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2020 Nissan Pathfinder vs Murano

2020 Nissan Pathfinder vs Murano

2020 Pathfinder vs Murano - How do they stack up? What are the differences?

Having a starting price of slightly more than $31,500, the 2020 Pathfinder is a seven-passenger SUV that comes in six editions. Having a similar starting MSRP, the 2020 Murano is a crossover SUV that's available in four trims. Both sporty cars offer premium interior amenities, such as the NissanConnect infotainment system and Bose sound system. These family-optimized vehicles also have similar active safety technologies, such as the Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) and Intelligent AroundView Monitor.

Size and Styling

Equipped with seven standard seats, the 2020 Pathfinder naturally caters to large families. This three-row Nissan SUV has an interior passenger volume of up to 154.0 cubic feet. When the adjustable rear seats are completely folded flat, the cargo storage capacity is approximately 79 cubic feet. Such interior dimensions are based on an interior configuration without the optional moonroof.

Having five standard seats, the 2020 Murano is ideally designed for smaller families. The interior passenger volume inside this mid-size crossover SUV is slightly less than 56 cubic feet. When the second-row seats are down, the maximum cargo space is about 67.0 cubic feet. This Nissan model also offers up to 40.5 inches of legroom in the front row.

Climate-controlled front seats are optional in the Pathfinder and Murano. These family-friendly Nissan models offer cloth, leatherette and leather upholstery for all seats. Semi-aniline leather with diamond-shaped quilts is also available in high-level Murano trims. Both vehicles offer memory systems for a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

The largest wheels that are optional for the Pathfinder and Murano measure 20.0 inches in diameter. Both Nissan models offer powerful LED headlights that improve the driver's vision of the road ahead at night. The Intelligent Auto Headlights are also optional on the Pathfinder. In terms of exterior utility, these vehicles have the Motion Activated Liftgate that responds to kicking motions near the rear bumper. Black roof rails allow families to haul additional equipment for trips.

Mocha Almond Pearl is a rich paint option that's available for the sporty Pathfinder and lavish Murano. These Nissan models can be painted in lighter colors, such as Brilliant Silver. Drivers who want to express some flashy styling should choose SunSet Drift ChromFlair or Cayenne Red Metallic for the Murano. This two-row crossover SUV also comes in Deep Blue Pearl that's inspired by the natural color of the sea. Similarly, the Pathfinder may be painted in nature-inspired finishes, like Caspian Blue Metallic or Midnight Pine Metallic.

Heated side mirrors with LED indicators and a reverse tilt-down configuration are installed on the Pathfinder. A shiny chrome coating covers the vehicle's side moldings. Chrome decorates the door handles on the Murano edition. Both Nissan models have a rear privacy glass and UV-reducing solar glass for better comfort on sunny days. These premium family cars offer a panoramic moonroof with dual panels for enhanced visibility of the outdoors.

Featuring the stylish Fine Vision design, electroluminescent gauges are installed in the Murano's instrument cluster. This premium Nissan crossover SUV also has a one-touch function for opening and closing the power windows. An auto-locking function ensures that all doors are locked after a certain delay. An intermittent windshield wiper keeps the rear window clear on a rainy day. LED ambient interior lights are some other luxurious features inside this two-tow crossover SUV.


The 2020 Pathfinder's 3.5 L V6 engine block unleashes up to 284 net horsepower at 6,400 RPM. Showing off the Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) badge, this six-cylinder powertrain yields up to 259 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 RPM. A variable induction system and multi-point direct fuel injection manage combustion in the DIG powertrain. Under the hood, the 2020 Murano has a 3.5 L V6 DOHC engine, which produces 260 hp and 240 lb-ft. The Intelligent All-Wheel Drive is compatible with this traditional six-cylinder propulsion system.

Standard under the hood of the Pathfinder, the Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System improves efficiency and reduces noise from combustion. An electronic drive-by-wire throttle also contributes to smoother mechanics. Covered in iridium, durable spark plugs are part of the Nissan Direct Ignition System. Operating on a hydraulic mechanism, a power-assisted steering system is another high-performance installation in this three-row SUV. Additionally, this premium steering system has a speed-sensitive design to prevent the driver from losing control on the highway.

