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1640 Montgomery Hwy, Hoover, AL 35216
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Compare the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2018 Toyota Highlander | Hoover, AL

2018 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2018 Toyota Highlander

Serving Hoover, AL, Birmingham, and Vestavia Hills

While some SUVs adopt the crossover concept by being easy on gas and driving dynamics that can make anyone comfortable, others are built to optimize their ability to handle the harshest of driving conditions. The Nissan Pathfinder and the Toyota Highlander—which sport truck-like platforms and exterior profiles that are comparatively rugged—fall into the latter category. Since the 2017 model year brought significant changes to each vehicle, 2018 is tame by comparison. However, while the Highlander remains largely unchanged, the Pathfinder now has automatic emergency braking as a standard feature. Also, there’s an added rear-seat reminder system and a few more USB ports for charging mobile devices. Even without those enhancements, the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder has the upper hand over the 2018 Toyota Highlander due to the following factors.

Price and Specs Comparison


2018 Nissan Pathfinder S

2018 Toyota Highlander LE

Starting MSRP*



Fuel Economy (City/Hwy)**

20 / 27 mpg

21 / 27 mpg

Standard Engine




284 horsepower

185 horsepower



6-Speed Automatic

Review Video


With either the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder or the 2018 Toyota Highlander, you have a choice between a drivetrain that sends engine power to only the front wheels and one that sends it to both front and rear wheels. Regarding the latter, the Nissan Pathfinder uses a four-wheel drivetrain, which ensures that tire grip is maximized on just about any surface: whether it’s slippery, rough, or bumpy. Thus, the Pathfinder is optimized as an off-road vehicle. By comparison, the Toyota Highlander has an all-wheel drive, which is primarily designed to enhance traction on roads made slippery by rain, snow, or ice. It does not have that tier of off-road capability that is present on the Pathfinder’s optional drivetrain.


Standard on all trims of the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder is a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Rather than use the energy-consuming gear shifting mechanism of traditional transmissions, the CVT uses a continuous range of effective gear ratios. Not only does that help boost gas mileage, but it also provides a smooth driving experience. On the 2018 Toyota Highlander, there’s the choice between a 6-speed automatic transmission and an 8-speed transmission; Toyota does not provide the option of a CVT.

2018 Nissan Pathfinder Interior


If you are an audiophile or prioritize the infotainment system on your vehicle, you might want to focus more on the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder than the 2018 Toyota Highlander. While the base-level six-speaker audio is accompanied by features such as HD Radio, an 8-inch color touchscreen, and a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, you’d need to upgrade in trim on the Highlander to get HD Radio and SiriusXM radio service, and the touchscreen is significantly smaller (6.1 inches). Also, the Pathfinder has a 4.3-inch screen known as Advanced Drive-Assist Display to lessen distraction.

Test Drive Today!

Ready for the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder rather than the 2018 Toyota Highlander as your new midsize SUV? With a reputation for outstanding customer service (as evidenced by aggregated reviews on Google,, and, as well as an extensive inventory to choose from. Call us today to meet with one of our Nissan specialists today to schedule a test drive, as well as a sit-down to go over your preferred features and options on your Pathfinder.

*MSRP excludes destination, taxes, title and registration fees. Starting at price refers to the base model, optional equipment not included. A more expensive model may be shown. Pricing and offers may change at any time without notification. To get full pricing details, see your dealer.

**EPA estimated MPG may vary by transmission, trim and individual driving behavior.

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