2002 Nissan Pathfinder

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Key Specs

of the 2002 Nissan Pathfinder. Base trim shown.

2002 Nissan Pathfinder Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Nissan’s midsize sport utility vehicle received a new, substantially more powerful 240-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine for introduction as an early 2001 model. A fresh grille with a larger, restyled Nissan badge goes on 2002 models, which come with new 16- and 17-inch aluminum wheels. The SE edition features new titanium-accented step rails, a roof rack with an integrated air dam, new body-colored bumpers and fender flares, and a redesigned cloth interior. The steering wheel has been restyled, and the six-disc CD changer is said to function more rapidly.

Built from the same design as the Infiniti QX4, the Pathfinder has fewer amenities and an appreciably lower sticker price. Nissan also sells the Xterra, which is based on the Frontier pickup and priced below the Pathfinder.



Exterior
Though it displays a typical SUV appearance overall, the Pathfinder has a neatly tapered rear end. It has a 106.3-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 182.7 inches — 5 inches longer than the Xterra. Standing about 68 inches tall, the Pathfinder measures close to 70 inches wide and has four side doors. The rear liftgate has a window that flips up.



Interior
All Pathfinders seat five, though foot room for backseat occupants might be tight beneath the front seats. Instrument clusters in the XE and LE models have black markings on a white background, in contrast to the SE’s gauges, which have a titanium background and colors that reverse at night. Large, convenient contro...
Vehicle Overview
Nissan’s midsize sport utility vehicle received a new, substantially more powerful 240-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine for introduction as an early 2001 model. A fresh grille with a larger, restyled Nissan badge goes on 2002 models, which come with new 16- and 17-inch aluminum wheels. The SE edition features new titanium-accented step rails, a roof rack with an integrated air dam, new body-colored bumpers and fender flares, and a redesigned cloth interior. The steering wheel has been restyled, and the six-disc CD changer is said to function more rapidly.

Built from the same design as the Infiniti QX4, the Pathfinder has fewer amenities and an appreciably lower sticker price. Nissan also sells the Xterra, which is based on the Frontier pickup and priced below the Pathfinder.



Exterior
Though it displays a typical SUV appearance overall, the Pathfinder has a neatly tapered rear end. It has a 106.3-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 182.7 inches — 5 inches longer than the Xterra. Standing about 68 inches tall, the Pathfinder measures close to 70 inches wide and has four side doors. The rear liftgate has a window that flips up.



Interior
All Pathfinders seat five, though foot room for backseat occupants might be tight beneath the front seats. Instrument clusters in the XE and LE models have black markings on a white background, in contrast to the SE’s gauges, which have a titanium background and colors that reverse at night. Large, convenient controls operate the climate and audio systems. Optional duplicate audio controls on the steering wheel include an on-off switch. A 60/40-split rear seat folds to create 85 cubic feet of cargo space.



Under the Hood
One engine, two transmissions and two drive systems are available for the Pathfinder. The 3.5-liter V-6 engine develops 240 hp in the automatic and an additional 10 hp with a manual shift. The Pathfinder SE has a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission; XE and LE models come only with the automatic gearbox.

The Pathfinder can have rear-wheel drive or a part-time four-wheel-drive system, which is intended for use on slippery surfaces. The 4WD system can be engaged or disengaged at up to 50 mph by using a floor-mounted transfer-case lever. The Pathfinder LE 4x4 has a push-button All-Mode 4WD system that permits up to 50 percent of available torque to reach the front wheels when needed.



Safety
Antilock brakes are standard. Side-impact airbags are part of an optional leather package for the LE and SE models.



Driving Impressions
The Pathfinder is a mighty smooth operator — a true pleasure to drive and ride in, delivering plenty of performance to boot. Ride quality reaches close to gentle, and it gets choppy only on washboard surfaces. Despite the soft ride, handling ranks above average as the Pathfinder maneuvers easily and adeptly, staying relatively flat in curves and corners. Little or no correction is needed on straightaways. An easy-acting automatic transmission delivers prompt gear changes.

Seats are comfortable and supportive. The backseat is as inviting as the front seat, with fine legroom, if not quite as much headroom. In short, the Pathfinder is very carlike, in the best sense of the word, and actually smoother-riding than the related Infiniti QX4.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Latest 2002 Pathfinder Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

I have owned this car since 2001

by Hibby from GA on May 17, 2018

I have over 312,000 miles on this reliable pathfinder. We bought it new with 7 miles on it and it had been a blessing. Of course you have to keep it maintained but it is well worth it. I a so happy to ... Read full review

(3.0)

Ok car

by Meow on March 19, 2018

This car had a lot of body damage and I don’t want a car to with damage. I’m looking for something different in the near future. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2002 Nissan Pathfinder currently has 8 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Nissan Pathfinder has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Pathfinder received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker