2002 Nissan Pathfinder Preview

2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

2002 TCC Buyer's Guide: Nissan by Bob Plunkett (10/1/2001)
You review the '02 Nissan Pathfinder

With Pathfinder’s edgy little brother, the Xterra, getting a much needed supercharging for 2002, Nissan gives the ol’ upward market repositioning to its mainline SUV. Pathfinder’s base XE line is axed for 2002, leaving the sport SE package and the full-dress LE. We drove a fully-kitted out edition of the latter, and we remain impressed with Pathfinder’s packaging and value.

Minor interior and exterior refinements are all that’s new for this year, including a new front grille, steering wheel, and a revised audio system with new faceplate and faster functioning in-dash six-disc CD changer. The 2002 SE model, now the standard Pathfinder, features a new titanium-accented step rail and roof rack with integrated air dam, body-color bumpers and fender flares, new 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and new seat cloth. Other changes for 2002 include new exterior colors (Chrome Silver, Merlot and White Pearl) and standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels on the LE model.

Leaving it be

There’s just no way Nissan is going to mess with this package. Men and women alike swoon at the combination of muscular sheet metal and right-now responsiveness of the Maxima-derived V-6 (240 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, with our electronically controlled four-speed automatic). Even with the automatic, you can burn rubber on takeoffs, and describing power delivery with the phrase “torque curve” lacks accuracy—“torque plane” is more the sensation.

The Pathfinder’s appearance belies a fairly low center of gravity, leading to admirable handling characteristics that have been sharpened by the 17-inch wheels and rubber on the LE—as long as you’re on smooth pavement. It still has a solid rear axle, with multi-link trailing arms and coil springs, so rear-wheel hop will rear its head. The short wheelbase exacerbates this tendency, no doubt.

Steering feedback steers a tricky course between bump isolation and vagueness, with acceptable results. The engine’s smoothness at all speeds, along with great drivetrain and suspension isolation on the unibody platform, also contribute to a quiet, comfortable cabin. This also contributes to a 4,304-lb total weight, and given that the 21.1-gallon gas tank devours the finest premium fossil fuels at a 15/19 mpg clip, owners will want to double-check their credit limits when pulling out of the garage.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016
2016 Nissan Pathfinder 2WD 4-Door SV

Worst car I've ever owned

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So I got the 2016 Pathfinder back in April because my car was toltaled in an accident and wanted something a little bigger. Haven't had the Pathfinder 5 months yet and i get the tire pressure warning. Ok, i... + More »
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Saturday, May 28, 2016
2015 Nissan Pathfinder 4WD 4-Door SL

Great family hauler with good power to tow.

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Comfortable family hauler that can tow 5000 pounds. Good acceleration but could use improvement in the handling department. Great around camera system. Excellent 3rd row seat even for adults.
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Saturday, March 19, 2016
2015 Nissan Pathfinder 2WD 4-Door SL

ST L Pathfinder 2015 is Excellent car

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ST L Pathfinder 2015 is Excellent car. I had Toyota Kluger (Altitude) but sold for some reason. Then i purchase Nissan pathfinder ST-L 2015 in February 2016. When i compare Kluger 2013 with Pathfinder 2015, I... + More »
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