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For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Land Rover Discovery 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.
Both the Discovery and Pathfinder have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Discovery 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. But it costs extra on the Pathfinder.
The Discovery’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’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 and the Pathfinder have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.
The Discovery comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty that 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’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Pathfinder’s (6 vs. 5 years).
The Discovery’s 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 56 more horsepower (340 vs. 284) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (332 vs. 259) than the Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6.
The Discovery’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 184 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 259) than the Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Discovery’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 Discovery Diesel’s standard fuel tank has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pathfinder (22.4 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Discovery Gas’ standard fuel tank has 4.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pathfinder (23.8 vs. 19.5 gallons).
For better stopping power the Discovery’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Pathfinder:
The Discovery stops shorter than the Pathfinder:
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the Discovery’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Pathfinder (285/40R22 vs. 255/60R18).
The Discovery’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Pathfinder Platinum’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Discovery has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Pathfinder S/SV/SL. The Discovery’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the Pathfinder Platinum.
The Discovery 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 that limits mileage and speed before replacement.
For greater off-road capability the Discovery has a 1.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Pathfinder (8.7 vs. 7 inches), allowing the Discovery to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Discovery Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 4.1 inches higher than on the Pathfinder (11.1 vs. 7 inches).
The Discovery is 3.4 inches shorter than the Pathfinder, making the Discovery easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The front grille of the Discovery 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 Discovery has 1 inch more front hip room, .1 inches more third row headroom and 2.8 inches more third row legroom than the Pathfinder.
Flexibility is maximized at the game, campground or a drive-in theatre in the Discovery when its optional tailgating rear seats are deployed, allowing people to sit facing out of the liftgate. (Do not use while vehicle is in motion.) The Pathfinder doesn’t offer tailgating seats.
The Discovery’s cargo area provides more volume than the Pathfinder.
Second Seat Folded
88.3 cubic feet
79.5 cubic feet
Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Discovery’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Discovery’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Pathfinder’s (8201 vs. 6000 pounds).
The Discovery 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 Discovery 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.
The Discovery 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 HSE/HSE Luxury has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The Discovery HSE/HSE Luxury 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’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 and the Pathfinder have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Discovery 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’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’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.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Discovery to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
Consumer Reports rated the Discovery’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Pathfinder’s headlights that were rated “Good.”
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 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer headlight washers.
The Discovery 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 Discovery 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 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’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 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.
The Discovery offers optional heated front, second and third row seats that keep the driver and passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Nissan doesn’t offer heated seats in the third row of the Pathfinder.
Optional air-conditioned the front and second row seats keep the Discovery’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.
The Discovery’s 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.
The Discovery will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Discovery will retain 47.79% to 49.86% of its original price after five years, while the Pathfinder only retains 41.27% to 43.75%.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.