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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the situation:
Need an SUV (no variant or minivan says the wife) and have narrowed it down based on price and looks to the Nissan Pathfinder or the Ford Explorer. I would like comments, negative or positive on either one to help me decide. I am looking for a 2001 or newer on either and have seen both with under 50K, but mileage doesn't matter to me. So far, I'm see-sawing with either a 2001 Pathfinder (LE) with about 53K for around 16,900 or a 2003 XLT Explorer for the same price (give or take a little).

Anyone have comments on reliability, saftey and overall experiences on either one? I'd appreciate 'em!
:thumbup:
 

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Go with the Pathfinder. One of the best rated SUVs in quality and reliability. Definitely get a 2001 or newer, so you get the 3.5L/240HP. It still isn't the fastest thing, but a helluva lot faster than the old 3.3L/170HP.

I actually almost bought a Pathfinder instead of my Passat. They are very nice trucks and there aren't too many of them, unlike the Explorer. The fully loaded LE is very luxurious. I also like the loaded SE models, as they look a bit more aggressive.

Explorers are a decent buy for the money, but I think they look very cheap with the all the plastic on them. The interior is also very cheap looking. They just don't do it for me. I would also put them quite a bit bigger than the old Pathfinders.

The Pathfinder should also keep its value better than the Ford.

Another great SUV is the Toyota 4Runner. But those damn things keep their value so well, that there is no way I can justify paying $3-5K more for it than a Pathfinder.

Good luck :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah thanks....car shopping sucks. I'm leaning towards the pathfinder because of it's reliability history, I like how it looks, and the overall value is great. Don't quite know the difference in LE/SE, but I'll research that as well. As for the year, I'm definitely not going below a 2001....have to have that or newer, but trying to get that to match the 16k I don't want to go above isn't easy.
 

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Pathfinder, I'll change mine 2000 Mitsubishi Pajero DI-D 3.2 with Pathfinder as well.
 

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I'd rather see you get a 4-Runner than either of those.

Hell, a CR-V has about as much room without being nearly the tippy or thirsty pigs any of the above are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are you SERIOUS?????? A CR-V certainly doesn't look like it has the same room, but you'd know better than I. The 4-Runner is WAY outta my league too, based on their price...I saw a 2000 for well over 20K! Definitely good resale, but I think by now I've dropped the explorer.

Sharky, price wise, isn't the CR-V more expensive (given same mileage, wear)?
 

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Ick. Don't do a CR-V...... You can't get them as loaded as a Pathfinder LE. I was test driving LE's with leather, memory driver seat, power seats, steering wheel controls, auto climate control, moonroof, homelink, etc etc.... Even the Limited 4Runners are not as nice inside IMO.

Yeah, a 2000 4Runner Limited with 90K miles is still going for over $16K.. crazy.

Do you want a LE with 2WD, 4WD, or AWD? I like the ones with the AWD option (a button instead of a shifter to put it into AWD or 4h/hl). But they are more expensive. If you don't need 4wd, you can probably get a nice 2002 LE 2wd for under $16K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm looking at a 4WD either LE or SE...can't seem to find the difference, however it seems the SE is a step above the LE right?

I'm willing to get a nicer, newer one that's only 2WD if I can for the same or less. I'm in VA for pete's sake...there's not THAT much snow.
 

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Nope. LE is the top of the line model. The SE is the more "sporty" model. But you can get SE's with nice options, such as dual power leather seats, monroof, homelink, heated seats, Bose 6-disc indash changer, etc. You can't get auto climate and memory seats on the SE. I think the leather is also a better quality on the LE.

You can only get AWD on the LE as well (You can tell if it has AWD by looking in the middle of the dash, lower right (where the heated seat controls are. It will be a round knob where you select AWD, 4L, 4H, 2WD).

I also think the SE's have a black lower panel, like our Passats. The LE's are one solid color.
 

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Stupid me, I was going by what is the better vehichle, not which has leather or the better fake woodgrain trim.

Now that I get it, go buy the delicious 2001 Explorer "Limited" V-8! Tons of that paper-thin American car leather, really great tan plastic, even better almostawood, gold pinstripes, body color grille, running boards, and the option of all options, the sunroof!

What a vehichle....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sharky said:
Tons of that paper-thin American car leather, really great tan plastic, even better almostawood, gold pinstripes, body color grille, running boards, and the option of all options, the sunroof!
:biglaugh: LOL...that's hilarious...I know I know, the interior is extremely cheap looking and I'm not a fan at all of the body style of the explorer at all. I'm just trying to see what's in my budget and then cross them off one by one. Needless to say, that one is long gone. If the CR-V is better, I'd love to hear some of it (safety ratings etc) cause in the end I want what every other "joe" wants, the best I can get for the money I have. I need to look at the Honda's I guess. Last time I looked though, they were at skyrocket prices.

