2008 Nissan Pathfinder

Find Another Nissan Pathfinder
13 CITY / 19 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:
  • Ride height lowered 15 mm

  • Standard Sirius satellite radio

  • Automatic climate control no longer available
Volkwagen introduced the first GTI in America in 1983. A modified Rabbit with a fuel-injected engine and stiffened suspension, the GTI was the original \"hot hatch\" and the car that kicked off the sport-compact craze, according to VW. The latest iteration of the GTI, based on VW's new \"A5\" platform, made its debut in 2006 in 2-door form; a 4-door version joined the lineup in 2007. For 2008, Volkswagen has lowered the GTI's suspension by about two-thirds of an inch, giving the car an even sportier look.

Model Lineup
Both 2- and 4-door versions of the 2008 Volkswagen GTI come in a single trim level with power windows, locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry; trip computer; 10-speaker stereo with 6-disc CD changer; Xenon headlights; alloy wheels; and cruise control. Options include summer tires, an iPod adapter, and a new Autobahn package, which bundles a sunroof; leather sport seats; leatherette door trim inserts; premium sound system; and heated washer nozzles. For 2008, the navigation system is only available as an add-on to the Autobahn package.

The 2008 GTI is powered by Volkswagen's 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with FSI direct fuel injection. Power output is 200 hp at 5100-6000 rpm and 207 lb.-ft. at 1800-5000 rpm. The GTI is offered with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission, the latter offering both manual and automatic shifting modes; EPA fuel economy estimates are 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway with the manual transmission, 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway with the DSG transmission.

All 2008 Volkswgen GTIs come with dual front air bags; front-seat-mounted side air bags; two-row side curtain air bags; anti-lock brakes; and electronic stability control. Rear-seat-mounted side air bags are offered as an option on the 4-door GTI. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash-tested the 4-door GTI and awarded it 4 out of 5 stars for frontal crash protection and 5 stars for side impact; the rollover rating was 4 stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not crash-tested a GTI; however they did test the structurally-similar Jetta and awarded it their best-possible \"Good\" rating for both front and side impacts.

The DSG (a.k.a. twin-clutch transmission) is Volkswagen's answer to the high-performance automatic transmission. It is similar in theory to a sequential manual transmission (essentially a fully-automated manual transmission) but eliminates the lag between shifting by employing two separate 3-speed gearboxes linked by a clutch. Instead of shifting gears, the transmission pre-selects the next likely gear on the alternate gearbox, then uses the clutch to switch between gearboxes for a near-instant gear change. DSG allows for fully automatic operation or manual shifting via the gear selector or steering-wheel-mounted paddles, and because it uses a mechanical clutch rather than a hydraulic torque converter it does not suffer from power loss like a traditional automatic, Volkswagen says. DSG is the first transmission of its kind available in a production car, and several other automakers, including Mitsubishi and Nissan, will be launching their own twin-clutch gearboxes in the near future.

J.D. Power Ratings

Automotive Performance Execution and Layout
Overall Performance and Design?
Features and Instrument Panel?
Initial Quality Study
Overall Quality - Design?
Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical?
Body & Interior Quality - Design?
Overall Quality - Mechanical?
Features & Accessories Quality - Design?
Powertrain Quality - Design?
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical?
Overall Quality?
Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical?
Vehicle Dependability Study
Feature and Accessory Dependability?
Powertrain Dependability?
Body and Interior Dependability?
Overall Dependability?

Power Circle Scoring Legend:

Among the best
Better than most
About average
The rest
*Please note that JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards. Learn more about how J.D. Power Ratings are calculated.

The Latest New Car Previews, Buyer's guides, Articles and more from J.D. Power: