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2023 Honda Pilot vs. Nissan Pathfinder

Comparison of 2023 Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder

1. Introduction

Size is an important factor in buying a good car, so you will need to make sure it is big enough to hold all 15 of your soccer youngsters in addition to some of their buddies. This is a reason the Honda Pilot became a favorite choice among families. It held up to 8 passengers and had easy access to the third row with a sliding second row, so kids did not have to crawl over the seats to get to the back. Unfortunately, the 2023 model has since downsized to a 7-seater. If you want that 8th seat, you'll have to opt for the Odyssey minivan instead. The Honda Pilot continues to be a family-friendly vehicle with features such as cabin talk which allows the driver to speak to rear passengers through the speakers or their connected headphones. Cabin watch allowing the driver and front passenger to keep an eye on passengers with a camera viewable through the touchscreen and wireless phone charging in the rear to keep 2nd row passengers connected. The car also has many updated safety features that now come standard including forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation and lane departure warning. These features have helped the 2023 Honda Pilot to secure a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

1.1 Overview of the 2023 Honda Pilot

2023 Honda Pilot can be the best car in the competition with another SUV car that has 3-row seats. This car is the new family car that is produced by Honda. Since it is a new release car, this car will have some changes from the previous model. This car is built with an SUV concept, so it has 3-row seats. There are several cars that have 3-row seats before, but this car gives a better change than the previous models. This car also uses a higher base than the previous model. In the previous model, Honda Pilot is looked more like a minivan car. Now, with a higher base and also some changes in the body shape of this car, Honda Pilot gives a better look and now this car looks more macho. Not only the shape of this car, the machine that is used by this car is also the other point that makes this car better than the others. Honda Pilot is powered with a 3.5L V6 engine. This engine is powerful enough. With this powerful engine, this car can bring you to the off-road condition. Not only the power, the fuel efficiency of this car's engine should not be disappointing. This car is also available in both all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive, so you can adjust yourself. With some pros that are described, this car also has some cons. The first thing is the availability of the spare parts. Yes, so, even this car has better than the previous model, SUV means that this car is not make you free from the risk of accident or problem. Of course, you need spare parts to anticipate the damage of the parts of this car. But, the bad news is the spare parts of this car are not easy to find. The next is this car's engine is a little bit noisy. Although it has good power, you may not be comfortable with the noisy engine. And the last con of this car is the price is quite expensive. But, of course, the price is comparable with the entire pros that are given by the car. Seeing the entire quest of a good 3-row seat SUV, Honda Pilot is still the best SUV in its class. Although it has some cons, the entire pros still give a point to Pilot, a comfortable family car. And with all those entire pros, maybe there are still improvements from Honda to make this car better. And we hope that it can be better than the previous model. We must wait for it.

1.2 Overview of the Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan has again redesigned the Pathfinder, taking it off its past car platform and back to a traditional truck-based SUV. In going back to the old design, the SUV expands with an inch more ground clearance, over 2 in. more length, and a 4-inch higher step-in height. Its structure is based on the full-size Armada SUV. The new Pathfinder has full-time four-wheel drive with low-range gearing; rear drive is standard. It can be upgraded to carry 7 or 8 passengers. The Honda Pilot is a good alternative to the Pathfinder. It uses a car platform, so it is lighter and gets better gas mileage. Tour and non-tour models of the Pilot come in both 7 or 8 passenger seating configurations as well. The two SUVs have similar interior dimensions, although the larger exterior of the Pathfinder makes it a little more comfortable on the inside. The driving and handling of the Pilot and Pathfinder are where they differ most. With more car-like features and independent suspension, the Pilot is smoother and more responsive on paved surfaces. The Pathfinder is less refined on the road and is more focused towards towing and off-road performance. Both vehicles have a V-6 engine, but the lighter weight of the Pilot gives it quicker acceleration and a few more miles per gallon.

