Ancira Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Pathfinder VS 2018 Volkswagen Atlas Near New Braunfels, TX

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2017 Nissan Pathfinder

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas

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

Both the Pathfinder and the Atlas have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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.

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 113 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Atlas has not been tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

The Pathfinder comes with free roadside assistance for 3 years 36,000 miles. Nissan will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Atlas.

There are over 65 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pathfinder’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 9 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine Comparison

The Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 49 more horsepower (284 vs. 235) and 1 lbs.-ft. more torque (259 vs. 258) than the Atlas’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 8 more horsepower (284 vs. 276) than the Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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

 

 

Pathfinder

Atlas

 

2WD

V6/Auto

20 city/27 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

 

4WD

V6/Auto

19 city/26 hwy

17 city/23 hwy

 

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Pathfinder uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Atlas requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Pathfinder has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the Atlas (19.5 vs. 18.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Atlas are solid, not vented.

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 Atlas 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 Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 Atlas (.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 4.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Atlas (157.8 vs. 153.7).

The Pathfinder has .9 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front legroom, 4.1 inches more rear legroom and 2.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Atlas.

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

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 Atlas doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Ergonomics Comparison

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 Atlas only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Atlas’ mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 Atlas and isn’t available on the Atlas S.

The Pathfinder’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Atlas S doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

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