The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2014 Toyota Highlander: Top Pathfinder Advantages


In an effort to speak knowledgeably about the cars we sell, we at Tischer continue to receive training sessions on the current Nissan models. Yes, even as adults, we still “go to school.” During our most recent session led by our favorite trainer, Kevin Minné, we gathered around to discuss the features of the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder as compared to the 2014 Toyota Highlander.

Tischer employees in our "green room" with Kevin.

Tischer employees in our “green room” with Kevin.

Here are the top advantages the Pathfinder holds over the Highlander:

1. SUV vs. Crossover. The Pathfinder is an SUV—not a crossover like the Highlander. This is deliberate on the part of Nissan as many customers still want towing and off-road capabilities typically seen in an SUV, while still maintaining the family-friendly appeal of a crossover.

2. Towing capacity. As per Ward’s Large Cross/Utility Market segmentation, the Pathfinder has several best-in-class features that make this model a standout among the competition. One of those features is standard maximum towing of 5000 lbs.


3. Interior comfort. The Pathfinder and Highlander both offer seating for 7. With the choice of a 2nd-row beach seat or captain’s chairs, the Highlander can even offer seating for up to 8. Both vehicles also have 3 rows. However, the Pathfinder has best-in-class front head room, front leg room, passenger room and best-in-class roominess. Also, class-exclusive reclining 3rd-row seats are standard on the Pathfinder. And while your guests are nestled comfortably inside the Pathfinder, there’s still a bit more cargo space behind the 3rd row compared to the Highlander.


4. EZ Flex™ Seating System with LATCH AND GLIDE Technology. As we mentioned above, the Pathfinder offers reclining 3rd-row seats. The spacious 2nd-row moves forward and backward up to 5½ inches for excellent access to the 3rd-row even with a CRS (child safety seat) in place.



5. Driving modes. While the Highlander offers 2WD and Dynamic Torque Control All-Wheel Drive (AWD), the Pathfinder offers a more versatile 4WD system. Pathfinder drivers can choose their drive mode (2WD, 4WD, or Auto Mode/4x4i) depending on terrain and conditions with the easy turn of a dial.No other SUV in this class gives you these types of choices.



6. Smoother ride. According to Joe Bruzek of, “An adverse effect of the Highlander’s newfound dynamics is a choppier ride over rough roads. After driving 2013 and 2014 models, I could tell the 2014 transmits more road imperfections through the chassis and into seats…”. Thanks to the Pathfinder’s class-exclusive Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the metal drive chain (which eliminates gears) transfers power from the engine to the wheels far more effectively and smoothly while also improving fuel economy!


7. Safety features. If you do any research on the Highlander, you’ll learn that it offers 8 standard airbags (compared to the Pathfinder’s 6) and has Toyota’s Star Safety System. However, the Pathfinder has all the same standard safety features included in Highlander’s Star Safety System as well as a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with available individual tire locations and pressures and standard Easy-Fill Tire Alert (another class-exclusive feature). Plus, just like the Highlander, the Pathfinder received a 5-star safety rating from IIHS.

8. Monitors. The Highlander has RearView Monitor, but the Pathfinder offers available RearView Monitor and an available class-exclusive Around View® Monitor. Using four cameras, AVM creates a composite image of the 2014 Pathfinder from above and displays it on the touch-screen monitor. This helps visually confirm the vehicle’s position relative to the lines around parking spaces and adjacent objects, allowing the driver to maneuver into parking spots with more ease.

9. Climate control. The Highlander and Pathfinder both offer climate control features. However, the Highlander’s system is ventilated; there’s simply a fan that circulates ambient air. The Pathfinder’s system can actually adjust the interior temperature.

10. Little details. We see many customers checking out what might be considered seemingly insignificant details that actually impact their day-to-day car activities in a big way. These “little things” hold tremendous influence for the customer when making a car purchase. For example:

  • The Pathfinder has a roomier glove box than the Highlander.
  • Both models have storage space in the console area, yet the Highlander offers a top tray that must be removed to access deep lower storage compared to the Pathfinder’s integrated dual-level tray and shallower lower storage compartment.
  • The Highlander’s rear liftgate glass can open, but when closing it must align the rear wiper motor pin with its plug, compared to the Pathfinder’s power liftgate.
  • Both models offer Intelligent Key, but the Pathfinder keyfob has a more upscale appearance and a remote start button.
  • Both models have under-floor cargo storage. However, the lid to this compartment must be pinned back on the Highlander compared to the Pathfinder’s lid that stays open or shut as needed.

