Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A silver 2021 Honda Passport is driving through a puddle in the desert after winning a 2021 Honda Passport vs 2022 Nissan Pathfinder comparison.

2021 Honda Passport vs 2022 Nissan Pathfinder

The SUV market can be a complicated one with so many choices to consider, from seating to safety to infotainment and more. As difficult as it can be to compare some vehicles, it is still possible to do so for modern buyers. Comparing the 2021 Honda Passport vs 2022 Nissan Pathfinder will reveal two very different SUVs. While they may look similar on the outside, the Passport is far and away the superior vehicle in two fields: safety and cargo space. Despite both being midsize SUVs, these vehicles were designed very differently, with the Passport offering two rows while the Pathfinder has three. Despite this, the drivetrains for both are similar, with standard V6 engines and nine-speed automatic transmissions.

With the many similarities and the many glaring differences, it can be difficult to think these two vehicles are on the same playing field, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. These two differently-sized SUVs are easy to compare side by side, even though the large differences in safety and cargo space absolutely put the 2021 Honda Passport above the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder. For any buyers who need an SUV that can haul as much stuff as most pickups and who want to know they are in one of the safest vehicles on the road, the 2021 Honda Passport is the best choice to make.

A red 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is driving through the mountains at sunset.

Infotainment and Interior Similarities and Differences

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder has a fairly standard infotainment system with fairly standard features included. There is a standard built-in eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and standard voice command integration. The latest version of NissanConnect is included, along with an available wireless smartphone charging pad. SiriusXM satellite radio and in-dash navigation are both optional features that can be included at higher trim levels. While built-in navigation is optional, smartphone integration allows you to display navigation data from your phone. Altogether, the new 2022 Pathfinder is a modern tech-filled SUV, but it doesn’t exactly come with any groundbreaking features that are not available from the competition.

The 2021 Honda Passport also comes with a standard eight-inch touchscreen as well as the standard cell phone integration for Apple as well as Android and voice command integration. Wireless charging, a WiFi hotspot, and built-in navigation are all options, giving the Honda infotainment a very similar feature set to the Nissan setup. All the major infotainment features that modern drivers are looking for are available in both of these SUVs. Given that the Passport is three years old while the Pathfinder hasn’t even hit dealerships yet, the similarities in their infotainment systems does not look good for Nissan.

The big interior difference is in raw space. The Nissan Pathfinder is a three-row SUV with seating for up to eight, while the Honda Passport is a two-row SUV with seating for five. On the surface, you might think that would make the Pathfinder the better choice, but that is not necessarily the case since it is squeezing more seats in the same general footprint. If you require a three-row SUV, then you are probably not interested in the Passport and should instead be looking at the three-row Honda Pilot. However, if five seats are enough for your needs, then the Passport offers far more cargo space than the Pathfinder, coming in at over 100 cubic feet against 80 cubic feet for the Nissan.

Advanced Safety Features and Safety Ratings

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder has a suite of standard features referred to as Nissan ProPilot Assist. These include automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, and lane departure warning. These features are designed to help drivers stay alert when behind the wheel, with some emitting warnings, such as the rear cross traffic alert, and others providing automatic responses to avoid danger. The automatic emergency braking falls into this latter category, stopping or slowing the vehicle to avoid frontal accidents.

The 2022 Pathfinder has lane departure warning standard, but intelligent lane intervention is only available as an option. This feature is intended not just to warn but to intervene and correct improper steering if the driver should drift from their lane unsafely, such as without signaling. Another feature that is only available as an option is Nissan’s intelligent cruise control, which allows a driver to maintain a set distance from another vehicle as opposed to just keeping at a specific speed.

Honda’s version of this same system, known as adaptive cruise control, is standard on every trim of the 2021 Passport. Lane keeping assist is also included standard, alongside a road departure mitigation system, helping you to remain safely in your lane without needing to pay more for optional packages. These features, among others, can keep drivers and passengers even safer on the road by allowing intervention in situations of sudden accidents or poor driving.

Adaptive cruise control can help a vehicle’s engine stay in better shape with less fuel being burned. The road departure mitigation system can help a driver to avoid dangerous situations and can help new drivers learn more about what to watch for and which situations are more dangerous for them. Lane keeping assist can help new drivers learn how to align their vehicles within the lane properly. The addition of these features at no extra cost absolutely makes the 2021 Honda Passport superior to the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder.

The road departure mitigation system works with lane keeping assist to offer an extra layer of protection while the Passport is in motion. There are also plenty of other standard features, such as the collision mitigation braking system, which automatically applies the brakes to prevent accidents. There are also cameras and alerts to monitor all around the vehicle. Rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and the like are there to ensure safety from all angles for the 2021 Honda Passport. Even if the active safety features are insufficient to prevent an accident, the 2021 Honda Passport will keep you safe, as its rugged construction earned it a five-star overall safety rating in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests.

A 2021 Honda Passport is shown from the front at night.

Two SUVs, One Clear Choice

Though the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder has a third row, that extra space is poorly designed if you are looking for an SUV that can transport large and bulky cargo with ease. The optional captain’s chairs for the second row also cut out more of the possible available space that could otherwise be used. While it certainly makes a decent people mover, that Honda Pilot is an even better option in that niche. More importantly, despite the new safety features, there is still a clear delineation between the two models as only the higher trims of the Pathfinder offer many driver-assist features that come standard on all trims of the Passport.

The 2021 Honda Passport is a highly capable vehicle and one of the few midsize SUVs designed for people who need to be able to move furniture, sports equipment, camping gear, or more at a moment’s notice, rather than simply being another family vehicle. Though these two midsize models share many similarities, the details are what make the difference and place the 2021 Honda Passport bove the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder.