With their plus-size cabins and adventure-ready capabilities, the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder and Ford Explorer are well suited to the American highway. Choosing between them might be tough at first – but we suggest taking a closer look. Our comparison guide does exactly that.
Standard Safety: 2019 Nissan Pathfinder
In government crash tests, both the 2019 Pathfinder and the Explorer earned perfect five-star ratings for overall protection. But the Pathfinder has the edge for safety, because every trim model comes standard with some important some safety spotters: automatic emergency braking and a rearview camera.
Back on the Explorer, you will find a standard rearview camera. However, to get high-tech safety aids like forward collision warning, you have to upgrade to one of the higher trim levels. And that means spending more money.
Lasting Comfort: 2019 Nissan Pathfinder
In the Pathfinder, comfort never wears thin. All three rows deliver the kind of support that keeps you cruising along in comfort, no matter how long you stay on the highway. This Nissan SUV also impresses with stylish options like the expansive glass sunroof and smooth leather upholstery.
The Explorer might be sporty, but it’s also a smooth-riding family hauler. We’re also proponents of its comfy seats. However, we do wish that the Explorer had a little extra third-row space. The lack of legroom back there might leave some passengers feeling cramped.
Explore Your Options: 2019 Ford Explorer
Sporty drivers can appreciate the Explorer’s engine lineup. Shoppers get to choose from three engines, the most powerful of which is found on the Explorer Sport trim, a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 rated for 365 horses and 350 pound-feet of torque. This Ford crossover can tow up to 5,000 pounds and, with optional all-wheel drive, manage off-road terrain with ease.
Every Pathfinder comes with the same powertrain: a 3.5-liter V6 and a continuously variable transmission that maximizes fuel economy. With 284 horses and 259 pound-feet of torque, this V6 is comparable to the Explorer’s base engine. Both give you a sturdy, capable performance. Although the Pathfinder doesn’t offer engine options, it does tow a little bit more than the competition. Every Pathfinder trim model can tow up to 6,000 pounds, making it a great pick for hauling big toys. And you can add four-wheel drive to your Pathfinder for a classic off-road performance.
Save on Fuel: 2019 Nissan Pathfinder
The Explorer’s thriftiest engine is the aforementioned turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. With it and front-wheel drive, the Explorer earns up to 22 mpg combined (19/27 mpg).
The Explorer puts an emphasis on performance, but the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder has our vote. The Pathfinder is the all-encompassing family hauler, from its modern creature comforts to its sturdy towing capabilities.