2020 Audi Q7 vs. 2020 Nissan Pathfinder

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q7 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Nissan Pathfinder doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The Q7’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Q7 and Pathfinder have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q7 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Pathfinder’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Q7 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Q7 offers an optional backup collision prevention system that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q7. But it costs extra on the Pathfinder.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Q7 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The Q7’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Q7 and the Pathfinder have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 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 Audi Q7 is safer than the Nissan Pathfinder:

Q7

Pathfinder

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

99

337

Neck Injury Risk

25%

42%

Neck Stress

186 lbs.

464 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

61/46 lbs.

516/475 lbs.

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

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 and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Nissan Pathfinder:

Q7

Pathfinder

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

.9 inches

Hip Force

350 lbs.

457 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

18 inches

HIC

290

338

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

42 G’s

Hip Force

557 lbs.

661 lbs.

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

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

The Q7 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.

The Q7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Pathfinder’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

Engine

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

The Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 259) than the Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 51 more horsepower (335 vs. 284) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 259) than the Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

Regenerative brakes improve the Q7 55 TFSI’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Q7’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Pathfinder doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Q7 55 TFSI’s standard fuel tank has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pathfinder (22.5 vs. 19.5 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

For better stopping power the Q7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Pathfinder:

Q7 45 TFSI

Q7 55 TFSI

Pathfinder

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

14.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

12.13 inches

The Q7 stops much shorter than the Pathfinder:

Q7

Pathfinder

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

127 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

For better traction, the Q7 has larger standard tires than the Pathfinder (255/55R19 vs. 235/65R18). The Q7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Pathfinder (285/45R20 vs. 255/60R18).

The Q7’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 Q7 Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Pathfinder Platinum’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q7 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Pathfinder S/SV/SL. The Q7 Prestige’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the Pathfinder Platinum.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Q7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Q7 offers an available 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q7’s wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer than on the Pathfinder (117.9 inches vs. 114.2 inches).

The Q7 Prestige handles at .86 G’s, while the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.8 seconds quicker than the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Q7 has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Pathfinder (8.3 vs. 7 inches), allowing the Q7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Q7 w/Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 2.7 inches higher than on the Pathfinder (9.7 vs. 7 inches).

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

The front step up height for the Q7 is .4 inches lower than the Pathfinder (18.6” vs. 19”). The Q7’s rear step up height is 2.1 inches lower than the Pathfinder’s (18.7” vs. 20.8”).

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

The Q7’s cargo area is larger than the Pathfinder’s in almost every dimension:

Q7

Pathfinder

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

19.5”/44.7”/80.7”

19.2”/43.7”/78.9”

Max Width

52.5”

45.9”

Min Width

42.6”

45.4”

Height

30”

31.4”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Q7’s third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

Maximum trailer towing in the Nissan Pathfinder is limited to 6000 pounds. The Q7 offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Q7 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 engine in the Q7 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Pathfinder. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 25% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 17th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Pathfinder SL/Platinum, the Q7 Prestige offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Q7 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Q7’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Pathfinder’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the Q7 and the Pathfinder have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Q7 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 Q7’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.

The Q7’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.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Q7 Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Q7 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. 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 Q7 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

A manual rear sunshade and rear side window sunshades are optional in the Q7 (except Premium) to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a rear or rear side window sunshades.

The Q7’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Pathfinder and aren’t offered on the Pathfinder S.

The Q7’s standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to 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 Q7 Prestige offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Pathfinder.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Q7 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Q7 with a number “5” insurance rate while the Pathfinder is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The Q7 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Q7 will retain 44.87% to 44.98% of its original price after five years, while the Pathfinder only retains 41.27% to 43.75%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q7 is less expensive to operate than the Pathfinder because it costs $363 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Q7 than the Pathfinder, including $127 less for a water pump, $128 less for a fuel pump and $72 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q7, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Nissan Pathfinder isn't recommended.

The Q7 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 4 years. The Pathfinder has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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