2023 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2023 Nissan Pathfinder: Which SUV is More Fuel Efficient?

Fuel efficiency is crucial when picking a vehicle. Comparing the 2023 Toyota 4Runner vs. Nissan Pathfinder will help you make the right choice.

Toyota 4Runner vs. Nissan Pathfinder 1 2023 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2023 Nissan Pathfinder: Which SUV is More Fuel Efficient?

Is the 4Runner or the Pathfinder more fuel-efficient?

The Nissan Pathfinder is more efficient when compared with the 2023 Toyota 4Runner. It has a rating of 20 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway. The optional all-wheel drive Pathfinder is more fuel efficient than the front-wheel-drive model.

We contacted manufacturers and auto technicians to determine the fuel efficiency of both vehicles. While these are SUVs, it’s clear that the 2023 4Runner runs on less gas, especially for everyday driving. This is important to consider when choosing between the two vehicles.

Fuel Efficiency

With rising gas prices, fuel efficiency is becoming an important determining factor for the kind of vehicle to drive. This is why a comparison of the fuel efficiency of the 2023 Toyota 4Runner, and the Nissan Pathfinder is essential. 

Fuel efficiency requires looking at the fuel mileage of the 2023 Toyota 4Runner. Such an SUV works well for a large family wanting a reliable vehicle. The everyday drivability of the 4Runner will give you an average of 17 MPG in regards to fuel consumption. This is reasonable consumption for this vehicle with its rugged body.

The 4Runner is a good option for going off-road because it has a strong and durable frame. It’s worth noting that you can improve the fuel efficiency of the 4Runner and save on gas consumption. This vehicle also has sturdy wheels that function well in different terrain.

Taking shorter routes can be a better option when driving in the city. You have to keep an eye on the fuel consumption numbers to know how much you save each day.

Fuel Efficiency of Toyota 4Runner Model

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The 4Runner has several generations. The 2023 model is a Fifth Generation 4Runner which started from 2009 to present. 

ModelMiles Per Gallon
The 2020 4Runner16.9 MPG
The 2021 4Runner17.6 MPG
The 2022 4Runner17.6 MPG
The 2023 4Runner16.3 MPG

As for the Nissan Pathfinder, the numbers are a bit higher. The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder can get between 20 to 23 MPG from everyday driving in the city. This is still a reasonable consumption for an SUV but a bit higher than the Toyota 4Runner.

Opt for the optional all-wheel drive if you want a Pathfinder that’s the most fuel efficient. This is according to the EPA, which states that such a vehicle has a rating of 21 MPG.

Fuel Efficiency of Nissan Pathfinder Model

ModelMiles Per Gallon
The 2020 Pathfinder22 MPG
The 2021 Pathfinder20 MPG
The 2022 Pathfinder23 MPG
The 2023 Pathfinder  21 MPG

Other Factors to Consider When Comparing 4Runner and Pathfinder

Toyota 4Runner vs. Nissan Pathfinder 1 1 2023 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2023 Nissan Pathfinder: Which SUV is More Fuel Efficient?

Interior Design

Fuel efficiency is important when comparing the 2023 Toyota 4Runner and the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder. However, other factors are crucial and can help you make the right purchase.

For instance, compare the interior design of the two SUVs. Some SUVs ensure the interior design stands out and captures every driver’s attention.

Unfortunately, the Toyota 4Runner has a pretty standard interior that’s not too flashy. Instead, this vehicle has a sturdy interior setup with standard features such as bigger climate control knobs. 

While these might not be the fanciest knobs, they are more functional. Still, you note that the 4Runner has a more modern interior that features an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment center.

Unfortunately, there is still not much to rave about the interior of the 4Runner. Toyota still uses plastic, and this vehicle has a distinct lack of texture. That’s a shame considering how other SUVs make it a point to make the interior flashy.

The Nissan Pathfinder beats the Toyota 4Runner when considering interior design. The rich materials and perfect setup showcase a vehicle that keeps improving with each release. The infotainment system is one area to note since the Nissan Pathfinder has a 9-inch touchscreen.

Each of the 3 rows in the Pathfinder is comfortable and luxurious. This is why people consider this model a luxury SUV. There’s good legroom on the first and second row that can fit adults. Kids will be comfortable on the third ro which provides a comfortable seating.

Even the dashboard of the Pathfinder is fancier featuring that angular design unique to SUVs. The Pathfinder beats the 4Runner when it comes to interior design. Still, you can consider your personal taste when choosing between the two vehicles.

