2023 Honda Pilot vs. 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Comparison

Americans have a lot of choices in 3-row midsize SUVs. Some are as family-friendly as minivans, with cushioned rides and great entertainment tech. Some are as capable as pickups, with lots of towing power and off-road prowess.

A few are well-rounded enough to do it all. The Honda Pilot is one of those. Redesigned for 2023, it’s newly rugged while keeping its classic easygoing nature. The Nissan Pathfinder is another. It returns almost unchanged for 2023 but is well-balanced and easy to find on dealer lots this year.

Let’s see how they compare.

2023 Honda Pilot

2023 Honda Pilot Elite driving in the rain.

Honda designers rethought the 2023 Honda Pilot from the ground up, and it shows. It retains all the family-friendly space and easy handling for which it’s been known for decades. But it’s all wrapped in handsome new sheet metal and is more capable off-road than ever, particularly with its new TrailSport trim. Pricing starts at $36,300.

Honda Pilot Highlights

Serious resale value: These two have similar starting prices and identical warranties. But part of the cost of ownership is how much you’ll get back when you’re ready to part with your car. Pathfinder resale values are below average for the segment. Pilot resale values are near the top.

Real cargo space: The Pilot has more cargo space in every measurement than the Pathfinder, with all seats in place or any combination of seats folded.

A higher level of technology: The Pilot is a brand-new design, which gave Honda engineers a chance to pack every new technology into the car. The Pathfinder is by no means out of date, but it can’t match tricks like Honda’s Traffic Jam Assist (which can speed up, slow down, and steer to keep up with traffic below 45 mph if you keep a hand on the wheel and an eye on the road). Walk Away Close is a cool trick, too. Found on higher trims, it lets you walk away from the Pilot with your hands full and trust that the tailgate will close and lock itself.

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

2023 Nissan Pathfinder

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek

Honda is new to the rugged-looking SUV trend. Nissan helped start it. The 2023 Pathfinder offers comfortable seating for up to eight and ample towing capacity in a comfortable family hauler. For 2023, Nissan added the more off-road-oriented Pathfinder Rock Creek edition to the lineup for those determined to find paths, rocks, and creeks. Prices start at $35,200.

Nissan Pathfinder Highlights

Zero Gravity front seats: The highlight of the Nissan ownership experience is how great you feel in hour four of a road trip. That’s true because of the Zero Gravity seats — perhaps the best in the automotive business. Our editors are consistently impressed with how they feel on long hauls.

EZ Flex middle row seats: Speaking of seats, Nissan’s second-row set has some great features, too. We love the EZ Flex seats, which release, fold forward, and slide to ease access to the third-row seat with the touch of a finger. If you don’t like wrestling with second rows that require firm handling, the Pathfinder’s take a light touch.

6,000-pound towing capacity: These two have nearly identical engines, but the Pathfinder can tow 6,000 pounds properly equipped. The Pilot pulls 5,000 — about average for the segment.

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


Would you like 284 horsepower or 285? Three years of warranty coverage, or three? These two are alike in many ways, even down to the minivan-comfort-meets-trucky-looks attitude.


Shoppers looking for 3-row midsize SUVs have a lot of great options to choose from. The Pathfinder and Pilot are two solid choices with a similar ethos. But there are reasons to take one over the other. Some might prefer the Pathfinder’s legendary seats or higher towing capacity. But the Pilot’s greater resale value makes a powerful financial case for it, and more recent technology might make for a better ownership experience for many.


2023 Honda Pilot 2023 Nissan Pathfinder
Starting Price $36,300 $35,200
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 @ 4,800 rpm
Transmission 10-speed automatic 9-speed automatic
Fuel Economy 19 city/27 hwy/22 combined mpg 20 city/27 hwy/23 combined mpg
Also Available AWD AWD
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 TBD TBD
Max Seating Capacity 8 8
Wheelbase 113.8 inches 114.2 inches
Overall Length 199.9 inches 197.7 inches
Width 78.5 inches 77.9 inches
Height 70.9 inches 70.9 inches
Turning Diameter 37.8 feet 38.7 feet
Headroom, 1st Row 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, 1st Row 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, 1st Row 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 18.6/48.5/87.0 cubic feet 16.6/45.0/80.5 cubic feet


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