2019 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2019 Honda Pilot

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The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder stands out from others in its segment in a number of significant ways. For one, it has the most front headroom in its class. It’s also priced well and has impressive towing capacity.

One of its closest competitors is another Japanese-made family SUV, the Honda Pilot. These two vehicles’ base city highway fuel economy and starting MSRPs are only negligibly different (the Pathfinder starts at $20 less than the Pilot), but the top-level Elite trim on the Pilot is almost $4,000 more (before adding any options) than the top-level Pathfinder Platinum. As far as their warranties, the coverage for basic, powertrain, and corrosion are also the same, with 60 months for corrosion and 36 months or 36,000 miles for the other coverage categories. Those factors make the two family SUVs clear rivals. We’ll compare their other major attributes below.

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Power and Capability

These two SUVs offer similar engines and horsepower: the Pathfinder has a 3.5-liter V6 making 284 horsepower, while the Pilot has a 3.5-liter 280 hp V6. One significant difference is that the Nissan Pathfinder is a 4×4, where the Honda Pilot can be equipped with all-wheel drive (both models come standard with two-wheel drive). Some of the advantages that 4WD has over AWD are higher towing capacity, better performance in low-traction situations (gravel, snow, and offroad), and potentially improved fuel economy of part-time 4WD over AWD systems, since the vehicle can operate in the more fuel-efficient 2WD mode whenever 4WD isn’t needed.

Nissan’s midsized SUV has a two-speed continuously variable transmission, and Honda’s has a nine-speed automatic transmission. Those who are looking to haul their snowmobiles, boat, or other trailered items will like to know that the Pathfinder’s standard towing capacity of 6,000 pounds is the best in the midsized SUV class – and 1,000 pounds more than the Pilot’s maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

Passenger Comfort and Space

While the Honda Pilot can seat up to one more occupant than the Pathfinder, the Nissan offers a bit more wiggle room for passengers in the first two rows, with its best-in-class front headroom (more than 2 inches more than the Honda). It also has 4.9 more cubic feet of total passenger volume than the Pilot. The Pilot has more space in the third row and cargo area, though, due to its wider stance – but this extra girth can make it harder to maneuver in tight spaces, especially parking lots.

The interior quality is similar in these vehicles. In their top trims, both have standard heated and ventilated front-row seats with leather upholstery, a blind-spot monitor, heated side mirrors, integrated navigation with voice activation, and park assist technology.