Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

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mikegerard
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Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by mikegerard » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:49 pm

Looking for opinions on which path I should go. I'm buying a mid/large suv. My options are

2016 Nissan Pathfinder
46k miles
was a rental car (Hertz)
17k

2012 Toyota Highlander
85k miles
17k

2011 Honda Pilot
79k miles
17k

All 3 are about the same size and have similar features. My other cars are mostly Toyotas and they have always been pretty dependable. Consumer Reports likes the dependability of the Highlander over the Pathfinder, but I'm not sure how to compare a 2 year old car to a 6 year old car.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts, Mike

bloom2708
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:53 pm

Pathfinder only has 2 rows of seats. Not sure if that matters. The other 2 are 3 row 7/8 passenger vehicles.

Of the 3 I would pick the Highlander. If you pick the Highlander, then use cargurus.com or autotempest.com and look for a better "deal".
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livesoft
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by livesoft » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:06 pm

I haven't driven any of the cars, so I would pick the newest one since they are all the same price.
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michaeljc70
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:11 pm

I'd go with the Pathfinder. The Highlander is tempting, but with almost double the miles and 4 years older....

The Pilot was totally restyled and I think the new one looks much better. That also makes a car look older IMO.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:29 pm

Highlander.
Pass on the "rental car" unless it comes with a warranty.
j

NJdad6
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by NJdad6 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:33 pm

Tough choice. I have a 2011 Pilot. Not a bad vehicle but reliability is about average. Had to replace suspension, power door components and having issues with power windows and others fun things. All of my vehicles are well maintained and garaged.

Not trying to scare you away but make you aware that the Pilot is far from “bulletproof”.

Good luck

offtheback
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by offtheback » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:25 pm

I always stay away from former rental cars - they are often driven hard, and far different from a normal day to day user or daily driver. Many people can be hard on a car they don't own. They get washed almost daily (damages the paint), and they can come from climates that are hard on cars like the tropics or northern climates.

Finally, I have found that rental fleet cars often lack some of the features found on normal dealer cars even if they are the same model...

All else being equal I would pick the Toyota or Honda depending on which one you like better on the test drive. I am partial to Honda's myself (especially Acura), but the rest of my family is firmly on the Toyota side of the automotive spectrum. Hard to go wrong with either one really.

obgraham
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by obgraham » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:21 am

You're buying a used car, so the condition of that specific vehicle is more important than the brand reliability.

Assuming all of the three fit the need, I'd choose the one which seems to be in the best condition. And even then it is a gamble.

mmmodem
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by mmmodem » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:48 am

The Pathfinder is not a highly rated vehicle. I rented one in January. It did have 3 rows. I find no issues with it. I'm a proponent of CVT transmissions in the Nissan that gives me linear power delivery especially up a hill rather than the constant lurch of wild gear hunting in an automatic.

Reliability of Nissan is lower than Honda or Toyota generally. However, there's no way a 2 year old Nissan with nearly half the miles is worse than that of a 5 or 6 year old Honda or Toyota.

barnaclebob
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:08 am

Pathfinders and other Nissans have transmission problems among other issues. Do not get one.

https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-set ... ss-action/

That being said I am the owner of a 2011 Altima when all prior to 2011 of that generation of Altima had a transmission recall and haven't had any issues at almost 90k miles so far. So its possible that Nissan fixed the issue that was causing transmission failures.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

MindTheGAAP
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by MindTheGAAP » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:10 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:53 pm
Pathfinder only has 2 rows of seats. Not sure if that matters. The other 2 are 3 row 7/8 passenger vehicles.

Of the 3 I would pick the Highlander. If you pick the Highlander, then use cargurus.com or autotempest.com and look for a better "deal".
Owner of a 2013 Pathfinder - it is 3 rows.
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inbox788
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by inbox788 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:04 pm

None of the above. I'd spend a little more and get a new or newer car. Aside from the Pathfinder (rental/high mileage), those are very old cars for the price. That's the problem with low depreciation cars; cost of ownership of a new car isn't much more. At those prices (Hilander/Pilot), it's only costing the first owner about $2000/year in depreciation. You might as well buy a new car at $30-35k and try to get $20k for it in 6-7 years.

mikegerard
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by mikegerard » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:59 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:04 pm
None of the above. I'd spend a little more and get a new or newer car. Aside from the Pathfinder (rental/high mileage), those are very old cars for the price. That's the problem with low depreciation cars; cost of ownership of a new car isn't much more. At those prices (Hilander/Pilot), it's only costing the first owner about $2000/year in depreciation. You might as well buy a new car at $30-35k and try to get $20k for it in 6-7 years.
This might be the way to go...I'd really like to get a Highlander but paying 17k for a 7 year old car seems really pricey.

Thanks everyone for the great feedback!

dowse
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by dowse » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:08 pm

I owned a 1996 Pathfinder. Ran it into the ground at close to 200k miles. Great for rough, muddy or snowy roads. Rode a little rough. Overall reliable.
I currently own a 2006 Pilot with 225K miles. It's been a great car. Very reliable. Relatively little trouble. I am about to buy a newer 2015 one and hand off the old one to a family member. The one you are looking at has quite a few miles for a new acquisition in my opinion. It will need a a new timing belt and water pump at 100K miles. Overall, I love the Pilot's features.