2. Design and Exterior Features

Honda Pilot's modern and sleek design. The 2023 Honda Pilot distinctively emphasizes a stylish, modern look and premium feel, highlighted by a bold front and rear with aggressive angles and a comprehensive suite of LED lighting. The new upright grille adds to the distinctive SUV look, with a solid wing chrome layout that flows above the headlights. On the Elite trim, the grille becomes more premium and sophisticated, incorporating a more intricately detailed 3D grille design. The lower skid-style front fascia conveys off-road capability, with an approach angle of 20.8 degrees, 2.5 degrees more than the predecessor. In the back, the Pilot's LED taillight design is unique to each trim and connected by an attractive light bar. Pilot's Elite and Black Edition trims have a more premium and upscale feel with LED pinstripe fog lights offering greater visibility and style, and new sculpted 20-inch wheels that add to the vehicle's premium look. The refreshed exterior design produces even more on-road attitude with a striking, modern look for front-to-back confidence. Heading to the beach or getting out to the mountains is easier and more fulfilling with available new roof rails and an assortment of accessory roof attachments. Both offer seamless utility while showing off a rugged look for all types of adventure. Nissan Pathfinder's Bold and Rugged Exterior Nissan's latest is the opposite of Honda's design language. It emphasizes a stronger, more off-road SUV presence with dramatic designs, features, and capabilities that reinforce the Pathfinder's claim as the pre-eminent family adventure vehicle. Compared to its predecessor, the 5th generation SUV is more rugged and bold with nuts-and-bolts styling. This is most evident in the wide front grille that mimics a skid plate design, incorporating a large and blocky Style Badge that's unique to each grade. The LED headlights and unique C-shape daytime running lights are more stylized and evoke the image of a warrior's confident, watchful eyes. At the back, the design is highlighted by large, squared taillights that also utilize LED technology. Coming or going, the new Pathfinder promises to catch attention on urban and off-road trails. An array of Nissan accessories is available to up-fit the vehicle for outdoor enthusiasts, such as tow hitches, roof rail cross bars, and wind deflectors.

2.1 Honda Pilot's modern and sleek design

Honda Pilot's redesign is one of the most anticipated merchandise in the next year. According to the leaked information we have, the next-gen 2023 Honda Pilot is going to have a modern and sleek design. The front fascia now looks more handsome with a larger and longer engine hood, narrowed LED headlight, and a more aggressive front bumper. At the side, Pilot adopts a modern design language with a floating roof style on the D-pillar and it now rides on 20-inch alloy wheels. Around the back, the LED taillight is now connected through the tailgate, making the back look more elegant. The new design of the 2023 Honda Pilot actually comes from a lot of bronze casting in briquette parts that need a lot of polishing to create an extravagant high gloss finish. Honda said that this color choice was made since they want to show the premium impression. This is confirmed by the existence of the Honda Pilot Elite with a spec that is trimmed almost similar to the top-tier trim of the Acura MDX. With this new design, it looks like Honda is promising they want to get a better first image on the SUV market.

2.2 Nissan Pathfinder's bold and rugged exterior

Up front is a more aggressive stance with a higher hood line, and a much larger grille defined by a large chrome square pattern. A two-tone grille is used on higher trim levels, and unique multi-level LED headlights and a black chin spoiler. Along the bottom are optional fog lights that sit out further compared to previous models to give it a more pronounced look. The rear features a more lifted appearance using more defined lines and an available two-tone piano black/body color roof. The new rear liftgate has a more squared-off top and is accented with a chrome Pathfinder logo. The quad taillights are now completely LED with inverted two C-shaped designs that are linked in the middle by the liftgate.

The 2023 Pathfinder takes on a more rugged persona compared to the previous generation model. It uses a lot of styling cues from the full-size Armada SUV with a squared-off frame and bolder lines. The clamshell hood is now more pronounced and has a central peak giving it a more dominant presence. The sheet metal on the side is accented with a distinctive indent that spans from the front fender to the rear along the bottom of the doors. The greenhouse uses a two-tone paint scheme with blacked-out A and D pillars. Floating roof designs are sometimes overused but in this instance, it does give the vehicle a bit more character.

