2020 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2020 Mazda CX-9

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 2020/06/06

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 Mazda CX-9 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 CX-9 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Pathfinder 4WD’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The CX-9 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Compared to metal, the Pathfinder’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-9 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Pathfinder and the CX-9 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, 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 Mazda CX-9:

Pathfinder

CX-9

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

25 lbs.

51 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

248

337

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

33%

40%

Neck Stress

137 lbs.

183 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

165 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, results indicate that the Nissan Pathfinder is safer than the Mazda CX-9:

Pathfinder

CX-9

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

101

208

Spine Acceleration

41 G’s

54 G’s

Hip Force

557 lbs.

582 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 2020/06/06

There are almost 2 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pathfinder’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Pathfinder has a standard 150-amp alternator. The CX-9’s 110-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 Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 15th in reliability. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 34 more horsepower (284 vs. 250) than the CX-9’s 2.5 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 CX-9 AWD (20 city/27 hwy vs. 20 city/26 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Pathfinder uses regular unleaded gasoline. The CX-9 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

© 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 2020/06/06

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 CX-9 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Pathfinder’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the CX-9 are solid, not vented.

The Pathfinder stops much shorter than the CX-9:

Pathfinder

CX-9

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

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 2020/06/06

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 CX-9 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Passenger Space

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The Pathfinder has 18.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-9 (154 vs. 135.1).

The Pathfinder has 2.9 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front hip room, 3 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear legroom, 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.4 inches more third row headroom, 1 inch more third row legroom, 1.9 inches more third row hip room and 4 inches more third row shoulder room than the CX-9.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pathfinder’s middle and third row seats recline. The CX-9’s third row seats don’t recline.

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 2020/06/06

The Pathfinder’s cargo area provides more volume than the CX-9.

Pathfinder

CX-9

Behind Third Seat

16.2 cubic feet

14.4 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

n/a

38.2 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

47.4 cubic feet

n/a

Second Seat Folded

79.5 cubic feet

71.2 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 CX-9 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Pathfinder. The CX-9 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The Pathfinder’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the CX-9’s (6000 vs. 3500 pounds).

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 2020/06/06

The Pathfinder SL/Platinum’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The CX-9 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the front windows are left open on the Pathfinder the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the CX-9 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Pathfinder’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The CX-9’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

Consumer Reports rated the Pathfinder’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the CX-9’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

When the Pathfinder SL/Platinum is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The CX-9’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Nissan Pathfinder offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The CX-9 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 CX-9 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pathfinder is less expensive to operate than the CX-9 because typical repairs cost much less on the Pathfinder than the CX-9, including $575 less for a water pump, $100 less for front struts, $152 less for a timing belt/chain and $75 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 2020/06/06

The Nissan Pathfinder outsold the Mazda CX-9 by over two to one during 2019.

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