Last post on Jun 30, 2013 at 8:32 AM
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Nissan Pathfinder, SUV
#7745 of 8191 05 Pathfinder impressions
Jan 28, 2005 (9:21 am)
I purchased an 05 LE in December and now have 3,500 miles on it. I don't know how else to do this, so I'll list my pos and neg impressions on the experience thus far. Overall, positive. Hope it's helpful.
Engine: Powerful and fun, but thirsty and not as smooth as the engine on the 2003 Pilot we have. The engine idles a bit roughly and the exhaust/engine note is loud for such an upscale feeling (with the LE package) vehicle. Avg. MPG is about 14-15 mpg, the way I drive (car comes with digital odometer than can spit-out mpg figures). Did get 18-20 on a long highway stretch, as advertised, though.
Brakes: smooth and powerful, although they squeak annoyingly when I back down my driveway. Nissan dealer checked it out and, surprisingly, "could not replicate the problem".
Controls: very good, all around.
Dashboard: very good, all the right info, very readable. Like the amber-hughed backlighting.
Controls: generally very good, but the climate control functionality takes some getting used to. Also, temp control starts at 60 degrees and ends at 90 degrees. Goes in 1 degree increments except from 60, where it skips to 65. Guess what? Inevitably, you are too cold at 60 and too warm at 65. Honest. Can't dial it in just right.
Seats: same thing. Heated leather is nice, but I just can't seem to adjust the seats to my liking, comfort-wise. I'm 5'10" and 190lbs, but can't find the right combo of settings. Pilot seats were much better for me, fit-wise.
3rd Row Seat: smallish, but a God-send with two small children. An adult would shrivel up and die here, though. Very difficult to pull third-row seats, from stowed position, if you're standing at the back of the car. Nissan needs to add a pull-strap or something.
Carpets: cheap quality, surprisingly lame.
4WD System: flawless and auto is very good in snow. As good as my '92 Cherokee with Selectrack, which is a good system.
Internal noise levels: as noted, exhaust is loud. So are rear tires. Wind noise is fine.
Stereo: have the Bose 6-in-dash cd system. Works well, sounds good, easy to use controls on steering wheel, more than good enough for me.
Windshield washer: with -30 degree fluid, still freezes up when temps drop below 20 degrees F. Must have a very small dia line from the tank to the sprayers, but Nissan should investigate and fix.
Ride: taught and a bit truck-like, which is my preference. I did not want a hybrid SUV on a minivan chasis. Good feel for road, but truck shimmies surprisingly hard on washboard road surfaces. Also, I found the shocks felt like the bottomed out on bigger bumps with four passengers. I don't like that.
Interior panels: hard, cheap polystyrene plastic like I had on my abyssmal 1980 T-Bird. Again, surprising for a car of this quality. Within a few days, I noticed a crack in the hard plastic kickplate near the rear-hatch door jamb. It got worse with the cold weather and Nissan is replacing it.
Interior lighting: okay a pet peeve, but when I use the dealer-installed remote-start, the interior light dims out before I can get the key into the ignition switch, leaving me probing around in the dark with the key. At 6:20 am, I hate that.
Tranny: smooth as butter and awesomely seamless on shifts.
Fog/Running lights: can't turn them on unless the headlights are switched on. Don't know if this is typical, but I'd rather have the option of turning them on by themselves.
Overall impressions: Okay, the punchline. The truck is everything I want in an SUV. It's somewhat refined, but not girly, I mean, overly "soft" like the Pilot. The engine is the real deal and with the smooth 5-speed tranny and wonderful 4wd system, it's fun to drive. The handling, again, is fine, more trucklike than carlike. I have the champagne gold (they call it granite, but don't know what they were drinking) and the tan leather, a combo I always wanted. The car looks great and drives almost great. MPG is disappointing and the seats and heating a bit quirky. I drove all the competitors and no other SUV out there hit all my sweetspots as did the 05 Pathfinder. It's too soon (thankfully) to gauge it's reliability, but I'm optimistic. Anyway, I'm pleased with the car thus far and am happy with my purchase. Good luck and I hope this was helpful.
#7746 of 8191 Re: 05 Pathfinder impressions [barakoutie]
Jan 28, 2005 (9:49 am)
glad to hear the great review. maybe a couple things to clarify might help:
"Goes in 1 degree increments except from 60, where it skips to 65."
almost every auto temp control in the industry does this.
