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The Nissan Pathfinder is a three-row SUV that has become fairly popular over the years. It’s reportedly comfortable enough to drive, offers plenty of interior space, and fares pretty well in crashworthiness tests. But for used SUV shoppers, does that make it a good option? Not necessarily. While the Nissan Pathfinder may seem like a good pick initially, this SUV is somewhat problematic.

A 2005 Nissan Pathfinder in the woods
2005 Nissan Pathfinder | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

The Nissan Pathfinder struggles when it comes to reliability ratings

If you’re going to be buying a used SUV, you probably want it to be reliable, which makes a whole lot of sense, really. But can you expect a used Nissan Pathfinder to be reliable? Maybe. Maybe not. Unfortunately, this SUV has struggled quite a lot when it comes to reliability ratings.

According to Consumer Reports, you shouldn’t expect a used Nissan Pathfinder to be all that reliable. Several model years earned pretty subpar reliability ratings. Take, for instance, the 2017 model, which earned itself a one out of five overall reliability rating. Consumer Reports attributed the low rating to problems with the SUV’s engine, body, hardware, and in-car electronics.

There are plenty of better used SUVs out there 

Reliability isn’t the only thing that the Nissan Pathfinder struggles with either. U.S. News & World Report says that when it comes to the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder specifically, there are a few areas where the SUV trails pretty far behind its competitors. According to U.S. News & World Report, “Its ride is a bit firm, and its second- and third-row seats aren’t all that spacious or comfortable. It doesn’t have as much cargo space as some midsize SUVs, and its interior materials quality is merely so-so.”

Fortunately, there are other options out there. If you’re after a used SUV that’s powered by a V6 engine and offers an upscale interior, consider a used Toyota Highlander. Unlike the Pathfinder, the Toyota Highlander boasts some pretty promising reliability ratings, according to Consumer Reports

Autobytel also recommends considering the Kia Telluride. While the Telluride is a newer model, it’s been scooping up awards left and right. According to Consumer Reports, it’s also earned itself pretty high-reliability ratings.


The Nissan Pathfinder is the Cheapest Family SUV With 4X4

But if you are going to buy a used Nissan Pathfinder, consider a certified pre-owned one

And if you still have your heart set on buying a used Nissan Pathfinder? Then, at the very least, we recommend considering a certified pre-owned model. Nissan’s certified pre-owned program includes vehicles six years old or less and also includes vehicles with fewer than 80,000 miles on the odometer. Nissan requires that all of its certified pre-owned vehicles pass a rigorous 167-point inspection too. And to further sweeten the deal? All certified pre-owned models come with benefits like rental car reimbursement, a three-month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, a Security+Plus Extended protection plan, and 24-hour roadside assistance.

Will buying a used Nissan Pathfinder really be a mistake?

In the end, whether or not you buy a used Pathfinder is up to you. This SUV has definitely struggled when it comes to reliability ratings. There are plenty of better options to pick from too. But, the Nissan Pathfinder is pretty spacious, making it a decent enough pick for families. It’s also earned itself a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) multiple times. So, the Nissan Pathfinder does have some things going for it.