2020 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2020 Audi Q7

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 2020/07/12

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Pathfinder are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Audi Q7 doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Pathfinder are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Q7 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

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

Pathfinder

Q7

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

25 lbs.

37 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

33%

44%

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Nissan Pathfinder is safer than the Q7:

Pathfinder

Q7

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

39

225

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

15 cm

30 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Femur Force R/L

2.3/.1 kN

5.5/.1 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

4%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.52/.37

.57/.7

Tibia forces R/L

.8/.1 kN

4.2/.3 kN

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, results indicate that the Nissan Pathfinder is safer than the Audi Q7:

Pathfinder

Q7

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

114

187

Abdominal Force

120 G’s

128 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

101

337

Spine Acceleration

41 G’s

62 G’s

Hip Force

557 lbs.

888 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-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Pathfinder the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q7 has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Pathfinder 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Q7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pathfinder’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 3 places higher in reliability than Audi.

Engine

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The Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 36 more horsepower (284 vs. 248) than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Pathfinder 4x4 CVT gets better fuel mileage than the Q7 45 TFSI (20 city/27 hwy vs. 19 city/25 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Pathfinder uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Q7 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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The Pathfinder has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Q7 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Pathfinder stops shorter than the Q7:

Pathfinder

Q7

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Pathfinder has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Q7 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Pathfinder has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Q7; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some tire options on the Q7 don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the Pathfinder’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Q7’s (38.7 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

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The Nissan Pathfinder may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 500 pounds less than the Audi Q7.

The design of the Nissan Pathfinder amounts to more than styling. The Pathfinder has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .335 Cd. That is lower than the Q7 (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Pathfinder get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The Pathfinder has 2.3 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom, 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.9 inches more third row headroom, 1.5 inches more third row legroom and 7.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the Q7.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pathfinder’s middle and third row seats recline. The Q7’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Pathfinder’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q7.

Pathfinder

Q7

Behind Third Seat

16.2 cubic feet

14.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

n/a

37.5 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

47.4 cubic feet

n/a

Second Seat Folded

79.5 cubic feet

71.6 cubic feet

The Pathfinder has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Q7 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Towing

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The Pathfinder’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Q7’s (6000 vs. 4400 pounds).

Ergonomics

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To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Pathfinder has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Pathfinder SL/Platinum has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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The Pathfinder is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Pathfinder owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Pathfinder will cost $1535 to $3835 less than the Q7 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pathfinder is less expensive to operate than the Q7 because typical repairs cost much less on the Pathfinder than the Q7, including $322 less for a muffler, $78 less for front brake pads, $423 less for a starter, $348 less for fuel injection, $515 less for front struts and $472 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Pathfinder will be $20810 to $25004 less than for the Audi Q7.

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 2020/07/12

The Nissan Pathfinder outsold the Audi Q7 by 90% during 2019.

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

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