The car you drive has an impact on how you enjoy all that Marion, Herrin, and Carbondale, IL, have to offer. A family-friendly SUV with high-tech features, towing capability, and flexible seating options can open up a world of possibilities for exploring the outdoors with your favorite people. The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder and the 2021 Toyota Highlander our two popular options.

However, how do you know which one has more of the features you want? To help you decide, our team at Watermark Nissan of Marion put together the following head-to-head comparison of the Nissan Pathfinder vs. Toyota Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2021 Toyota Highlander: Seating & Cargo


The cabins of both of these SUVs feature standard spacious seating for up to eight passengers. However, on higher trim levels in either model, you will find a 7-seat configuration that comes with available 2nd-row captain's chairs for extra comfort.

To accommodate passengers and belongings simultaneously, both models also come with a convenient 60/40-split fold-flat reclining bench seat.

Under-Floor Storage

In the trunk of the Nissan model, you'll have over 16 cubic feet of cargo volume to store your belongings, like shopping bags and backpacks. To go along with that, you will have a cargo-area under-floor storage compartment that makes it easier to organize and keep things safely out of sight.

Latch and Glide®

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder also features Latch and Glide® technology, which enables you to slide and tilt the 2nd-row seat forward with or without a child seat locked in place. This feature lends a helping hand for those with young ones frequently on board.

Unfortunately, the 2021 Toyota Highlander does not offer a comparable feature to this one. 

Nissan Pathfinder vs Toyota Highlander: Drive Modes

Performance is another important component of any adventure companion. The Nissan Pathfinder comes with an engaging Manual Mode for when you want to connect to the road even more. Along with that, you will find a standard Drive and Terrain Mode switch with five modes.

Drive & Terrain Mode Selector

If you want to head off the beaten path or tackle challenging terrain with even greater confidence, you can upgrade to the available Drive and Terrain Mode dial selector with seven modes, which includes:

  • Mud/Rut Mode
  • Sand Mode
  • Snow Mode
  • Eco Mode
  • Sport Mode
  • Tow Mode

Over in the Toyota Highlander, you will find a more limited selection of just four standard drive modes. When you upgrade in this model, you'll still have a more limited 4- or 5-mode system that does not include a Tow Mode option.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2021 Toyota Highlander: Towing Capacity

In addition to falling short of its Nissan competitor when it comes to drive modes, the 2021 Toyota Highlander also offers less in terms of towing capability:

Nissan Pathfinder

Toyota Highlander

Maximum Available Towing Capacity

Up to 6,000 pounds(when properly equipped)

Up to 5,000 pounds (when properly equipped)

With the extra 1,000 pounds of towing capacity when properly equipped offered by the Nissan Pathfinder, you can bring along a larger recreational boat or a hard-sided RV to better accommodate the family and amplify your fun.

Time to Take the Wheel of an SUV: Nissan or Toyota?

Though the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder and the 2021 Toyota Highlander offer comparable features, the Nissan ultimately surpasses its rival. If you want an extra 1,000 pounds of towing capacity and additional drive modes, then slide into the driver's seat of the Nissan Pathfinder today.

Contact us at Watermark Nissan of Marion to schedule your test drive near Marion, Herrin, and Carbondale, IL!

Maximum towing capacity when properly equipped. Towing capability varies by trim level and configuration. See Nissan Towing Guide and Owner's Manual for additional information.

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Watermark Nissan of Marion

3209 Banterra Drive
Directions Marion, IL 62959

  • Sales: (618) 969-8222
  • Service: (618) 969-8222
  • Parts: (618) 969-8222


  • Monday 8:00AM-6:00PM
  • Tuesday 8:00AM-6:00PM
  • Wednesday 8:00AM-6:00PM
  • Thursday 8:00AM-6:00PM
  • Friday 8:00AM-6:00PM
  • Saturday 9:00AM-5:00PM
  • Sunday Closed