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2008 Nissan Pathfinder

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2008 Nissan Pathfinder Review

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Nissan's mid-size Pathfinder SUV offers room for five, plenty of power for towing and hauling and a progressive design that is both stylish and rugged. While car-based crossover SUVs are growing in popularity, there is still a large segment of the population that wants a sturdy body-on-frame design, which provides a more capable off-road platform and the ability to tow heavy loads. Until recently, Nissan buyers who required the pulling power of a V8 had to move up to the full-size Armada, but the addition of an available V8 engine to the Pathfinder powertrain choices means owners can stick with a modest-sized SUV and still tow up to 7,000 pounds.

You'll Like This Car If...

Even if you seldom go off-road, you might still appreciate the Pathfinder's ability to give the most accomplished nameplates a mud-run for their money. And if you're looking for a people-mover that comes across as more mountain man and less soccer mom, the Pathfinder should more than suffice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The new Pathfinder makes no attempt to mask its rugged capabilities behind a soft exterior, and its ride and handling are far from car-like. Although a welcome addition, the new V8 engine is not particularly fuel-efficient, making this Pathfinder option costly in the long-term.

What's New for 2008

In addition to its optional 5.6-liter V8 engine, the Pathfinder receives freshened front and rear fascias and available 18-inch wheels. Interior upgrades include a revised dash design and new seats. New options include Bluetooth Hands-Free cell phone connectivity, XM Satellite Radio and revised navigation.

Driving the Pathfinder
Driving Impressions

We spent time in both two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive Pathfinders, including the SE Off-Road model, and came away impressed by both our off-road and on-road experiences. In particular, the SE Off-Road...

... model's sophisticated hill descent control and hill start assist features were appreciated during our steeper, more strenuous off-road exploits. Back on the streets, where even major off-road enthusiasts will log most of their miles, the vehicles shifted smoothly, turned confidently and delivered a ride that seemed pleasant enough for even longer road trips.

Folding Three-Row Seating
The Pathfinder converts quickly and easily from seven-passenger troop transport to cavernous cargo hauler.

SE Off-Road Model
Distinguished by its purposeful collection of features and technologies, the specialized SE Off-Road model is certainly Nissan's most sophisticated off-roader to date.

2008 Nissan Pathfinder Details
2008 Nissan Pathfinder photo Interior

The big story for the 2008 Pathfinder continues to be its roomy interior, especially as third-row seating has become a requirement of the mid-size category. Like most SUVs in this class, the Pathfinder's third-row seat is better suited to small children or, for adults, quick jaunts across town. Unlike many, the Pathfinder's third-row folds completely into the floor, and center and third-row seats fold flat without requiring removal of the head restraints. Combined with the folding front passenger seat, the cabin is able to swallow lengthy cargo, but the Pathfinder's interior is just as well suited to everyday commutes, and delivers a roomy, comfortable environment.

Exterior
2008 Nissan Pathfinder photo

The previous Pathfinder's design features mesh easily with Nissan's current philosophy in creating a rugged, purposeful exterior befitting the vehicle's lineage and ability. The new front end mimics other Nissan models such as the Armada and Frontier, tying in a familial theme. The Pathfinder grows slightly longer up front to accommodate its optional V8 engine, but overhangs both front and rear remain appropriately short. The factory roof rack looks rugged, but it might not match the weight ratings or versatility of some aftermarket units.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Noteworthy as standard on all four trim levels are the impressive V6, fold-flat third-row seating, five-speed automatic transmission, Vehicle Dynamic Control system and tire pressure monitoring system. SE and LE trims add a RearView monitor with seven-inch LCD screen, power-adjustable foot pedals and dual-zone climate controls. The SE Off-Road model adds hill descent control and hill start assist and 16-inch alloy wheels with P265/75R16 tires.

Optional Equipment

Options available on select models include a 310-horsepower V8 engine (SE and LE only), powerful Bose sound system, XM Satellite Radio, leather seating, navigation system with 9.3-gigabyte hard drive, DVD entertainment system, side air bags, three-row side curtain airbags, Bilstein off-road shocks (SE Off Road only) and moonroof. Also, every trim level is available in either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

Under the Hood

The Pathfinder's standard 4.0-liter V6, which is a Nissan workhorse, is a powerful and torque-happy engine that's well-suited to the needs of the average SUV owner. For those who need extra horsepower and towing ability, the optional 5.6-liter V8 is the obvious answer, adding an additional 100 foot-pounds of torque and 44 more horsepower.

