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The Nissan Pathfinder is a midsize SUV that has been around for a long time. Despite its longevity, it isn’t considered the best vehicle in its segment. Nissan has worked on improving the Pathfinder over the years but still has difficulty standing out from the competition. With the 2024 model year already out, here’s why you may have a hard time picking the new Pathfinder.

The 2024 Nissan Pathfinder struggles to stand out

The Pathfinder has a well-established nameplate dating back to 1985. However, despite its rich history, it still faces challenges distinguishing itself in a crowded and rapidly evolving automotive landscape. Over the years, the SUV market has become saturated with various options from different automakers.

The Pathfinder competes in a segment with popular alternatives like the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander. These rival vehicles offer various powertrains with different capabilities, making them more attractive to consumers. They also rank highly in reliability and consumer reviews.

The Pathfinder earned a 77 out of 100 score on quality and reliability from J.D. Power. Comparatively, the site gave the Explorer a stellar 83 out of 100 score and the Highlander an 81 out of 100 score for the same. The Pathfinder also falls behind in terms of speed, taking between 7.3 seconds and 8.6 seconds to hit 60 mph.

While this isn’t necessarily slow acceleration, it doesn’t compare to its rivals. For comparison, the base model of the Explorer goes from 0 to 60 seconds in six seconds.

The 2024 Nissan Pathfinder has competition from up-and-coming rivals

Nissan doesn’t only have to worry about older rivals like the Explorer and Highlander but also about newer, fast-rising rivals like the Kia Telluride and Mazda CX-90. Kia’s Telluride entered the market in 2019 and is already taking the midsize SUV market by storm. The vehicle is perfect for families thanks to its spacious three-row interior.

A 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque powers the 2024 Telluride. It takes 6.8 seconds to hit 60 mph. The CX-90 is powered by a turbocharged 3.3-liter inline-six engine that generates about 280 to 340 hp in upper trims and takes 6.3 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph. On the other hand, the Pathfinder has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 284 hp.

Car and Driver ranked the Telluride first in its best midsize SUV list with a 10 out of 10 rating, while the CX-90 came in fifth with a 9 out of 10 score. The site placed the 2024 Pathfinder 16th with an 8 out of 10 score. With newer SUVs coming out, the Pathfinder needs to up its game or risk getting pushed out.

So what’s the verdict on this SUV?

The Pathfinder is a capable and well-rounded SUV, but it is facing a challenge in the modern automotive world due to its lackluster performance specs and features. However, this doesn’t inherently make the car a bad choice. Instead, it highlights the difficulties the vehicle has experienced standing out in an oversaturated market with plenty of options.

The 2024 Nissan Pathfinder has excellent towing capabilities (6,000 pounds), beating its rivals like the Telluride (5,500 pounds) and Highlander. The Pathfinder is also more affordable than most of its rivals. Its base trim, S, has a starting MSRP of $37,145, while the Highlander and Explorer have an estimated MSRP of $38,000.

The CX-90 carries a heftier price tag, with an MSRP of $40,970, while the Telluride starts at $37,355. The CX-90’s top trim fetches upwards of $60,000, which may be too costly for individuals on a budget looking for an everyday SUV, especially given its snug third-row legroom. For comparison, the Pathfinder’s top trim, Platinum, costs $50,115, which is $10,000 less.


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