"Very difficult to pull third-row seats, from stowed position, if you're standing at the back of the car."
the idea is that, if you need to raise the seats, you are most likely raising them for people to enter from the 2nd row. once you get some time under your belt with this 3rd row, you will see that you rarely RAISE the seat from the back.
BTW...the pilot is exactly the same.
"could not replicate the problem"
i find that, when i back down a 'downhill', that both my cars brakes squeak. when i back up on a level or uphill surface, they are fine...maybe its a problem, maybe not, but i wouldnt worry too much about it.
#7747 of 8191 Re: 05 Pathfinder impressions [dbauer]
Jan 28, 2005 (12:21 pm)
Thanks, dbauer. I didn't realize it's typical for climate controls to go from 60-65 (never noticed before), but it's not the numerical jump that's annoying, it's the fact that it's hard to dial in a temp that works for me.
As for the 3rd row seats, I've almost always opened them from the back of the car. That may be because until recently we had car seats for the kids in the 2nd row and, thus, didn't ever enter the 3rd row from the 2nd. We always pull up the seats from the back and a small pull strap would do wonders from this position, for what it's worth. I'll have to compare the two cars when I get home, but from memory, the Pilot seats are easier to pull up from the back, again, for what it's worth. Same for the brakes; I don't notice the squeal with the Pilot. I'm just noting the noise because it's annoying in a new car (my '92 Jeep didn't do it either). But, like you, I'm not worried about it function-wise. Thanks again for the reply.
#7748 of 8191 Re: 05 Pathfinder impressions [barakoutie]
Jan 28, 2005 (1:42 pm)
the pilot 3rd row being easier to operate may have to do with your height. im rather short, and cant pull the pilot seats up from the back at all.
Jan 29, 2005 (8:42 am)
The fog lights not coming on unless the headlamps are on is by law, not Nissan quirkiness. In fact, you can be ticketed for having fog lamps on without the headlamps, but only in North America. It the rest of the world, fog lamps are just that. They are used when it's foggy and headlamps would blind you due to reflection in the fog. So blame our governments, not Nissan.
In fact, a proper fog lamp setup has the two front lamps and a third rear lamp. The rear is very bright and red (to ensure you don't run into a car you can't see due to the fog). In that case, it's illegal to have the fogs on unless it's foggy as the rear lamp is, well, very bright.
As for the interior lights dimming too soon, my 2001 LE is ok that way, but I am unimpressed by the key lighting. When I lean over to see the key slot I shadow the interior light on the key switch. They need to install a key switch light like most cars have!
#7750 of 8191 Considering Buying a 95 Pathfinder
Jan 29, 2005 (1:57 pm)
I'm considering purchasing a 95 Nissan Pathfinder XE-V6. Vehicle is in great condition, clean engine and interior, original paint in excellent condition and power everything. Has 118,000 miles and may need exhaust soon (I saw sign of rotting) and will need tires within the year. Dealer is asking $4,000. I really like it and am considering taking it for a test drive. Was 95 a good year for the Pathfinder? Is this a good deal?
Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.
#7751 of 8191 Re: Considering Buying a 95 Pathfinder [scotty1]
Jan 30, 2005 (5:02 pm)
Based on my considerable experience with Nissan/Datsun, my present PF ('04) and reading a lot of stuff here and elsewhere, for $4K, you can't go wrong.
A set of tires & an exhuast is what -- $800? Three (well, two most of the time) car payments in today's world.
Buy it -- and hold it. You have to maintain it too, but for what a car payment (or worse yet, a lease payment) costs, you're way ahead.
Jan 31, 2005 (1:33 pm)
Time to buy tinfoil stock?
#7754 of 8191 Re: CD Changer and Err2 [viking03]
Feb 02, 2005 (1:17 pm)
I have the same problem with the CD player in my 2003 Pathfinder. It is the Clarion (Bose) 6 disc in-dash player. I had it replaced and the replacement is already skipping. My Nissan dealer told me that this is a chronic problem with these CD players. However, I spoke to Nissan and they do not yet admit the problem (nor have they issued a recall). My concern is that they keep replacing with the same model CD player that is apparently too sensitive to be in a car (or SUV) and that eventually I'm stuck with the bill as we are beyond the warranty period.
If we file these complaints with Nissan (1-800-NISSAN1), then eventually they will have to admit that there is a problem. I heard from a stereo dealer that Bose is investigating the problem, however that may not help those who already are stuck with the current malfunctioning model...