2.3 Comparison of dimensions and styling elements

Both the 2023 Honda Pilot has a relatively different road hugging look. The dimensions of the Honda Pilot are 191.4x77.6x68.7 (in) (LxWxH), it also has a 109.2 inch wheelbase, and a street fighting 8.0" ground clearance (7.3" with four-wheel drive). The Nissan Pathfinder is a little longer but quite a bit more slender than the Pilot. The 4874x1864x1849(mm) dimensions make it 4.1" longer and 0.6" narrower than the Pilot. The wheelbase, ground clearance, and turning circle are extremely similar to the Pilot's measurements, with the only significant difference being that the Pathfinder has a wallowing 10.7" ground clearance (8.7" with two-wheel drive), 1.7" more than the Pilot. The different look and feeling of wheel flare between the two cars is due to the size difference between the two cars. The Pilot's two boxy wheel flares give it a more "rugged" and tough appearance. Meanwhile, the Pathfinder's sloping sheet metal that creates a "pinched" feeling in the middle of the car is a resolution of a major elements flaw that was very apparent in the previous generation model. Overall the attempt of the newer generation model resembles that of the Range Rover Sport a little too closely. The sharper wheel flares and chunkier side steps on the previous generation Pathfinders are more reminiscent of the more modern style utilized by the Pilot.

3. Interior and Comfort

The Honda Pilot's spacious and luxurious cabin is there in all three rows of seats. The driver's seat and the front passenger seat are comfortable and supportive. Even standard LX models have a lumbar adjuster for the driver and an adjustable seat bottom for the front passenger. A high seating position provides good visibility of the road, but this SUV is easy to get in and out of. Exclusive to the top Elite model is a panoramic moonroof that lets ample light into the cabin. In the second row, the bench or the optional captain's chairs are adult-friendly, with comfortable padding and ample legroom. The second-row seatbacks also recline, and access to the third row is relatively painless. In the third row, even 6-footers have headroom and just enough legroom to be comfortable. Also note that the second-row seats will slide forward at the touch of a button to ease access to the third row. Rear climate control is standard on all but the LX. Audio sound quality is impressive; there's a tremendous amount of bass and the clarity that comes with the Touring and Elite models' 590-watt 10-speaker system. Elite models have heated second-row seats, a great boon for parents. Coming down to interior materials and quality, the top trims' wood accents and soft-touch surfaces make the Pilot feel like the Acura it no longer is. Even lower-end models have quality materials with nice graining. Honda has also better isolated the cabin from wind and road noise.

3.1 Honda Pilot's spacious and luxurious cabin

At a technology briefing on the Pilot, Honda offered us a glimpse of the Touring model's available nine-speed automatic gearshift, which uses a distinctive push-button design. The nine-speed transmission is a first in the segment. Other high-end features on the Touring model are a panoramic glass roof and a 590-watt premium audio system with 10 speakers. This unit is still a reasonable performer, and the Touring's heavy-duty cooling and added front power transfer unit weigh it down less in terms of efficiency. Step one up from this and the Pilot combines decent drivability with praiseworthy efficiency in the form of the Touring and Elite's ZF nine-speed. Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive Pilots return fuel economy figures of 10.4/8.2 L/100km city/highway. Moving to the AWD Pilot does command a $2000 across the board. This 7/8/9-speed auto/powertrain override, combined with modern aerodynamics and the idle start/stop system, has helped the Pilot to deliver markedly improved efficiency over both its predecessor and the larger, recently departed, and similarly powered Honda Ridgeline and Odyssey.

The cabin in the Honda Pilot has earned praise for its high quality materials, good fit and finish, and a clever, easy to use space. It is dominated by smooth, contoured surfaces which flow logically from the smooth dash onto the door trims. The centre stack contains a massive storage bin, designed to accommodate anything from a handbag to a litre bottle. This feature is standard on every trim level. Special attention has been paid to enhancing storage and convenience. An example of this is the available rear console where, depending on the trim, a foldaway tray yields access to the third row, and the console features a combination of cup holders, a lazy Susan storage unit, and a flip-up trash-bag ring.

