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New Jersey car buyers who are looking for plenty of space have two new options to consider this fall. Both Nissan and Toyota have made upgrades to the 2014 versions of their hallmark SUV’s. While both models are quality vehicles, the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder is superior to the Toyota Highlander overall and in several specific areas, including design, gas mileage, safety, and optional features.
Both models come with refreshed exterior designs that blur the line between SUV and car. For the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder, this isn’t much of a change from the 2013 model. The Pathfinder has graceful, contoured lines that are recognizable in any Nissan vehicle. Its chrome grill, sculpted fender, and chrome side touches give the Pathfinder a sedan-like style.
The Highlander has a new design, mainly to accommodate a third bench inside. The result is the largest and most SUV-like Highlander model to date. The design features a deep-set grill and exaggerated wheel wells that aim for the sleek appearance that the Pathfinder pulls off effortlessly.
Both models have comparable interior designs. The base models of each come with glossy, textured plastic and soft-touch semi-matte material. Each comes with a third bench to accommodate seven total passengers.
The Pathfinder is an excellent car in terms of safety. It comes with the standard safety features that would be expected of any major SUV, such as six airbags, stability control, traction control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and a rear-view camera and rear sonar sensors. The Pathfinder received a four-star rating out of a possible five for safety from the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration.
Highlander also comes with six airbags, stability control, traction control, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes. A rear-view camera is standard. However, rear sensors are only available as an option. The NHTSA has not yet issued safety ratings on the Highlander.
The Pathfinder comes with a 3.5 liter V-6 engine with 260 horsepower. The Pathfinder’s gets a combined 22 miles per gallon, with 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The Highlander comes with a slightly more powerful 280 horsepower 3.5 liter V-6 engine. However, that comes with lower fuel efficiency at a combined 19 miles per gallon, with 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
The Pathfinder offers a rich variety of optional features, such as 18 inch alloy wheels, Advanced Drive Assist trip-computer display, Bluetooth connectivity, leather interior, heated seats, moon-roof, a trailer-tow kit, Bose speakers, and an entertainment package that includes three seven-inch screens for DVD’s, games, and more. Highlander’s optional features include high-beam headlights, heated seats, JBL audio, and a rear-seat entertainment system with DVD and gaming inputs.
What Vehicle to Pick?
The Pathfinder and the Highlander both offer a number of benefits to SUV shoppers. However, the Pathfinder’s superior design, fuel efficiency, safety features, and deep menu of optional add-ons make it the better choice.