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Nissan Pathfinder vs Toyota Highlander vs Honda Pilot

Nissan Pathfinder vs Toyota Highlander vs Honda Pilot

Toyota Highlander vs Nissan Pathfinder vs  Honda Pilot | Clement Pre-Owned dealership, Missouri

Missouri residents seeking dependable and capable SUVs often consider comparing three popular choices: the Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, and Honda Pilot, which are among the best-selling options in the market. These three popular models offer a blend of performance, comfort, and versatility that cater to a wide range of needs. Clement Pre-Owned compares these three contenders to help you find the one that suits you best. In addition, if you're also considering Chevrolet and Toyota vehicles, be sure to check out our comprehensive article on Chevrolet vs Toyota.

Performance and Power:

In terms of performance, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder, each have their unique strengths.

Nissan Pathfinder

Stylish white Nissan Pathfinder in Missouri | Clement Pre-Owned


  • The Nissan Pathfinder comes fitted with a potent 3.5-liter V6 engine, producing 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque, providing solid performance for most driving scenarios.
  • Its responsive handling and agile nature make Pathfinder SUV well-suited for city driving, allowing for easy maneuvering through traffic and tight spaces.


  • While the Pathfinder performs admirably on well-maintained roads, it may have limited off-road capabilities compared to some competitors, making it less ideal for Missouri residents who enjoy venturing off the beaten path.
  • The Pathfinder's V6 engine, while robust, may deliver slightly lower fuel efficiency compared to the Toyota Highlander, which could impact your running costs over time.

In summary, the Nissan Pathfinder may not be the top choice for off-road enthusiasts, but it offers impressive performance and city-friendly handling.

Discover Nissan Pathfinder Options

Toyota Highlander

Reliable gray Toyota Highlander in Missouri | Clement Pre-Owned
  • Advantages:
  • The Toyota Highlander offers a choice of powertrains, including a fuel-efficient 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and a more potent 3.5-liter V6, granting flexibility to Missouri drivers.
  • Its well-balanced performance ensures comfort on both city streets and highways, providing a smooth and composed ride.
  • Disadvantages:
  • The Highlander may not reach the high-end power levels of the Honda Pilot's V6 engine. Opting for the V6 engine may increase the overall cost of the vehicle ownership.

In summary, the Toyota Highlander offers a balanced and flexible driving experience, though it may not match the top-tier power levels of the Honda Pilot.

Highlander in stock 

Honda Pilot

Grey Honda Pilot at Clement Preowned dealership, MO
  • Benefits:
  • The Honda Pilot excels in performance with a formidable 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. This results in strong acceleration and ample towing capacity for Missouri residents who require it.
  • The Pilot's exceptional handling and comfortable ride quality make it a suitable choice for various driving conditions, including Missouri's diverse terrain.
  • Drawbacks:
  • While the Pilot's performance is commendable, it falls slightly behind in fuel efficiency compared to the Toyota Highlander.
  • Some drivers may find the ride a bit firm on rough roads, affecting overall comfort.

Recommendation: When it comes to performance and power, the Honda Pilot typically comes out as the winner among the three. While the Nissan Pathfinder also offers a capable V6 engine, and the Toyota Highlander provides flexibility with different powertrains, the Honda Pilot tends to have an edge in terms of raw performance. 

Honda Pilot for sale 

Interior Space and Comfort:

Interior space and cabin equipment are crucial when you plan a family trip or frequently transport passengers or cargo. 

Reliable Nissan Pathfinder

  • Strengths:
  • The Nissan Pathfinder boasts a comfortable cabin with features that enhance the overall driving experience.
  • The interior provides adequate space for most families, with well-padded seats and sufficient head and legroom in the first two rows.
  • Weaknesses:
  • The third-row seating, while present, is more suitable for children due to limited space. If you frequently transport adults in the third row, you need to explore other vehicles.
  • When compared to some rivals, the Pathfinder's interior materials may lack the upscale feel that some buyers desire.

