Nissan Pathfinder vs Competitors




The popularity of SUVs is at an all-time high. With so many variations to choose from, it’s next to impossible not to find one that fits your specific needs. One of the most popular vehicles in this segment is the Nissan Pathfinder. Its above-average utility accommodations, comfortable interior, and standard and available technology are big reasons that it competes so well against the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, Kia Sorento, and Subaru Ascent. Despite the healthy rivalry, the Pathfinder manages to be a fan favorite. Here’s why:


Interior Space and Towing Capacity

One of the reasons SUVs are so popular is that they fit a lot of people and a lot of stuff. While you can get more space with a full-sized variant, it will of course cost more. With the Pathfinder you don’t have to sacrifice space for a better price. It’s the most cavernous in its class, providing 41.7 inches of second-row leg room. The Highlander, Pilot, and Traverse all trail with just 38.4 in., as do the Explorer (39.5 in.), Sorento (39.4 in.), CX-9, (39.4 in.), and Ascent (38.6 in.). On top of this, the Pathfinder offers class-leading towing capacity of up to 6,000 pounds. In contrast, the Highlander, Traverse, Sorento, and Ascent only allow for up to 5,000 lb., while the Pilot and CX-9 only handle up to 3,500 lb. Only the Explorer outdoes the Pathfinder, with its ability to tow up to 5,600 lb.


Standard Features and Engine Output

The base-level S Pathfinder trim has a decent number of standard features, including tri-zone automatic climate control and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The infotainment screen sizes on the base Highlander (6.1 in.), Pilot (5 in.), Traverse (7 in.), and Sorento (7 in.) are smaller, and they do not include the climate control system. While the CX-9 and Ascent equip their base trims with tri-zone automatic climate control, their infotainment touchscreens are smaller at 7 in. and 6.5 in., respectively, and they are also more expensive vehicles. As for the base Explorer, climate control is not standard and the touchscreen is significantly smaller at 4.2 inches. Nissan has also put automatic emergency braking and rear parking sensors on every trim level.

The Pathfinder’s smooth standard 3.5-liter V6 engine is noteworthy as it churns a respectable 284 horses and 259 pound-feet of torque, making it more powerful than a few of the other vehicles in this class, namely the Highlander, Pilot, Sorento, and Ascent. This engine even gets decent combined fuel economy of 23 mpg, while the Explorer, Traverse, and Ascent are rated at 22 mpg combined, and the Sportage at 21 mpg combined.