Honda Pilot vs. Nissan Pathfinder

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - June 30, 2023
2023 Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder are some of the newer midsize SUVs on the market. The Pilot was fully redesigned for the 2023 model year and Nissan introduced a redesigned Pathfinder for 2022. If you’re in the market for a family-friendly midsize SUV that can act as a minivan alternative and tackle some light trails, both are strong options.

Here’s a brief comparison looking into some of the similarities and differences between the two midsize SUVs when it comes to pricing, size, reliability, and engine performance. Choosing between the Pilot and Pathfinder may be harder than you think. With this comparison, we’ll help you decide which model is right for you.

Honda Pilot vs. Nissan Pathfinder Price

2023 Nissan Pathfinder

The Nissan Pathfinder has a small advantage over the Honda Pilot when it comes to pricing. The cheapest Nissan Pathfinder is the S trim which starts at $36,535 (with destination), while the most expensive trim is the Platinum which costs $49,505. The most affordable Honda Pilot is the LX which starts at $37,645 and the most expensive trim is the Elite which carries a starting price tag of $53,725.

Based on starting prices, there’s a $1,110 difference in price between the base Pathfinder and the Pilot. When you compare the two most expensive trims to one another, there’s a $4,220 difference between the two in the Pathfinder’s favor.

Despite being the more expensive midsize SUV of the two, the Pilot is available with more affordable deals. Lease deals for the Pilot tend to be more affordable than ones that are available for the Pathfinder. While Honda’s lease deals for the Pilot are usually better than the ones that Nissan is offering for the Pathfinder, Nissan tends to have better financing deals.

Honda Pilot vs. Nissan Pathfinder Size

2023 Honda Pilot Interior

While both the Pilot and Pathfinder are classified as midsize SUVs, they slightly differ in size. The Pilot is 199.9 inches long, 78.5 inches wide, and 71 inches tall. This makes the Honda larger than the Pathfinder. Compared to one another, the Pilot is roughly three inches longer and 0.5 inches wider.

The Pilot’s larger size results in more interior space for passengers. Both SUVs offer seating for up to eight people, but the Pilot has the roomier cabin. The Pilot has more front and second-row shoulder room, second-row headroom, second-row legroom, second-row hip room, and third-row legroom. Space for passengers in the second and third rows is especially roomy in the Pilot, as the SUV has roughly five more inches of legroom in the second row and four more inches of legroom in the third row.

In addition to having more interior space for passengers, the Pilot also has more cargo capacity than the Pathfinder. The Pilot has 18.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, 48.5 cubic feet of space behind the second row, and 87 cubic feet of total cargo space. The Pathfinder falls slightly behind with 16.6 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 45 cubic feet of space behind the second row, and a total of 80.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

Honda Pilot vs. Nissan Pathfinder Reliability

2023 Honda Pilot Safety System

Based on Consumer Reports reliability data, the Pilot is expected to be more reliable than the Pathfinder. The organization gave the Pilot a predicted reliability score of three out of five and a predicted owner satisfaction of four out of five. In Consumer Reports’ rankings of midsize three-row SUVs, the Pilot finished in fifth place.

The Pathfinder didn’t earn the same high ratings as the Pilot. Consumer Reports gave the Pathfinder a score of one out of five for predicted reliability and three out of five for satisfaction. In the organization’s rankings, the Pathfinder finished in 15th place out of 16 vehicles.

Honda Pilot vs. Nissan Pathfinder Specs

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Engine

Both the Pilot and Pathfinder come with 3.5-liter V6 engines and have a similar amount of power. In the Pilot, the V6 engine is rated at 285 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The Pathfinder’s V6 produces 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque.

Unlike the Pilot, the Pathfinder is available with a more powerful V6 engine in the Rock Creek trim. The rugged model has 295 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque.

While the midsize SUVs offer a similar level of performance, the Pathfinder has a large advantage when it comes to towing capacity. With front-wheel drive, the Pilot can tow up to 3,500 pounds. While adding all-wheel drive models are rated at up to 5,000 pounds.

Lower Pathfinder trims are rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds. When properly equipped, the Pathfinder offers up to 6,000 pounds of towing capacity.

Honda Pilot vs. Nissan Pathfinder: Which Is Better?

While the Nissan Pathfinder and Honda Pilot are evenly matched, the Pilot wins in a head-to-head comparison. Honda’s midsize SUV has a roomier interior, better-predicted reliability, and more cargo space than the Pathfinder. The Pilot also has a more refined on-road demeanor than the Passport.

The Pathfinder may not be the victor in this comparison, but it’s more affordable than the Pilot, has a more powerful V6 engine, and has a higher towing capacity. We recommend exploring both options to choose the right one for your needs.

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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