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Both the Discovery Sport and Pathfinder have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Discovery Sport 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.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Discovery Sport. But it costs extra on the Pathfinder.
The Discovery Sport’s 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.
The Discovery Sport’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Discovery Sport and the Pathfinder have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, 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 and rear cross-path warning.
The Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Pathfinder’s (6 vs. 5 years).
The Discovery Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (269 vs. 259) than the Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Discovery Sport P290’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid produces 2 more horsepower (286 vs. 284) and 36 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 259) than the Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6.
Regenerative brakes improve the Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport’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.
For better stopping power the Discovery Sport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Pathfinder:
The Discovery Sport’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Pathfinder S/SV/SL’s standard 65 series tires. The Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Pathfinder’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Pathfinder, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.
The Discovery Sport has standard front gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Pathfinder’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional 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 Discovery Sport S handles at .82 G’s, while the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Discovery Sport S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 (27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .53 average G’s).
For greater off-road capability the Discovery Sport has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Pathfinder (8.3 vs. 7 inches), allowing the Discovery Sport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 450 pounds less than the Nissan Pathfinder.
The Discovery Sport is 1 foot, 5.5 inches shorter than the Pathfinder, making the Discovery Sport easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Discovery Sport with 5+2 Seating’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport 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.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Pathfinder SL/Platinum, the Discovery Sport (except Base) offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction 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 Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport and the Pathfinder have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer headlight washers.
The Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport HSE/HSE Luxury offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport offers optional 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 Discovery Sport’s optional 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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