Ancira Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Pathfinder VS 2017 Toyota Highlander Near Boerne, TX

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2017 Nissan Pathfinder

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VS

2017 Toyota Highlander

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 Highlander doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

Both the Pathfinder and the Highlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors 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 Toyota Highlander:

 

Pathfinder

Highlander

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

42%

47%

Neck Stress

464 lbs.

509 lbs.

Neck Compression

25 lbs.

73 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

248

291

Neck Stress

137 lbs.

219 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

55 lbs.

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

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 Highlander:

 

Pathfinder

Highlander

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

101

111

Spine Acceleration

41 G’s

41 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

338

372

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

661 lbs.

829 lbs.

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

Engine Comparison

The Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 99 more horsepower (284 vs. 185) and 75 lbs.-ft. more torque (259 vs. 184) than the Highlander’s standard 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl.

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 on the Highlander are solid, not vented.

The Pathfinder stops much shorter than the Highlander:

 

Pathfinder

Highlander

 

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Pathfinder Platinum has standard 20-inch wheels. The Highlander’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

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 Highlander doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Pathfinder has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Highlander doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Pathfinder is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Highlander.

Chassis Comparison

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 Highlander (.33 to .34) 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 12.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Highlander (157.8 vs. 144.9).

The Pathfinder has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, 3.3 inches more rear legroom, .8 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.9 inches more third row headroom, 3 inches more third row legroom and 2.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the Highlander.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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

 

Pathfinder

Highlander

Behind Third Seat

16 cubic feet

13.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

n/a

42.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

42.4 cubic feet

n/a

The Pathfinder has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Highlander 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 Highlander 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

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 Highlander doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 Highlander doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 Highlander can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Highlander’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Pathfinder has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The Highlander doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

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 costs extra on the Highlander.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pathfinder is less expensive to operate than the Highlander because typical repairs cost much less on the Pathfinder than the Highlander, including $72 less for a water pump, $568 less for an alternator, $41 less for a starter, $478 less for a fuel pump, $454 less for front struts and $797 less for a timing belt/chain.

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