Spacious Toyota Highlander

  • Pluses:
  • The Toyota Highlander offers spacious three-row seating for up to eight passengers, making it an ideal choice for larger families or carpooling.
  • Its interior design is versatile: the dashboard is convenient, with intuitive controls, and clever storage solutions enhance the overall comfort and convenience of the cabin.
  • Minuses:
  • While the Highlander provides ample space and practicality, prepare to allocate a higher budget for increased space, and when opting for upper trim levels. 

Family-Friendly Honda Pilot

  • Upsides:
  • The Honda Pilot stands out with its three-row seating, providing ample passenger and cargo space. 
  • The cabin is designed with families in mind and features technology that is easy for users to navigate.
  • Downsides:
  • Access to the third-row seating in the Pilot model can be a bit tight, which could be a minor inconvenience.
  • Base trims may lack some of the desirable features such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist,  blind-spot monitoring system, leather upholstery, enhanced seat comfort, and others found in higher trims, so consider your priorities when choosing a trim level.

Recommendation: If maximum space and comfort for larger families are a priority, the Honda Pilot excels with a spacious three-row layout. The Toyota Highlander also provides three-row seating capable of accommodating up to eight adult passengers. If you are looking for a reliable and comfortable vehicle for 5 adults and 1-2 children, Nissan Pathfinder is a great option. If you find that the spacious interiors of these SUVs might still not meet your needs, you can explore used vans for sale near you for even more room and cargo capacity options.

Technology and Features:

All three models of mid-size SUVs from Toyota, Nissan, and Honda come loaded with advanced technology and features, making the driving experience convenient and enjoyable.

Nissan Pathfinder

  • Pros:
  • The Nissan Pathfinder is well-equipped. Among the tech innovations are touchscreen infotainment system that comes with smartphone integration, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing for easy connectivity and access to your favorite apps, 3-zone climate control, and customizable alert settings like speed limit, curfew, etc. 
  • Cons:
  • As per a review from US News and World Report, a notable drawback of the Nissan Pathfinder is its dated infotainment system. The layout, menu structure, and navigation within the system are considered less user-friendly and straightforward when compared to rival vehicles. This can result in a steeper learning curve, demanding more time and effort to become acquainted with its functionality. Additionally, users may experience slower response times and occasional touchscreen lag, which collectively affects the overall user experience.

Innovative Toyota Highlander

  • Advantages:
  • The 2023 Toyota Highlander offers large multimedia screens, with sizes of up to 12.3 inches, which not only provide more screen real estate but also reduce glare for improved visibility. You can enjoy wireless connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, eliminating the need for cumbersome cables. The 2023 Highlander also boasts faster information processing, ensuring swift and responsive access to apps, maps, and menus. What's more, interacting with the infotainment system has become more intuitive with conversational voice commands like "Hi Toyota" and "Hey Toyota," enabling hands-free operation. 
  • The availability of a hybrid option in the Highlander provides excellent fuel efficiency, a crucial factor for Missouri residents looking to save on fuel costs.
  • Disadvantages:
  • Base models may lack adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and parking assistance systems, advanced conversational voice commands, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. 

Convenient Honda Pilot

  • Positives:
  • The Honda Pilot boasts an array of advanced technology features, including Intelligent Traction Management for enhanced control, an advanced infotainment system for entertainment and connectivity, a Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ for seamless navigation, a Rear Seat Entertainment System to keep passengers entertained. 
  • An extensive array of advanced driver-assist systems, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking, enhances safety and peace of mind on Missouri roads.
  • Negatives:
  • At times, the infotainment system may exhibit slower response times, which can affect the overall user experience.

Recommendation: If you value a user-friendly infotainment system and wireless smartphone integration, the Toyota Highlander might be your preference among these three models from our Toyota-Nissan-Honda SUV comparison. But compare all three to make your own choice. 

Reliability and Safety:

Safety is a top concern for such car manufacturers as Honda, Toyota and Nissan, and all three car models have excellent reliability reputations as well.