Of course, you might be thinking that we’re a little biased towards the Pathfinder—and you would be right! So if you don’t want to take our word for it, allow these Pathfinder accolades (as seen below) to speak for themselves.

“The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder is squarely in the sweet spot of the mid-size crossover world: a large three-row vehicle that can carry seven people, with car-like ride and handling, optimized for use on suburban pavement and—to a lesser degree—curvy back roads and muddy athletic fields or graveled parking lots…Travelers will find the Pathfinder’s ride smooth and refined, even on long trips.” John Voelcker,


“Inside, the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder offers an attractive cabin with high-quality materials that giv it a decidedly premium look, especially in the top Platinum trim level. Even with its long list of feeatures, gauges and controls are easy to see and operate. We’re especially fond of the touchscreen electronics interface. There’s nothing particularly flashy about it, but it’s very easy to use and offers helpful redundant controls.

Both front- and second-row occupants will find their seats comfortable and supportive…And unlike the third-row seats in some competitors, the Nissan Pathfinder’s rearmost seat has enough headroom to accommodate adults up to 6-feet tall.”





If you’re in the market for a new car and the qualities of the Pathfinder are appealing to you, we invite you to come on over and check out the Pathfinder in person. Click on the button below to schedule a test drive. Thanks for stopping by our blog, and we hope you’ll stop by our dealership next!

Schedule Your Test-drive Today!

*Pathfinder images courtesy of NissanUSA

Armada vs. Pathfinder vs. Xterra – Which Nissan SUV is Right for You?

Nissan SUV choices

With so many SUV choices on the road today, it can be a daunting task to try and figure out which one is best suited to your needs. Class, miles per gallon (mpg), price, and standard vs. optional features are just a few of the things to consider. Tischer would like to help make the decision process a little easier as we tell you about the three SUVs that Nissan offers: the Armada, the Pathfinder and the Xterra.

The Nissan Armada2013 Nissan Armada

The Nissan Armada is the automaker’s answer to large, high-power SUVs. The standard V8 engine offers incredible towing capabilities, along with the extra muscle needed for brisk acceleration. The 5.6-liter engine produces 317 horsepower and 385 lb/ft of torque. The engine also facilitates a tow rating of 9,100 pounds and is coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission with the option of two- and four-wheel drive.

Fuel economy for the SL is 15 mpg combined and pricing is 20% less than the average competitor vehicle: The MSRP of the Armada SL is $49,480, whereas the Chevy Suburban and the GMC Yukon have an average MSRP of $59,147.

The term “full-sized” just doesn’t do the Armada justice when it comes to the large cabin, loaded with storage areas and room to seat up to eight passengers comfortably. For interior trim, the Armada offers three levels to buyers:

  • The SV offers side-step rails, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and rear-seat air conditioning.
  • The SL adds 20-inch wheels, an auto-leveling rear suspension, a tow package, heated front seats and leather upholstery
  • The Platinum level includes front parking sensors, a sunroof, power-folding mirrors, heated rear seats and steering wheel, driver memory functions, a DVD entertainment system and a navigation system with music storage.

Safety features for all levels of the Armada include: Driver & Passenger Air Bags; Side & Rear Head Air Bags; Driver & Passenger Side Air Bags; 4-Wheel ABS & Disc Brakes; Brake Assist; Electronic Stability Control; Child Safety Locks; Adjustable Pedals; and Traction Control.

Armada owners are saying:

“Good looking, muscular, intelligent, fast, big, and full of comfort and tech.”

“The Nissan Armada is an outstanding car! I love it! So handsome and reliable! The Armada is powerful and has some great features like backup camera, parking sensors, XM radio, power trunk etc. This truck deserves some high praises!”

“First import vehicle I’ve owned and I got what I wanted for luxury without paying the Cadillac price. It was about comfort and workmanship without the high sticker price. I’m totally satisfied!”

The Nissan Pathfinder2013 Nissan Pathfinder

A standard on the SUV market for more than 25 years, the Nissan Pathfinder in an affordable mid-size SUV with a V6 engine that offers the best-in-class fuel efficiency: 20/26 MPG city/highway! The standard engine is a 4.0-liter V6, producing 266 horsepower and 288 lb/ft of torque. The optional 5.6-liter V8 provides 310 hp and 380 lb/ft of torque. Both engines come standard with a five-speed automatic transmission and are available with four-wheel drive.

