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Nissan Pathfinder Towing Capacity: How Much Can a Nissan Pathfinder Tow

Asides from being an excellent choice for individuals who require a vehicle that accommodate the family as a whole.

The Nissan Pathfinder towing capacity has further positioned it as one of the most suitable SUVs that support adequate transporting/pulling of equipment.

Some of the notable/popular equipment that the Nissan Pathfinder can tow are deck boat, camping trailer (full-size), fishing boat, and livestock trailer.

Although the Nissan Pathfinder has marked its name and proven itself over time as a force to reckon with when it comes to on the road and off-road operation/performance.

Many people have been asking or interested in how much can a Nissan Pathfinder tow?

To answer this question comprehensively, we will look at each generation and model year, discussing their towing capability/efficiency.


How Much Can a Nissan Pathfinder Tow?

The Nissan Pathfinder is equipped with one of the most robust engines in its category, offering adequate power to deliver/support 6K pounds (max) towing capability.

It is essential to indicate/note that the above-stated figure or capability is dependent on the selected configuration and how adequately equipped the Nissan Pathfinder is.

For someone who hasn’t transported/pulled/towed their equipment or gears before.

It is possible to ignore how massive the 6,000 maximum towing capability is, especially the type of gears the vehicle can adequately/comfortably convey to your desired location.

Commonly towed equipment includes a camping trailer and fishing & deck boats.

Let’s compare their weight to the Nissan Pathfinder’s max towing capacity.

A camping trailer (full-size) has a maximum weight of about 5K pounds, providing adequate space to comfortably accommodate many individuals (ideal for families).

Its weight is 1k pounds lesser than the Nissan Pathfinder’s towing capability, making it adequate for the job.

When it comes to pulling/transporting a fishing boat to a fishing destination/location of choice.

The Nissan Pathfinder’s 6K pounds towing weight is sustainable to accommodate three (3) fishing boats, with an average weight of 2K pounds.

Compared to a fishing boat, a deck boat is heavier. Nevertheless, the average weight of 4K is still below what the Nissan Pathfinder can handle.

Detailed Look at Nissan Pathfinder Towing Capacity (Updated 2024)

01. 1st Generation (1985 – 1995)


  • Nissan 3.0L V6 & 2.4L 4-cylinder engines (1985 to 1989 models) at 143HP and 106HP respectively
  • In 1990, the 3.0L V6 engine was modified, offering 153HP in the process


  • 3-speed 3N71 automatic (introduced in the 1985 model and ended in 1987)
  • 4-speed automatic (4N71, RL4R01A, and RE4R01A)
  • 5-speed (manual)


  • Two-wheel-drive (2WD)
  • Four-wheel-drive (4WD)
Towing Load/Specification Chart
ParameterUnit (Pounds And Kilogram)
Gross weight5070 pounds/2300kilogram
Max trailer load (braked 12%)4409 pounds/2000kilogram
Max Trailer Load (unbraked1102pounds/500kilogram

02. 2nd Generation (1996 – 2004)


  • 3-liters engine (1996 to 2020) offering 168 horsepower
  • The 3.5-liter V6 was introduced in 2001. The automatic transmission delivers 240 horsepower while the manual design provides an additional 10hp, to make it 250 horsepower


  • 350 lb-ft for Nissan Pathfinder with manual transmission
  • 500 lb-ft for Nissan Pathfinder with automatic transmission


  • 4-speed automatic
  • 5-speed manual


  • Two-wheel-drive (2WD)
  • Four-wheel-drive (4WD)
Towing Load/Specification Chart
ParametersAutomatic TransmissionManual Transmission
Trailer weight (max)5000 pounds/2,268kilogram3,500 pounds/1588kilogram
Tongue load  (max)500 pounds/227kilogram350pounds/159kilogram

NB: GCWR is an acronym for “Gross Combined Weight Rating.”

When there is a need to pull or transport a gear/equipment with a weight beyond or more than 1K pounds, trailer brakes are expected to be used or deployed.

A sway control device is suggested for efficient performance if you are towing a piece of equipment with more than 2K pounds of weight.

For gear/equipment that weighs more than 3K pounds, a tandem axle trailer is a component/accessory that is suggested for use by the manufacturer.

