Last post on Dec 06, 2010 at 11:30 AM
You are in the Toyota 4Runner
What is this discussion about?
Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner, SUV
#40 of 51 '07-09 4Runner vs '08-'09 Pathfinder
Jan 23, 2010 (7:06 am)
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.
#41 of 51 Re: '07-09 4Runner vs '08-'09 Pathfinder [sebring95]
Jan 23, 2010 (1:40 pm)
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...
#42 of 51 Re: '07-09 4Runner vs '08-'09 Pathfinder [agnosto]
Jan 24, 2010 (8:32 am)
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.
#43 of 51 Re: '07-09 4Runner vs '08-'09 Pathfinder [sebring95]
Jan 24, 2010 (9:10 am)
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:
Modern stylish looks – internal & external
Much better options
Better on the Road performance
Very poor gas mileage
Best off road performance
Best fuel economy in its class
Ugly styling – in and out
Below average on road handeling on base model
Average engine performance – power and acceleration
#44 of 51 Re: '07-09 4Runner vs '08-'09 Pathfinder [rsarrami]
Jan 24, 2010 (1:05 pm)
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.
#45 of 51 Re: '07-09 4Runner vs '08-'09 Pathfinder [sebring95]
Jan 24, 2010 (6:16 pm)
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.
#46 of 51 Re: '07-09 4Runner vs '08-'09 Pathfinder [jlusk]
Jan 24, 2010 (6:37 pm)
I'm assuming you've driven the PF before buying...so 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.
#47 of 51 Re: '07-09 4Runner vs '08-'09 Pathfinder [sebring95]
Jan 26, 2010 (6:00 pm)
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.
#48 of 51 Re: '07-09 4Runner vs '08-'09 Pathfinder [rsarrami]
Jan 26, 2010 (7:25 pm)
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.
#49 of 51 Re: '07-09 4Runner vs '08-'09 Pathfinder [sebring95]
Jan 26, 2010 (7:26 pm)
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.