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2018 Toyota Highlander Vs. 2018 Nissan Pathfinder: Which One Is Right for Me?

Posted at Fri, Jun 29, 2018 6:00 AM

Anyone shopping for a mid-size crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) this year is going to note that there’s a lot of good options out there. When the competition is this fierce, how do you possibly narrow down your choices? To help those prospective buyers out with their big decision, we here at Westbury Toyota have put together a comprehensive comparison list for the two top contenders in the 2018 crossover SUV class: The Toyota Highlander and the Nissan Pathfinder. Once you read over the stats and facts, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the SUV that offers the most!

Safety Features – Which One Has More?

Safety is something every driver is going to consider when looking for a new vehicle. The 2018 Pathfinder and the 2018 Highlander have some impressive safety technology for your consideration. Both SUVs have safety features such as side-impact head airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic stability systems, rearview cameras, traction control, and blind spot warning systems. However, the Highlander has a couple of important, additional safety features that the Pathfinder lacks altogether:

  • Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats – Seats designed specifically to protect both the driver and the front passenger from sustaining whiplash in the event of an accident.
  • Lane Departure Warning System – Detects when the car is drifting from its lane and alerts the driver immediately while gently steering the car back into position.
  • Driver Alert Monitor – Detects inattentive driving and then provides a warning and suggests the driver take a break to prevent him or her from falling asleep at the wheel.

If you consider safety to be one of the most crucial parts of a vehicle, then the Highlander clearly has an edge up over the Pathfinder in terms of keeping you and your passengers as safe as possible.

What’s Going on Under the Hood?

You’re not buying a mid-size crossover SUV for drag racing, but that doesn’t mean that the performance specs aren’t important! You’ll want an SUV that’s capable of tackling whatever job you need it to do, so read over the spec comparison for the Pathfinder and Highlander below:

2018 Toyota Highlander 2018 Nissan Pathfinder
Available 3.5 liter (L) DOHC V6 engine 3.5 L DOHC V6 engine
295 horsepower (hp) 284 hp
263 pound feet (lb-ft) of torque 259 lb-ft of torque
Eight-speed automatic transmission Eight-speed automatic transmission

As the editorial staff over at New Cars points out, the Highlander has more sheer power than the Pathfinder. What’s more, the Highlander has a 3.5 L V6 hybrid engine package that can easily net you an additional 10 miles per gallon (mpg) city driving. The Pathfinder has no hybrid option. In regard to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel ratings, the Highlander (with the V6) gets you 20 mpg when driving on city streets, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined, according to the Department of Energy. In comparison, with the same engine, you’re looking at 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined with the Pathfinder.

In addition to better fuel mileage, the 2018 Highlander also has the Start/Stop feature on certain trim levels which automatically shuts off the engine when idling, thereby preserving fuel. The engine will start again when the driver is ready to go. This feature is not available on any trim level of the Pathfinder.

Interior Spaces and Passenger Room

Both the Pathfinder and the Highlander have some impressive passenger capacity. However, the Highlander seats eight, whereas the Pathfinder can only seat seven. In addition, the Highlander has more room in the interior: Front legroom is 44.2 inches compared to the Pathfinder's 42.3. Add that to the Highlander’s additional seat, and it means you can haul more people more comfortably in the Highlander.

The Best SUV For You

Obviously at Westbury Toyota we’re going to be a little biased with this comparison, but at the end of the day the facts don’t lie. The Highlander has come out ahead of the Pathfinder in more than a couple categories. It’s got more power, better mileage, improved safety, and more room for passengers to ride comfortably in. It’s versatile and reliable, and we truly think that this is the best mid-size crossover SUV available on the market – and obviously we’re not alone in thinking that!

If you want to know more about the 2018 Highlander, don’t hesitate to come see us at Westbury Toyota. We’ll be happy to fill you in on everything you want to know!

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