03. 3rd Generation (2005 – 2012)


  • Nissan 4.0L V6 (2005 to 2007 models) at 226 horsepower
  • In 2008, the 5.6L V8 engine was introduced, offering 84 additional horsepower (310Hp) in the process


  • 288 lb-ft (V6 engine)
  • 388 lb-ft (V8 engine)


  • 5-speed automatic
  • 6-speed manual
  • 7-speed automatic


  • Two-wheel-drive (2WD)
  • Four-wheel-drive (4WD)
Towing Load/Specification Chart (2005, 2006, And 2007 Models)
DrivetrainTowing CapacityTongue LoadGCWR
Towing Load/Specification Chart (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, And 2012 Models)
Engine Design Towing CapacityTongue LoadGCWR

04. 4th Generation (2013 – 2020)


  • 5-liter DOHC V6 engine offering 240 horsepower


  • 240 lb-ft


  • Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)


  • Two-wheel-drive (2WD)
  • Four-wheel-drive (4WD)
  • All-wheel-drive (AWD)
Towing Load/Specification Chart (2013, 2014, 2015, And 2016 Models)
ParameterUnit (Pounds And Kilogram)
Towing Capacity (Max)5000 pounds/2,268kilogram
Tongue load (Max)500 pounds/227kilogram
GCWR (Max)10,000pounds/4,536kilogram
Towing Load/Specification Chart (2017, 2018, 2019, And 2020 Models)
ParameterUnit (Pounds And Kilogram)
Towing Capacity (Max)6000 pounds/2,721kilogram
Tongue load (Max)600 pounds/272kilogram
GCWR (Max)11,000pounds/4,990kilogram

NB: GCWR is an acronym for “Gross Combined Weight Rating.”

05. 5th Generation (2024 to date)


  • 5L V6 engine offering 284 horsepower


  • 259 lb-ft of torque


  • 9-speed automatic transmission


  • Four-wheel-drive (4WD)
  • All-wheel-drive (AWD)

Towing Load/Specification Chart

ParameterUnit (Pounds And Kilogram)
Towing Capacity (Max)6000 pounds/2,721kilogram
Tongue load (Max)600 pounds/272kilogram
GCWR (Max)11,000pounds/4,990kilogram

Do You Need Trailer Brakes When Towing With Your Nissan Pathfinder?

The answer is yes; its use/need is applicable or recommended for some Nissan models.

A brake is needed when the load/trailer you plan to tow/pull exceeds a specific weight limit.

For instance, for individuals who drive the Nissan Pathfinder (2000-2004 & 2017-2020), in case the towing task/activity has to do with a load/trailer that weighs more than 1,000 pounds and 3,500 pounds, respectively.

Before anything else, the driver/vehicle owner must connect a braking system attached to the load before any attempt to pull it with the vehicle.

The role of the independent brakes on the trailer/load is to enhance safety while transporting/pulling it to the desired location.

How Does Nissan Pathfinder Towing Capacity Compare Against The Rivals?

The Nissan Pathfinder is a frontrunner when it comes to the list of Nissan vehicles that can pull or transport equipment, accessories, or gears across various locations.

With a maximum towing capacity of 6,000 pounds, the Nissan Pathfinder is several pounds ahead of a few other SUVs.

This section will compare the Nissan Pathfinder with some of its closest rivals/competitors such as Toyota Highlander, Subaru Ascent, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Mazda cx-9, using 6,000 pounds as standard towing capacity.

01. Nissan Pathfinder vs. Toyota Highlander

Depending on the engine installed in the Toyota Highlander, the towing capacity is between 3.5K pounds and 5K pounds.

Now that we have the towing info for Toyota Highlander, how much can a Nissan Pathfinder tow?

The winner is apparent when the above figures are compared to the Nissan Pathfinder’s (6,000 pounds).

02. Nissan Pathfinder vs. Subaru Ascent

The Subaru Ascent, just like the Toyota Highlander, has a standard towing capability of 5,000 pounds.

Again, the Nissan Pathfinder wins this round of comparison.

03. Nissan Pathfinder vs. Kia Telluride

The Kia Telluride shares a similar towing capacity (5,000 pounds) with Subaru Ascent.

With up to 1,000 pounds extra loads, putting the Nissan Pathfinder’s 6,000 pounds standard towing capability into consideration.

Again, the Nissan Pathfinder comes on top.

04. Nissan Pathfinder vs. Honda Pilot

Depending on the drivetrain and the model year of the Honda Pilot you drive/own.

The towing capacity extends between 3,500 pounds and 5,000 pounds.

