Nissan Pathfinder Vs. Toyota 4Runner

If you are an outdoor enthusiast who is always on the lookout for adventure down the path less traveled, then you probably have some pretty high demands you need met from your SUV. You need a vehicle with a generous curb height, thoughtful suspension, strong engine and responsive steering to get you through Southern California to that coveted trailhead or secluded campsite. It sure would be nice of the cabin was comfortable and offered some great technology features too, right? This is where the 2013 Toyota 4 Runner and the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder come into play.


Many other SUVs on the market offer several engines to choose from; these two really have no reason to. They both boast powertrains that appeal to a wide variety of buyers. The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder gets a 3.5-liter V6 that mates to a continuously variable transmission. It delivers 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque while managing to return 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway; these are definitely great numbers from a vehicle of this size. It can even tow 5,000 pounds, when properly equipped.

The 2013 Toyota 4Runner gets a 4.0-liter V6 and five-speed automatic that accelerates zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. It produces 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, while yielding 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Like Pathfinder, towing capacity is 5,000 pounds. Four-wheel drive is available on some trims.

Driving and Handling

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder has traded in some of its off-road brawn for on road comfort. So, if you always remain on paved roads around Orange County, this is the vehicle for you. The ride is composed and compliant, absorbing undesirable bumps and potholes like a sponge.

Then you have the 2013 Toyota 4Runner; a vehicle that is always ready and willing to take the dirt road or muddy trail. It is designed for rugged terrain, and is not afraid to tackle the elements. On a paved road, you will notice that the steering is not quite as responsive, but this is definitely a feature you will appreciate on rough trails. If you like to go deep into he backcountry, check out the Trail mode with the KDSS suspension system!


The 2013 Toyota 4Runner shines a little brighter, when it comes to crash tests. It received top safety scores by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in front and side-impact protection, and the second best rating in roof strength. Test results are not available for the 2013 Pathfinder yet, but if it falls in the footsteps of its predecessor it will only receive a “Poor” rating in roof strength. Still, the 2012 model did do well in front and side crash tests though.

Both of these SUVs deliver better than average braking. Toyota 4Runner takes a short 122 feet to stop from 60 mph. Pathfinder is just behind at 124 feet. Both are equipped with an extensive list of safety features.


The exterior styling is one of the most noticeable differences between two, primarily because the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder has been redesigned. It now no longer looks like its begging to get a little muddy. The design is aerodynamic, modern and sporty. It gets a sloped roof, jeweled headlamps, a rear spoiler and gorgeous wheels.

The 2013 Toyota 4Runner boasts a rugged appeal that outdoor-lovers are naturally drawn to. Although simple, it does not come across boxy. It looks like it’s ready to work, and it definitely has the powertrain and underpinnings to back it up.


Like the exterior, the passenger cabins are very unique, the five-passenger 2013 Toyota 4Runner does offer an optional third row, bit it is definitely not a seat that will be comfortable for adult passengers. The design may be simple, but it is thoughtful. The controls are all perfectly placed and a nice size, which you will appreciate on a bumpy trail.

The cabin in Pathfinder is upscale, inviting and definitely modern. High-quality materials can be appreciated throughout and there are a ton of convenience and entertainment features. The biggest difference between the two is that Pathfinder is a true seven-passenger vehicle with a third row seat that is easily accessed and adult-friendly.

When comparing cargo capacity, 4Runner comes out ahead with 90 cubic feet; Pathfinder offers 79.8 cubes.


There are more than enough technology and entertainment features in these features to satisfy most buyers, but the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder definitely has a little more to offer, like a rear seat entertainment system. It also gets a vividly colored navigation system, plus the optional Nissan Intelligent Key that will keep you from having to ever dig for your keys again.

The 2013 Toyota 4Runner has a mind-blowing 14-speaker JBL® audio system available. Plus, its navigation system gets rave reviews for being one of the most user-friendly ones on the market. For a real standout feature, you will want to check out the running boards that deploy and retract automatically!