1990 Nissan Pathfinder

Change Vehicle
Asking Price Range
$1,700
Estimated MPG

Information Coming Soon

Expert Reviews

By 

chicagotribune.com
The Jeep Cherokee once had the four-door utility vehicle market toitself. Now the field is getting crowded. Add the four-door Toyota 4Runner,Chevy S-10 Blazer, Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder for 1990, to name afew.

We test drove the 1990 Pathfinder SE and quickly found that it`s onething to add a couple of doors, another to add two extra doors that make entryand exit easy.

The problem with the Pathfinder is that the engineers need to come upwith a design that allows those rear doors to open wider. It`s too narrow afit as it stands, making it unduly difficult to enter or exit the rear seat.

Because the four-door model was aimed at satisfying families, Nissandefeats the purpose. The rear doors seem to be an afterthought.

It`s noteworthy that the wheelbase and length of the two- and four-doorPathfinder models are the same. The four-door version wasn`t stretched toaccommodate those rear doors.

So the rear door opens over the wheel well with the well and rear tireobstructing easy entry.

To get into or out of the Pathfinder, our test vehicle had a step railrather than a more conventional running board.

The step rail is made of flattened metal tubing. Very solid and ratherunique, but we have to wonder how the tubing will provide support and tractionfor entry and exit in the winter, when covered with ice and snow.

Once you maneuver the rail and get in back, you find designers fell short on rear-seat comfort. The seat back is too upright and rigid; it needs more ofan angle to it.

While on the subject of annoyances, we should point out one of the moreunusual problems we`ve experienced in a vehicle. The ``Nissan`` letters areraised on the driver`s floor mat. In moving our feet while shifting the 5-speed, the heel of our left shoe kept catching on those raised letters.After a while it became as annoying as listening to someone chew gum whiletalking on the phone.

The Pathfinder we drove was powered by a 3-liter, 153-h.p., fuel-injected, V-6 teamed with 5-speed manual transmission. A 4-speed automaticwith overdrive is optional.

The V-6 is powerful and has plenty of zip. However, for the pleasure ofleading the pack from the light, you pay the price in fuel economy with a 15mile per gallon city/18 m.p.g. highway rating with the 5-speed or theautomatic.

The test vehicle came with an optional sport package that included dualshock settings for firm sport or softer touring ride and handling. We foundtouring to be less objectionable. The firm setting magnified every bump in thepavement.

The sport package also included huge 31x10.50 R15 all-season radials.Those oversized tires combined with the higher center of gravity from thevehicle being raised to handle the four-wheel-drive hardware made for a bit ofwobble in corners and turns at speed.

We didn`t have the opportunity to use the four-wheel drive, which is anon-command unit that doesn`t require getting out and locking the hubs. Four-wheel-drive traction and security in the winter would make up for the poormileage.

Base price of the four-door SE 4x4 we drove is $20,149 with manualtransmission, $21,079 with automatic. Those prices also include cruise controland intermittent wipers. By comparison, the Pathfinder four-door XE 4x2 startsat $15,720 with manual and $16,875 with automatic.

The two-door Pathfinder costs more than the four-door because the two-door is classified as a truck and therefore carries a 25 percent import taxand the four-door is classified as a passenger car and has no extra tax. Thetwo-door SE starts at $21,814 with manual and $22,744 with automatic.

Standard equipment in the SE we drove includes AM-FM stereo withcassette, air conditioning, power steering and power brakes. The optionalsport package on our test vehicle ran $2,000 and included aluminum alloywheels, the oversized tires, glass sunroof, limited slip differential,adjustable shocks, outside mounted spare tire with cover, fender flares andthe step rail.



Featured Services for this Nissan Pathfinder

  • Sell your current car quickly and easily on Cars.com.
  • Not sure what auto repair should cost you? Use our price estimator.
  • Get help with car repair now on Cars.com. Visit Repair & Care

Search Inventory Near You

Calculate Monthly Payment

What will my monthly cost be?

Check Payment

Calculate Affordable Price

What is the most I can afford?

Check Price

More Calculators

Compare finance offers to decide what's right for you.

Certain specifications, prices and equipment data have been provided under license from Chrome Data Solutions ("Chrome Data"). ©2013 Chrome Data Solutions, LP. All Rights Reserved. This information is supplied for personal use only and may not be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever without the express written consent of Chrome Data. Chrome Data makes no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied, including without limitation any warranty of merchantability or fitness for particular purpose, with respect to the data presented here. All specifications, prices and equipment are subject to change without notice.