Safe Nissan Pathfinder

  • Benefits:
  • The Nissan Pathfinder is furnished with a variety of cutting-edge safety features: encompassing adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and forward collision warning. The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder earned the Top Safety Pick + recognition from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
  • Drawbacks:
  • While the Pathfinder is one of the leaders in terms of safety features, it may have fewer advanced options compared to some of its competitors.

Dependable Toyota Highlander

  • Strengths:
  • The Toyota Highlander has an excellent reputation for long-term reliability. It offers an extensive array of safety elements, including forward collision warning with detection for pedestrians and cyclists, automated emergency braking, lane-keeping support, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control with steering assistance. The 2023 Toyota Highlander was awarded the Top Safety Pick+ by IIHS.
  • Weaknesses:
  • Earlier Highlander models may lack some of the advanced safety technologies available in newer vehicles such as automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and blind spot monitoring, but except for these innovations, it’s among the best in class. 

Trustworthy Honda Pilot

  • Pluses:
  • The Honda Pilot boasts a strong reliability history, making it a trustworthy option for Missouri drivers. The 2023 Honda Pilot received the Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS.
  • It offers a comprehensive safety suite across trim levels, including advanced features like adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist, which contribute to enhanced safety.
  • Minuses:
  • Some competitors may offer more advanced driver-assistance features, like dynamic radar cruise control, lane tracing assist, and road sign assist which could be a consideration if you value cutting-edge safety technology.
  • Third-row visibility can be limited in the Pilot, so you may want to test-drive it to assess your comfort and visibility from the driver's seat.

Recommendation: If reliability and safety are top priorities, all 3 vehicles received the best score at the independent tests, while the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot may be more advanced in safety technology innovations.

Fuel Efficiency:

Considering the rising fuel costs and environmental concerns, fuel efficiency is vital when choosing a new car, especially when we are talking about an 8-seater SUV with relatively high fuel consumption.

Economical Nissan Pathfinder

  • Upsides:
  • The Nissan Pathfinder delivers decent fuel economy for its class, making it a suitable choice for Missouri drivers who want a balance between power and efficiency.
  • Downsides:
  • While its fuel efficiency is competitive, it falls behind the Toyota Highlander hybrid in this regard, which can affect your long-term running costs.

Efficient Toyota Highlander

  • Pros:
  • The Toyota Highlander stands out with its hybrid option, offering excellent fuel efficiency, which is ideal for eco-conscious Missourians who want to reduce their environmental impact.
  • Cons:
  • Non-hybrid models of the Highlander may have average fuel economy for the midsize SUV segment, which can be a consideration if fuel efficiency is a top priority for you.

Mileage-friendly Honda Pilot

  • Advantages:
  • The Honda Pilot delivers solid fuel efficiency for its class, providing a good balance of power and economy.
  • Disadvantages:
  • While the Pilot's fuel efficiency is competitive, it falls short of the hybrid Highlander in terms of fuel economy, which may be a factor if you prioritize maximizing fuel savings.

Recommendation: In terms of fuel efficiency, the hybrid Highlander is the winner. However, when compared to the turbo engine Toyota Highlander, the Honda Pilot exhibits greater fuel efficiency with 19 MPG in the city compared to the 20 and 22 MPG of the Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander, respectively.

In conclusion, the Nissan Pathfinder impresses with its robust performance and agile city-friendly handling, making it an excellent choice for urban drivers. The Toyota Highlander stands out for its versatile powertrain options, ensuring a balanced and comfortable on-road/off-road driving experience. Meanwhile, the Honda Pilot excels in power and performance, making it a top choice for those who seek strong acceleration and towing capacity.

Choosing between the powerful Nissan Pathfinder, expressive Toyota Highlander, and elegant Honda Pilot can be difficult. Our experienced team can help you explore these pre-owned SUVs. Schedule a visit to Clement Pre-Owned dealership in Florissant and St. Charles, Missouri, to test-drive all three under the same conditions and make your choice based on personal experience.