2022 Ford Explorer vs 2022 Nissan Pathfinder

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  • 2022 Ford Explorer

    A grey 2022 Ford Explorer XLT is angled left.

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    2022 Nissan Pathfinder

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    300Horsepower (hp)284
    310Torque (lb-ft)259
    21/28Fuel Economy (city/hwy mpg)21/26

    As SUVs have become increasingly popular over the last few decades, they have also become available in a wide range of sizes so that people can get the functionality of an SUV without committing to a large model. If you are looking for a large, three-row SUV, however, you still have many great options available, but choosing the right one can be tricky. Looking at the 2022 Ford Explorer vs the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder, for example, we can see that both of these vehicles have seating for seven or more people and a wide range of impressive features throughout. That being said, there are some significant ways that the Explorer proves to be a superior option for most drivers.

    For starters, when it comes to performance, the Nissan Pathfinder has a single-engine available, while Ford offers three different options on the Explorer. Not only does Ford give you more engines to choose from, including an impressive V6 hybrid, but even the standard engine on the Explorer is superior to what Nissan has to offer. This results in a far-more invigorating driving experience that makes the Ford Explorer much more enjoyable. In addition, you can also get superior fuel economy from the Ford SUV, particularly if you choose a model with the hybrid engine.

    Inside these two SUVs, you will find three rows and plenty of seating for your passengers, no matter which one you choose. The Ford Explorer gives you much more interior cargo space, with almost 2 cu.ft. of additional room in the rear of the vehicle and more than 7 cu.ft. of total overall cargo volume for you to take advantage of. On top of this, you also get more impressive interior features, such as a larger available Infotainment display in the Explorer. While the Nissan Pathfinder has some decent options and features inside and out, at the end of the day, it simply cannot keep up with everything the Ford SUV offers.

  • Performance and Efficiency

    A red 2022 Ford Explorer Limited is shown on a city street during a 2022 Ford Explorer vs 2022 Nissan Pathfinder comparison.

    When looking at any vehicle, you should always consider the engine or engines it has to offer since so much of your driving experience comes from the powertrain. With large SUVs like the 2022 Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder, this is even more important because you want to choose a model with plenty of power. Few things are worse than driving a big SUV like these models without enough power under the hood. That slow, sluggish feeling is incredibly unrewarding and makes simple tasks like getting up to speed to merge onto a highway more stressful than it needs to be.

    Engine Options

    The Nissan Pathfinder has a decent engine, but unfortunately, it is just that: decent, as there is no option for anything else with more power. Its sole offering is a 3.5L V6 engine that delivers 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque, which comes paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission and either front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). Overall, this is a fine engine and powertrain, but it is not anything to get excited about, which is a big flaw for Nissan.

    By comparison, the 2022 Ford Explorer has three engines for you to choose from, with bold performance across the board. The standard engine in the Explorer is a 2.3L EcoBoost Turbo I-4 that gives you 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, which you can see is already more powerful than what the Pathfinder can offer. If you want even more power, there is an available 3.0L EcoBoost Turbo V6 that boosts power up to 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque for an incredible driving experience. Finally, there is an available 3.3L V6 Hybrid engine that delivers 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque. All three engines come paired with a 10-speed automatic for a more responsive driving experience, with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or AWD.

    Fuel Economy

    Not only is the Explorer a better choice for raw power, but it is also a more efficient option to keep your gas costs low. The Pathfinder gets an estimated 21 MPG in the city, 26 MPG on the highway, and an overall 23 MPG combined fuel economy. With its standard engine, the Ford Explorer gets an estimated 21 MPG in the city, 28 MPG on the highway, and 24 MPG combined. Where the Explorer really shines, however, is with its available hybrid engine that gets an estimated 27 MPG in the city, 28 MPG on the highway, and a combined 28 MPG.

  • Interior Space

    The dashboard in a 2022 Ford Explorer is shown.

    Both of these models are large, three-row SUVs that give you plenty of seating for passengers, but their interiors are not identical in terms of the kind of room they can provide you with.

    Passenger Volume

    Although the Nissan Pathfinder has a second-row bench seat available that gives it seating for up to eight people, many drivers prefer the captain’s chairs in the second row, which delivers comfortable seating for up to seven passengers, much like what the Ford Explorer offers. Even though both of these models have similar seating in this setup, they are not identical: the Pathfinder has a total of 148 cu.ft. of passenger volume inside, while the Ford Explorer gives you more than 152 cu.ft. of passenger space. That might not seem like a huge difference, but if you tend to have a lot of people with you, they will notice it.

    Cargo Volume

    In addition to this, the Explorer also gives you a lot more room inside to load up with all of the stuff that you need to bring with you. The Pathfinder has just over 16 cu.ft. of cargo volume in the rear area, with 45 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the second row of seats and just over 80 cu.ft. of total cargo volume inside. By comparison, the Ford Explorer gives you more than 18 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats, with nearly 48 cu.ft. of volume behind the second-row seats and nearly 88 cu.ft. of total cargo volume behind the front seats. This is a tremendous difference, and the Ford model makes it a lot easier to load up with everything you want and hit the road or to pile in all of your bags after a day of running errands.

  • Technology

    A red 2022 Ford Explorer Hybrid is shown on top of a parking garage at night.

    Both the Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder have a wide range of impressive, modern technological features, but the Explorer simply gives you more.

    Pathfinder Features

    The Pathfinder starts with an 8-inch Infotainment display and has a 9-inch screen available on higher trims; plus, it has a standard 6-speaker sound system, with a 13-speaker audio system offered on the highest trim. The Pathfinder comes with a 6-way manually-adjustable driver’s seat standard, along with a 4-way manual front-passenger seat, though a 4-way power front-passenger seat is offered on higher trims. All these options come together to create a comfortable and advanced interior, but it simply falls short of what Ford offers.

    Explorer Features

    The Ford Explorer also comes with an 8-inch Infotainment display as the standard option but has a stunning 10.1-inch screen, along with a 12.3-inch Digital Productivity Screen on the Instrument Panel Cluster for the driver. A 6-speaker sound system is standard on the Explorer, though you can choose an available 14-speaker B&O sound system with a subwoofer for an exceptional audio experience. An 8-way power driver seat is standard on the Explorer, though high trims include Tri-Diamond perforated leather seating with a 10-way power driver’s seat and 8-way power front-passenger seat, including front and second-row heated seating. Overall, the Explorer’s tech options and features surpass what the Pathfinder has available, giving you a more comfortable and sophisticated driving experience.

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