2020 Chevrolet Traverse 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 2020/07/02

The Traverse has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

The Traverse (except L/LS)’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 Traverse and the Pathfinder have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, 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 Chevrolet Traverse is safer than the Nissan Pathfinder:

Traverse

Pathfinder

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

216

337

Neck Injury Risk

15.6%

42%

Neck Stress

198 lbs.

464 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

53/40 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 Chevrolet Traverse is safer than the Nissan Pathfinder:

Traverse

Pathfinder

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

69

114

Chest Movement

.9 inches

.9 inches

Hip Force

204 lbs.

457 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

41 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

18 inches

HIC

251

338

Spine Acceleration

34 G’s

42 G’s

Hip Force

554 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 2020/07/02

The Traverse’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Pathfinder’s (6 vs. 5 years).

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

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Traverse has a standard 170-amp alternator. The Pathfinder’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 7th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

Engine

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The Traverse’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 26 more horsepower (310 vs. 284) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 259) than the Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Traverse’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 Traverse AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pathfinder (21.7 vs. 19.5 gallons).

The Traverse 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.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Chevrolet Traverse higher (6 out of 10) than the Nissan Pathfinder (3 to 5). This means the Traverse produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Pathfinder every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Traverse stops shorter than the Pathfinder:

Traverse

Pathfinder

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Traverse has larger tires than the Pathfinder (255/65R18 vs. 235/65R18).

The Chevrolet Traverse’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Nissan Pathfinder only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Traverse’s wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the Pathfinder (120.9 inches vs. 114.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Traverse is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the Pathfinder.

The Traverse RS handles at .84 G’s, while the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Traverse RS AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 (27 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Traverse has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Pathfinder (7.6 vs. 7 inches), allowing the Traverse to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Traverse uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Traverse uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Traverse has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Pathfinder can only carry 7.

The Traverse has 1.3 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear hip room, 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room, .4 inches more third row headroom, 2.8 inches more third row legroom, 6.5 inches more third row hip room and .4 inches more third row shoulder room than the Pathfinder.

Cargo Capacity

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

Traverse

Pathfinder

Behind Third Seat

23 cubic feet

16.2 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

57.8 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

47.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

98.2 cubic feet

79.5 cubic feet

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

Towing

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The Traverse can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Traverse can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Pathfinder can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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The Traverse 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 Traverse 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.

Ergonomics

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The Traverse’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 Traverse and the Pathfinder have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Traverse 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 Traverse’s standard front power windows lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Pathfinder’s standard power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Traverse LS/LT/RS/Premier/High Country’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Traverse LS/LT/RS/Premier/High Country’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

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

The Traverse 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 available for the Traverse (except L/LS) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Traverse’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 Traverse Premier/High Country 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.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Traverse owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Traverse will cost $315 to $2610 less than the Pathfinder over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Traverse is less expensive to operate than the Pathfinder because it costs $236 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Traverse than the Pathfinder, including $155 less for a muffler, $227 less for a starter, $8 less for a fuel pump, $60 less for front struts and $93 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 2020/07/02

The Chevrolet Traverse outsold the Nissan Pathfinder by over two to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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