3.2 Nissan Pathfinder's comfortable and well-equipped interior

The Pathfinder's rear doors open nearly 90 degrees to allow a convenient entry to second-row seats. The back doors are larger than those on its rivals and feature an expanded front door opening 15 degrees wider than the previous Pathfinder. The rear doors open wide to ease child-seat installation and removal. In addition, both the second and third-row seats fold flat using Nissan's EZ Flex seating system, so there is no need to remove child safety seats to make room. To make third-row access even easier, a segment-exclusive "child seat mode" allows the second-row seat to move forward with a child safety seat in place. With a long 114.2-inch wheelbase, the most common in the segment, the new Pathfinder has improved legroom for the second and third-row seats. Headroom and shoulder space are also improved in the third row due to the utilization of stadium seating. The 2013 Pathfinder also has a large standard tech package even on the base S trim, with trim levels sporting an increasingly better Bose audio system as well as a DVD entertainment package.

3.3 Comparison of seating capacity and cargo space

In cargo-carrying utility, both of these two mid-size crossover/SUVs have spacious cargo space. Honda Pilot has available cargo space of at least 18.5 cubic with all seats up, which is bigger than Nissan Pathfinder's 16.2 cubic with all seats up. When all seating rows are folded down, Honda Pilot offers 109.2 cubic, which is only slightly larger than Nissan Pathfinder's 79.8. But this resembles a difference whereby Honda Pilot would be more capable of carrying bulk items with level cargo space since it has a boxy-shaped cargo area and low load floor, while the curved rear liftgate of Nissan Pathfinder can accommodate more items with tall height.

In the first and second generation of Honda Pilot, it offered 8-person seating capacity. With the second-row bench seat, three passengers can sit in a row. But in the 2019 model year, Honda Pilot substitutes the second-row bench seating with two captain's chairs, thus reducing the seating capacity from 8 to 7 passengers. While Nissan Pathfinder has three seat rows with a seven to eight-passenger capacity. The second-row seat can be set with a bench seat that can be occupied by three persons, bringing the total seating capacity to eight. Unfortunately, the captain's chair option is only available for higher trim. In terms of space, both of the mid-size crossover/SUVs have quite similar space. Different approaches to achieve maximum seating capacity, but Honda Pilot with the same seating capacity captain's chair-equipped provides easier access to the third seating row.

3.4 Features and technologies for convenience and entertainment

Moving slightly down the totem pole and a little further into the price details of the Pathfinder, you may find these last few features becoming inspiring reasons to save up for the extra cost of a Pilot. At around the same middle-of-the-line level of audio quality comes from the Pathfinder's 13-speaker Bose Premium Audio system, with a smaller 8-inch color touch screen with multi-touch control and Nissan Connect services that are free for the first six months. The Platinum trim, and only the Platinum trim, has the capability to add an entertainment package coming with dual head restraint-mounted 8-inch monitors, and also the video inputs for the third-row passengers. While all of this is offered well and good, the real difference may be the more user-friendly interface and added capabilities of the Honda system at similar price ranges.

In terms of entertainment, the Pilot comes with the latest infotainment system, offering both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. No matter where you plug in your smartphone, you'll have full control of the compatible features and applications right from the display audio touch screen. The touch screen itself is surrounded by buttons situated on two main tiers, meaning you won't be cycling through screen after screen to change simple things like volume and fan speed. This unit is available on all trims and has a more functional home screen and app menu. Included on the EX and above, or available as a package option on the Touring trim or standard in the Elite, is Sirius XM radio and HD radio, which you can listen to through the 540-watt 8-speaker audio system. An entertainment package available only on the Elite comes with a 9-inch rear display equipped with Blu-Ray and DVD capability for the kids in the back, and a second HDMI interface to complement those movies and video games.

For convenience, both the SUVs house a great deal of features like adaptive cruise control and around-view monitor. These features are available on all trims of the Pilot, and the package for the Pathfinder is slightly more restrictive but still spans a good variety of trims. An added bonus for the Pilot, and a rare thing in today's market of climbing car prices, is that its starting price is only slightly higher than the previous model. So despite this price hike, it's largely relative to where the previous one was. Both SUVs are available in front-wheel drive, but the Pilot does have a larger continuous torque range management that is particularly suited for all-weather traction in comparison to its Nissan CVT. So rather than the AWD option being an afterthought for buyers overwhelmed with AWD-exclusive abilities and buttons they seldom use, there may be a greater temptation to invest extra for AWD in the Pilot for that reason.

