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The middle row seatbelts optional on the MKT inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the MKT. But it costs extra on the Pathfinder.
The MKT Reserve’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
Both the MKT and the Pathfinder have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems and front parking sensors.
The MKT comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Pathfinder’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
Lincoln’s powertrain warranty covers the MKT 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Nissan covers the Pathfinder. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Pathfinder ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the MKT has a standard 200-amp alternator. The Pathfinder’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.
The MKT’s 3.5 turbo V6 produces 81 more horsepower (365 vs. 284) and 91 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 259) than the Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6.
The MKT has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For better stopping power the MKT’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Pathfinder:
For better traction, the MKT’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Pathfinder (255/45R20 vs. 235/65R18).
The MKT’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Pathfinder S/SV/SL’s standard 65 series tires. The MKT’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Pathfinder Platinum’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the MKT has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Pathfinder S/SV/SL.
The MKT has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Pathfinder’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
The MKT has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Pathfinder’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The MKT’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the MKT’s wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer than on the Pathfinder (117.9 inches vs. 114.2 inches).
The MKT handles at .76 G’s, while the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The MKT executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 (28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .53 average G’s).
The MKT has .7 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more rear legroom and 2.3 inches more third row legroom than the Pathfinder.
Flexibility is maximized at the game, campground or a drive-in theatre in the MKT when its tailgating rear seats are deployed, allowing people to sit facing out of the liftgate. (Do not use while vehicle is in motion.) The Pathfinder doesn’t offer tailgating seats.
The MKT’s cargo area provides more volume than the Pathfinder.
Behind Third Seat
17.9 cubic feet
16 cubic feet
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the MKT’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The MKT uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Pathfinder uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
The MKT has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Pathfinder doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 36% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 20th.
The power windows standard on both the MKT and the Pathfinder have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the MKT is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Pathfinder prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The MKT’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Pathfinder’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically. With the Pathfinder SV/SL/Platinum’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.
In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the MKT’s exterior PIN entry system. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.
The MKT’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Pathfinder S’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Pathfinder SV/SL/Platinum’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
The MKT has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The automatic headlight on/off feature is not available on the Pathfinder S.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the MKT detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the MKT has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The MKT’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan charges extra for heated mirrors on the Pathfinder.
The MKT has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Pathfinder offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The MKT has standard front air conditioned seats and offers them optionally in the second row. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.
The MKT has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the Pathfinder.
The MKT Reserve’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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