2023 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2023 Chevy Traverse

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  • 2023 Nissan Pathfinder

    A grey 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek is angled left.

    Starting at

    $35,200[a]

    2023 Chevy Traverse

    A white 2023 Chevy Traverse is shown angled right.

    Starting at

    $34,520

    270Torque (lb-ft)266
    6,000Max Towing (lbs)5,000
    20/27Fuel Economy (city/hwy MPG)18/27

    Every driver in the market for a three-row SUV knows the options are plentiful and competition is fierce. Automakers are quick to offer spacious and versatile models that modestly sip fuel, deliver an engaging experience behind the wheel, and offer an array of amenities that prioritize your comfort. It’s a balance that looks easy for Nissan and Chevrolet, and it shows when comparing the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2023 Chevy Traverse.

    The Pathfinder and Traverse are two of the top contenders in the segment, but they represent two distinct approaches. How so? Chevrolet has built its reputation by offering affordable and reliable models, and the Traverse is no exception with its budget-savvy price tag and value-oriented packaging. Perhaps that’s what led you to the 2023 Traverse is knowing the characteristics that come with the Chevy name. However, the Traverse’s affordability forces drivers to compromise in ways that Nissan doesn’t require.

    The 2023 Traverse, which starts at $34,520, is more affordable than the $35,200 Pathfinder, but Nissan promises to save you more money behind the wheel.[a] The Pathfinder’s powertrain matches the Traverse mile for mile, but the Traverse guzzles more fuel at 17 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway on all-wheel drive models. Alternatively, the four-wheel-drive Pathfinder keeps more money in your wallet, conservatively sipping fuel at 21 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway.

    Nissan adds to the Pathfinder’s appeal in 2023 by equipping it with advanced technologies and an interior laden with premium materials. The combination is exquisite and gives the 2023 Pathfinder an edge over the 2023 Traverse in many ways. Here’s a closer look at how the Pathfinder accomplishes the feat and why your search will likely end with you in the driver’s seat of one of Nissan’s best-selling models.

  • Performance

    A close up of the side of a 2023 Nissan Pathfinder is shown during a 2023 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2023 Chevy Traverse comparison.

    As three-row SUVs, the 2023 Traverse and 2023 Pathfinder have similar footprints that require ample power to ensure their agility and responsiveness without compromising efficiency. Chevrolet and Nissan take a similar approach to this, simplifying their powertrain lineups to one option. The models are equipped with V6 powerplants and nine-speed automatic transmissions that deliver comparable horsepower and torque but respond differently when it comes to fuel and towing capability.

    Towing Capacity and Fuel Efficiency

    The 2023 Traverse is powered by Chevrolet’s 3.6L V6 engine and nine-speed automatic transmission. The pairing produces 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, pushing the Traverse to a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. While impressive for a three-row SUV, the Traverse isn’t modest about sipping fuel and averages 18 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway as a front-wheel drive model. Conversely, the all-wheel drive Traverse is less efficient, averaging 17 MPG and 25 MPG, respectively.

    Like Chevrolet, Nissan equips the 2023 Pathfinder with a V6 engine and nine-speed automatic transmission. However, the Pathfinder’s 3.5L direct-injection V6 engine operates more efficiently, producing 295 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. The slight increase in torque significantly affects the Pathfinder’s towing capacity, pushing it to 6,000 pounds. Moreover, it doesn’t compromise the SUV’s efficiency, with front-wheel drive models averaging 20 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway. Four-wheel drive models, which is another advantage the Pathfinder has over the Traverse, average 21 MPG and 27 MPG, respectively.
    The Pathfinder's Intelligent 4X4

    How the automakers let you harness the engine’s power is another critical difference that gives the 2023 Pathfinder an edge over the Chevrolet. Nissan’s available Intelligent 4X4 system equips the SUV with up to seven drive modes. These modes include Standard, Sport, Snow, Eco, Sand, Mud/Rut, and Tow. The Pathfinder's drive modes tailor the throttle response, steering, and other components to finetune the SUV's performance to your driving preferences or the situation.

  • Interior

    A man is shown getting into the passenger side of a 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum.