4. Performance and Safety

Also possibly carrying over will be an all-new 3.0-liter V6 turbo engine that will be found in the latest Acura MDX. If Honda decides to cross-branded these two models, this engine will be available as an option on higher trims and will offer a more powerful, competitive variant over the standard V6. This new turbo engine features 260 horsepower and 290 lb-ft. of torque and showcases a 14 lb-ft. torque increase at a much more desirable rate of 1,600-4,500 rpm, promising better off-the-line and cruising performance over the current V6. However, if Honda cannot produce enough units of this engine or decides it isn't suitable, we can expect the Pilot to continue with the V6 that has steadily improved over the years. High fuel efficiency will be a focus for either engine option. In conclusion, with the possible 3.0L turbo engine, the Pilot will have the option of two very competitive engine choices and will be a serious performance standout versus other 3-row crossovers. Turbo engine or not, we want the Pilot to maintain its mission of being a cheaper to-operate alternative to SUVs and CUVs with large V8s.

The 2023 Pilot should carry over its current 3.5-liter V6 with direct-injection technology that helps power 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft. of torque. This is notably more power than most of its competitors and what makes the Pilot one of the most enjoyable vehicles to drive in its class. Expect Honda to offer both 6-speed and 9-speed automatic transmissions, with the latter being found in upper trim levels. Front-wheel drive will be standard, while all-wheel drive will be optional.

4.1 Honda Pilot's powerful engine options and smooth ride

The Honda Pilot has an edge when it comes to performance. Its powerful 3.5L V6 engine produces 250 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque. A 5-speed automatic transmission and Variable Torque Management 4-wheel drive system ensures a smooth and confident drive on virtually all road conditions. On the road, the ride quality is firm yet compliant. The Pilot carves through corners with little body lean and the variable power rack-and-pinion steering is quick and communicative. The Nissan Pathfinder, on the other hand, has a standard 4.0L V6 with 266 hp and 288 lb-ft of torque. In addition, a new SE-V8 model is now available with a 5.6L V8 that produces a robust 300 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. Both the V6 and V8 Pathfinders come with a 5-speed automatic transmission and an available All-Mode 4-wheel drive system. The Pathfinder's ride quality is smooth and refined. Independent front and rear suspension provide confident handling and an available V8 4-wheel drive model features a 2-speed transfer case ideal for off-road driving.

4.2 Nissan Pathfinder's reliable performance and handling

The Pathfinder's engine received a welcome upgrade with this latest transformation. The previous 3.5-liter V6 has been replaced with a 3.5-liter direct-injected V6 that produces 24 more horsepower and 19 more lb-ft of torque compared to the outgoing model. 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque are respectable numbers for a naturally aspirated V6 and combined with the Jatco CVT (a sore subject with many fans), it is enough motivation to move the big Nissan up to speed with confidence. The Pathfinder's new powertrain is unfortunately rather noisy under hard acceleration and would probably benefit from more sound deadening in the engine and perhaps a less aggressive shift pattern from the CVT. The new engine, however, does not make the same mistake as previous Pathfinders by being thirsty for fuel. 20/27/23 MPG city/highway/combined for 2WD models and 19/26/22 MPG for 4WD models is at the top of the class for V6 midsize SUVs and is an improvement of nearly 30% compared to outgoing Pathfinders. The Pathfinder also increased its towing capacity from 6000 to 6200 lbs, resulting in a solid improvement in the all-important MPG and towing capability department. The Pathfinder's best aspect in terms of handling this time around is the availability of all-wheel drive for the bits of minor off-road treks and to get to grandma's house in the blizzard. The standard front-wheel-drive Pathfinder handled a light off-road course with no trouble at all, which is noticeably better than its predecessor, though we would have to wait for some Chicago winter time to give AWD Pathfinders a thorough test in the anger of mother nature. The handling of the Pathfinder on-road is not significantly different than the current model and a bit of body roll will be present with the tradeoff for the smooth ride quality and well-weighted steering. Changes to the suspension include a switch from struts to a more durable and tweakable damper and coil setup in the rear and with the double wishbone setup in the front, which should help slightly improve the Pathfinder's ability to absorb impacts from potholes and other road imperfections over time. Pricing and availability of the new suspension components and whether or not customers will feel a noticeable difference in clearance or ride height compared to the current Pathfinder is currently unknown, but the suspension does sound like a promising improvement once we fully dissect the details.