MDfan
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by MDfan » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:19 pm

I've had to replace transmissions in 2 Nissans at less than 100k miles. Never buying one again. My pick would be the Highlander.

daggerboard
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by daggerboard » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:10 pm

I have a 2011 Highlander.

I find it to be a very boring car. Does the job but very "meh".

It had some power window issues and small electrical problems but engine and important things have held up too date (knock on wood).

Basically this class of car is for the folks who really need a minivan but are too self-conscious / vain to take the plunge. I was guilty of that 7 years ago when I bought it, now am ready for a minivan as the next family hauler / grocery getter, but my wife is still fighting it.

I would not get a car that old or a rental, but your means and situation might dictate other choices.

CurlyDave
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by CurlyDave » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:29 pm

Our family has 2004, 2008 and 2016 Highlanders. All still going strong. They should go well over 200k miles. We used to have a 2012 model, but I wrecked it and it is no more. Not the car's fault, my foot slipped off the brake.

IMHO, I have come to really appreciate boring cars. Ones that start every time, run well and never leave me stranded by the side of the road.

A Highlander will last like a mother in law's curse. One of the best values arround.

h82goslw
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by h82goslw » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:21 am

I own 3 Nissans....and between the cars I have about 500,000 miles accumulated on them. The oldest, ‘07 Altima, needed a CVT tranny at 160,000. I also have a previous Hertz rental ‘14 Altima currently with 140,000 miles and has been perfect (when I got the car it had 30K miles). My Armada has 90K miles and no problems at all.
My point: Nissans have been great with normal maintenance and don’t be afraid to buy a previous rental if you give it a good once over prior to purchasing.

Edited to add: I bought everyone of these vehicles used.

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mhadden1
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by mhadden1 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:32 am

daggerboard wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:10 pm
I have a 2011 Highlander.

I find it to be a very boring car. Does the job but very "meh".

Basically this class of car is for the folks who really need a minivan but are too self-conscious / vain to take the plunge.
Hey! I resemble that remark!

Bought a 2012 Highlander Limited about 2 years ago, very similar to the one the OP mentions. Mostly used by DW. Cutthroat negotiation with dealer allowed me to pay average retail rather than retail++. :happy Perfectly happy with it so far.
Oh I can't, can I? That's what they said to Thomas Edison, mighty inventor, Thomas Lindberg, mighty flyer,and Thomas Shefsky, mighty like a rose.

mss
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by mss » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:11 am

I am not trying to get you to spend a lot more on a new car, but just consider that there have been a lot of changes in recent models that you might appreciate. I bought a 2017 Highlander a few months ago and I really like it. It's my favorite car ever (except for my 1974 MG Midget).

It's a 2017 Highlander XLE AWD that has the following gadgets:

Adaptive cruise control that automatically follows the car in front
Blind-spot detection warning
Pedestrian detection system (haven't tested this one yet)
Lane change departure warning that actually steers the car back into the lane
Auto-dimming headlights
Backup camera
Navigation
Bluetooth

It drives great and is quiet.

michaeljc70
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:17 am

mss wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:11 am
I am not trying to get you to spend a lot more on a new car, but just consider that there have been a lot of changes in recent models that you might appreciate. I bought a 2017 Highlander a few months ago and I really like it. It's my favorite car ever (except for my 1974 MG Midget).

It's a 2017 Highlander XLE AWD that has the following gadgets:

Adaptive cruise control that automatically follows the car in front
Blind-spot detection warning
Pedestrian detection system (haven't tested this one yet)
Lane change departure warning that actually steers the car back into the lane
Auto-dimming headlights
Backup camera
Navigation
Bluetooth

It drives great and is quiet.
Not to get off subject, but I've heard pedestrian detection systems from a few people can be problematic. I've heard of cases where the owners claim they had plenty of time to stop yet the car took over in a very aggressive manner. They said it was very unsettling and thought it could have actually caused an accident. I know you can turn these off (typically). Anyone had good/bad experiences with theirs?

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mhadden1
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Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

Post by mhadden1 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:25 am

mss wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:11 am
2017 Highlander XLE AWD that has the following gadgets:

Adaptive cruise control that automatically follows the car in front
Blind-spot detection warning
Pedestrian detection system (haven't tested this one yet)
Lane change departure warning that actually steers the car back into the lane
Auto-dimming headlights
Backup camera
Navigation
Bluetooth
Interesting point about features. Certainly wouldn't mind having those.

One thing I wonder about is when the holy grail of full autonomous driving will come to fruit. I see some optimistic projections but for now I am assuming it's still over my horizon.
Oh I can't, can I? That's what they said to Thomas Edison, mighty inventor, Thomas Lindberg, mighty flyer,and Thomas Shefsky, mighty like a rose.

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