Evidently, the Nissan Pathfinder is better equipped to handle more load when towing.

05. Nissan Pathfinder vs. Volkswagen Tiguan

The Volkswagen Tiguan has the lowest towing capacity of other vehicles we put up for comparison with the Nissan Pathfinder.

With a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds, the Nissan Pathfinder is built to tow up to 4,500 pounds more load/trailer.

06. Nissan Pathfinder vs. Mazda CX-9

When you put the Mazda cx-9 3,500 pounds towing capacity side by side with the Nissan Pathfinder’s 6,000 pounds. The winner is clear.

Performance Degradation Over The Years

For towing performance to be efficient, the engine must be in good condition, delivering adequate power needed to carry out the exercise.

Usually, an engine that gets an adequate flow of air attains top-level combustion, improving power, acceleration, and throttle response exceptionally to support efficient towing of loads on the load and across hills/slopes.

As the vehicle gets older, with thousands of miles under its belt, the engine performance may drop.

Just as other systems or parts that make up the vehicle, the engine (including its components) is prone to wear over time.

Good enough, when a vehicle owner starts noticing a drop in engine performance, effective and sustainable modifications can be made to add an extra boost to it.

A notable/popular option is the cold air filter, which clears the engine airways and provides up to 60% more airflow than the existing/factory air intake would.

The additional gains add up significantly, making it possible to continue towing loads/trailers within the standard limit for satisfying performance.

Some Useful Tips For Towing With Your Nissan Pathfinder

To support your towing needs. Some major factors must be considered to keep the engine in top condition.

The engine is the heart of every operation.

When it is in a perfect state, horsepower and torque are adequately delivered to support driving needs.

a) Every Nissan Pathfinder owner should pay attention to recommended maintenance timeline and stick to it.

The engine should be inspected for issues and change the oil at regular intervals using the recommended lubricant.

b) Do not neglect the check engine light whenever it shows on the dashboard.

Ensure the issue is detected and fixed without contemplating or trying to drag it further.

c) Do not go beyond the standard towing capacity of your Nissan Pathfinder model.

Check the owner’s manual for the maximum load it can pull and do not go above it, irrespective of how little or insignificant it may be.

d) Learn how to calculate the load limit, especially when there are passengers and other forms of loads already in the car or cargo.

e) The importance or need for a trailer brake should not be neglected.

the load/trailer to be pulled is above the limit where a brake is required, do not hesitate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Maximum Tongue Load Mean?

The Tongue load (maximum) illustrates/explains the maximum load/weight that the hitch ball can comfortably accommodate or pull over a certain distance.

Is The Maximum Towing Capacity Standard?

No, it is not.

Other factors may lower the towing capacity below the stated figures for each Nissan Pathfinder generation or model, as noted in the chart provided in this article.

Some notable factors that could reduce the maximum load/trailer the Nissan Pathfinder can pull/transport include having other people in the vehicle with you, cargo, and other accessories that may add to the vehicle’s weight.

How Long Can The Nissan Pathfinder Engine Go?

The Nissan Pathfinder is equipped to last up to 250,000 miles once the condition is proper/suitable.

By right state or condition, we mean adhering to a regular maintenance routine, paying attention to the slightest change in performance, and diagnosing and fixing any identified issues as soon as possible.

How Often Should The Nissan Pathfinder Engine Oil Be Changed?

The owner manual contains all the information anyone could need when it comes to maintenance. When it comes to engine oil replacement.

The lubricants made in this era are top quality, making it possible for the engine to go up to 7,000 miles or more before oil change can be considered.

Which Nissan Pathfinder Model Year is Most Adequate/Equipped For Towing?

The 2024 Nissan Pathfinder comes with a significant upgrade, putting it ahead of the previous models.

For instance, the 3.5L V6 (direct injection) offers impressive horsepower (284) and torque (259 lb-ft) for a more reliable towing activity.

Final Thoughts

When the information provided about the Nissan Pathfinder Towing capacity across all generations or models are carefully considered.

Individuals interested in this vehicle can easily choose a model year that delivers their towing needs.

If the towing capability is a deciding factor or an aspect that’s making you hold back on purchasing an SUV (for individuals comparing the Nissan Pathfinder with other SUVs with its category).

The comparison section provided in this article is comprehensive enough to guide your purchase decision.

Learn more about Nissan pathfinder; https://www.edmunds.com/nissan/pathfinder/