PS...thanks for all that info on the Pathfinder...good to know when I go looking
 

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The CRV isn't in the same class as the Pathfinder. Apples to Oranges.

The CRV competes with the small guys, such as the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, and the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Consumer Reports ranks the Pathfinder as the best mid-size SUV to buy in the $15-20K range, along with the expensive (but very nice) 4Runner.

Since we have a budget to work with, the Pathfinder is an excellent choice.

I'm a big fan of the white LE with beige leather :thumbup: Almost bought one..... but good thing I didn't! I moved to Las Vegas 3 months later. The lowered Passat does mighty well in the desert :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah my wife really wanted the Ford Escape, but it and it's brother the Mazda Tribute, both couldn't get recommended by CR because they both tipped up during their runs. Plus, those are relatively small, so I'm definitley trying to stay in the "mid" range, but who knows.....I'm going this weekend to check some out, so I'll post my results then.
 

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My buddy is currently renting a 2005 Ford Escape (his 1999 9-5 has major engine issues).... it's the v6 with the AWD option. Decent car on the inside.... has the pleather seats, power monroof, power seat... but the engine sucks! We took it skiing the other weekend and going up some small inclines was very hard on it... we were flooring it and it would barely go. You also have to floor it for forever to get it up to highway speeds when merging into traffic... Just not a responsive V6. The interior is cheap as well, nothing like you will get in a Pathfinder.

Unfortunately there aren't many foreign mid-size SUVs to choose from in a $15-18K budget. I really like the Nissan Murano, but I can't afford one for at least another few years.

Toyota: 4Runner
Nissan: Pathfinder
Honda: Passport (Isuzu Rodeo).. no thanks, Pilot.. nice but expensive
Mitsubishi: Montero, Outlander.. nothing great
Infiniti: QX4.. a Pathfinder with an Infiniti price tag
Lexus: RX300.. could get a 1999 or 2000 with over 60K miles for under $20K. Nice car!

Anyways, I really should get back to work... let us know how it goes.
 

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I can see I'm going to lose the CR-V versus Pathfinder fight, but it won't be because I'm wrong.

Interior wise, the CR-V is a dead heat with the Pathfinder in all areas execpt two: rear legroom, where it stomps the Pathfinder, and seat-up cargo capacity, where the Pathfinder stomps it. Nevermind that the 29 cubic feet of cargo space in the CR-V is more than any car trunk. The CR-V has a total of over 5 more cubic feet of passenger volume than the Pathfinder.

Lookie.

Quit arguing with me, I rule.

Notice that I used the 2001 CR-V, which is noticeably SMALLER than the current one, and this allegedly "small" vehicle still kicks the shit out of the "bigger" Pathfinder.
 

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from your original 2 choices, i say the nissan by far. one of my buddies has one right now, and a family friend had an 88 with the v6 and stick. the car had 380,000 miles on it when it got stolen! ran perfect...no engine problems, only on his second clutch. they seem to be reliable and they do drive pretty nice for a SUV.

dunno much about the CR-V, except that i dont like the styling at all. im sure they will have the typical honda feel, and be extremely reliable. another thing im sure it excells in is GAS MILEAGE. the pathfinder on the other hand tends to get thirsty!
 

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Pathfinder.

Dang it, Sharky. I hate the CR-V and I have no good reason other than my experience in one. It feels like a Honda and I don't like that. I can't pinpoint what I don't like. Maybe I just have something against the letter H. If I can ever get over that my life will be so much easier. I am on my 8th VW and I just can't bring myself to accept the feel of a Japanese car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sharky:
a) that comparison is really interesting. You're right...the passenger volume is amazingly in the CR-V's favor, oddly enough. It also gets BETTER gas mileage by far. The Pathfinder does have more capacity for stowing crap (which would help in baby stuffs, as is the main reason I'm looking) and has more engine (naturally cause it's a heavier ride).
b) I guess it's a trade off....do I want the looks and stowage capacity, or do I want passenger room and better gas mileage. I'm NOT a fan of it's looks by any means. The CR-V is truly odd in my eyes, BUT I won't be the one driving it and it does kick rear in gas mileage.

You've brought me to an interesting conundrum (like that word?). I guess I need to find the exact ones I would want of both, then compare prices.

Thanks for all the input and I'll still get back to you all after this weekend on my results.
 
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