Owning the 2014 Pathfinder for a year now Review.
It's been just about a year now I've owned the 2014 Pathfinder SV fully loaded with the Tow Hitch, Crossbars and Fog lights all Factory Installed.
Since I have owned 2 previous Pathfinder models in the 2005 and 2008 model years I figured it was time to express my thoughts on this model now that I have had plenty of time to really understand Nissan's thinking on this redesign model.
She just Hit 10k miles on it about a month ago as I average about 10-12k per year for the last 10 years. I go on maybe 1 to 4 trips with my vehicles for vacations and road trips but usually stay local. My work is 43 miles away but I have a work van I drive during the week so my Pathfinder sits at my shop for 4 days. I work 4 days a week doing 10 hour+ days. I Drive to work Tuesday morning and then drive home Friday night. It's rare I take it home during the week.
On weekends or my 3 day weekend, I drive to the gym 3 to 4 times a week which is only 8 minutes away. I go to the grocery store once a week and thats about the same distance just minutes down the road. I have a family of 4 but both my kids are older now meaning my son is 19 and my daughter is 17.
We go out as a family maybe 2 to 3 times a month to dinner , out shopping ,parks , gym all together etc.
My wife has a 2013 Sentra SR fully loaded Sunroof, Bose system etc and we use that sometimes as it's fun to drive and roomy as **** for how small it is. She doesn't like it anymore especially coming out of a Xterra and we have some bad winters here. She will most likely get another Xterra before this winter.
So I'll start out with all the things I like about the New Pathfinder design. First and foremost the interior is a huge improvement over the last gen. It's way more comfortable and I love the dash and center console layout. Yeah it's a bit more on the sissy side as Nissan took away the more truck like feel , it feels more like my Murano then it did the 2008 SE Pathfinder I had before the Murano.
There is plenty of leg room in all seats except the 3rd row which is really made for children but small adults can fit back there I just wouldn't want to take a road trip and rely on those seats for them. Kids yeah that would be fine. I also wouldn't want 3 people in the back seat for more then a 20 minute ride. Yeah you can fit everyone in there but at the expense of being comfortable. I have sat in the back seat and 3rd row and I couldn't do it for more then 20 mins comfortable with 3 people in the back seat and 2 people in the 3rd row.
The passenger seat is very nice to sit in as I have had my wife and son drive me around which is a nice break as I do drive a lot at work and I always drive no matter what car we take. I even drive my son's car which is a 2008 Audi A4 but honestly I don't mind driving that as all as it's wonderful to drive and really takes me back to when I owned a 2000 BMW 328i. I do miss owning a car many times as honestly driving SUV's is nothing like owning a sports car. I'm a huge car guy, German car guy and american muscle car guy and i have given up that part of my life for family, Mountain bike riding and owning a Part time AV business. I do however see myself getting back into a sports car as a toy not a daily driver. I'm considering a Audi S5 or a RS5.
Taking the Pathfinder on vacation is a pleasure. It has plenty of room inside for luggage for 3 to 4 people and you don't get road fatigue after an hour or so.
Gas mileage is great as with a full truck load on vacation I still get 24-26 MPG averaging about 60-70 MPH highway. Around town same load I'm still getting 19-22MPG which is fantastic and you can use 87 fuel. My 2008 required 91 fuel or better and got 17MPH around town and 20-22MPG
Now for things I don't like about it, where do I begin?
So first and foremost the power. Yeah it's got good pickup when it finally kicks in. It has a strange lag when you want to pass someone or just go full throttle. If you ever owned a Turbo car with a large Turbo , it take a second or 2 for it to spool up and then you get this rush of power. In the time your waiting , your on engine power alone and it doesn't feel anywhere near as powerful. This thing does the same thing but there is nothing when you first stomp on the gas. It's takes like 2 to 3 seconds to go. So if your driving lets say 55 and you want to get around someone in the right lane who is going under the speed limit, to get in the passing lane and get around them you have to wait for the **** thing to go. There is no Turbo on this car as it's naturally aspirated but it reacts **** near the same but worse as there is nothing for like 2 seconds. I think it's the transmission as it doesn't react fast. It's one thing I would like to go back to the transmission in the older pathfinder. What I find completely strange is that I didn't have this issue with the Murano which was a 2011 model year. When I pressed on the gas , it went, there was no crazy lag. I hate this the most about this thing.
Paint quality, honestly it's piss poor. I have owned enough Nissans to know their quality standards and this thing is terrible. In just a few months I already had mad rock chip or pepper spray as the service Manager called it all over the front end. None of my previous had anywhere near this many chips in 3 years let alone under a year. I went to the dealer ship to have other things fixed and I pointed out this concern of mine. He told me it's normal on this model as they all do it. He has one himself and it looks worse then mine which gives me no confidence in keeping my truck in perfect condition as I try to do. I'm garage kept, washed and waxed all the time and keep the interior spotless. I take great pride in my vehicles.
Body fit is awful. Every single panel or door is crooked. I had the hood fixed as it was off by a lot and I have to take it back to get the doors and rear hatch fixed.
The Molding around the windshield had to be fixed as well the the black door trim around the windows bubbled and had to be replaced.