Toyota 4Runner vs. Nissan Pathfinder 2 2023 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2023 Nissan Pathfinder: Which SUV is More Fuel Efficient?

Exterior Design

Apart from the interior, the exterior design is another important factor. The exterior design of the 2023 Toyota 4Runner is more rugged. This is easy to note when you look at all the models released from 2010.

The truck-like design is easy to note when encountering the 4Runner with the vertical front end. In fact, it’s easy to mistake this vehicle as having a front end with a battering ram.

The vehicle has an upward-curving bumper. This helps with off-road clearance that moves from under the car and features skid plates for protection. It has two mirrors, one to each side.

This vehicle has a chunky box body with flared and squared-off fenders. But you must choose a specific 4Runner since it has different grill designs. Also, note the tires for this vehicle and the tow capability.

As for the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder, there’s more character that sets it apart from previous models. The tailored lines of the Pathfinder are captivating and work well with the trim and crisp appearance. However, it does resemble the 4Runner when you consider the boxy design.

There’s also the matter of the chrome grill that’s prominent on the Nissan Pathfinder. This adds to this vehicle’s rugged appearance, although many consider it luxury. It’s a tie regarding the exterior design of the Toyota 4Runner and Nissan Pathfinder.


It’s important to know the drivability of a vehicle before you join other shoppers. This is one factor to consider when comparing the two vehicles. Drivability showcases a vehicle’s powertrain, which determines how it drives and overall capability.

The drive-worthiness of a vehicle requires looking into different factors to understand drivability. This includes a vehicle’s utility, comfort level, technology, and interior design.

Knowing and understanding these factors helps to determine the horsepower of the Toyota 4Runner and the Nissan Pathfinder. And how each of the two cars performs in challenging situations.

Looking into the Toyota 4Runner can be an eye-opening experience, and note the 4.0 v6 engine. For starters, it’s good to understand that each vehicle has its advantages and disadvantages. The Toyota 4Runner is a reliable vehicle with good horsepower that you can use daily driving to and from places.

One reason that makes the Toyota 4Runner an adequate car is its powertrain. This is a vehicle whose performance is smooth throughout the day. But, one thing you notice from the moment you drive it off the lot is the jumpiness of the braking system.

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The cars you drive must be able to come to a sudden stop without extreme nosediving. Unfortunately, the Toyota 4Runner doesn’t perform well during panic stops. Still, it does feel good while driving because the vehicle has impressive stability.

In addition, the Toyota 4Runner moves fast and efficiently through turns on different roads. The only issue is other car models are sportier. Still, this is what you need when looking for an off-roading 4WD vehicle.

On the other hand, you can opt for the Nissan Pathfinder, which has its pros and cons. The stability of the Nissan Pathfinder is something that most drivers will note the minute they begin a drive. This leads to more confidence on the road since the vehicle has reliable power.

The Nissan Pathfinder has a well-tuned suspension, but it’s worth noting that this might not be the right vehicle for off-roading. This is because ground clearance for this car model is 7 inches, no more, no less.

But you won’t have to worry about discomfort when driving the Pathfinder. Nissan ensures the interior features padded and well-bolstered seats for ease. Even the second row of this SUV can fit kids and adults without making any adjustments.

Many drivers want to know a vehicle’s ride quality before they purchase it. Well, you will be glad to know that the Pathfinder can offer a smooth ride. But you must choose the right wheel size to enjoy this benefit on the road.

In addition, this vehicle has an impressive climate control system that guarantees more comfort. All three rows of the Nissan Pathfinder will offer maximum airflow as you drive. This works for both heating and cooling, depending on the weather and the occupants’ needs.

There are numerous controls on the dashboard of the Pathfinder you can find useful. While they all serve the purpose of improving the vehicle’s drivability, they can also feel too cluttered. For instance, you notice that the steering wheel features controls for both the audio system and panel display, which can be confusing.

Still, the utility of the Nissan Pathfinder is worth noting. Both the second and third-row seats can fold when you need to make room at the back. However, it might not be the right vehicle for carrying long items since it has no flat-loading floor setup, a crucial section.

Interior Space

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Consider the interior and cargo space of a vehicle as you shop for the best choice. This is especially essential if you plan for the SUV to be a family vehicle. Kids and pets will require more cargo space as you drive and even go off-roading.

The Toyota 4Runner and Nissan Pathfinder are mid-size SUVs with 3 rows. The first two rows of the vehicles feature enough legroom for adults. However, the third row is better for kids and it can fit seven passengers.

