The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander put a modern spin on family-friendly travel, blending rugged, tow-ready power with plush cabin comfort. Which of these SUVs is the best choice for your daily drive? Our comparison guide helps you figure out exactly that.
Long-Distance Comfort: 2019 Nissan Pathfinder
Quiet cruising and plush comfort are high on the Pathfinder’s list of must-have qualities. More than initial comfort, though, this SUV delivers long-lasting support, making it an optimal cross-country family hauler. The Highlander’s seats feel quite comfortable at first, but, after a few hours, passengers will be yearning for the next rest stop.
We must say, however, that these SUVs actually do have a lot in common. Both offer upscale comfort options, like leather upholstery and heated seats, which give you a luxury experience without actually requiring you to pay luxury-level prices. Seats that slide and recline are another nice touch. They give passengers the ability to find that just-right spot to maximize legroom.
Most Adventure-Ready: 2019 Nissan Pathfinder
Want to max out your SUV’s tow ratings? The Pathfinder is the ride for you; every single trim model can tow up to 6,000 pounds. It’ll handle your giant boat or medium-size camper, no problem.
The Highlander is slightly less capable, maxing out when you get to 5,000 pounds’ worth of boat. And not every model can manage this much weight, either – you have to upgrade to the optional V6 engine to enjoy the Highlander’s maximum capabilities.
SUV-Style Utility: 2019 Nissan Pathfinder
The Pathfinder offers traditional four-wheel-drive performance, giving you extra traction when you want to travel through muddy riverbanks or rocky mountain terrain. The Highlander offers all-wheel drive, which does boost traction, but this performance technology is meant more for to preserve control over icy roadways than to master off-road trails.
Nissan’s three-row SUV also comes standard with V6 power, a must-have when you’re hauling your entire family, their stuff, and your boat to the shore for the weekend. In the Toyota Highlander, you have to pay extra for this coveted V6 performance; it comes standard with a four-cylinder engine.
Economic Performance: It’s (Nearly) a Tie!
The 2019 Pathfinder and Highlander are both EPA-rated to earn up to 23 mpg combined. The Highlander earns an extra mile per gallon, though, with 21 city/27 highway mpg to the Pathfinder’s 20/27 mpg.
The 2019 Toyota Highlander has a solid rep for a comfy, dependable performance, but the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder gives you so much more. With its long-distance comfort, sporty utility, and tow-ready performance, the Pathfinder is a win-win-win.