4.0-liter V6
266 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
288 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 (2WD), 14/20 (4WD)


5.6-liter V8
310 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
388 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (2WD), 12/18 (4WD)

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2008 Nissan Pathfinder Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 471 Ratings for the 2005 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

My 2005 SE is everything I expected.

By on Thursday, February 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 250,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Driving without worries"

Cons: "No complaints"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I live in the country and my commute to work is 43 miles one way and all 6 years I drove my 2005 without any worries. The only problem I had was after a young girl plowed into rear bumper, quarter panel and rear door on the drivers side. When the car was repaired the shop didn't replace a sensor that had been damaged which caused the service engine soon light to come on. A friend that I consider to be super mechanic traced down the problem and replaced the sensor and no more problems. I retired it to recreational use in 2011 at the time it had 225,000 miles. It is still running strong and is in excellent condition and right now I would take it anywhere without a worry. I love the way it handles curves, and the power to move when needed. I like head space when I wear a western hat, the number of cup holders, and the size of storage compartments. I like the ability to fold down all rear seats for hauling bulky items like a TV when you have to go buy one or pets that need a large pet carrier."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

I would not buy again

By on Friday, February 12, 2016

I owned and sold this car
Reason: hated this vehicle

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I had 2 - 2007 Pathfinders. First one had starting issues and the dealer took me out of it and put me in another. Second one just nicked and dimed me to death. From the heater not working correctly and having to take it in 3 times to get the air pocket out of the system. Replacing all 4 TPMS sensors at 35000 miles, and another one at about 55000 miles. To replacing the ball joints on the one side at 50000 miles. Air bag lights coming on, 350.00 bill. 4WD lite coming on and off while driving, sensor. Just decided I had enough and traded it in and bought a different vehicle. Gas mileage was not that great 14/15 city 18/19 highway. Funny thing I have a buddy that has one and he loves it. Maybe I just got unlucky and had 2 bad ones."

10 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Drives like a car

By on Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,788

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Handles so smoothly"

Cons: "No Bluetooth"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I got this car after I totaled my sedan. I wanted an SUV for safety. I love this car. It handles like a car, but I feel more secure. I was recently rear-ended in this vehicle. The car that hit me was totaled. My repair was minor, only around $2000. I also had my dog in the vehicle, and she didn't even seem phased. I only want to own Pathfinders now."

11 people out of 11 found this review helpful

They should be yellow

By on Thursday, November 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 124,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Tows a trailer well"

Cons: "Ride reliability. Maintence costs high"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Very rough ride. Back seat wth four people is horrible. Battery goes dead from time to time for no reason. Windows roll down in the front to all but a couple inches all on their own. Oh and when the radiator goes out it leaks into the tranny fluid usually and takes the tranny with it"

10 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Wish they kept making them like this

By on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "No doubts about this vehicle"

Cons: "stiff suspension"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My wife talked me into getting a Pathfinder 6 years ago and she was right. I wanted to get an Explorer or a Grand Cherokee. The price of the Pathfinder was much better with everything else very comparable. My vehicle did excellent in the outdoors and look very sharp in the city. I wish that they would have continued this body style because that is no doubt what I would have bought. Now here I am 6 years later looking for something comparable and I have very good trade in value."

8 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Awesome Reliable Car - Nissan Pathfinder

By on Sunday, August 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 197,700

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great price, comfortable, FWD, reliable, CLEAN"

Cons: "minor cosmetic fixes to interior and exterior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

Well kept and maintained vehicle

"I've had this car for 4 years. Overall its an awesome car that has taken me everywhere I needed to go (drove from Michigan to Alabama to New York and New Jersey). Minor cosmetic fixes (windshield recently got a small crack on the lower portion of the glass by the VIN number, SMALL rust spots, tear on the middle console). There are a lot of miles on this car. I would recommend this car as a starter car for a new driver or someone who isn't driving as much and as far as I am. FWD works great especially in the winter months. I purchased this car from the original owner who was a family friend. This car has been kept and well maintained for many years. Always clean and a clean title and carfax. Non smoker and no pets were ever in the car."

8 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Well kept and maintained vehicle

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