Childre Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Pathfinder VS 2017 Acura MDX Near Warner Robins, GA

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2017 Nissan Pathfinder

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2017 Acura MDX

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 Acura MDX doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

Both the Pathfinder and the MDX 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, crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors 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 Nissan Pathfinder is safer than the Acura MDX:







5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Stress

137 lbs.

177 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

113 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

479/476 lbs.

467/511 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 Acura MDX:





Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

41 G’s

52 G’s

Hip Force

557 lbs.

757 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




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

Warranty Comparison

The Pathfinder’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the MDX’s (5 vs. 4 years).

There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pathfinder’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Pathfinder uses regular unleaded gasoline. The MDX requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 MDX are solid, not vented.

The Pathfinder stops much shorter than the MDX:





70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Pathfinder’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the MDX (114.2 inches vs. 111 inches).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Pathfinder has 25.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MDX (157.8 vs. 132.7).

The Pathfinder has 4.1 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 5.1 inches more rear legroom, 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.2 inches more third row headroom, 2.6 inches more third row legroom, 1.4 inches more third row hip room and 2.4 inches more third row shoulder room than the MDX.

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

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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




Behind Third Seat

16 cubic feet

15.8 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 MDX doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Pathfinder SL/Platinum’s cargo door can be opened just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The MDX doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Pathfinder has standard extendable sun visors. The MDX doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pathfinder is less expensive to operate than the MDX because typical repairs cost much less on the Pathfinder than the MDX, including $44 less for an alternator, $86 less for a starter, $68 less for front struts and $855 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Pathfinder outsold the Acura MDX by 44% during the 2016 model year.

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