Ancira Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Pathfinder VS 2017 Toyota 4Runner Near San Antonio, TX

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2017 Nissan Pathfinder

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VS

2017 Toyota 4Runner

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 Toyota 4Runner doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

The Pathfinder Platinum has standard Forward Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 4Runner doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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 4Runner only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Pathfinder (except S)’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Pathfinder (except S)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Pathfinder uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The 4Runner uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Pathfinder and the 4Runner 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all-wheel drive.

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 Toyota 4Runner:

 

Pathfinder

4Runner

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

42%

47%

Neck Compression

25 lbs.

54 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

248

367

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

33%

57%

Neck Stress

137 lbs.

271 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

58 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 4Runner:

 

Pathfinder

4Runner

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

39

142

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

3 cm

12 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

15 cm

18 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

2.3/.1 kN

3.9/2.4 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

1%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Tibia index R/L

.52/.37

.95/.85

Tibia forces R/L

.8/.1 kN

5/2.9 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 Toyota 4Runner:

 

Pathfinder

4Runner

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

120 G’s

179 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Max Damage Depth

18 inches

20 inches

HIC

338

507

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

661 lbs.

895 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 4Runner was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Engine Comparison

The Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 14 more horsepower (284 vs. 270) than the 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Pathfinder gets better fuel mileage than the 4Runner:

 

 

Pathfinder

4Runner

 

2WD

3.5 V6/CVT

20 city/27 hwy

17 city/22 hwy

4.0 V6/Auto

4WD

3.5 V6/CVT

19 city/26 hwy

17 city/21 hwy

4.0 V6/Auto

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Pathfinder stops much shorter than the 4Runner:

 

Pathfinder

4Runner

 

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

201 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Pathfinder S/SV/SL’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 4Runner’s standard 70 series tires. The Pathfinder Platinum’s tires have a lower 55 series profile than the 4Runner Limited’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Pathfinder S/SV/SL has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 4Runner.

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 4Runner doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Nissan Pathfinder has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Toyota 4Runner has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Pathfinder’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the 4Runner (114.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Pathfinder is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 4Runner.

The Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 handles at .76 G’s, while the 4Runner TRD Off-Road pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Pathfinder SL 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 4Runner TRD Off-Road (28.7 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 29.5 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

Unibody construction makes the Pathfinder’s chassis much stiffer, which contributes to better handling, and enables softer springs to be used for a better ride. Unibody construction’s stiffness also contributes to better durability and less body squeaks and rattles. The 4Runner doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

The design of the Nissan Pathfinder amounts to more than styling. The Pathfinder has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .326 Cd. That is significantly lower than the 4Runner (.36) 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 29.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 4Runner (157.8 vs. 128).

The Pathfinder has 2.9 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front hip room, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 8.8 inches more rear legroom, .4 inches more rear hip room, 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room, 3.5 inches more third row headroom and 1.4 inches more third row legroom than the 4Runner.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pathfinder’s middle and third row seats recline. The 4Runner’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Pathfinder’s cargo area provides more volume than the 4Runner.

 

Pathfinder

4Runner

Behind Third Seat

16 cubic feet

9 cubic feet

The Pathfinder’s cargo area is larger than the 4Runner’s in almost every dimension:

 

Pathfinder

4Runner

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

19.2”/43.7”/78.9”

n.a./42”/66.3”

Min Width

45.4”

42.4”

The Pathfinder has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The 4Runner doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Pathfinder’s cargo door can be opened just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The Pathfinder also SL/Platinum has a standard power cargo door, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Pathfinder offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The engine computer on the Pathfinder automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The 4Runner’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

The Pathfinder SL/Platinum’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 4Runner doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Pathfinder has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Pathfinder SV/SL/Platinum’s standard wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The 4Runner’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Pathfinder has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the 4Runner only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Pathfinder’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 4Runner’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

When the Pathfinder SL/Platinum is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The 4Runner’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Pathfinder and the 4Runner offer available heated front seats. The Pathfinder SL/Platinum also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the 4Runner.

On extremely cold winter days, the Pathfinder’s optional (except S) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Pathfinder has a standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air-conditioning is only available on the 4Runner Limited.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Pathfinder Platinum has a standard Intelligent Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The 4Runner doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pathfinder is less expensive to operate than the 4Runner because typical repairs cost much less on the Pathfinder than the 4Runner, including $79 less for a starter, $124 less for a fuel pump, $50 less for front struts and $772 less for a timing belt/chain.

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