2018 Toyota Highlander

Starting Price: $32,025 | Price yours

Above Average: Easy to use, easy to drive, unbeaten track record, diverse drivetrain choices

Below Average: Infotainment features, interior volume

Consensus: Hard to go wrong with Highlander


2018 Nissan Pathfinder

Starting Price: $32,015 | Price yours

Above Average: People space, cargo space, cruising capability and comfort

Below Average: Infotainment, cabin charm

Consensus: May not rule the segment, but still boasts plenty of buyer appeal


The Toyota Highlander has an 11-horsepower advantage with its available V6 engine over the Pathfinder V6, not to mention the added option of the 3.5-liter V6-based Hybrid package. Choose that option and you could potentially achieve a 10-mpg advantage for your city mileage rating. Inside, we appreciate the attention to detail all the way down to the Driver Easy Speak System. Refreshed in 2017, the Nissan Pathfinder features more power to get off the line quickly and pass highway big-rigs with ease. Mildly off-road capable, its all-wheel-drive system includes hill descent control for navigating steep slopes. Rear door alert remembers the rear door was opened and closed prior to driving -- for example, when your kids, or pets or belongings are in the back seat -- and will alert the driver if the door isn't opened again after the Pathfinder is turned off. Stepping up in trim levels yields two well-equipped models with three-row seating, V6 power and a very comfortable, carlike ride.

Toyota Highlander Advantages

More sculpted, stylish exterior appearance. More evolved interior than the Pathfinder.

Nissan Pathfinder Advantages

Heavily revised in 2017, Nissan continues by adding automatic emergency braking as standard, along with a rear door alert that reminds you to check your back seat for people and pets. Automatic Emergency Braking alerts drivers to an impending shunt, and if they fail to respond applies brakes to mitigate or prevent a collision.


Available all-wheel drive on both models and V6 engines with similar power. Both feature handsome, if conservative, good looks.

Final Recommendation

With near equal power and similar styling, it’s a toss-up. Do you need to carry seven or eight passengers? If you ever go off-road, the Nissan is an apt choice for some buyers while Toyota’s reputation for great reliability coupled with excellent resale value will be at the forefront for buyers of the Highlander.

  2018 Toyota Highlander 2018 Nissan Pathfinder
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 3.5-liter V6 3.5-liter V6
Horsepower 295 hp @ 6,600 rpm 284 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque 263 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm 259 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 8-spd Continuously Variable
Fuel Economy 22 mpg (20 city/26 highway) 23 mpg (20 city/27 highway)
Also Available 2.7L 185-hp I4, 3.5L 306-hp V6 hybrid AWD
Warranty 3 years or 36,000 miles 3 years or 36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 8 passengers 7 passengers
Wheelbase 109.8 inches 114.2 inches
Overall Length 192.5 inches 198.5 inches
Width 75.8 inches 77.2 inches
Height 70.0 inches 70.2 inches
Turning Diameter 38.7 feet 38.7 feet
Headroom, Front 39.5 inches 42.2 inches
Headroom, 2nd row 39.6 inches 39.4 inches
Headroom, 3rd row 35.9 inches 37.8 inches
Legroom, Front 44.2 inches 42.3 inches
Legroom, 2nd row 38.4 inches 41.7 inches
Legroom, 3rd row 27.7 inches 30.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 59.3 inches 60.7 inches
Shoulder Room, 2nd row 59.6 inches 60.4 inches
Shoulder Room, 3rd row 55.0 inches 57.1 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 142.2 cu. ft. 157.8 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 83.2 cu. ft. 79.8 cu. ft.
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