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1995 Nissan Pathfinder

Reviewing: Nissan Pathfinder  |  Rating:
lynlyn By lynlyn on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 5 | Cars & Motorcycles Expertise:
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Let's start with the drawbacks, or rather, the one MAJOR drawback. I'm assuming you already know this and have come to terms with it before shopping for this vehicle, but just in case you haven't, I'm going to put it out there. The gas mileage for this vehicle is, well, not good. By "not good" I mean really terrible. I could have purchased a whole new car with the money I pumped into this gas tank over the years, not to mention that I have been single handedly creating a new hole in the ozone layer. If you want a car with ok gas mileage or even tolerably bad gas mileage, stop right here. This car is for people who are prepared to deal with the worst possible gas mileage imaginable. Your only step down would be a Hummer.

That said, this has been a really great car in every other respect. It is by far the most reliable car I've ever owned. At almost thirteen years old and about 100, 000 miles, the biggest repair it has required is a new alternator. If you change the oil regularly and do the suggested maintenance, it will be a true and loyal friend and never leave you stranded.

It drives well, aside from having some difficulty with steep hills. Although it is called a "sports utility vehicle" this car has no interest in sports. It is more interested in the stylishness of being sporty than in actual exertion. Mine doesn't even have four wheel drive. It is quite at home on sleepy residential streets and more than adequate on the highway, but put it in the mountains and it grunts and groans like a couch potato on a tread mill. I would especially not recommend going off road with it, at least not if you want your friends to think you are cool.

There is plenty of cargo capacity. I know this because I have been using it as a roving storage unit for years. With the seats up and in place, it will hold five people comfortably and many more uncomfortably, plus your luggage and a small dog. With the seats down, it will hold the entire contents of your childhood that your friends were storing in their basement for you until you were more settled, but you never got more settled, so they made you take it back and now it's been in the back of your car for five years. In other words, a lot of stuff! I don't recommend using it this way, however, because after a while the suspension gets all creaky and it sounds like your tires are going to fall off every time you drive. But used sparingly, this is an excellent vehicle for moving, toting, and hauling lots of stuff.

Other bonuses -- the car alarm that came new with this car sounds completely unlike any other car alarm I've ever heard. This means that other people's car alarms can go off all day and I don't hear them anymore. But when mine goes off, I can hear it ten miles away out of a deep sleep and know instantly that it is mine. It sounds like a fog horn having a coughing fit. It's awesome

The remote control door locks are really cool, but the plastic remote is cheap and will eventually break. The remote continues to work, but you will no longer be able to attach it to a key ring. This renders it almost completely useless, except when you've locked your keys in the car. Then it's really handy that the remote wasn't attached to your key ring.

That reminds me of another cool bonus -- you absolutely cannot lock your keys in the car with the ignition turned on. The car won't let you. Whoever designed this probably knew a ditz like me and recognized the importance such a feature.

What else can I tell you? If you have the non-four wheel drive variety, everyone you know will still expect you to drive through massive snowbanks to rescue them in their little sports cars. Don't do it. Have them come rescue you. Actually, with a good set of snow tires this truck is pretty good about not getting stuck in the snow, but it slides on ice as much as any non-SUV I've driven.

If you need a reliable used car with lots of storage... er... cargo space, and you can afford the gas, you probably won't go wrong with this car. I've actually enjoyed mine a lot, aside from the guilt pangs over my contribution to global warming. It's a smooth ride, it's handsome, and the remote door locks make you feel like the world is yours to command. Just wait and see if you don't start pointing that remote at any and all closed doors and whispering, "Open Sesame!"