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Old 01-31-2013, 10:24 PM   #1
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97 - 98 Nissan Pathfinder or Toyota 4Runner

Looking into buying a '97 - '98 Nissan Pathfinder but after reading some reviews it doesn't seem too great on gas mileage compared to the '97 - '98 Toyota 4Runner, I was wondering if any of you could chime in on the pros/cons of the Nissan Pathfinder and the Toyota 4Runner. My dad and I are preferable looking into buying the Pathfinder but still unsure.. Thanks
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:57 PM   #2
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I've had a 92 pathfinder 3.0L and currently a 99 pathfinder 3.3L ( mechanically the same as 97-98)

Engines are gutless and torque-less.
Spark plug for cylinder 6 is a giant PITA.
I get around 15mpg city / highway mixed.
Always go for 5MT versus an automatic for a Pathfinder. Automatic Pathfinders are prone to failure.

Solid truck that I would definitely buy again.

Also, R50's have a strut housing recall with many not being salvageable.

Be careful before purchasing.

1996-2004 Pathfinder / QX4 Strut Housing Corrosion Recall : Pathfinder Forum / QX4 Forum

4Runners are larger and roomier than the Pathfinder if hauling people / stuff is high on your priority list.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:18 AM   #3
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glad to see more people on the forum getting suvs and trucks



i would say it depends on what your needs are.

if you're looking for an suv for the road, the pathfinder might drive a bit nicer. iirc the 1996-2004 (R50) nissan pathfinders and infiniti qx4 suvs were unibody.


if you're looking for a gear hauler thats capable off road i'd get the 4runner (body on frame). 3rd gens are pretty good on gas and capable off road in their stock form. good tires will be a must if you plan on hitting dirt.


figure out what your needs are and go test drive both.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:36 AM   #4
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4 runner hands down. May cost you a little more, but will hold its value. Try and find one with the factor diff lock.

This was my last one, I miss it a ton.

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Old 02-01-2013, 10:09 AM   #5
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I had a 94 4runner and have driven 96+ 4runners. I'll admit that the 96+ 4runners are awesome. But for the price of a 97-98 4runner you can get a 2001 pathfinder and that's why I have a pathfinder.

The 3.3l pathfinders have a tool in the spare tire compartment that allows for easy removal/install of the #6 cylinder spark plug.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:20 PM   #6
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Hands down for the Toyota! My 97 has just under 180k and it only had ONE major problem and it fixed itself after!! LOL the problem never came back and that was 50k ago??. The 91 4runner had 300k +, and the think the most expensive fix the the clutch replacement. Not many people may know this but from personal experience the 4runner uses less gas eh. 55L gets me low 400 to low 500 km depending on driving condition. My buddy's pathfinder dose that with a 80L eh
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:24 PM   #7
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Btw did you consider the 94-97 land cruiser? Those thing are sweet looking eh.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:44 PM   #8
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4runner! do it
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:04 PM   #9
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i have/had 3 3rd generation 3.4L 4runners... they're awesome trucks... one of the most reliable vehicles out there...

96 LTD - currently for sale (PM me for details)
97 LTD - my daily driver... mild ride height correction, 32" tires... my go almost anywhere beast...
99 LTD - sold to a certain someone who put TE37's on it...

i love these trucks and would not hesitate to buy another... the 3.4L engines are bulletproof and changing spark plugs is very easy with basic hand tools... one of the lot guys in my shop currently has 479,000km on his 97 4runner and he's had no engine work done ever... someone changed the timing belt and water pump a quarter million km ago, and it hasn't been touched ever since... no transmission failures either... it leaks a bit of oil, but it's got close to half a million KM on it!

if you can get one with a factory rear differential lock, its pretty damn capable off road... bone stock... automatic or manual, it doesn't really matter. i prefer automatic because it's easier to drive off-road, and i don't really see a benefit to manual transmissions in mid-size SUVs.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:35 PM   #10
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Btw did you consider the 94-97 land cruiser? Those thing are sweet looking eh.
You literally could not have posted a worse vehicle into a thread about fuel economy. Don't get me wrong, I love Land Cruisers but they guzzle more fuel than a Ferrari 458 Italia (13/15/17 6.7gal/100mi).
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:25 PM   #11
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4runner hands down
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:52 PM   #12
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LOL! But land cruiser are soo cool! But ya, didn't realize how bad it was on gas eh haha
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:38 PM   #13
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Thanks for all your help guys, I appreciate it. It looks like we might be looking into the 4Runner as it seems the more reliable vehicle and better on gas. Also the recall for the corrosion on the strut housing kinda refrains me from buying the Pathfinder.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:01 AM   #14
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absolutely no question that generation 4runner. Probably one of the all around best daily driver real SUVs out there. (and I drive a Grand Cherokee). Comfy, look good inside and out, reliable as hell, decent performance, good offroad.

make sure to get a limited tho.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:17 AM   #15
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1990 Toyota Land Cruiser VX Ltd. SUV - Price Reduced! - Vancouver Cars For Sale - Kijiji Vancouver Canada.



The toyota diesel landcruiser is capable of 20mpg.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:02 AM   #16
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so just outta curiosity... what are you guys looking to do with the 4runner?
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:51 AM   #17
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I've been thinking about these 2 as well for when my maxima dies. I think ill be going for the 4runner it'll mostly be used as a DD but also planning in doing its fair share of off road/going up to the mountains for boarding and such. And if I go camping I can take out the back seats n sleep in there haha
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:07 AM   #18
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Sounds like you already made your decision, but just to reinforce it for you my coworker had a '98 Pathfinder and it cost her like $10,000+ in repairs around the time it hit 200,000kms and every week something new was going on it.......... I found her a nice '97 4-Runner my old neighbour was selling and she dumped the Pathfinder and picked that up... in 2 years now with about the same mileage she had the original Toyota battery from 1997 pack it in........ that's it. She couldn't be happier with the change.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:09 AM   #19
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so just outta curiosity... what are you guys looking to do with the 4runner?
My dad wants to use it for hauling things around and if needed to take the grand children around. I, on the other hand wouldn't mind getting it lifted so I can go off roading.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:29 AM   #20
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I've been thinking about these 2 as well for when my maxima dies. I think ill be going for the 4runner it'll mostly be used as a DD but also planning in doing its fair share of off road/going up to the mountains for boarding and such. And if I go camping I can take out the back seats n sleep in there haha
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No need to pull the seats. The rear seats in the 4runner folds flat.

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My dad wants to use it for hauling things around and if needed to take the grand children around. I, on the other hand wouldn't mind getting it lifted so I can go off roading.
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Sounds it'll do just what you need it too. A mild lift and good tires will get you 90% of the places you need/wanna go especially with a rear locker.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:05 PM   #21
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^^ good choice, 4Runners are awesome cars.

Might be thinking of switching over to SUV's
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:08 PM   #22
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Except that (sadly) every single North American 80 or 100 series came with a 1FZ, 3F, or 2UZ so if you want a diesel cruiser it'll be either RHD or swapped. Not as terrible as a daily driver as a RHD car as the visibility issues are mitigated by being taller than most things on the road but still really not optimal.

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No need to pull the seats. The rear seats in the 4runner folds flat.
Pfft. Sleep on top of the truck.

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Old 02-03-2013, 02:30 PM   #23
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Pfft. Sleep on top of the truck.

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Old 02-03-2013, 11:06 PM   #24
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Are there any common problems with 95-01 4runners? Does the 4cyl 5spd version come with elocker?
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:34 PM   #25
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so which year do you guys recommend the most for the 4runner? one with little to no issues
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