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The pandemic put a hold and a delay on the production of some new vehicles. Many 2021 models are landing now, but in the meantime, some critic comparisons feature 2020 and 2021 vehicles. In this latest head-to-head review, the aging Nissan Pathfinder tries to step up to the 2021 Honda Pilot.

While one model year difference might not translate to a considerable advantage, in this case, the Pathfinder is clearly no match for the mighty Honda Pilot.

Comparing the Nissan Pathfinder and Honda Pilot

Autotrader lines up the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder and the 2021 Honda Pilot. The starting MSRP is about the same for both, with the Pathfinder starting at around $32,727 and the Pilot at $33,360.

The critics like the Pathfinder’s horsepower, handling, and 6,000-pound tow rating. But they also appreciate the Pilot’s cabin space, third-row flexibility, and impressive resale value.

In an overview of each vehicle, Autotrader highlights the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder’s body-on-frame design, making it ideal for off-pavement capability. It’s available in four basic trim levels: S, SV, SL, and the more upscale Platinum.

The 2021 Honda Pilot is what they call a “family-friendly three-row” crossover with more strengths than weaknesses. The Honda Pilot comes in LX, EX, EX-L, SE, the Touring, the Elite, and the Black Edition trims.

Its standard and available equipment rosters make it easy to configure the perfect Pilot.

Is there a 2021 Nissan Pathfinder?

Autotrader points out that there isn’t a 2021 model year for the Nissan Pathfinder, making an aging 2020 model seem even older. The SUV did get a few new extras for 2020, including a new rear sonar platform and two additional USB-C ports.

The Pathfinder also saw improvements with driver aids like radar cruise, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring. But Motor1 points out a new Nissan Pathfinder is coming, and with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, during the first half of this year. 

Car Indigo also recently commented on the recently spied new Pathfinder and pointed out that consumers can expect a complete refresh. New designs and a more robust list of standard features may be on the way for the Pathfinder.

Is the 2021 Honda Pilot a good SUV?

Getting back to this review and comparison of the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder and the 2021 Honda Pilot, the Autotrader critics point out a few things they might change for each SUV.

Not having essential Android Auto or Apple CarPlay connectivity is a major setback for the Pathfinder. And while they suggest the Honda Pilot could be improved with an off-road variant, there isn’t much else they would change. In the end, the Honda Pilot just has more to offer and clearly comes out ahead of the Pathfinder.

In this comparison, there is one clear victor

Let’s be honest. The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder may not have stood a chance in a comparison challenge with the 2021 Honda Pilot. The Honda Pilot enjoys its view from the top and has always been a top contender in this class.

It outperforms the Pathfinder in technology, safety features, and overall value. Consumers often speak highly of the Pilot for family use, hauling stuff, and for its fun to drive pep.

So, while the Pathfinder might be able to venture off-road a little better or tow a little more, the 2020 model is getting a little too long in the tooth to compete with the likes of the fan-favorite Honda Pilot.

The next Nissan Pathfinder should be more prepared to compete if the latest news of a refresh is accurate. For now, you can buy a 2020 Pathfinder. But you may find a better fit and more with a 2021 Honda Pilot instead. 


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