Compact SUVs are becoming more and more common on the road, and they offer drivers an excellent offer for those who need a little bit more than a car and a little bit less than a truck. There are a lot of different options out there when it comes to a compact SUV, and it begs the question: what SUV is really the best? In this SUV showdown, you’ll get all the match notes for the 2022 Honda Pilot vs 2022 Nissan Pathfinder. Which will come out on top? Let’s find out!
ROUND 1: Performance
Both these SUVs have a lot to look at and offer. So let’s break it down a bit. One of the top things people consider when buying a new vehicle is fuel efficiency. The 2022 Pilot gets 20 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the freeway. The tank of the Pilot is 19.5 gallons, meaning one tank could get you a little over 520 miles away. The Pilot has a horsepower of 280 and comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission and 3.5-liter V6 engine. The 2022 Pilot can come with front-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations, so you can choose whichever best suits you. The suspension on the Pilot is geared to creating the smoothest ride possible, making it a comfortable vehicle to take down a road of any quality.
The Nissan Pathfinder comes in with its 21 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. The Pathfinder has a tank of 18.5 gallons, putting the total possible distance on one tank just under 500 miles. The Pathfinder has 384 horsepower in a 3.5-liter V6 engine that also has a 9-speed automatic. Nissan updated its suspension for the 2022 Pathfinders, and this update is supposed to give the Pathfinders an enhanced comfort ride. Like the Pilot, the Pathfinder can have front-wheel or four-wheel drive configurations.
When it comes down to performance, both SUVs are super competitive, and it really comes down to whether you want that extra mile per gallon or the extra gallon in the tank. Ultimately, this will boil down to whether you spend the majority of your time driving in the city or on the highway. We’ll give this round to the Pathfinder because it also has a slightly higher horsepower.
ROUND 2: Towing/Hauling and Cargo Space
When it comes to towing or hauling, the Pilots are capable of pulling up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. It has exceptional handling while towing. If towing a trailer isn’t for you or you need as much space as possible, the Honda Pilots have 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space without including the seating area. If you don’t plan on having the 6 to 7 passengers that the Pilot accommodates, then you can utilize that seating area for up to 109.2 cubic feet of cargo space.
The Pathfinder is able to tow up to 6,000 pounds when properly equipped, giving it a slight edge over the Pilot initially. However, this edge is quickly erased by the less than smooth drive performance with that additional weight. The Pathfinder has 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space or 80.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the passenger seating areas. The Pathfinder is able to hold a total of 8 individuals.
After considering everything here, the additional towing capacity might come in handy if you’re a worker bee who constantly needs to tote around incredibly heavy trailers. However, the 5,000 pounds of towing capacity is enough for most hauling needs of both the business and pleasure avenues. When it comes to cargo space, the Pilot really dominates over the Pathfinder. Because of this, this round is going to go to the Pilot.
ROUND 3: Safety
Safety is the focus for round three in this SUV showdown, and the 2022 Honda Pilot comes with a whole suite of safety features. This includes standard:
- Collision Mitigation Braking System
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Road Departure Mitigation System
- Forward Collision Warning
- Lane Departure Warning
- Lane Keeping Assist System
- Auto High-Beam Headlights
- Blind Spot Information System
- Cross Traffic Monitor
- Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Dynamic Guidelines
Also, the entire frame of the Pilot has been designed with Advanced Compatibility Engineering. All of these features helped the Honda Pilot receive five stars from the NHTSA. The Pilot also comes with a 3-year or 36,000-mile basic warranty and a powertrain warranty for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Honda set the bar pretty high when it comes to safety.
Nissan’s Pathfinder was able to acquire that coveted five-star NHTSA safety rating for the 2022 models as well. The Pathfinder comes standard with:
- Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Lane Departure Warning
- Rear Automatic Braking
- High Beam Assist
- Blind Spot Warning
- Intelligent Around View Monitor
Based on what comes standard across all models, Honda takes this round by a landslide. While Nissan definitely has some great options, many of them are reserved for higher trims, while most of Honda’s safety and driver assist features are included on every trim.
ROUND 4: Infotainment and Interior
For all models, the Honda Pilot comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that has Bluetooth connectivity, Apple Carplay and Android Auto integration, and access to things like SiriusXM. The interior is open and allows the passengers quite a bit of legroom, and the Pilot also has a total of 16 cup holders throughout the interior and many interior cubbies for storage.
The Nissan Pathfinder base models come with an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, which can be upgraded to 9 inches, and a six-speaker audio system. This system is able to connect to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The interior of the Pathfinder has a good amount of legroom and a lot of internal storage cubbies. While both models feature incredibly comfortable and spacious seating areas, the Pathfinder gets this round for the slightly better infotainment system.
ROUND 5: Customizability and Cost
The Honda Pilot has a total of seven trim levels. Each level offers a variety of different options and features. There is the Sport, EX-L, Special Edition, Touring, TrailSport, Elite, and Black Edition. Depending on the trim, different interior and exterior colors are available, but across all trims, there are a total of seven different exterior colors. The starting price for 2022 Honda Pilots is $37,580.
The Pathfinder comes in 4 different trim levels–the S, SV SL, and Platinum. Between the four different trim levels, there are a total of 13 exterior color options. If you’re interested in purchasing the Nissan Pathfinder, you’ll have a starting price of $34,640.
While the Honda Pilot costs a little more than the Pathfinder, this is likely due to the fact that the Pilot has quite a bit more features included when it comes to safety and cargo space. Another thing to consider is the resale value in the cost portion. Honda’s are notorious for maintaining their value, which means while you may pay a little more out the gate for it, it will be worth quite a bit more than the Pathfinder even a couple of hundred miles down the road. For this round, we’re going to say that customizability of vehicle functions and value maintenance are more important than being able to change the exterior color and save a couple of bucks. This round is going to the Pilot.
And the Winner Is…
After all things have been considered, both the Pathfinder and the Pilot are truly excellent SUVs. The market being this competitive is making manufacturers really give more and more features and qualities to their drivers. This is making it incredibly difficult to pick one that is better than the rest. However, after considering performance, towing, safety, infotainment, and customizability, we’re going to give this win to the 2022 Honda Pilot!