2013 Nissan Pathfinder vs. Its Competition

2013 Nissan Pathfinder  -  First Drive  -  10/2012
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder jumps right into what's now the heart of the family market—high-function crossover utility vehicles that trade off some of the old expected ruggedness and truck brawn in favor of improved comfort, versatility, safety, and efficiency.

The Pathfinder weighs hundreds of pounds less than the Dodge Durango or the Chevrolet Traverse (or the Traverse's siblings, the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave), and it's a difference you can feel from the driver's seat.

On the other hand, both the Dodge and those large GM crossovers offer more comfortable seating all around—especially in the second row, compared to the Pathfinder.

The Pathfinder's toughest competition may come from the Ford Explorer, which is very refined, handles quite well, and offers more safety-tech features than the Pathfinder.

Otherwise, the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot are two models that are both quite a bit shorter than the Pathfinder.

2013 Nissan Pathfinder  -  First Drive  -  10/20122013 Nissan Pathfinder
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2013 Chevrolet Traverse2013 Chevrolet Traverse
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2013 Dodge Durango2013 Dodge Durango
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2013 Ford Explorer Sport2013 Ford Explorer
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2013 Honda Pilot 2WD 4-door EX-L Front Exterior View2013 Honda Pilot
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2013 Toyota Highlander2013 Toyota Highlander
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Quick Specs
The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is in a new place that's just right for families who want a big, comfortable, sensible wagon, but it's given up some of its path-finding heritage to get there.
The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse hits a sweet spot for SUV replacers, with none of the flamboyance of a real SUV and more practical gas mileage and interior space.
A composed family hauler most of the time, the 2013 Dodge Durango isn't afraid of getting its hands dirty when it needs to.
The Ford Explorer trades some trail-riding and towing for on-road driving lessons, and comes out fluent.
The 2013 Honda Pilot looks tough and truck-like from the outside, yet inside it's one of the better family haulers.
No matter which facet or dimension you measure--except excitement--the 2013 Toyota Highlander offers competent performance, great space, and good value.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
19 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy
Gas V6Gas V6Gas/Ethanol V6Gas V6Gas V6Gas I4
EPA Class     
2WD Sport Utility2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle - 2WD2WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle
Style Name     
2WD 4-Door SFWD 4-Door LS2WD 4-Door SXTFWD 4-Door Base2WD 4-Door LXFWD 4-Door I4 (GS)
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Sport UtilitySport UtilitySport Utility VehicleSport Utility VehicleSport UtilitySport Utility Vehicle
Continuously Variable RatioAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic w/manual shiftAutomaticAutomatic w/Manual Shift
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2013 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2013 Chevrolet Traverse2013 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2013 Dodge Durango2013 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2013 Ford Explorer2013 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2013 Honda Pilot2013 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2013 Toyota Highlander