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2000 Nissan Pathfinder Review
Enjoyable SUV with a lame engine.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2000 Nissan Pathfinder results from a major revamp completed in the 1999 model year. Even after a major revamp, it still lags behind the competition. Only five years old, the Pathfinder tries to redefine itself in a market place flooded with competition.
In late 2000, the Pathfinder received a major update that saw it fighting its way out of a corner. If you still have loyalties to Nissan, wait until late 2000 to buy a Pathfinder. Otherwise, the competition offers a lot more for less money.
Engines: 3.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Nissan Pathfinder XE, Nissan Pathfinder SE, Nissan Pathfinder LE
The Pathfinder received a major update in 1999, so the 2000 Nissan Pathfinder shows very few updates. However, late in 2000 the Pathfinder received a major powertrain upgrade. This gets considered as more of a 2001 model change as opposed to a 2000 model upgrade. If you want to buy a Pathfinder, wait for the 2000 upgrade.
The 2000 Nissan Pathfinder keeps much of the styling from the previous year. It uses plenty of new sheet metal, and the pillars of the vehicle move forward. The spare tire stored on the outside of the vehicle, once exclusive to the four-wheel drive version, is no longer available.
Exterior features on the base model include 16-inch alloy wheels, intermittent windshield wipers, privacy glass, a rear window wiper, a roof rack, and a skid plate for , although you probably won’t want to with the weak engine. Optional items include power heated mirrors, power windows and mirrors, and a trailer hitch with wiring. The SE offers and optional power moonroof, and the LE comes standard with power mirrors.
The interior of the 2000 Nissan Pathfinder has a nice instrument cluster with an eye-catching white background. The SE model ups the ante with a spectacular titanium background. Ergonomics inside the vehicle seem more like a car than an SUV, so expect a lot of comfort.
All models include seating for five. Front passenger space looks pretty great, but back seating feels cramped. The interior looks a bit small in comparison to other SUV models on the market, but it actually carries a full 85 cubic feet with little complaint. All of this cargo space results from the split-bench rear seating. Nissan offers great leather options for the upper trim levels, with heating options available as well.
Standard features on the base model include bucket seats, a center console, tinted glass, a tachometer, cloth seating, a rear split-bench seat, a tilt steering wheel, air-conditioning, intermittent windshield wipers, privacy glass, and an AM/FM/cassette audio system. Optional items on the base model include a compact disc player, a keyless entry system, an anti-theft alarm system, cruise control, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.
The SE model adds the keyless entry system, as well as a power antenna, the leather steering wheel trim, and a Bose audio system. Leather seating and a power driver’s seat remain optional.
The LE model adds a garage door opener and the Bose audio system, as well as other power accessories.
Performance & Handling
The Nissan Pathfinder comes equipped with a 3.3-liter V-6, the same engine installed in many Nissan vehicles. This engine produces 170 horsepower. It comes with a selection of a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. Both a two-wheel and a four-wheel version of the vehicle remain available.
In 1999, Nissan increased the horsepower up to the current 170, but even this pales in comparison to other SUV models on the market. The 200 lb-ft of torque does not translate well to off-road conditions; the vehicle struggles on the tiniest incline. However, the low torque range seems fine if want the Pathfinder for urban commutes and highway driving.
If you want to buy a Pathfinder, wait for late 2000 Nissan Pathfinder models or early 2001 models that have a boosted engine option available.
The 2000 Nissan Pathfinder comes equipped with four-wheel anti-lock brakes and dual driver and passenger front airbags. The NHTSA gives the 2000 Nissan Pathfinder pretty good marks for crash tests. The Pathfinder receives five out of five stars for passenger safety as well as side impacts to the front and rear. Driver safety earns four out of five stars. The IIHS awards the 2000 Nissan Pathfinder a score of “Marginal,? its second worst rating, for frontal-offset crash tests.
EPA Fuel Economy
Nissan Pathfinder two-wheel drive, four-speed automatic: 14/18 mpg city/highway
Nissan Pathfinder four-wheel drive, five-speed manual: 14/17 mpg city/highway
Nissan Pathfinder four-wheel drive, four-speed automatic: 15/17 mpg city/highway
- Rough and tumble style
- Great interior
- Fantastic reliability
You Won't Like
- Terrible V-6 engine
- Rear seat lacks room
Enjoyable SUV with a lame engine.
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