Car Comparison

2016 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2016 Chevrolet Traverse: Which Is Better?

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder S
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder
$21,995
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder SL
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder
$23,093
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder SL
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder
$25,725
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder
$25,450
RELATED READING
See all Nissan Pathfinder articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2015

If you're interested in a family SUV with 3-row seating, there are dozens of available models, from Toyota, Honda and Chevrolet to Ford, Nissan and many more. Two of today's top offerings are the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder and the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse, both of which offer budget-friendly pricing and a lot of other benefits such as roomy interiors, generous equipment levels and powerful engines. Which one is better? We've created an in-depth comparison of both the Traverse and the Pathfinder to find out which one belongs on your shopping list.

2016 Nissan Pathfinder

The Pathfinder sees only two updates for 2016: a new almond interior and a new cold-weather package on SV models that touts heated seats and a heated steering wheel. Though the 2016 Pathfinder won't reach dealers for another few weeks, 2015 models are largely similar.

2016 Chevrolet Traverse

The Traverse offers only one noteworthy change this year: a newly standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi system. Other revisions are limited to small trim-level updates and new colors.

Reliability

According to reliability experts at J.D. Power, both the Traverse and the Pathfinder have earned mostly average and above-average rankings over the last few years, with neither standing out over the other. The two models also offer the same warranty coverage of 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper protection and 5 years or 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage. As a result, this category is a toss-up, and we think drivers who especially prioritize reliability will be pleased with either choice.

Fuel Economy

Both the Pathfinder and the Traverse offer only one powertrain. In the Pathfinder, it's a 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 (mated to a fuel-saving continuously variable automatic transmission), which touts fuel economy ratings reaching as high as 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive or 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy with optional all-wheel drive (AWD).

The Traverse's sole engine is a 3.6-liter V6, which offers 281 hp (288 hp in the LTZ) and comes standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy figures lag slightly behind the Pathfinder's numbers, as the Traverse touts 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive or 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy with optional AWD.

The Pathfinder trumps the Traverse when it comes to fuel economy by several mpg. If gas mileage is especially important to you, you'll want the Nissan.

Safety

In crash testing carried out by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, both the Traverse and the Pathfinder earned a perfect 5-star overall rating. Only the Pathfinder earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick designation, as the Traverse has not yet been submitted to enough of the firm's crash tests to qualify.

When it comes to safety equipment, the Traverse pulls ahead of its Nissan rival. While the Pathfinder doesn't offer any forward-collision warning system, the Traverse does. The Traverse also offers a lane-departure warning system, which you can't have in the Pathfinder. While the Pathfinder offers rear cross-traffic alert and a blind spot monitoring system, so does the Traverse, but the Chevy also comes standard with a backup camera, which is optional in the Pathfinder. The Pathfinder's sole advantage over the Traverse is Nissan's (admittedly useful) 360-degree Around View parking camera, which is offered on higher trim levels.

Although we're impressed with the Pathfinder's crashworthiness, there's no doubt the Traverse offers more features for car shoppers especially interested in safety gadgets and technology.

Technology

Aside from its relative lack of safety features when compared to the Traverse, the Pathfinder offers an impressive array of the latest high-tech equipment and gadgets, enough to directly compete with its Chevrolet rival.

Both models offer ventilated seats, for instance, and a heated steering wheel. Both tout infotainment systems with available app integration. Both boast Bluetooth audio and impressive Bose sound systems. Both offer a panoramic sunroof and dual power front seats. Aside from the Traverse's aforementioned longer list of standard safety features, these vehicles are roughly even in this category.

Value

Both the Pathfinder and the Traverse tout their excellent value relative to other crossovers as a major selling point, but the Pathfinder offers a slight price advantage, coming in at around $1,000 cheaper than the base-level Traverse LS.

Does that make the Traverse a worse value than the Pathfinder? Hardly. In fact, we'd avoid the base-level Pathfinder S with the appealing base price, as it loses out on many of the Traverse's standard features and doesn't offer any options. This essentially ensures you have to step up to the Pathfinder SV, which is far closer to the Traverse in price and equipment. After carefully reviewing options lists and pricing, they're about even when it comes to value.

Autotrader's Advice

Choosing between the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder and 2016 Chevrolet Traverse is difficult because both models offer benefits, including good reliability numbers, strong engines and plenty of equipment.

In the end, there just aren't enough major differences between the Pathfinder and the Traverse for us to name a clear winner. The Nissan offers better gas mileage, but the Chevy has more safety features. Both offer roughly the same level of technology, equipment and interior room. Once you're past the Pathfinder S model, they're priced about the same, too.

Our take: Drive them both, and pick the one you like better or the one available with a better deal.

Find a Nissan Pathfinder for sale

Find a Chevrolet Traverse for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder S
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder
$21,995
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder SL
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder
$23,093
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder SL
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder
$25,725
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum
Used 2015 Nissan Pathfinder
$25,450
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2016 Chevrolet Traverse: Which Is Better? - Autotrader