2017 Ford Explorer vs Nissan Pathfinder

2017 Ford Explorer vs Nissan Pathfinder

In the 1970s, the station wagon was the popular choice. The 1990s introduced the magic of the minivan. The clear heir the family vehicle legacy is now the mid-size crossover SUV. Perfect for larger families who are not interested in a minivan but who won't fit in a sedan, models like the 2017 Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder offer passenger room and features that make your home away from home feel comfortable and convenient. Which model is right for you and your favorite passengers? Let's put them side by side to see.

2017 Ford Explorer vs Nissan Pathfinder

Long-Haul Comfort

If space and comfort are at the top of your wish list, the Explorer is the crossover for you. You probably already know that the Explorer delivers three roomy rows of seating - more than enough head and leg room for a rowdy family of seven. But the cabin is also home to a soft-touch dash and noise-reduction technology that make your ride a truly luxurious experience.

The Nissan Pathfinder also offers room for seven passengers. It trails behind the Explorer in terms of high-quality materials and seating support - the Pathfinder seats are on the firm side - but it certainly has its high points. The rear privacy glass, for example, gives the cabin an air of exclusivity and keeps the cabin cooler during hot summer months.

Overall Performance

Both models offer mass appeal in the performance department, but the Pathfinder has the edge for two reasons. First of all, it gets slightly better fuel economy. It earns 20 city/27 highway mpg - pretty good figures for this class. It also tows up to 6,000 lbs., which means that trip to the beach can turn to a boating expedition or a jet skiing adventure as you tow your toys with you.

Despite the Pathfinder's edge, the Explorer remains a strong contender. Its fuel economy is nearly as good as that of the Pathfinder, EPA-rated at up to 19/27 mpg. The Explorer will also transport your favorite toys into the great outdoors with ease, towing max loads of up to 5,000 lbs.

Safety Innovations

No one can say that Ford doesn't put safety first. Sure, it's got the usual driver aids - systems like blind-spot monitoring - that monitor your surroundings and alert you to danger. But it also offers innovative features to help you maintain stability. Ford's Curve Control system, for example, monitors the speed your vehicle carries into a corner and automatically decelerates to keep you safe.

It might not exceed expectations, but, in this category, the Nissan Pathfinder actually has a lot in common with the Explorer. For starters, both the Pathfinder and the Explorer earned a perfect five-star rating in government crash tests. Like the Explorer, the Pathfinder also offers a forward collision warning system - but, unlike with the Explorer, it's only available on the top-tier trim model, the Pathfinder Platinum. And, even when you get the Platinum, you still have to pay extra for it.

Family-Friendly Tech Gear

If you plan on hitting the road this summer, you might be worried about cabin infighting. To that end, the Explorer helps everyone get along. Its rear-seat entertainment system includes dual screens, so your kids can play video games and watch a DVD simultaneously. Don't worry - once your favorite passengers hook up their headphones, you'll never hear a thing.

The Pathfinder supplies a similar setup, with one major caveat. Only the Pathfinder Premier - the most expensive model - offers the rear entertainment system, which comes at an extra cost. Still, the Pathfinder matches the Explorer in terms of smartphone integration. Link your smartphone to the central system to stream your favorite audio options or make hands-free calls.

Learn More about the Ford Explorer

2017 Ford Explorer vs Nissan Pathfinder

Both models have what it takes to help you handle transporting multiple passengers to and from multiple activities, but the 2017 Ford Explorer goes much further in terms of passenger comfort, family-friendly features, and safety innovations. The Explorer does it all - take your boat along on your next road trip and use the rear-seat entertainment system to keep the kids busy during the long highway ride. With three rows of seating, there's room for the entire family - and even a hound or two-while feeling confident that Ford's safety features are keeping you safe the entire way.