A white 2019 Chevy Traverse is parked outside a modern house.

Road Warriors: Chevy Traverse vs Nissan Pathfinder


The mid-size SUV and crossover market is a battleground of intense competition featuring a lot of different models with plenty to offer. Today we’re going to pit the 2019 Chevy Traverse vs 2019 Nissan Pathfinder in a no-holds-barred battle to see who comes out on top. Superiority can be judged in many ways; however, so let’s simplify things by determining a few key areas where they will go head-to-head and see who emerges triumphant.

First off, let’s consider the engine, the beating heart of these two warriors that pushes them onward to glory—we’ll look at horsepower and torque and see who has more power. We’ll also take a look inside and see which of these powerhouses has more space for passengers and cargo, plus take a look at the luxury and technology features on offer. We’re not monsters, after all, so our battle will not be without sophistication.

Finally, we’ll consider the safety options these two vehicles have to offer. In a battle, just like on the road, it’s important for a vehicle to be able to keep you and your loved ones safe. Otherwise, all the numbers and specs are meaningless. But enough prattle; let the battle commence!

The Engines Clash!

Let’s begin our battle with, perhaps, the sharpest weapons in the arsenals of these two vehicles: their engines. The engine is important—most performance features and options stem from the engine that a vehicle has, so it’s a great place to start. Both of these mid-size SUVs have only one engine to choose from, which makes this pretty simple.

The 2019 Chevy Traverse has a 3.6L V6 engine that provides up to 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque for great overall power and performance. On the other hand, the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder has a 3.5L DOHC V6 engine that offers up to 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque. In fairness, these aren’t huge differences in terms of numbers—not like with some vehicles where there is a winner that completely obliterates the competition here.

However, the 2019 Chevy Traverse clearly comes out on top with 26 hp and 7 lb-ft of torque more to offer than the Pathfinder. You get more power and just a bit more torque with the Traverse, which you certainly might feel when pushing these SUVs to the limit or getting them up a steep incline. Round one goes to the Traverse with a powerful starting blow.

Passenger and Cargo Battle

Most people choose a mid-size SUV because they want the passenger and cargo capacity of a large vehicle, without committing to something quite as massive as a full-size model. While engine power and performance is important, the interior space is perhaps even more so. As the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder reels from the opening clash, let’s see if it can come back with a strike of its own in terms of interior space.

The 2019 Chevy Traverse has seating for up to 8 people thanks to a second-row bench seat that is standard on some trim levels. You also get up to 98.2 cu.ft. of cargo space with the Traverse, assuming you do not have passengers riding with you (or maybe you just don’t like your passengers very much and you’re not against loading them up with cargo). That is a tremendous amount of interior space for a mid-size SUV, so let’s see if the Pathfinder can match that.

The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder has seating for up to 7 people—there is no option for a second-row bench seat. No matter what, you can only get six passengers safely in the Pathfinder with you, regardless of trim level or other options. You only get up to 79.5 cu.ft. of cargo space inside the Pathfinder, even with the seats all folded down. Not quite the numbers you would hope for from a mid-size SUV.

Once again, the 2019 Chevy Traverse is the clear winner. You can get another passenger safely and comfortably inside certain trim levels of the Traverse, and it has nearly 20 more cu.ft. of interior space for cargo than the Pathfinder. So far we’ve got a serious one-two punch from the Traverse, and the Pathfinder is on the ropes.

The grey interior of a 2019 Chevy Traverse shows the seats folded down. Check out cargo when comparing the 2019 Chevy Traverse vs 2019 Nissan Pathfinder.

Duel of the Interior Features

What about comfort and luxury inside these SUVs? To keep things simple, let’s look at the best available options and see how they stack up. Perhaps the Pathfinder can score a few hits here, otherwise, the Traverse is looking like the clear victor.

The 2019 Chevy Traverse has an available 8-inch color touchscreen Infotainment system with Navigation, a 10-speaker Bose premium sound system available, and numerous USB ports with a wireless charging station. It features active noise cancellation for a more enjoyable ride, an available 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, 6-way power front passenger seat, and memory settings for the driver. There is an available 4-inch driver information screen, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a hands-free gesture liftgate in the back.

By comparison, the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder features an available 8-inch touchscreen display with Navigation, a Bose premium audio system, and numerous USB ports but no wireless charging option. It has an available 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, 4-way power front passenger seat, and driver memory system. There is a drive-assist display, tri-zone automatic temperature control system, and a motion-activated liftgate.

All things being equal, on the inside, these two vehicles are quite evenly matched. There are some differences between them, but they are pretty minor. Both Chevy and Nissan put a lot of time into these interior options, so I think we have a stalemate in this duel.

Safety Features: Parry and Riposte

As their swords clash and weapons flash, we come to one final battle between the Traverse and Pathfinder. Nothing is more important than safety, so let this be the final duel between these mighty warriors.

The 2019 Chevy Traverse features StabiliTrak with electronic stability and traction control, available LED daytime running lamps, and a comprehensive airbag system. There is an available rear camera mirror, rear parking assist, and even surround vision that gives you a bird’s eye view around the vehicle. Other available safety features include a lane change alert with side blind zone alerts, rear cross traffic alert, and a teen driver system to encourage safe habits for new drivers.

Meanwhile, the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder features Vehicle Dynamic Control with traction control system, LED daytime running lamps, and numerous airbags. There is no rear camera mirror, but the Pathfinder does have an available Intelligent Around View monitor to give you a view around the vehicle. A blind spot warning is available, as is rear cross traffic alert, and the Pathfinder comes with automatic emergency braking but lacks a teen driver system.

These are both pretty equal combatants here as well, though the Traverse includes a couple more things that probably give it an advantage. If you have a new driver getting a feel for safety behind the wheel, then the Traverse’s teen driver system is a clear winner.

The Takeaway

Although these are two worthy combatants, in the end only one vehicle can emerge victorious. This time, it’s the 2019 Chevy Traverse, thanks to a more powerful engine, greater passenger and interior cargo capacity, and a couple extra safety features. The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder put up a good fight, but it just couldn’t match the impressive reach and power of the Chevy Traverse.