Childre Nissan Compares 2015 Nissan Pathfinder VS 2015 Honda Pilot Near Dublin, GA

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2015 Nissan Pathfinder

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2015 Honda Pilot

Safety Comparison

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Pathfinder 4WD’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Pilot doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Pathfinder (except S/SV) offers an optional Around View ® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Pilot only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Pathfinder SL/Platinum’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Pilot doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Pathfinder SL/Platinum’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Pilot doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Pathfinder and the Pilot 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 and available all-wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Pathfinder is safer than the Honda Pilot:





5 Stars

4 Stars




Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

137 lbs.

138 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

51 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

479/476 lbs.

835/749 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 Nissan Pathfinder is safer than the Honda Pilot:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

120 G’s

144 G’s

Rear Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars




Spine Acceleration

41 G’s

56 G’s

Hip Force

557 lbs.

1037 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

18 inches

21 inches




Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

60 G’s

Hip Force

661 lbs.

664 lbs.

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

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Pathfinder’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Pilot’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Pilot’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

Engine Comparison

The Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 10 more horsepower (260 vs. 250) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Nissan Pathfinder is faster than the Honda Pilot:



Zero to 60 MPH

7.7 sec

9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.2 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.1 MPH

85 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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





20 city/27 hwy

18 city/25 hwy



19 city/26 hwy

17 city/24 hwy

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 Pilot are solid, not vented.

The Pathfinder stops much shorter than the Pilot:



70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

198 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

145 feet

154 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Pathfinder S/SV/SL has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Pilot LX. The Pathfinder Platinum’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Pilot EX/SE/EX-L/Touring.

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 Pilot doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Pathfinder’s wheelbase is 5 inches longer than on the Pilot (114.2 inches vs. 109.2 inches).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Pathfinder has 4.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Pilot (157.8 vs. 153.7).

The Pathfinder has 2.2 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom and 3.2 inches more rear legroom than the Pilot.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pathfinder’s middle and third row seats recline. The Pilot’s third row seats don’t recline.

The front step up height for the Pathfinder is 1.5 inches lower than the Pilot (18.9” vs. 20.4”). The Pathfinder’s rear step up height is 1.2 inches lower than the Pilot’s (19.5” vs. 20.7”).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Pathfinder SL/Platinum’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Pilot doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Intelligent Key standard on the Pathfinder SV/SL/Platinum allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Honda Pilot doesn’t offer an advanced key 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 Pilot’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Pathfinder has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Pilot only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Pilot’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Pathfinder and the Pilot offer available heated front seats. The Pathfinder SL/Platinum also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Pilot.

The Pathfinder Platinum’s standard air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Pilot doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Pathfinder Platinum’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Pilot doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Pathfinder has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The Pilot LX doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pathfinder is less expensive to operate than the Pilot because typical repairs cost much less on the Pathfinder than the Pilot, including $179 less for a water pump, $121 less for an alternator, $8 less for front brake pads, $137 less for a starter, $111 less for front struts and $420 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Pathfinder will be $1250 to $1787 less than for the Honda Pilot.

Recommendations Comparison

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

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its August 2014 issue and they ranked the Nissan Pathfinder SL 4x4 two places higher than the Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD.

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