The cars in our long-term fleet get passed around a lot. Someone needs to move? They sign up for the Sprinter van. Want to impress some family coming to town? Make sure the Tesla is charged. When a group is heading out for a story and needs something practical that can carry a few people and lots of gear and fit in most parking spaces, the Nissan Pathfinder fits the bill. This last example also happens to be the most common, which makes my Pathfinder equivalent to the village bicycle.

We're approaching 22,000 miles on the clock of our Artic Blue Platinum Edition Nissan Pathfinder. Certainly any vehicle left in the care of man-children driving off on adventures around the country will fall victim to hasty carelessness, so most of the nicks and dings we've incurred came courtesy of our negligence. A parking lot incident claimed part of the driver's side mirror. The part of the mirror that's damaged houses one of the cameras for the Around-View Monitor System, though the camera itself wasn't damaged.

In another incident I wasn't present for, the plastic panel surrounding the tow-hitch was knocked off. It's not terribly noticeable since it's a bunch of black metal that was covered by black plastic, but it is something that needs to be repaired. One of the caps that cover the AC Adapters also broke off outside of my supervision, but that should be a cheap fix.

Inside there are some scuffs to various panels from loading heavier, pointier gear, and from some rogue coolers sliding around en route, but nothing that justifies replacing body panels or swathes of fabric.

What's impressive is even with all this abuse, the only thing that has broken by no fault of ours is the plastic that holds the fuel cap to the fuel door. The little string that allows the cap to dangle while you're filling up came undone, and while it can be reattached easily, it comes back undone every once in a while. Hardly catastrophic, but it definitely broken.

Check back for our next update with a full breakdown of how much it cost us to repair all these little hiccups.


Our Car
Service life 21,004 mi
Average fuel economy 20.5 mpg
CO2 emissions 0.95 lb/mi
City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ 19/25/21 mpg
Energy consumption 164 kW-hr/100mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $306.73 (2-oil change, inspection)
Normal-wear cost $0