4.3 Comparison of fuel efficiency and towing capabilities

To start off with, the Honda Pilot has fuel efficiency ratings of 18 to 20 miles per gallon in the city and 25 to 27 miles per gallon on the highway. The Nissan Pathfinder has similar ratings of 19 to 20 miles per gallon in the city and 26 to 27 miles per gallon on the highway. The fuel efficiency ratings of both vehicles are great for their classes, with the Pilot having a slight edge in miles per gallon. In a typical scenario of driving 15,000 miles per year with a mix of city and highway driving, the Nissan owner would spend an additional $50 per year relative to the Pilot owner due to the slight difference in fuel efficiency, based on the U.S. Dept of Energy fuel efficiency ratings and assuming gas costs of $2.61 per gallon. Both the Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder have decent towing capabilities. The Pilot can tow up to 3,500 lbs on 2WD models and 4WD models. Towing capacity is increased to 5,000 lbs with the addition of the accessory ATF cooler, and the addition of the power steering fluid cooler and wiring harness. It should be noted that towing should not be done with a CVT transmission Pathfinder, and all dirt/gravel towing is off limits due to the risk of damage to the transmission. This essentially limits towing capabilities of all newer Pathfinders and is a heavy blow to a vehicle which has historically been known to have strong towing capabilities. The most recent Pathfinder with the 5-speed automatic transmission was rated to tow 6,000 lbs. This rated towing capacity is superior to the Honda Pilot, which with 4WD can tow up to 4,500 lbs and 2,000 lbs on a 2WD model.

4.4 Safety features and ratings for both vehicles

Lastly, the new Pathfinder and the new Pilot have a rear seat reminder system to remind the driver to check the rear seat for children/pets to prevent them from being locked in the vehicle. This is known as a simple, maybe unneeded feature, but it is also an everyday common mistake and it can save lives for unaware parents or pet owners.

Contrast, the newly updated 2023 Nissan Pathfinder has an overall very good safety system. Besides the airbag cover, it has front knee airbags and a passenger seat airbag. (Airbags) And for seating impact, the rear outboard has side airbags. The vehicle dynamic control with traction control system has also come improved. Now for the intelligent safety, the Nissan has added adaptive cruise control and several options with pedals and is connected to the vehicle speed. For the prevention of crashes, the Nissan now has an intelligent forward collision warning and to prevent from behind, it has added the rear automatic braking. Like the new Honda Pilot, the Nissan Pathfinder has also been given a superior rating from its automatic emergency braking system. To date, this is a highly rated safety package.

Firstly, the new and updated 2023 Honda Pilot is one step ahead of the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder in safety and performance. This is due to the above features beforehand in safety, good quality engine improving the whole performance, fuel efficiency, and towing capability. Now it comes with multiple safety features which include the full safety surround airbag cover, collision mitigation system to prevent crashes and limit the damage done in a crash situation in which it will sense the car in front of it. If an impact is impending, the driver will receive visual and audio warning in which the brake pressure will be immediately increased. Pedestrian automatic emergency braking system, for roads and pavement, this is in effect day and night. The airbag tech is a better version of the previous model and will give enhanced protection and restraint to the driver and passengers. All models will have Honda's lane-keeping assist system in with road departure mitigation. This will provide more accurate steering and if the vehicle is about to leave the road, it will automatically brake and repeatedly steer the vehicle back on the road. Lastly, the Honda Pilot has a dynamic safety test hit at the IIHS, and the 9-speed tranny 2WD FWD and AWD have all been given a superior rating.