The Nissan Pathfinder went on sale in March 2005 and is still being made to this day. It is a good-looking and practical car aimed at the family market. Originally it was only available with one engine, a 2.5 litre diesel engine and with a choice of four trims, the entry-level S, SE, SVE and top of the range T. The S trim has five seats and all the others have seven.
Later in 2005, Nissan added a V6 4.0 litre petrol engine to the range.
In 2006, the entire range was revised and prices cut considerably, up to £3000 for some models. Nissan also included over £2000 of Technology Pack with a new Sport trim. The trim levels were now known as Aventura, Sport and Trek.
In 2008, the base-level Trek trim was gifted an extra row of seats making all new Pathfinders seven-seaters.
Bang for your buck
The used Nissan Pathfinder for sale is suited equally well to off-road and on-road conditions. Its looks are imposing and unmistakeably of Nissan origin, with its V-shaped grille and central badge. As you move up the trims, extra styling features are added such as side steps and front fog lamps.
Inside, the décor is functional and tidy but there's little in the way of flair. With the Aventura trim, leather upholstery is supplied as standard but the lower models come with a cloth trim that has a net-like texture and may prove hard to clean once the kids get to work on it. Even the base trims come with traction control, ESP, electric windows, electric heated mirrors and dual-zone climate control.
What you'll pay
A 2005 2.5 litre diesel used Pathfinder for sale with the S trim (so with 5 seats) will set you back around £11,000 but most people will want to spend the extra £1000 or so that bags the seven-seat SE model. £12,000 should be enough for a low mileage 2006 V6 4.0 litre in the T trim.
Insurance groups are either 13 or 14.
What to check
The Pathfinder is a relatively simple vehicle with a rugged quality that tends to hold up under even the most arduous use. Extensive off-road use can cause the undercarriage protection panels to come away from the chassis so this is worth checking.
The paintwork tends to last very well and both the petrol and diesel engines have yet to develop any recurrent faults. You should check the condition of the exhaust and with manual cars you should ensure that the clutch hasn't been ruined due to too much towing.
A replacement clutch kit costs around £240 and front brake pads around £55 for the pair. Rears will be about £45. A new radiator will be around £250 and a new starter motor about the same .
These prices are based on a 2005 2.5 SE but will be similar with all models.
How it drives
The large majority of Pathfinder customers chose the 2.5 litre diesel option even though the 4 litre petrol model offers the superior performance. The dCi engine shifts the hefty pathfinder around pretty well and there's a fair bit of poke at low speeds. If you really go for it, 60 miles per hour can be reached in under 12 seconds. It will give around 31 miles per gallon and pull as much as 3 tonnes. The 6-speed manual transmission is friendly enough and vastly preferable to the five-speed automatic gearbox which feels slow-witted and increases engine noise when driving at motorway speeds.
The V6 petrol engine produces 265 bhp and can reach 60 miles per hour in just 8.9 seconds. It is only available with the plush Aventura trim.
Cruising in a Nissan Pathfinder is comfortable enough even if overtaking can strain the engine a little, but it is winding country roads where it really surprises, providing a level of composure that most large 4x4s can't match. At speed, there's a bit of body roll around corners and body pitch when braking but neither are too alarming. The steering is accurate and the braking secure.
All models are fitted with the Nissan ALL MODE system which features a low ratio setting for some proper off-roading. Traction is controlled by the ESP+ system which marshals the ABS, traction control and the yaw control for an optimal performance off and on the road.
Overall, if a Discovery 3 is out of the question, the approved used Nissan Pathfinder is a reasonable plan B. Probably the best bet is the early SE diesel which are fairly common and are becoming good value.