Tuned to handle tough off-road challenges, the Intelligent 4x4 drive system is optional for the Pathfinder. An all-electronic dial lets the driver choose the Auto, 2WD and 4WD Lock modes for this exclusive drivetrain. Both Nissan models roll on the Xtronic CVT system, which generates a large variety of variable gear sequences. The Hill Start Assist is integrated into this trademark transmission. Featuring sensors that analyze the slope ahead in real time, the Hill Descent Control manages the downshift points and braking pressure in the Pathfinder model.

Strong enough to tow a 6,000-pound trailer, the 2020 Pathfinder certainly appeals to families that love to bring along heavy recreational equipment for road trips. Optimized for long-distance towing, a hitch receiver with a 7-pin wiring harness is optional on this mid-size Nissan SUV. With additional support from the Dual Flow Path shock absorbers, this model is unlikely to sway as it handles the maximum towing capacity. As a light-duty crossover SUV, the 2020 Murano tows a 1,500-pound trailer.

Standard on both Nissan models, the Vehicle Dynamic Control compensates for a loss of traction on wet pavement. If necessary, the VDC will correct excessive understeering and oversteering in real time. The Traction Control System is another standard function that boosts handling in inclement weather. When it senses the slightest slip in the wheels, the TCS applies the brakes. Speaking of slowing down on the road, both Nissan trims get leverage from the Electronic Brake Force Distribution.

In an emergency situation, the Brake Assist helps the driver bring the Pathfinder to a quick stop. This innovative technology reduces significant damage to the braking system when the driver slams on the brake pedal with maximum force. The Brake Assist function engages the four-wheel vented disc brakes at optimum intensities.

For its powerful mechanical platform, the Pathfinder has an acceptable fuel economy of 27 MPG on the highway and 20 MPG in the city. Such efficiency ratings are achieved with a front-wheel drive and regular unleaded gasoline. The 2020 Murano earns a highway gas mileage rating of 28 MPG. When navigating urban streets at medium speeds, this mid-size crossover SUV offers up to 20 MPG.

Comfort, Options and Performance

The Pathfinder's and Murano's most comfortable driver's seat is available with up to 10 seating positions and a two-way lumbar cushion. With some quick leverage from the proprietary EZ Flex technology, families will quickly adjust the second-row seats in the spacious Pathfinder. This three-row SUV also offers the all-new Latch and Glide function for the third-row bench seat, which has a 50/50 design with a reclining option. Heated outboard second-row seats are optional in this spacious Nissan model.

The Automatic Temperature Control system in the 2020 Pathfinder comes standard with three zones. Covering dual zones, the Automatic Temperature Control system is set up by default inside the 2020 Murano. Both Nissan models have air vents to keep the rear passengers more comfortable. Designed to capture dust, pollen and other small airborne particles, a microfilter is integrated into the climate control systems of these family-friendly vehicles.

Both cars are compatible with the Nissan Intelligent Key, which is synchronized with the ignition and power door locks. Select trims support the Remote Engine Start System through the advanced electronic key. Additionally, the Murano offers the Intelligent Climate Control function that's activated remotely by the Nissan Intelligent Key.

Designed to improve the driver's focus in the Pathfinder or Murano, the Advanced Drive-Assist Display has been slightly updated from the previous years. For example, this fully-digital, 7.0-inch instrument panel retrieves information from the drivetrain and tire pressure monitoring system. Running on the NissanConnect operating system, an infotainment system with an 8.0-inch monitor is standard in these Nissan vehicles. The highly responsive touch screen works smoothly with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Siri Eyes Free and Bluetooth are some other third-party applications that are recognized by the NissanConnect multimedia platform.

The Nissan Door to Door Navigation System makes it easy to send directions from a compatible smartphone to the GPS navigation console in the Pathfinder and Murano. Amazon Alexa is also readily available to find directions and carry out other tasks in real time. Part of the NissanConnect Services Action suite, Google Assistant is another virtual concierge that's readily accessible in both vehicles. Using simple voice commands, the driver can ask Google Assistant to unlock all doors or turn on the engine block.

