Nissan Pathfinder vs. Toyota Highlander: Which One’s Best for Me?

Seeking at the 2022 Highlander and Pathfinder, you will truly feel like Toyota and Nissan are finally figuring out the 3-row mid-size SUV, albeit in their unique ways. The 2022 offerings are refreshingly impressive in benefit, with each manufacturers sidestepping shortcomings of prior yr types to rating details in style, comfort, efficiency, and far more. There’s tiny compromise on both side, and each seem to be making a honest energy to win in this at any time-well-known category.

In comparing the Highlander and Pathfinder this 12 months, it is intriguing how they take individual routes to arrive at similar answers. The lineups and progression of updates couldn’t seem a lot more dissimilar, and that could be substantial if you want to help save the complete most income without having sacrificing functions. But no matter what, if you are a mum or dad attempting to discover the next family vehicle, these two well-rounded options must be on your shortlist.

car and road dividerAt a Glance

Nissan Pathfinder

  • Engine: 3.5L V6
  • HP/Torque: 284 hp/259 ft-lb
  • Transmission: 9-speed automatic
  • MPG: 21 city/26 highway/23 combined
  • Tow rating: 3,500 lbs. S Model/6,000 lbs. SV, SL, Platinum models

Toyota Highlander

  • Engine: 3.5L V6; 2.5L 4-cylinder dual-electric motor in hybrid models
  • HP/Torque: 295 hp/263 ft-lb
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • MPG: 21 city/29 highway FWD; 20 city/28 highway AWD; 35 combined hybrid
  • Tow rating: 5,000 lbs.; 3,500 hybrid

Nissan Pathfinder Overview

The Pathfinder types are not a problem to determine out this year. There are only 4 in the lineup, each offered in FWD or AWD for an extra $one,900, and the specs are comparable during, with predicted include-ons in increased-tier models.

Nissan took a centered method to the simplicity of the lineup, and it performs out to give the Pathfinder much more believability as a family members wagon. We don’t get a divergent design this year. There is no lackluster, mid-tier, “off-road-for-show” car that underwhelms towards much more rugged contenders in demanding terrain. Instead, you have a functional family motor vehicle for all issues families would want to do. It retains you cozy and your little ones entertained on the way to faculty, and it has the energy and grit necessary to get the boat to the lake for the weekend.

Nissan Pathfinder Models

  • S
  • SV
  • SL
  • Platinum

Comfort and Entertainment

The S collection does not maintain again in comfort in comparison to other base models amid the competitors, but it will take a single or two updates to get any noteworthy attributes. Upgrading to the SV, you get the subsequent:

  • 10-way power driver’s seat adjustment
  • Heated front seats
  • Remote start with Intelligent Climate Control
  • Optional second-row captain’s chairs
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Transferring to the SL, you up grade to leather seating, energy passenger seat adjustment, heated steering wheel, optional panoramic moonroof, and optional heated second-row captain’s chairs. When you bounce up to the Platinum, second-row captain’s chairs are regular, as are the second-row centre console, driver’s seat memory, and full local climate control in the front seats.

Normal infotainment offers in all Pathfinder versions contain an 8-inch contact display with the latest NissanConnect functioning software, Apple CarPlay, Android Vehicle, voice recognition, and a 6-speaker audio system. Upgrading to the SV provides you a wi-fi hotspot, but the SL and Platinum are exactly where the amusement deals just take off. In the SL, you achieve an further USB, wi-fi CarPlay, Doorway-to-Door navigation, and a three-month trial to SiriusXM Travel Url.

A wireless telephone charging pad and 13-speaker Bose audio technique are obtainable possibilities on the SL and common on the Platinum model. You will also gain a heads-up screen and a customizable all-electronic dashboard in this prime-stop product.


The standard driver’s assist features on the Pathfinder are impressive and much more extensive than numerous of its rivals. Even the cheapest base model will come with the subsequent elements as portion of the Nissan Basic safety Defend 360 deal:

  • Forward collision detection
  • Automatic braking with pedestrian detection
  • Lane departure and lane-keep assist
  • Blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert
  • Automatic reverse braking
  • Driver alertness monitor
  • High beam assist

Upgrading to the SL adds automatic intervention for lane departure and blind-spot monitoring. You also gain Nissan’s ProPilot Help, an autonomous driving feature that helps with braking, accelerating, and lane centering.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The Pathfinder’s gasoline economy of 23 mpg mixed is common at greatest. If great gas mileage is your main priority, you’re better off with a reduced-priced but much more fuel-efficient Volkswagen Tiguan or Mitsubishi Outlander. Or, if you don’t brain spending some further income, you could decide for 1 of a handful of hybrid possibilities like the Kia Sorento or, sure, the Toyota Highlander, both of which get over 35 mpg combined.

A nine-speed computerized transmission replaces the CVT of prior Pathfinder versions, so you get greater dependability with out sacrificing considerably in clean acceleration. Obtaining up to sixty mph takes just underneath 7 seconds, beating many of its competition and contradicting its comparatively lower energy and torque. Every AWD product also involves a seven-method dial selector for various kinds of terrain and an Intelligent 4×4 method to routinely adjust torque and sustain traction and route in adverse problems.

  • Excellent standard safety and driver-assist package
  • Lots of storage cubbies and cargo room
  • Sharp, updated exterior style
  • Superior towing capacity
  • Quiet and pleasant ride
  • Limited third-row legroom
  • Struggles in off-road situations

Toyota Highlander Overview

Toyota created a motor vehicle for everybody in this year’s expansive Highlander lineup. There are a lot more tiers to this lineup than in the Pathfinder’s, and you also have several hybrids between the bunch. As with Nissan, Toyota crammed standard functions into entry-level models, carrying out its very best to preserve competitive value with every single phase in the collection.

