Ancira Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Pathfinder VS 2017 Dodge Durango Near Boerne, TX

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2017 Nissan Pathfinder

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VS

2017 Dodge Durango

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Pathfinder are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Dodge Durango doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

The Pathfinder SL/Platinum has a standard Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Durango only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Pathfinder and the Durango have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Pathfinder is safer than the Dodge Durango:

 

Pathfinder

Durango

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

25 lbs.

26 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

248

344

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

123 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Nissan Pathfinder is safer than the Durango:

 

Pathfinder

Durango

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

39

119

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

3 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

15 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Femur Force R/L

2.3/.1 kN

5.3/2.5 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

6%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.52/.37

1.53/.59

Tibia forces R/L

.8/.1 kN

1.9/1.4 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Pathfinder is safer than the Dodge Durango:

 

Pathfinder

Durango

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1 inches

Abdominal Force

120 G’s

185 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

101

120

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

661 lbs.

666 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Pathfinder the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 107 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Durango was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty Comparison

The Pathfinder’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Durango runs out after 60,000 miles.

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the Pathfinder has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Durango.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 21st, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 27th in reliability. With 35 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 32nd.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Pathfinder gets better fuel mileage than the Durango:

 

 

Pathfinder

Durango

 

2WD

3.5 V6/CVT

20 city/27 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

4WD

3.5 V6/CVT

19 city/26 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Pathfinder uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Durango with the 5.7 V8 engine requires mid-grade for maximum efficiency, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Pathfinder’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Durango V6 are solid, not vented.

The Pathfinder stops much shorter than the Durango:

 

Pathfinder

Durango

 

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

142 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

145 feet

160 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Pathfinder has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Durango doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Pathfinder has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Pathfinder flat and controlled during cornering. The Durango’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Pathfinder is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Durango.

The Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 handles at .76 G’s, while the Durango GT pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

The Nissan Pathfinder may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 750 pounds less than the Dodge Durango.

The design of the Nissan Pathfinder amounts to more than styling. The Pathfinder has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .326 Cd. That is lower than the Durango (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Pathfinder get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Pathfinder has 23.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Durango (157.8 vs. 133.9).

The Pathfinder has 2.3 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, 3.1 inches more rear legroom, 13.3 inches more rear hip room, 10 inches more rear shoulder room and 6.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the Durango.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pathfinder’s middle and third row seats recline. The Durango’s third row seats don’t recline.

The front step up height for the Pathfinder is 1.6 inches lower than the Durango (18.9” vs. 20.5”). The Pathfinder’s rear step up height is 1.1 inches lower than the Durango’s (19.5” vs. 20.6”).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Pathfinder has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Durango doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Pathfinder SL/Platinum’s cargo door can be opened just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The Durango doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

If the front windows are left down on the Pathfinder the driver can raise them using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Durango can only raise the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Pathfinder, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Durango.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Pathfinder outsold the Dodge Durango by 10% during the 2016 model year.

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