecting the very quick way one of the 4 liter pathfinders will move out -

    Whle the two are similar - the mechnical and technical differences are pretty noticeble to me

    Hope this helps
  • Thanks for the research!
    I also noticed the louder acceleration from the Nissan, but it wasn't a deal breaker. I really liked the seating height better, and the overall dealership experience is what sold it.
    As far as resale, and holding up after 5 years, I could care less if the doors fall off the day after the lease it up!
  • for clarity and to correct an error in my previous post -

    Pathfinder is 2+ inches longer wheel base than 4 runner - got that confused with another vehicle I was looking at

    actual specs are

    Wheelbase109.8 track Track
    (Front)62.0Track (Rear)62.0
    OA Width75.2

    Wheelbase112.2 Track (Front)61.8Track (Rear)61.8
    OA Width72.8

    Making the pathfinder 2.4 inches longer, with a slightly narrower width and track
  • 50k50k Posts: 10

    I am in the same boat. I have a 4Runner coming off lease and Toyota has the stereotypical sales force waiting to pounce on uneducated customers. (I suggest you read "I became a carsalesman for 6mo.")
    I am between Pathfinder and Landrover LR3. I have discounted Toyota as the price is not with the value. I think you get better value with Pathfinder, more options for the dollar and equal quality. I do not like the third row seat on 4Runner as Nissan has a workable third seat.
    I know Nissan's sales numbers are down and hope to get a great lease deal. Here the Nissan stores are easier to deal with.

    As for the LR3, the jury is out on the build quality.
    How is your Pathfinder for wind noise on the freeway?
    Is the motor noisy at xway speeds as on acceleration?

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
  • Just put 200 miles freeway on a used 2006 pathfinder that I picked up.

    Freeway noise not a problem, but my previous vehicle was bad, so may not be a good reference. Was a lot easier for me to talk to my wife

    The "annoying noise" that they are known for is mainly under hard acceleration, not that bad, it just takes a little getting used to. Actually, since I have been prone to speeding tickets in the past, I'm thinking it may not be a bad thing.

    I drove a bunch of cars at CARMAX, trying to determine what I wanted, with cars that had some miles on them.

    One possibly underated area is the Pathfinders brakes - they seem to have the "drive by wire" thing down pat. The pedal feel is perfect during hard panic stops (which I did in everything I drove) - you can easily and quickly take it right to the edge of losing traction and keep it there for a short quick stop.

    Harder to try to write about than it is to do _grin_

    I used to work for a dealer, cars are pretty "generic" tools to me. So, I was pleasantly surpised at the ergonomics, handling, ride, gauges, instrument panel. All in all, pretty well done.

    I bought a 4wheel drive - the ride is a little stiff - but hey, if it wasn't, it wouldn't do well in 4 wheel situations.

    In all honesty - a 4Runner feels tighter and better to me at first. However, the pathfinder feels and acts really good, and compares quite favorably with some miles.

    PS - if I was disappointed, I would say that too!
  • Hi All...

    Thanks for all your informative posts! I've always wanted a 4runner for over 10 years now, but am kind of disappointed in the current body style the last couple years. I am now in the market to buy a brand new SUV probably in June or July once I move back to San Diego from Hawaii. I am now open to a Pathfinder since it's comparable in price...but am also liking the Toy Sequoia and Nis Armada but are more expensive and worse on MPG. I'm afraid that if I buy that Toyota will come out with the new 4Runner...anyone know anything about a new 4Runner coming out anytime soon?
  • redline6redline6 Posts: 2
    yes there plastic,do they make medal ones?
  • jimmy2xjimmy2x Posts: 124
    According to what I saw in writing today at the local Toyota dealer, 4-Runner is not on the list for any major revision at least thru 2009.
  • skisoonskisoon Posts: 4
    I have had seven Pathfinders, in a row, and switched this year for a Toy. A couple of factors: (1) In my region of the country (SW), for the month of March, Toy had a money factor of less than 1% for a three year lease with a 50+% residual. Given the fact that some folks think one is better than the other (and for '07 I believe the Toy is better) DO THE MATH! Path was over 5%.... I've learned in leasing, don't fall in love with any brand. Try to be objective and DO THE MATH!! :)
  • skisoonskisoon Posts: 4
    Hope that's correct I just bought a '07....However, I was "told" different.
  • steevosteevo Posts: 389
    Pathfinder MF=.00084 or 2.02% .
    4Runner MF=00181 or 4.34%.
    March was almost the same.
  • skisoonskisoon Posts: 4
    Not in the SW region Feb and March. The MF for the 4 Runner was.00041, less than 1% (one additional decimal point!). Can't remember the Pathfinder, since I didn't lease it. It was at 5%. The 4 Runner MF went off the last day of March.
  • Decisions, Decisions. I'm currently driving a Toy Seq. I had a GMC Jimmy and at the time I traded I needed/wanted something bigger. Wanted a Tahoe, but after driving one, it didn't compare to the Seq. Now 4 years later, I don't need the extra room, I feel like I'm driving a TANK, not to mention the 17 MPG. I drove a 4Runner and was not at all impressed. I've driven the Pathfinder twice now and I really like it and it even has more bells and whistles than the Seq I have. I had my SO to go drive the Pathfinder. He says the Seq is a better quality vehicle. (But he doesn't drive it everyday). He test drove a Murano and really liked it. He's thinking of getting one to replace his Toy Thundra (265,000) miles. He wants me to test drive the Murano. I was surprised it has as much room as it does. Been reading the reviews and everyone who has one seems to love it and it gets decent gas milage.

    Anybody got any advice/words of wisdom? :confuse: What kind of gas milage are you all getting with the Pathfinder?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Nissan Pathfinder Real World MPG has the information you're looking for. While you're there, don't forget to report your mileage as well. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • skisoonskisoon Posts: 4
    I just got back from a 400 mile boat moving challenge. The challenge was mine! I have not pulled a trailer or a boat in 25 years and then only a few times. After having read some of the reviews (here) on the 4 Runner, I was about to back out of taking my new 2007, 4 Runner Sport, V8. I pulled a 4800lb, + gas, etc, 23' Sea Ray, from Arkansas to Oklahoma. It was the most effortless, easy riding, no problem trip you can imagine. If I hadn't known I was pulling a 5000lb.+ load, I wouldn't have known there was a trailer behind me.
    As it was, I drove between 60-70 MPH and had to be careful not to go faster! Not a bit of sway!!
    Whoever said the shorter wheelbase made a difference, must have been driving a replication of a 4 was GREAT experience!!
  • spaceman210spaceman210 Posts: 50
    Does the Path. have a better or worse ride than the 4Runner, or about the same?
  • jpp75jpp75 DenverPosts: 1,426
    I had a 2002 Pathfinder and now have a 2006 4Runner SR5 V6. I think the Pathfinder had a better ride, it was more car like. I definitely notice more bumps in the 4Runner, it just has a rougher ride.

    To add to the other comments in the topic, I liked the Pathfinder better. The 4Runner is a fine vehicle and I haven't had any problems out of it, but I liked the way the Pathfinder drove and rode better. I do think the 4Runner is probably a little better quality, I had a few problems out of the Pathfinder, but I still liked it better and wish I still had it. My lease is up in about 20 months, I'll probably go back to a Pathfinder at that time.
  • 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: 410
    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: 3,241
    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...
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    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: 3,241
    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: 3,241
    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: 3,241
    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: 3,241
    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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