What's that thing get about 10mpg city?
Gotta say though, I'd rather have an Escalade. Manly exhaust rumble unmatched by the Nissan engine and 100 years of GM truck-building behind it, the drivetrain will go on for as long as you care to own it.
Itís rated at 14/20 (thatís with a 400+ hp V8). Interestingly, our Pathfinder (240hp 3.5 V6 and some 1500lbs lighter
) is rated at, I think 16/20, maybe 17/20. We got about 18 with the a/c continually on from May to November each year, a little higher when the a/c is off and the windows/moonroof open (November to April). If our QX56 gets 16 or 17, that might be about right.
On our list (wifeís list, mostly) of importance, mileage landed next to last, right before overtly loud/manly exhaust note. While we never considered a domestic product, I do know from a neighbor 2 houses down that his very new Yukon (big long one) has the third row seat bolted to the floor and does not fold up/down electrically into the floor (must be removed and stored). We will rarely ever use the 3rd row, so itíll be folded flat all the time, but if the need were to arise, the seat is always there in a pinch. Also, reliability is much poorer for a GM SUV product. We just really like Japanese made Infiniti products, their amazing service, and the dealer/salesman weíve bought from twice (in Sarasota). But to each his/her own.
How is the Pathfinder treating your son? My girlfriend and I have been looking at a 2003 Infiniti QX4 (Pathfinder clone) with the 3.5 V6 and 88k miles as a replacement for her Maxima. I have always admired this generation of the Pathfinder/QX4s.
My wife mainly drove the Pathfinder up until about 2009 or so, and it was not nearly flawless, but completely
flawless. My son, who is now in grad school, had also been using it during his undergrad years. It has continued to be flawless, needing only the 100K mile service a year or so back. EVERYTHING was changed/serviced that could be serviced, including differential fluid, but no timing belt (the 3.5 has a chain!).
To this day it starts, drives, and runs like it did when we bought it new. It probably now has about 112K+ miles, I donít know exactly since my son officially owns it (gifted it to him for his graduation present). There isnít a single squeak or rattle, and every feature still works. And it has never had a check engine light. I do know my son is driving it a lot less gingerly than we did, and not taking quite as good care as I did (hey, itís his car now, and his full responsibility). Still, itís a little painful to see it dirtier and not OCDíd upon. Will be interesting to see how it does solely in his care.
The only thing I would look out for on a used Pathy/QX4 (1996-2004) is a serious rust problem in the front left wheelwell that can occur. There is a serious recall. Our
Pathfinder has never seen nothiní but Florida sunshine, and there isnít a single rusty nut or bolt on the car. When I looked underneath the whole SUV this past summer, the exhaust is still like new, and even the heat shields are solid as a rock. Gotta love Florida (non) winters!
But if a Pathy or QX4 has been driven up north in salty conditions, rust through is very likely, and the results are disastrous. So bad, that if you take the car in to the Nissan dealer to have it checked, and they find it rusted through, the car is immediately impounded, and a settlement is then tendered through Nissanís law firm. Some of the stories Iíve read online are not pretty. Go to NicoClub or do a search of the problem. If the Pathfinder has been a Florida/Sunbelt car, itís all good. Our
Pathfinder wheelwell is spotless. But if the used one you might find is from a snowbird (Carfax its location history), check BOTH front wheelwells very carefully. Since youíre in Orlando, chances are good the car is fine. Just a heads up.
But as far as the VQ35, the transmission, AC, ESC, or any other mechanical bits on our Pathfinder, I canít be any more pleased after 10 years. Even the exterior and interior styling is timeless. Also, it tows up to 5000lbs and is set up to do so from the factory.
And it was built in Japan (next to the Maxima).
Good luck in whatever you two end up getting.