Vehicle Comparisons:
2015 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2015 Chevy Equinox

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SUVs are interesting vehicles, and it’s important that they can get the job done. However, there are a few noticeable differences between models, and it’s worth asking whether the Nissan Pathfinder, which costs about $5,000 more than the Chevrolet Equinox, is a better buy.

Exterior

Both vehicles are functional, having a pleasing exterior and far enough offthe ground to avoid bumps and scraping.

Nissan Pathfinder

Interior

The Pathfinder offers more room for its price, with 79.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity in comparison to the Equinox’s 63.7. The extra space, like having the entire cargo capacity of a sedan added, will make a difference for families that want to go on longer camping trips and need to bring more supplies.

However, there’s more to the inside of an SUV than cargo space. The Pathfinder focuses on luxury, with the option of installing entertainment screens on the back of the front-row seats. Cargo areas under the floor provide places to hide valuables, while the panoramic moonroof provides natural lighting throughout more of the vehicle.

The Equinox competes by offering a greater amount of cargo space when all of the seats are up; it only seats five passengers in comparison to the Pathfinder’s seven. Still, the Equinox’s ability to become a Wi-Fi hotspot (for compatible devices – currently a limited list) is a nice touch.

Engine and Performance

The Pathfinder has a better engine than the Equinox when measured in the only way that matters: power. SUVs need to be able to carry heavy loads without noticeably slowing down, and that makes it more important to have a powerful engine than an efficient one. The Pathfinder offers 260 hp, vs. the Equinox’s 182 hp, which is a respectable rating for any SUV and more than sufficient for 5,000 lbs of towing.

The Pathfinder uses a 3.5L, six-cylinder engine, with the choice of either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. With normal use the Pathfinder offers 20 mpg city and 26 highway, lower than a sedan’s rating but still reasonable.

The 19.5-gallon fuel tank gives the Pathfinder an average range of 448.5 miles, high enough to take a family to many vacation destinations. The transmission is a CVT setup, which does take some getting used to, but it’s a good choice for a vehicle that might be constantly encountering different terrain.

The Equinox uses a smaller 2.4L, four-cylinder engine. Like the Pathfinder, owners have the option of front-wheel or all-wheel drive, though it has a higher mileage rating of 22 mpg city and 32 highway but with reduced power (and, correspondingly, its ability to resist drops in mileage while loaded). The fuel tank is smaller, too, at 18.8 gallons, though it does manage to achieve an average range of 507.6 miles on paper.

Final Thoughts

Taken as a whole, the Nissan Pathfinder is a better value for your money than the Chevrolet Equinox. It’s larger, more adaptable, and more powerful, which are critical factors for an SUV, especially if it’s going to see heavy use. Still, there’s nothing like testing a vehicle for yourself, and Nissan 24 Auto in Brockton, MA, is proud to offer test drives and a chance to ask any questions you may have about SUVs.

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