Son's Automotive Group Compares 2017 Honda Pilot VS 2017 Nissan Pathfinder Near Duluth, GA

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2017 Honda Pilot

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2017 Honda Pilot

VS
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2017 Nissan Pathfinder

Safety Comparison

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 5 points, IIHS rates the Collision Mitigation Braking System optional in the Pilot as “Superior.” The Pathfinder scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The Pilot (except LX)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Pilot and the Pathfinder 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors 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 Honda Pilot is safer than the Nissan Pathfinder:

 

Pilot

Pathfinder

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

149

337

Neck Injury Risk

28%

42%

Neck Stress

189 lbs.

464 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

46/243 lbs.

516/475 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 Honda Pilot is safer than the Nissan Pathfinder:

 

Pilot

Pathfinder

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

109

114

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

101 G’s

120 G’s

Hip Force

269 lbs.

457 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

304 lbs.

557 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

15 inches

18 inches

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Pilot its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2017, a rating granted to only 44 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Pathfinder is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2017.

Reliability Comparison

The engine in the Pilot has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Pathfinder has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 47 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 27th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Pilot’s fuel efficiency. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Pilot Touring/Elite’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Pathfinder doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Pilot has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Pilot stops shorter than the Pathfinder:

 

Pilot

Pathfinder

 

60 to 0 MPH

136 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Pilot has larger tires than the Pathfinder (245/60R18 vs. 235/65R18).

The Pilot LX/EX/EX-L’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Pathfinder S/SV/SL’s standard 65 series tires. The Pilot Touring/Elite’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Pathfinder Platinum’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Pilot (except LX)’s optional drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Pilot Elite 4WD handles at .80 G’s, while the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Pilot Elite 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 (27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Pilot has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Pathfinder (7.3 vs. 7 inches), allowing the Pilot to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The Honda Pilot may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the Nissan Pathfinder.

The Pilot is 4 inches shorter than the Pathfinder, making the Pilot easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Pilot uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Pilot has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Pathfinder can only carry 7.

The Pilot has 2.3 inches more front hip room, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 1.2 inches more rear hip room, 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.1 inches more third row headroom, 1.2 inches more third row legroom, 2.6 inches more third row hip room and .5 inches more third row shoulder room than the Pathfinder.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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

 

Pilot

Pathfinder

Behind Third Seat

18.5 cubic feet

16 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

42.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

79.8 cubic feet

Ergonomics Comparison

The Pilot’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Pathfinder’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically. The Pathfinder SV/SL/Platinum’s rear windows don’t close automatically.

The Pilot’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Pathfinder S’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Pilot Elite’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Pathfinder SV/SL/Platinum’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Pilot’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Pathfinder’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Pilot Elite detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Standard HondaLink for the Pilot EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, following twitter accounts and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pilot is less expensive to operate than the Pathfinder because it costs $936 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Pilot than the Pathfinder, including $15 less for front brake pads, $199 less for fuel injection, $13 less for a fuel pump, $718 less for a timing belt/chain and $138 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Pilot will be $5259 to $6509 less than for the Nissan Pathfinder.

Recommendations Comparison

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Honda Pilot, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

The Honda Pilot outsold the Nissan Pathfinder by 64% during the 2016 model year.

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