How Reliable Is the Nissan Pathfinder?

There are a few key factors that go into evaluating a vehicle’s overall reliability. Some reputable online sources try to do the homework for you and offer reliability ratings for various models. But, when not enough data is available to make an ultimate determination, what should you consider important reliability attributes? We wanted to dive into the details behind the ownership history and reliability of the Nissan Pathfinder. You may be wondering too, just how reliable this prominent SUV really is.

Looking back at the Nissan Pathfinder history

The Nissan Pathfinder hit the stage way back in 1986, and the first generation was a two-door SUV with a pickup platform. In 1996, Nissan took a more refined approach to the Pathfinder and designed more rounded features for the unibody SUV. Fast forward to the third generation, which is what today’s models reflect, and the Pathfinder has a body-on-frame design. The bigger, boxier Pathfinder of 2020 is all style, comfort, convenience, and capability. With a long history of building and designing this SUV, Nissan has had plenty of ‘practice makes perfect’ time to get it right. But, how reliable is the Nissan Pathfinder overall?

Consumer Reports weighs in on reliability

Consumer Reports uses feedback from Nissan Pathfinder owners, based on commonly reported problems and general feedback. The 2019 Pathfinder earned a 72 out of 100 points for its road testing performance. Its predicted reliability for 2020, based on previous years, is a score of three out of five.

What J.D. Power says about the Nissan Pathfinder’s reliability

When J.D. Power weighs in to rate a vehicle, it uses unbiased opinions of verified car owners. They consider the quality, dependability, depreciation, performance, and dealership experience in their calculations. The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder is too new to have owner feedback in abundance, but based on previous models, J.D. Power ranks the SUV 3.5 out of five. This puts Pathfinder about 17th of the 26 mid-size SUVs in the segment. This ranking is based on Pathfinder’s earning of 81 points out of a possible 100 in J.D. Power’s scoring system.

Repair and maintenance averages

No one can predict with any amount of certainty if the Nissan Pathfinder you buy is going to have problems. But, looking back at past repair issues and common maintenance costs, it might help to see what others have experienced. Repair Pals uses actual data from vehicle owners and agrees with the 3.5/5.0 ranking. The average annual repair costs are around $542, which is much lower than most average ownership costs. They do cite, however, that while not as many problems arise for Pathfinder, when and if they do, they’ll be sizeable in cost and diagnosis.

U.S. News & World Reports Cars weighs in on ranking

In the mid-size SUV category, U.S. News & World Reports automotive segment gives the Nissan Pathfinder a score of 7.5 out of a possible ten. Their evaluation is based on ownership and reporting data from over 50 resources. This score, assigned to all the SUV models, shows the Pathfinder is about 14th in the mid-size SUV class, 35th in crossover SUVs, and 15th in SUVs with three available rows.

While there is no car-buying crystal ball to predict what kind of potential issues you might have with your 2020 Nissan Pathfinder, these rankings might help you to decide. Overall, they’re great SUVs with tons of available options. But, if reliability is your primary concern, check out the resources and online reviews from fellow Pathfinder owners. After all, no one has more authority to comment on a vehicle’s reliability than someone who’s owned one for a while.