2019 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2019 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Pathfinder are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Audi Q7 doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Pathfinder are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Q7 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Pathfinder and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Pathfinder is safer than the Audi Q7:

 

Pathfinder

Q7

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

25 lbs.

37 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

33%

44%

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Nissan Pathfinder is safer than the Q7:

 

Pathfinder

Q7

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

39

225

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

15 cm

30 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Femur Force R/L

2.3/.1 kN

5.5/.1 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

4%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.52/.37

.57/.7

Tibia forces R/L

.8/.1 kN

4.2/.3 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Pathfinder is safer than the Audi Q7:

 

Pathfinder

Q7

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

114

187

Abdominal Force

120 G’s

128 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

101

337

Spine Acceleration

41 G’s

62 G’s

Hip Force

557 lbs.

888 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Pathfinder 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Q7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pathfinder’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Pathfinder has a 150-amp alternator. The Q7’s standard 120-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 Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 36 more horsepower (284 vs. 248) than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Pathfinder gets better fuel mileage than the Q7:

 

 

 

MPG

Pathfinder

 

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

 

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

Q7

 

AWD

45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

 

 

55 TFSI 3.0 supercharged V6

19 city/25 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Pathfinder uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Q7 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The Pathfinder has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Q7 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Pathfinder stops shorter than the Q7:

 

Pathfinder

Q7

 

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Pathfinder has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Q7 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Pathfinder has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Q7; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the Q7 don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Pathfinder’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Q7’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Pathfinder may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 pounds less than the Audi Q7.

Passenger Space

The Pathfinder has 3.8 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom, 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.9 inches more third row headroom, 1.5 inches more third row legroom and 7.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the Q7.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pathfinder’s middle and third row seats recline. The Q7’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Pathfinder’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q7.

 

Pathfinder

Q7

Behind Third Seat

16.2 cubic feet

14.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

n/a

37.5 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

47.4 cubic feet

n/a

Second Seat Folded

79.5 cubic feet

71.6 cubic feet

The Pathfinder has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Q7 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Towing

The Pathfinder’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Q7’s (6000 vs. 4400 pounds).

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Pathfinder has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Pathfinder SL/Platinum has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Pathfinder is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pathfinder is less expensive to operate than the Q7 because typical repairs cost much less on the Pathfinder than the Q7, including $306 less for a muffler, $75 less for front brake pads, $398 less for a starter, $334 less for fuel injection, $515 less for front struts and $463 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Nissan Pathfinder outsold the Audi Q7 by 81% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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