And like the Pathfinder, fuel versions are FWD with an AWD update, this time for $one,600–$1,950, based on the model. It’s a properly-made journey featuring Toyota’s hallmarks of dependability and gasoline economy, and it will get unexpectedly luxurious after you move into the leading-tier versions.

Toyota Highlander Models

  • L
  • LE
  • Hybrid LE
  • XLE
  • Hybrid XLE
  • XSE
  • Limited
  • Hybrid Limited
  • Platinum
  • Hybrid Platinum
  • Bronze Edition

Comfort and Entertainment

The very first two rows of the Highlander are adult-pleasant in space and comfort and ease, and every single product is generously appointed. The XLE replaces material interiors with SofTex vegan leather-based and updates seating to a ten-way driver facet and eight-way passenger side energy-adjustable seating, a notable advantage above the Pathfinder’s 4-way passenger aspect adjustability. Shifting to the Constrained and Platinum models upgrades the comfort and ease even far more with leather seating.

Captain’s chairs are an obtainable selection on the XLE model and over, and you can up grade to heated with the Platinum. 3rd-row legroom is restricted, so it’s only appropriate for young children.

The common infotainment deal is entire of features. Every Highlander involves an eight-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Car, Amazon Alexa, a six-speaker seem method, and a wi-fi hotspot. Shifting to the XLE, you acquire a wireless charging station and optional Driver Straightforward Communicate, which initiatives the driver’s voice throughout the cabin. The Constrained and Platinum bump the display screen measurement to an massive 12.three inches, and audio improves to an 11-speaker JBL method.


Every Highlander comes outfitted with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 deal and a complimentary one-yr subscription to Basic safety Hook up, a suite of companies to assist with roadside guidance, stolen automobiles, and collision notifications.

The Basic safety Sense 2.5 services setup is equivalent to Nissan’s choices, but you also get street sign guidance and dynamic cruise management as element of the normal package. Blind-location monitoring doesn’t arrive with the L collection, but it is available on every subsequent upgrade.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The Highlander edges the Pathfinder for fuel effectiveness in the gas variations, but the hybrid blows it out of the drinking water. With 35 mpg blended, the Highlander hybrid is one particular of the most inexpensive a few-row SUVs available.

Like the Pathfinder, the driving response is sufficient but uninspiring. The eight-velocity computerized transmission replaces the CVT from previous year’s design, offering you far more reliability with out supplying up way too significantly in sleek acceleration and deceleration. The hybrid sticks with the CVT, and you get rid of some acceleration. The fuel product compares to the Pathfinder, but the hybrid goes from 0–60 in about 7 seconds.

  • Good fuel economy
  • Excellent standard safety features
  • Upgraded interior seating from prior year models
  • Expansive infotainment options
  • Outdated touchscreen
  • Infotainment control array feels awkward
  • Poor third-row seating space

How do they compare?


  • Edge – Split: The Highlander and Pathfinder feel roughly the same as you cruise around, and they have similar off-road capabilities. But they both have unique advantages otherwise. On the one hand, the Pathfinder offers one of the best towing capacities in the class at 6,000 lbs. Meanwhile, the Highlander wins in the fuel economy battle.

Price and Value


  • Edge – Highlander: Despite being cheaper than the base Highlander, the basic Pathfinder model has a superior safety setup. That small battle aside, Toyota still wins the overall safety war. The Pathfinder earns respectable marks from IIHS (no rating from NHTSA), but even though there are no glaring deficiencies, it can’t compete with the Highlander’s 5-star NHTSA rating or its position as an IIHS Top Safety Pick+.


Comfort and Storage

What the Users Say

Highlander proprietors adore the leading-rated security functions, inside appointments, and spaciousness in Toyota’s line. Platinum and Minimal homeowners are fast to position out their vehicles’ luxuriousness, and virtually every proprietor enjoys the responsive driving and acceleration. For disadvantages, a lot of drivers discover the seats turn out to be uncomfortable, specially on prolonged drives, and some even notice decrease back pain soon after extended periods of sitting down.

For a lot of Pathfinder proprietors, it feels like Nissan set out the revamped SUV before ironing out its difficulty spots. There have been four recalls on it hence much, and a laggy, unreliable infotainment interface is a common supply of frustration. But even although the Highlander is a little bit much more buttoned-up, new Pathfinder proprietors recognize this year’s modern, burly exterior and its assortment of features for the price.

car and road dividerConclusion

Nissan and Toyota manufactured critical measures in the proper route this 12 months. The Highlander is the greater automobile, providing the dependability that you assume from the brand name, excellent gasoline economy, and very best-in-class safety. It’s a more costly alternative at its beginning price tag, but the self confidence the Highlander affords is difficult to match in any other product.

Searching at the 2022 Pathfinder, you can see that Nissan is generating smarter moves to cater to a lot more clients. The exterior styling is a significant phase up, and some of the attributes appear so functional that it’s astonishing they’re exceptional to Nissan. There are undoubtedly some troubles to function out, and the 2023 Pathfinder may provide a lot more flawless execution to this year’s wonderful suggestions. That said, with the characteristics you get for the cost, it is virtually like Nissan is sensible about its position in the hearts and minds of its consumers and needs to give a lot more for the money.

They are two distinctive cars, but the Pathfinder and Highlander vie for the very same group. Neither are the most fascinating to drive, but if you contend with a car complete of children in your everyday driver and want to keep every person comfy and entertained, make sure to give these two stellar choices a check generate just before deciding.

Highlighted Picture Credit: Left: Nissan Pathfinder (Picture Credit rating: EurovisionNim, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.) | Rght: Toyota Highlander (Impression Credit: Kevauto, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.)