2019 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2019 BMW X5

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 BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable 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 X5 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Pathfinder and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Pathfinder the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 154 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X5 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Pathfinder 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Nissan dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pathfinder’s warranty.

Reliability

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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Pathfinder uses regular unleaded gasoline. The X5 requires premium, 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 X5 doesn’t offer a CVT.

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 X5 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Pathfinder’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the X5’s (38.7 feet vs. 41.4 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Pathfinder may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The design of the Nissan Pathfinder amounts to more than styling. The Pathfinder has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .335 Cd. That is lower than the X5 (.36 to .38) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Pathfinder get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Pathfinder has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 2.5 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 4.3 inches more rear legroom and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the X5.

Cargo Capacity

The Pathfinder’s cargo area provides more volume than the X5.

 

Pathfinder

X5

Third Seat Removed

47.4 cubic feet

33.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

79.5 cubic feet

72.3 cubic feet

The Pathfinder’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics

Consumer Reports rated the Pathfinder’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the X5’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

Model Availability

The Pathfinder is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Nissan Pathfinder outsold the BMW X5 by 50% during 2018.

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

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