Fuel economy for the SV is best-in-class 22 mpg combined and pricing is 7% less than the average competitor vehicle: The MSRP of the Pathfinder SV is $36,450, whereas the Toyota 4-Runner, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Ford Explorer Limited have an average MSRP of $38,950.

The Pathfinder trades some of the off-road brawn of the Armada for on-road comforts, such as standard features like tri-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker stereo and optional features like leather seats, heated front- and middle-row seats, Bluetooth, navigation and a Bose stereo system. The Pathfinder offers four trim levels for buyers:

  • The S offers cruise control, tri-zone automatic climate control, in-dash 6 CD player with CD MP3 Playback stereo, and reclining rear seats.
  • The SV adds an 8-way power driver seat, 3 Months of provided satellite radio service, iPod integration, USB & Bluetooth connectivity, and leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob.
  • The SL offers leather seats, heated mirrors and driver/passenger seats, memorized seat settings for two drivers, a roof rack and an optional DVD player.
  • The Platinum is equipped with front, side, and rear view cameras, 13-speaker Bose stereo system with 2 subwoofers, illuminated kick plates, and a hard drive-based display with voice-activated navigation system.

Safety features on each level include Driver & Passenger Air Bags; Front, Rear & Third Row Head Air Bags; 4-Wheel ABS & Disc Brakes; Brake Assist; Electronic Stability Control; and Child Safety Locks & Child Seat Anchors.

Pathfinder owners are saying:

“We’ve only had this car far a short time, but so far we LOVE it! It’s so comfy and beautiful! The ride is smooth, the sound system is wonderful! We are getting about 21.5 mpg average with city and highway driving. I had an Altima coupe before this and got 25 mpg, so I didn’t lose too much by going bigger. We just took a trip with 5 adults and had plenty of room, even with all with luggage.”

“This car is so fast and so fun to drive. If you need an SUV, but want something that will outperform just about everything else on the road, the Nissan Pathfinder is the vehicle for you!”

“I’ve been looking for an SUV that had a higher tow rating than the usual 3500-lb. rating. With highway mileage that exceeds everything else, the Pathfinder clicked those two important boxes. I got a Platinum, which loaded the vehicle up with options, yet the price tag was still way below that of the Infiniti JX!”

The Nissan Xterra2013 Nissan Xterra

Nissan’s label for the Xterra is:  Roads:  Optional.   The Nissan Xterra is a mid-sized SUV with enhanced off-road capabilities built with a stout body-on-frame construction. The Xterra is powered by a 4.0-liter V6 engine that generates 261 horsepower, and is available with either a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.

Fuel economy for the S trim level is 17 mpg combined and pricing is more than 20% less than the its closest competitor:  The MSRP of the Xterra S is $29,520, versus the Toyota 4-Runner Trail’s MSRP of $36,755.

Aimed at active buyers who are interested in outdoor recreation, the Xterra features the ruggedness and utility of a classic off-road vehicle paired with the style and comfort of a crossover. The Xterra offers three trim levels for buyers:

  • The X comes with full power features, air-conditioning, keyless entry and a six-speaker stereo with CD player.
  • The S adds alloy wheels, step rails, a multi-adjustable driver seat and an easy-to-clean cargo area with enhanced tie-down points
  • The Pro-4X model includes 4-Wheel Drive, off-road tires and shocks, a locking rear differential and optional leather upholstery.

Safety features included on all trim levels: ABS; Stability Control; Front- & Side-Impact Airbags; Overhead Airbags; Child Safety Locks; and a First-Aid Kit.

Xterra owners are saying:

“This vehicle handles great. I have the 6-speed manual transmission Pro-4X and it has plenty of power and rides great on the highway. Seems like a well-built vehicle with a lot of storage.”

“The Xterra is a true SUV, not a soccer mom SUV. The Xterra is in a totally different class than any other SUV except for the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Jeep Wranger Unlimited. If an individual wants a “soft” SUV, go buy something else. Personally, I love my Xterra. My family enjoys the outdoors, everything from mountain biking, camping, snowboarding, hiking, and trail running. I have not met a trail yet that my Xterra could not get through.”

“It’s a great and simple SUV. Not too much glitz and glam and more of the stuff you need to get outdoors with all the gear you need.”

Now that you’ve read all about Nissan’s three SUVs, be sure to come on down and take a look and test drive at each of them for yourself!

Schedule Your Test-drive Today!

*cover image courtesy of ThinkStock, auto images courtesy of,,

The All-New 2013 Nissan Pathfinder
The Next Gen SUV is here!

