Childre Nissan Compares 2014 Nissan Pathfinder VS 2014 Toyota Highlander Near Dublin, GA

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2014 Nissan Pathfinder

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2014 Toyota Highlander

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 Toyota Highlander doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

The Pathfinder Platinum has a standard Around View ® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Highlander only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Pathfinder and the Highlander 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, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

Engine Comparison

The Pathfinder has more powerful engines than the Highlander:



Pathfinder Hybrid 2.5 supercharged 4 cyl.

250 HP

243 lbs.-ft.

Pathfinder 3.5 DOHC V6

260 HP

240 lbs.-ft.

Highlander LE 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl.

185 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5 DOHC V6

280 HP


Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Pathfinder V6 gets better fuel mileage than the Highlander:




4 cyl./Auto


20 city/25 hwy


20 city/26 hwy

19 city/25 hwy



19 city/25 hwy

18 city/24 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Pathfinder Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Highlander doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Pathfinder Hybrid’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 Highlander doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Pathfinder has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (19.5 vs. 17.2 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 Highlander are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Pathfinder Platinum has standard 20-inch wheels. The Highlander’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

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 Highlander doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Pathfinder has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Highlander doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Pathfinder’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the Highlander (114.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Pathfinder is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Highlander.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Pathfinder has 12.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Highlander (157.8 vs. 145).

The Pathfinder has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, 3.3 inches more rear legroom, .8 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.9 inches more third row headroom, 3 inches more third row legroom and 2.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the Highlander.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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



Behind Third Seat

16 cubic feet

13.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded


42.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

42.4 cubic feet


Second Seat Folded

79.8 cubic feet

78.6 cubic feet

The Pathfinder has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Highlander doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Pathfinder offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Highlander doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Pathfinder SV/SL/Platinum’s standard wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Highlander’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Highlander’s 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 Highlander.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Pathfinder won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2014 car issue. The Toyota Highlander didn't win any award.

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