Seating capacity can be even more crucial when you have a large family and need enough room. The good news is SUVs such as the Toyota 4Runner and the Nissan Pathfinder are comfortable and a good choice. There are bigger vehicles, but these work for the average family.

The Nissan Pathfinder has a wider third row that comfortably fits three kids. This is standard equipment per trim level on the vehicle. However, the 4Runner will only fit two people comfortably on the third row, which is an extra cost for different models.

One thing to note is that the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder has more seating capacity than the 2023 Toyota 4Runner. The 4Runner feels more cramped, but works well for 5 passengers. The issue arises when you need to sit seven passengers which requires more room.

The third row of the Nissan Pathfinder is a better pick for larger families who also bring pets on drives. It’s clear the Nissan Pathfinder emerges as the winner when it comes to cargo space. The vehicle is well-executed to carry up to seven passengers that need more seating capacity.

Advanced Safety Features

Factors such as fuel efficiency, interior and exterior design, as well as drivability are crucial. However, it is crucial to remember that safety is an important one to consider. This is even more essential when you want this to be a family vehicle.

Always get to know the long list of advanced safety features in a vehicle before purchasing. Also, learn the rating of each in terms of the crash tests. These results are available on the websites of NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and IIHS (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety).

The 2023 Toyota 4Runner got an overall marking of ‘M’ by the IIHS. This is after looking at the average safety features such as the structure and safety cage, dummy kinematics , driver restraints, and driver injury measures (chest, hip/thigh, head/neck, lower leg/foot).

It’s worth noting that the ‘M’ comes from different factors on this vehicle. For instance, Toyota must do better to ensure the lock system is less complex. Even the anchors are problematic since they are embedded deep in the seat.

The NHTSA overall score for the Toyota 4Runner is a 5. However, the vehicle gets a 4 for both the rollover test and the side of the driver. Some of the issue’s vehicle owners have brought forth about the 4Runner including holding less fuel than stated.

When it comes to the Nissan Pathfinder, there is the Toyota Safety Sense P that comes with this vehicle. This is a driver aids suite that comes with every trim level. There’s even adaptive cruise control that comes with blind spot monitoring that improves safety significantly.

There are the standard parking sensors when reversing and emergency braking on the Pathfinder. The vehicle also has a feature for detecting pedestrians on the road. This activates a pre-collision warning when you move away from your lane.

The IIHS has awarded the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder the TOP SAFETY PICK +. This is after the vehicle underwent rigorous testing and achieved the strict requirements of the governing body. The standard features that stood out include rear cross-traffic alert, automatic braking, and high beam assist.

Toyota 4Runner vs. Nissan Pathfinder 6 2023 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2023 Nissan Pathfinder: Which SUV is More Fuel Efficient?


Pricing is an important factor to consider when choosing the right vehicle for the family. This is especially true when you want to get a loan to purchase a car. Mid-size SUVs are more expensive than other smaller models.

The 2023 Toyota 4Runner SR5 costs $39 555 max. This is a better-equipped vehicle if you prefer the model, but you must pay extra for the interior and other additions. Chances are the pricing goes up to $42 615 for the leather upholstery. Genuine leather will bring the price up to $48 790 max.

As for the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder, be ready to part with $35 000 if you prefer this car. This gives you a vehicle with numerous standard features and safety guidelines. The SV model costs $37 820 without the leather interior. For the leather-trimmed SL, you will pay $41 420 max. The all-wheel drive SV costs $42 820.

Comparison chart of features of the 2023 Toyota 4Runner and Nissan Pathfinder:

Features2023 Toyota 4Runner2023 Nissan Pathfinder
Fuel efficiency (city)16.3 MPG20-23 MPG
Fuel efficiency (highway)19 MPG25-26 MPG
All-wheel drive optionYesYes
Interior designStandardLuxurious
Infotainment system8-inch touchscreen9-inch touchscreen
Legroom in third rowAverageComfortable
Exterior designRuggedRugged/Luxurious
Towing capacity5,000 lbs6,000 lbs
Off-road capabilityExcellentGood
Transmission5-speed automatic9-speed automatic
Horsepower270 hp284 hp
Torque278 lb-ft259 lb-ft
Seating capacity5-77
Starting price (MSRP)$37,515$34,010

Key Takeaways

  • The Nissan Pathfinder is more fuel efficient than the Toyota 4Runner.
  • The Nissan Pathfinder gives you an average of 20 to 23 MPG.
  • The Toyota 4Runner gives you an average of 17 MPG.
  • Both 2023 Toyota 4Runner and Nissan Pathfinder have good SUV fuel efficiency.

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