2020 Mazda CX-9 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 2020/08/13

The CX-9’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.

Both the CX-9 and the Pathfinder have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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 all wheel drive and around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Mazda CX-9 is safer than the Nissan Pathfinder:

CX-9

Pathfinder

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

212

337

Neck Injury Risk

26%

42%

Neck Stress

309 lbs.

464 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

107/424 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 Mazda CX-9 is safer than the Nissan Pathfinder:

CX-9

Pathfinder

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

88

114

Chest Movement

.4 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

98 G’s

120 G’s

Hip Force

195 lbs.

457 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

15 inches

18 inches

HIC

249

338

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

42 G’s

Hip Force

553 lbs.

661 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-9 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 31 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Pathfinder last would have qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Reliability

© 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 2020/08/13

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the CX-9’s reliability 34 points higher than the Pathfinder.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda second in reliability. Nissan is ranked 11th.

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 2020/08/13

The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 61 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 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 2020/08/13

On the EPA test cycle the CX-9 FWD gets better fuel mileage than the Pathfinder FWD (22 city/28 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

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 2020/08/13

The CX-9 stops shorter than the Pathfinder:

CX-9

Pathfinder

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

143 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 2020/08/13

For better traction, the CX-9 has larger tires than the Pathfinder (255/60R18 vs. 235/65R18).

The CX-9 Sport/Touring’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 CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Pathfinder Platinum’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2020/08/13

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-9’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Pathfinder (115.3 inches vs. 114.2 inches).

The CX-9 Signature AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The CX-9 Signature AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.5 seconds quicker than the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 (26.7 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the CX-9 has a 1.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Pathfinder (8.8 vs. 7 inches), allowing the CX-9 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

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 2020/08/13

The front step up height for the CX-9 is .7 inches lower than the Pathfinder (18.3” vs. 19”). The CX-9’s rear step up height is 2 inches lower than the Pathfinder’s (18.8” 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 2020/08/13

The CX-9’s cargo area is larger than the Pathfinder’s in almost every dimension:

CX-9

Pathfinder

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

21.4”/49.7”/84.5”

19.2”/43.7”/78.9”

Max Width

57.2”

45.9”

Min Width

40”

45.4”

Height

30.3”

31.4”

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/08/13

The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature 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 CX-9’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch. The Pathfinder

The CX-9’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 standard 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 CX-9’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.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CX-9’s headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Pathfinder’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

The CX-9 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 CX-9 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 CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the CX-9 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The CX-9’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.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/08/13

Insurance will cost less for the CX-9 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CX-9 will cost $370 less than the Pathfinder over a five-year period.

The CX-9 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CX-9 will retain 40.78% to 94.55% 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 CX-9 is less expensive to operate than the Pathfinder because it costs $654 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-9 than the Pathfinder, including $70 less for a muffler, $8 less for front brake pads, $320 less for a starter, $200 less for fuel injection and $21 less for a fuel 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 2020/08/13

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda CX-9, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Nissan Pathfinder isn't recommended.

The CX-9 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 4 of the last 13 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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