On the interior the entire rug had to be replaced as it was cut wrong from the factory and pass QC which you could see the metal for in the back seat around the legs of the back seat. I thought it was just installed wrong when i noticed it which I didn't when I purchased it. If I did then I would have selected another one.
The back window doesn't open. This is something I loved as I mountain bike ride and when you have a bike rack on the 2 inch hitch, you can't open the back hatch unless you drop the bike rack down which is fine but it was no nice just to be able to open the back window and put your helmet gloves and back pack in there. I also change by shoes as I don't like any dirt inside my truck. I don't wear my mountain bike shoes in truck, I change them at the back hatch but now I have to drop the back seat down and change at the side door. It's ok I guess but I much would rather have the opening back window back.
The Stereo, it's the same **** one since 2008. Really? This couldn't have been upgraded to a better quality screen? It's so 2008 crappy LCD. My neighor picked up a new Jeep and I checked out the interior and their screen puts mine to shame. It's bigger and way better quality. It's actually awesome. For a Japanese ride of this quality I expect more. I really hope they ditch this thing and come out with a way better unit. I'm sure the NAV unit is better but still dated if you ask me.
Snow driving. Now my last 2 Pathfinders where beasts in the snow they both came factory with BF goodrich tires which where monsters in the snow and ice. They where amazing and felt like you could drive through anything. Those Pathfinder lived up to their names and honored it. This thing is worse in the snow then the Murano which I had zero issues with. I was actually surprised how **** good the Murano was compared to this thing. Mine has Continental Tires on it which are all season but I felt unsafe driving in the snow. I don't but a SUV to change tires for summer and winter like I would a sports car IF I was going to do any winter driving in it. I find that unexceptable. Rain and dry conditions are fine on issues at all.
The 4x4 system sucks. When you are in 2 wheel drive your front wheel drive. I noticed this early when I would drive around in 2 wheel drive and spun the front tires on a hill and it take off like a front wheel drive vehicle with crappy steering feel if your turning and excelerating. I hate that I can't have rear wheel drive in 2 wheel, I wish you could select it. So I just drive around in Auto so I get somewhat of a all wheel drive feel. My Son's Audi doesn't feel like this at all. It plants itself no matter what you are doing. you never even feel like you have a front wheel drive car at all. The Quadro system is amazing and Nissan could learn many things from the Germans. That car is truly amazing and I know it's apples and oranges in some respects but it's all wheel drive and you would not know it except that **** thing sticks to the ground no matter when you are doing with no wheel spin. In the rain it's crazy how it feels, you feel so safe driving in heavy down pours. Now it might have better tires in Perrelli P7's I think they are But come on Nissan you really need to re think this design. The Murano never felt like a front wheel drive vehicle why does the Pathfinder drive so poorly in comparison? Is it to big for this style? I'd like to know as I have seen the thread on the reprogramming of the Transmission and I'm gonna make my dealership Perform that and see it any of this gets straightened out.
Funny I don't have the jitter thing others talk about. Mine doesn't do that at all and I have over 10K miles on it now( I think it's close to 11k like 10750 or so now). So I guess thats one thing I can be happy about is I don't have to deal with that issue.
No side steps. What the **** is the purpose of that stupid looking trim piece on the bottoms of the doors? It's as goofy and un useful as anything I have ever seen on anything. It serves NO purpose and looks stupid. If I was going to keep this thing, I would have it removed. I'd much rather have the factory step sides like what came on both my 2005 and 2008 Pathfinders which where very useful when getting and in out and using the roof rack.
So there you have it my 1 year review. My final thought is this , I don't think I will get another on unless they make improvements on the things I'm unhappy with. I did a full survey on this for Nissan and I hope they read it and fix the issues I have with this design. As a 3rd Nissan Pathfinder owner I think I have some right to voice my concerns , likes and dislikes of the direction they choose to go with it. I also think personally it's that in itself to choose to keep driving them or move on. Right now if the new models keep in this direction, I'm moving on. Quality fit and finish is enough for me to want to drive something else. I have been with Nissan since 1990 with also owing a Buick Grand National , Linclon Mark VII and a BMW 328i but have always had a Nissan in my garage since 1990 along with those other cars. And for good reasons. I moved away from GM to go to Nissan due to quality fit and finish. I was a GM , GMC and NISSAN technician back in the day and was so surprised how much better the Nissan product was. We did maintenance the Nissan's and fixed the GM's plain and simple. It was a huge imbalance between the 2. You go to the recalls and Nissan would have 1 to 3 and the GM's would have 10- 30. Thats a huge difference if you ask me and things would go wrong so much earlier on the GM's. I loved GM all my life until I became a Technician and saw the quality difference.
I really hope Nissan isn't going down the GM road where they are going to ride their name and slack on quality. When my lease is up I plan on driving many different vehicles before I even step foot into the Nissan dealership.
Own / Owned Nissan's
1990 Nissan Maxima SE
2001 Nissan Xterra S
2005 Nissan Pathfinder SE
2008 Nissan Pathfinder SE
2011 Nissan Murano SV
2013 Nissan Sentra SR
2014 Nissan Pathfinder SV