The 2024 Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder are 3-row midsize SUVs with airy cabins and an impressive arsenal of technology and comfort features. Each is motivated by a 3.5-liter V6, has available all-wheel drive, and an outdoorsy-themed trim for off-road adventures. 

Having undergone a complete redesign only last year, the 8-passenger Pilot boasts a large cargo bay, outstanding build quality, a long lineup of driver aids, and a strong reputation for resale value. During testing, we’ve become fans of the Pilot’s strong, refined 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Pathfinder was also recently updated, and the rugged Rock Creek trim was added for the 2023 model year. Similar to the Pilot, the 2024 Pathfinder is largely carryover but still represents a lot of value for SUV shoppers. A 3.5-liter V6 powers it and boasts class-leading towing capability.  

Let’s take a closer look at the highlights of the Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder. 

2024 Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot has a starting price of $38,485, including destination fees. A total of six trims are available: LX, Sport, EX-L, Touring, TrailSport, and Elite. The loaded Elite trim commands $53,875.

There is a choice of front- or all-wheel drive (AWD) on all but the TrailSport and Elite, both of which come standard with AWD. Opting for the entry-level LX nets you a nicely equipped SUV fitted with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wireless smartphone connectivity is standard on the EX-L and higher trims), second and third-row bench seats, ambient interior lighting, and the Honda Sensing suite of driver aids.

Honda Pilot Highlights

Lots of legroom: The Honda Pilot provides plenty of stretch-out space in all three rows. Its 32.5 inches of third-row legroom easily exceeds what you get in the Nissan Pathfinder. There’s also a grand total of 14 cupholders and numerous storage nooks scattered throughout the attractive, hard-wearing interior.

TrailSport model: Sitting in the middle of the Pilot trim hierarchy, the go-anywhere TrailSport model is equipped with all-terrain tires, a full-size spare, AWD, toughed suspension, underbody skid plates, a surround-view parking camera, and second-row captain’s chairs. 

User-friendly infotainment system: An infotainment system that’s easy to use and not distracting is convenient and provides a safer driving experience. A 7-inch screen is standard, though a larger 9-inch screen is used in the majority of trims. They both have large icons, crisp graphics, and quick reaction times. We appreciate little touches, too, like how the screen is recessed to create a handy place to rest screen-swiping fingers.

Removable second-row seat: The Pilot Touring and Elite trims come with second-row dual captain’s chairs featuring a center seat that doubles as a center console. It can also be removed completely to provide more shoulder room and easier access to the third row. It can be stowed neatly into underfloor storage in the cargo area. This feature is derived from the Honda Odyssey minivan, giving the Pilot minivan-like practicality.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Pilot models for sale near you. 

2024 Nissan Pathfinder

2024 Nissan Pathfinder in red parked on gravel near trees.

The Nissan Pathfinder enters the 2024 model year with five trims: S, SV, SL, Rock Creek, and Platinum. Standard features on the Pathfinder S include wired smartphone connectivity, four USB ports, a second-row bench seat, proximity keyless entry, and satellite radio. 

Like the Pilot, the Pathfinder comes with many driver aids that add extra peace of mind for SUV shoppers who prioritize safety when searching for that ideal new vehicle. Pricing starts at $37,470, including the destination charge.

Nissan Pathfinder Highlights 

Towing capability: Thanks in part to its stout 284-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, the Pathfinder has a maximum towing capability of 6,000 pounds. This betters the 5,000-pound max of the Pilot, not to mention the towing capacities of many rival midsize SUVs. 

Rock Creek model: Nissan isn’t letting Honda have all the mud-splattering driving fun. The Pathfinder Rock Creek features AWD, a beefier suspension, all-terrain tires, and an off-road camera system that shows terrain directly in front of the vehicle. The Rock Creek has slightly more horsepower; the 3.5-liter V6 churns out 295 hp versus the standard output of 284 hp. 

Removable second-row center console: The Pathfinder also boasts some clever interior seating and storage solutions. A removable second-row console between the (optional) dual captain’s chairs allows you to enjoy extra storage space or simpler accessibility to the rear-most seats. It’s clear Nissan and Honda listened to customers when crafting these flexible cabins. Unlike the Honda, the second-row console in the Nissan doesn’t double as an extra seat.

ProPilot Assist: This semi-autonomous driving aid is meant to take some of the stress and fatigue out of highway driving. Using the adaptive cruise control system as its base, ProPilot Assist maintains lane centering under certain driving conditions g and manages acceleration, braking, and the distance to a vehicle directly ahead. It’s standard, starting in the SV trim. 

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Pathfinder models for sale near you. 


The Pilot and Pathfinder cater to the same type of SUV buyer. They are equally attractive, comfortable, and loaded with a number of must-have safety and tech items. They also have very similar V6 engines and rugged off-road trims.


Starting with the Nissan Pathfinder, we’ve enjoyed its rugged design and relaxed driving dynamics during testing. Driver selectable drive modes offered with its tenacious AWD system give this Nissan a higher degree of toughness when paved roads end or when Mother Nature gets seriously grumpy. We wish the engine wasn’t so noisy at highway speed and the cramped third row offered more than kids-only amounts of space. The cargo room behind the third row is also less than what you get in many competitors, including the Pilot.

Other than those extra inches of legroom, working in favor of the Pilot is light and direct steering, providing a surprising degree of agility. While it doesn’t match the Pathfinder’s towing prowess, most families will appreciate the more polished sound and feel of the Honda’s powertrain. Yes, it’s generally a little pricier in comparison with the Pathfinder, but we think it’s extra money well spent.  

  2024 Honda Pilot  2024 Nissan Pathfinder
Starting Price  $38,485 $37,470
Popular Powertrains      
Engine  3.5-liter V6 3.5-liter V6
Horsepower  285 hp @ 6,100 rpm 284 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque  262 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm 259 lb-ft @ 4,900 rpm
Transmission  10-speed automatic  9-speed automatic 
Fuel economy MPG 19 city/27 highway/22 combined 20 city/27 highway/23 combined 
Also Available  AWD AWD; 295-hp 3.5-liter V6 (Rock Creek)
Basic Warranty  3 years/36,000 miles  3 years/36,000 miles 
Powertrain Warranty  5 years/60,000 miles  5 years/60,000 miles 
NHTSA Overall Safety  NA   5 stars
Max Seating Capacity  8
Wheelbase  113.8 inches  114.2 inches 
Overall Length  199.9 inches  197.7 inches 
Width  78.5 inches  77.9 inches 
Height  71.0 inches  70.9 inches 
Turning Diameter  37.8 feet  38.7 
Headroom, Front  40.5 inches 42.3 inches 
Headroom, 2nd Row  40.2 inches  39.6 inches 
Headroom, 3rd Row 39.3 inches 37.8 inches
Legroom, Front  41.0 inches  44.3 inches 
Legroom, 2nd Row  40.8 inches  35.5 inches
Legroom, 3rd Row  32.5 inches 28.0 inches 
Shoulder Room, Front  61.9 inches  60.8 inches 
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row  61.7 inches 59.6 inches
Shoulder Room, 3rd Row 59.5 inches 58.4 inches 
Cargo Volume  18.6 cubic feet   16.6 cubic feet 

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