Nissan Pathfinder, Rogue, or Murano: Which SUV Should You Buy?

Hey, we get it—sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to decipher some automakers’ lineups. The debut of the all-new 2022 Nissan Pathfinder might have perked-up the ears of some potential buyers but also left more than a few scratching their heads as to what the heck the differences are between some of the mid-sized and larger crossovers under the Nissan banner. Wonder no more—here’s our breakdown of what the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder offers over both the compact Nissan Rogue and two-row Nissan Murano SUVs.

Pathfinder vs. Rogue, Murano: Exterior Dimensions

Fundamentally, the Pathfinder is one of the bigger Nissans, serving as the brand’s second-largest SUV under the full-size, body-on-frame Armada. The new Pathfinder towers over the compact Rogue, packing an additional 7.7-inches of wheelbase, 14-inches of length, 5.5 inches of width, and 3.5 inches of height.

The mid-size Murano predictably cuts the middle-ground between the smaller Rogue and larger Pathfinder, with the latter wearing an extra 4.2-inches of length, 2.5-inches of width, and 2.2-inches of height, and an additional 3.0-inches of wheelbase.

Pathfinder vs. Rogue, Murano: Seating and Cargo

As you might expect with all this extra real estate, the Pathfinder can carry more passengers and haul more stuff than its smaller, two-row siblings. The new SUV arrives exclusively in three-row configuration, offering seating for either seven or eight passengers. If you haul more boxes, furniture, and dogs than people, the Pathfinder might be the best pick for you; the new SUV swallows 16.6 cu. ft. of junk with all rows of seats in use and in-place, 45.0 cu. ft with the third row folded, and a whopping 80.5 cu. ft with both the third and second row folded.

Compared to the Rogue, that’s an extra 8.5 cu. ft behind the second row, and an additional 6.4 cu. ft in stowage behind the first row. The Murano’s slight focus on style-over-substance means it’s even more down on space than the new Pathy; the larger SUV trounces the Murano with 12.9 additional cu. ft of space behind the second row and 13.5 cu. ft. extra with all the rows folded down.

Pathfinder vs. Rogue, Murano: Power

The 2022 Pathfinder follows the traditional axiom of bigger car, bigger engine. The Pathfinder arrives with a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 that spins out 284 hp and 259 lb-ft through a nine-speed automatic transmission that sends this power to either front or all-four wheels.

The Rogue is significantly down on power when lined up with this V-6; regardless of trim, all 2021 Rogues pack a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder good for a reasonable 181 hp and 181 lb-ft through one of Nissan’s many CVTs, and your choice of either front- or all-wheel drive. If you like the size of the Rogue but the power of the Pathfinder, hold out for a future Rogue variant to pack Nissan’s innovative and punchy VC-Turbo 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger in the future.

The Murano again meets both in the middle, carrying a less potent iteration of the Pathfinder’s 3.5-liter V-6. In the stylish-ish two-row crossover, this means 260 hp and 240 lb-ft through a CVT and front- or all-wheel drive setups.

Pathfinder vs. Rogue, Murano: Fuel Economy and Towing

Nissan has yet to reveal the fuel economy of the new SUV, but with all that extra bulk to shuffle around, we wouldn’t be surprised if just about the only thing the Pathfinder does worse than the two smaller crossovers is go easy on the gas budget. The 2021 Rogue offers up 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway in its lightest, most efficient configuration, while the Murano sucks it down with 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

If you think you’re going to tow a small-ish trailer around, you’re almost forced into the Pathfinder; the Rogue is rated at only 1,350 pounds of towing while the Murano isn’t much better at 1,500 pounds. If you stick with the standard 2022 Pathfinder, your limit is 3,500 pounds, but an optional factory tow kit raises it to 6,000—a figure that’s best-in-class according to Nissan, though only if you forget the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee L exist.

Pathfinder vs. Rogue, Murano: Intended Purpose and Final Thoughts

Really, deciding between these three SUVs is a simple matter of understanding what you want out of your new car. If you don’t need the third row or cargo capacity of the Pathfinder, you’re left with the Rogue or the Murano; of those two, the Murano is positioned as a pseudo-lifestyle crossover with a focus on style rather than maximized utility. For towing, people-hauling, and moderate off-road capability offered by its suite of off-road drive modes and settings, stick with the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder.

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