Compatible with the latest electronics, up to six USB ports are available inside the Pathfinder. A 120-volt AC power outlet with three prongs is also optional inside this three-row Nissan SUV. Rated at 12 volts, three DC charging outlets are readily available to charge small gadgets. Courtesy welcome lighting and reading lights provide extra utility in this spacious family vehicle.

HD Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio are perhaps the most popular music services that are available for the Pathfinder and Murano. Both models support AM/FM radio channels and traditional CDs. Manufactured by the legendary Bose brand, 13 speakers are optional for the Pathfinder. The all-new Acoustic Waveguide technology sharpens the sound quality inside the three-row cabin. Also made by the Bose company, the Murano's audio system includes 11 speakers.

Families looking to make a road trip more fun in the Pathfinder could get the optional Tri-Zone Entertainment System. Measuring 8.0 inches diagonally, dual monitors are mounted behind the front-row headrests. Two wireless headsets allow the second-row passengers to listen to audio without distractions. An HDMI port and USB hub are conveniently accessible in the center multimedia console. Additionally, the driver can manage the Tri-Zone Entertainment System through the NissanConnect touch screen.

The Bose sound systems in these Nissan models are synchronized with the speedometers in real time. Based on the driving speed, the volume intensity will be automatically adjusted to minimize distractions to the driver. Both vehicles also have illuminated audio controls on the ergonomic steering wheels.


The Nissan Safety Shield 360 technology is optimized for the Pathfinder and Murano. Utilizing radar devices, cameras, and other optical sensors, this exclusive active safety package is more advanced and responsive than ever before. The Intelligent Cruise Control gives the driver several options for maintaining a constant speed on the freeway. Similarly, the ICC can be configured to maintain a fixed distance relative to another moving vehicle that's in front. Additionally, the ICC can automatically apply the appropriate braking force when another car ahead slows down.

Both Nissan models offer the Automatic Emergency Braking, which reacts to threats on local roads, busy urban streets and high-traffic highways. The Intelligent Forward Collision Warning gives the Murano's driver some time to respond to a potential crash. This mid-size Nissan crossover SUV comes with the Pedestrian Detection technology in the AEB. The Intelligent Lane Intervention is another sophisticated driving aide that's optional for the Murano trim. Designed to prevent low-speed crashes in parking lots, the Rear Automatic Braking is available for this two-row model.

Integrated into the NissanConnect touch screen, the patented RearView Monitor is optional for the Pathfinder and Murano. Both vehicles also have the Rear Cross Traffic Alert for heightened awareness while backing up. Additionally, the Intelligent AroundView Monitor creates 360-degree composite views of the immediate surroundings. Both Nissan trims offer the Rear Sonar System that looks for any stationary obstacles nearby.

In terms of security, the Pathfinder and Murano have several premium amenities, such as the Rear Door Alert. This all-new electronic technology is usually triggered by an improper closure of the rear doors. Both models come standard with the Nissan Vehicle Immobilizer System, which is synchronized with the Nissan Intelligent Key. Engineered to deploy in two distinct phases, the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System shields the driver and front occupant from serious injuries during a severe crash. Fitted with 10 air bags by default, the Murano earns best-in-class status in the passive safety category.

Built on the Zone Body Construction platform, these Nissan vehicles come with front and rear crumple points. Hood-buckling creases also reduce the severity of injuries to the occupants in the front and second rows. An energy-absorbing steering column is another innovative passive safety installation inside the Murano model. This crossover SUV and the Pathfinder have the Easy-Fill Tire Alert technology that's integrated into the Advanced Drive-Assist Display.

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Model to Choose?

In terms of power and off-road performance, the 2020 Pathfinder is certainly a better choice for families than the 2020 Murano. This statement is especially true since both models start at approximately the same price. When it comes to active safety, the Safety Shield 360 bundle adds more accident-avoidance technologies to the Murano. Therefore, this mid-size crossover SUV is an excellent choice for drivers who need extra assistance behind the steering wheel. Available with the Tri-Zone Entertainment package and 13 speakers by Bose, the Pathfinder is the better choice for families that want premium audio and video content on the go.

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