    The 2023 Traverse might have a lower starting price than the 2023 Pathfinder, but that deal comes at a high cost. Chevrolet’s reputation for affordability is a source of great pride for the automaker. However, slating the 2023 Traverse against the 2023 Pathfinder reveals how Nissan takes a different approach to balancing affordability with luxury and ingenuity. How so?

    The Traverse Offers Premium Features for a Price

    The Traverse offers seating for eight and premium features like a Smart Slide second-row seat, a SkyScape dual-panel sunroof with a fixed rear skylight, and leather seating on top-tier trims like the High Country. Chevrolet’s three-row SUV also comes with a 7-inch color touchscreen and the Chevrolet infotainment system. However, adding the 8-inch display with connected navigation, wireless smartphone integration, a WiFi hotspot, and Amazon Alexa Built-in adds to the Traverse’s price tag.

    High-End Features Are Affordable With the Pathfinder

    While the 2023 Traverse is well-equipped, Nissan does something remarkable by adding premium features and advanced technology without skyrocketing the Pathfinder’s price in 2023. For example, the Pathfinder focuses solely on you, your experience behind the wheel, and your passengers. This focus is apparent from the digital cockpit, which features a 7-inch digital meter display or an expansive 12.3-inch full-color digital dashboard. Moreover, you can complement the digital dashboard with Nissan’s crisp 10.8-inch head-up display, a noticeably absent feature on the 2023 Traverse.

    The 2023 Pathfinder also offers more standard features and luxuries than the Traverse. Nissan equips the Pathfinder with an 8-inch touchscreen display, which is upgraded to a 9-inch display on top-tier trims. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the lineup, with the Pathfinder SL and Platinum offering wireless smartphone integration and wireless charging. These intuitive connectivity features complement the Pathfinder’s Bose premium audio system with 13 speakers that deliver an exceptional listening experience throughout the cabin.

    Likewise, Nissan spares no expense in outfitting the Pathfinder with elements that optimize your comfort and add luxury to the SUV. For example, tri-zone automatic climate control guarantees everyone is comfortable throughout the cabin. In addition, the 10-way power front seats and second-row seats are heated, with ambient interior lighting adding a distinct aesthetic that’s only surpassed by the panoramic moonroof that makes the Pathfinder’s cabin feel more spacious and airier.

  • Safety

    A red 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum is shown parked on a forest trail.

    Industry-wide safety standards ensure automakers like Nissan and Chevrolet prioritize driver safety. This puts the 2023 Pathfinder and 2023 Traverse on a level playing field. For example, the models are built with high-strength steel designed to divert energy from the driver and passengers in a collision. Likewise, the Pathfinder and Traverse come with a host of active and passive safety features, ranging from airbags to advanced driver-assist technologies.

    The Traverse's Chevy Safety Assist Suite

    Every 2023 Traverse rolls off the factory floor with the Chevy Safety Assist suite. These standard features mimic industry regulations and equip the three-row SUV with Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, IntelliBeam automatic headlamps, and a Following Distance Indicator. The front-oriented tools, like Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, and Forward Collision Alert, minimize the potential for frontal collisions by alerting you to hazards and responding by applying the brakes if you fail to take action.

    Other Available Driver-Assist Features On the Traverse

    Drivers willing to spend more on a top-tier trim or the updated safety package can enjoy added peace of mind in the driver’s seat of the Traverse. For example, the 2023 Traverse, Premier, and High Country are equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control and the HD Surround Vision Camera. Adaptive Cruise Control improves your time on the highway by adjusting the Traverse’s cruising speed, while the HD Surround Vision Camera gives you a bird’s eye view around the SUV.

    The Pathfinder's Nissan Safety Shield 360

    While the Traverse’s safety and driver-assist technology is impressive, Nissan gains another advantage with the 2023 Pathfinder by equipping it with more intelligent features. Like the Traverse, the Pathfinder is outfitted with a standard safety suite–Nissan Safety Shield 360. The suite includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Automatic Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and High Beam Assist. However, one notable difference with the Pathfinder is that its automatic emergency braking technology works in the front and rear. Likewise, Nissan complements these features with other tools like ProPILOT Assist, a Rear Door Alert, rear sonar sensors, an Intelligent Around View Monitor, Intelligent Driver Alertness, Blind Spot Intervention, and Traffic Sign Recognition, most of which you won’t find in the Traverse’s lineup in 2023.

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