Review: Nissan Pathfinder (2005 – 2014)


Rugged looks. Seven seats. Strong build. Tidy handling and very capable off road. Good value for money.

Adults will find the rearmost seats rather cramped. Vague manual gearshift.

Recently Added To This Review

12 January 2018

Information received that 2010 Nissan Pathfinder 190 had excessive backlash in its differential. While in a Nissan dealer for another job, the dealer retained the car to replace worn parts in the differential... Read more

3 November 2017

Pipes to rear heater of older Nissan Pathfinders are prone to corrosion and replacing them requires the body to be lifted from the chassis so an expediant solution it to simply seal them off and isolate... Read more

27 October 2017

Further report of a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder R51 failing its MoT for the same central chassis corrosion as suffered by 2005-2007 D40 Navaras. Owner reported that once 12 year perforation warranty is up,... Read more

Nissan Pathfinder (2005 – 2014): At A Glance

Nissan is getting out of volume and into niches. Nissan's X-Trail has outsold its Primera and been much more profitable because it has sold at much closer to the list price asked. And demand for used X-Trails is even greater than for new ones.

So, unsurprisingly, one of the directions Nissan is following is the off-road route. Late last year saw the introduction of the extraordinary Murano, a Lexus RX300 competitor with a detuned Nissan 350Z motor. The enormous V8 Nissan Titan is by far the best big pick-up to drive and is also hugely capable off-road. Later this year we'll get a new ladderframe chassis Navara pick-up. And now, to grab a fat chunk of the 7-seater 4x4 school bus market, Nissan presents us with the large and perfectly formed Pathfinder, also on a tough ladderframe.

It's roughly the same size as the Discovery 3 and does pretty much the same job at prices starting £5,000 lower. These days £25,800 isn't a lot to pay for this much vehicle and, as with the X-Trail, Nissan stands a good chance of not having to discount.

So does it get the nod? Emphatically yes, because it's a huge 7 seater 4x4 that does all it is supposed to, is also very good to drive on the road, promises over 30mpg and at £25,800 is very good value for money. But if you need a 4x4 to take 7 adults any distance, you are going to have to fork out the extra £5,000 for a Discovery 3.

Nissan Pathfinder 2005 Road Test

What does a Nissan Pathfinder (2005 – 2014) cost?

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Nissan Pathfinder (2005 – 2014): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4183–4813 mm
Width 1850 mm
Height 1783–1865 mm
Wheelbase 2850–3200 mm

Full specifications

First thing, the outer two seats of the centre row bi-fold at the pull of a handle, so access to the rearmost pair is very good. The centre outer seats and the middle seat also fold squab-forward and back down so that when the rearmost seats are also folded you can achieve a huge, flat and reasonably low load deck and a volume of 2,091 litres.

The front passenger seatback folds forwards for carrying objects up to nine feet long. And even with all seats up there is reasonable luggage space behind the rearmost pair, with a net to keep everything in place. However, unlike the Discovery 3, those rearmost seats are strictly for kids because an adult cannot get his or her feet under the seats in front.

Climb up using the substantial grab handles front and back and it's easy to get comfortable. The driver's seat has plenty of adjustment and the steering wheel goes up and down. Start the engine and you hear a fair bit of diesel clatter, but that's what you expect from a vehicle like this. The 6-speed box has a long, slightly floppy lever but selects its well-chosen set of ratios very well. Steering is pleasantly light, yet not over-assisted.

Child seats that fit a Nissan Pathfinder (2005 – 2014)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Nissan Pathfinder (2005 – 2014) like to drive?

For driving on the road, you can choose 2WD which directs drive to the back wheels, or ‘auto' which does the same most of the time, only calling on drive to the front wheels if any start to slip. It handles extremely well and diminishes its own size. None of that boat-like roly-poly stuff that older ladderframe 4x4s subject you to.

And, just like the X-Trail, the gear ratios are perfectly matched to the engine power and torque, so whatever sort of gradient you are on there's a gear that enables the Pathfinder to romp up it.

The 2,488cc development of the X-Trail's 2.2 diesel is also very pleasantly smooth, eager and free revving. On spec, you'd think 2.5 litres was too small for a vehicle of this size. But it churns out a very healthy 174PS at 4,000rpm and 297lb ft torque at 2,000rpm so actually has more grunt than a 3.0 D-4D LandCruiser and offers it to you much more willingly. On the road 0-60 is 11.2 and you can actually see a top speed of 109mph so it's no slouch.

Naturally on a launch like this, an off-road course was included. The Pathfinder simply romped through most of it, including the deep, muddy ruts, in high ratio four wheel drive which locks drive to the front and rear wheels. For the really tricky stuff, you have to stop and engage low ratio four-wheel drive, and that enables the car to negotiate impossible descents that would require abseiling gear to do on foot.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
2.5 dCi 29–33 mpg 11.0–11.9 s 224–264 g/km
2.5 dCi Automatic 31 mpg 10.7 s 238 g/km

Real MPG average for a Nissan Pathfinder (2005 – 2014)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

19–38 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Nissan Pathfinder (2005 – 2014)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

I bought a used car that didn't come with the promised warranty - what can I do?

I bought a Nissan Pathfinder with a tow bar and 12 months warranty from a ltd company in Dec 2017. The guy handed me the documents and a leaflet about some bronze warranty and said he would get his secretary to email me all the details about the warranty (needless to say that never happened ). When I got the car home and washed it after a couple of weeks I noticed it didn't have a tow bar I phoned the guy who said he would look into it but he didn't bother coming back to me. All this happened on the run up to and just after the Christmas holiday period so there was lots going on at the time otherwise Id been a bit quicker to react to the situation. The car developed an oil leak from behind the diesel pump that also needed replacing the bill was £1600. I contacted the warranty company who didn't know anything about the car because it hadn't been registered for a warranty The limited company I bought the car from was in the process of being liquidated which had started around October / November 2017. So the guy was fully aware of what was going on when he sold me the car that came with 12 months warranty. When I contacted the guy he said he had paid for the warranty on the car and that he would contact the warranty company about it. To buy himself some time he told me all his paperwork was with his accountants and he would get in touch with them to get the bank statement as proof he had paid the warranty company. 10 weeks later ( probably more actually) the guy doesn't answer his phone when I call then text messages me to say he would get it sorted (we all know hes just giving me the run around). I then gave him the option of paying £500 towards the bill to clear the matter up and move on which he agreed to do again three weeks later still nothing. What can I do?
You have been done over and you have been incredibly stupid. You wrote, "I bought a Nissan Pathfinder with a tow bar". Later you write that "when I got the car home and washed it after a couple of weeks I noticed it didn't have a tow bar". Your rights are here: But enforcing them in the circumstances you describe, then getting a ruling in your favour that the High Court Sheriffs can act upon will be virtually impossible.
Answered by Honest John
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