2013 Nissan Pathfinder

No wonder Nissan calls its all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder “Our Most Innovative Pathfinder Ever!” With its EZ Flex Seating System™ with LATCH AND GLIDE™, and the supercool Around View® Monitor, Nissan does not disappoint!

Perhaps you’ve seen the commercials:

  • a little boy brings the Pathfinder in to school for show-and-tell because there’s evidence on the vehicle of his family’s adventurous vacations,
  • a father sets out to park the Pathfinder in a tight spot using the Around View® birds-eye-view system to the mother’s doubtful surprise ,
  • a family sees a road closure and asks a local for directions and he says, “Follow me!” and proceeds to lead them across all manner of rough, rugged, slippery terrain and the Pathfinder just walks right through it all with the family safe inside.

With the all-new 2013 Pathfinder, Nissan returns to its roots – the Pathfinder has been a foundational vehicle in the Nissan line for more than a quarter of a century! The new Pathfinder’s combination of next-gen SUV design and smart technology brings a fresh approach to this segment of the auto market. A switch was made from body-on-frame to a unibody construction, earning the new Pathfinder the highest standard towing rating in its class (5,000 pounds!), while simultaneously offering the best-in-class passenger volume and an increase in fuel economy of over 30%!

Other state-of-the-art features to this remarkable vehicle include:

  • Nissan’s Easy Fill Tire Alert – When filling the tires, the Pathfinder’s Easy Fill Tire Alert will give you a beep of the horn when you’re at the right pressure. How cool is that?
  • Around View® Monitor – Using four cameras, the available AVM creates a composite image of the Pathfinder from above and displays it on the touchscreen monitor. This helps to visually confirm the vehicle’s position and allows the driver to maneuver into parking spots with ease and caution.
  • Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display – This feature helps drivers keep their focus on what matters most—driving. It is a 4.2-inch color monitor sitting right in front of the driver in the gauge cluster. The customizable, easy-to-read screen displays front and rear power ratios, the trip computer, tire pressure, fuel economy, external temperature, and much more.
  • Next Generation Xtronic CVT® – Pathfinder’s new CVT eliminates gears by using a precisely-machined metal drive chain instead of traditional fixed metal gears, which transfers power from the engine to the wheels far more effectively and smoothly. So whatever you ask from the engine, the CVT provides it by shifting seamlessly to give you the perfect speed, all while improving fuel economy.
  • Best-in-Class Fuel Economy – Nissan dropped a bunch of weight from the frame, the drivetrain, and everywhere else! Even the climate control system weighs less now, so it’s easy to get the best fuel economy in its class!
  • The EZ Flex Seating System™, an industry first, enables a second row seat to tip up which allows easy third row access with a child safety seat still installed. Speaking of the third row, it’s been upgraded and expanded for 2013. Pathfinder is the only SUV in its class to offer reclining seats back there, and they’re big enough to comfortably seat two full-sized adults. The Pathfinder seats 7 passengers, and everybody travels in style.
  • and much, much more!

Kudos for the all-new 2013 Pathfinder:

“On the outside the previous Pathfinder’s hard slab sides and angles have been replaced by a new body that is curvaceous and car- like. The new exterior is also more aerodynamic than before, which also helps the Pathfinder’s impressive fuel economy gains. Nissan says that the switch to a unibody platform has shaved 500 pounds off the Pathfinder’s weight, but what’s also impressive is that the 2013 Pathfinder is larger than the outgoing model. Its length has increased by 4.6 inches, width by 4.3 inches and its wheelbase is now 2.0 inches longer. The only dimension that [is smaller] is the Pathfinder’s height, which is now three inches shorter. The larger exterior dimensions give the 2013 Pathfinder an interior that is one of the largest in its class. –

“The ride is nice, you can’t feel bumps in the road. To me it is like driving a Murano, but with the extra seats. The controls are easy to reach and everything you need on a daily drive the controls are right on the steering wheel. It has all of the nice storage compartments you think of the Highlander; however, for my pocket the standard V6 and the much lower price tag for a well- equipped vehicle is lovely. I do a lot of city driving and the gas mileage is sooo good. Between the gas mileage and the handling I truly forget I drive a 7passenger SUV” – Joanne, 2013 Pathfinder owner

We love the all-new Pathfinder, and we know you will too! Come on over and take a test drive to get an idea of how the roomy new Pathfinder can be a great investment for your family!

Schedule Your Test-drive Today!

In the meantime, please share your questions, thoughts, and comments with us below. We would be glad to discuss these with you as soon as possible!

*image courtesy of