Childre Nissan Compares 2018 Nissan Pathfinder VS 2018 Ford Flex Near Gray, GA

Responsive image

2018 Nissan Pathfinder

Responsive image
VS

2018 Ford Flex

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 Ford Flex doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Pathfinder are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Flex doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Pathfinder has standard Automatic Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Flex offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

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

The Nissan Pathfinder has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Flex doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

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

Both the Pathfinder and the Flex 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, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Nissan Pathfinder is safer than the Flex:

 

Pathfinder

Flex

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

39

49

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

3 cm

11 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

15 cm

23 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

2.3/.1 kN

2.8/2.2 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.52/.37

.53/.69

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Pathfinder the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 120 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Flex was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

The Nissan Pathfinder has a better fatality history. The Pathfinder was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 33.1% lower per vehicle registered than the Flex, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 27th in reliability. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 31st.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 5 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine Comparison

The Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (259 vs. 254) than the Flex’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Pathfinder 4x4 gets better fuel mileage than the Flex AWD with its standard engine (19 city/26 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).

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

The Pathfinder has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the Flex (19.5 vs. 18.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Pathfinder stops much shorter than the Flex:

 

Pathfinder

Flex

 

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

192 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

137 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

145 feet

157 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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 Flex SE.

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 Flex doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better maneuverability, the Pathfinder’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Flex’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Pathfinder is 3.3 inches shorter than the Flex, making the Pathfinder easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Nissan Pathfinder amounts to more than styling. The Pathfinder has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .326 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Flex (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Pathfinder get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Pathfinder has .4 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front hip room, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear hip room, 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room, .9 inches more third row hip room and 6.3 inches more third row shoulder room than the Flex.

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

Cargo Capacity Comparison

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Pathfinder’s cargo door can be opened just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The Flex 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

If the front windows are left down on the Pathfinder the driver can raise them using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Flex can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Pathfinder has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Flex doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 Flex’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 is only available on the Flex SEL/Limited.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pathfinder is less expensive to operate than the Flex because typical repairs cost much less on the Pathfinder than the Flex, including $514 less for a water pump, $122 less for an alternator, $10 less for front struts and $488 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Pathfinder outsold the Ford Flex by almost four to one during the 2016 model year.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.