2022 Nissan Pathfinder

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The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Robert Duffer Robert Duffer Senior Editor
June 9, 2021

Buying tip

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder SL trim best balances value and luxury-like features.

features & specs

Platinum 2WD
Platinum 4WD
21 city / 26 hwy
20 city / 25 hwy
21 city / 26 hwy

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder packs a value with good standard features and a roomy interior.

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder? What does it compare to?

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a three-row crossover SUV seating up to eight passengers. It competes against rivals from every major automaker, ranging from the Mazda CX-9 and Chevy Traverse to the Subaru Ascent and Kia Telluride. 

Is the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder a good SUV?

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The redesigned Pathfinder doesn’t try to be a performance crossover or an electrified dynamo, but it is very good at what it is meant to do: hauling up to eight passengers and towing up to 6,000 pounds in comfort and with the latest technology. It earns a strong TCC Rating of 6.8 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Redesigned for the first time since 2013, the fifth-generation Nissan Pathfinder sports a new look inside and out, and comes loaded with the latest convenience and safety technology. The V-6 engine remains the same, but a new transmission, all-wheel-drive system, and electric steering rack allow drivers to better match the seven available drive modes with conditions on or off road.  

With its first new suit in nearly a decade, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder retains that high vertical face with short overhangs, and the three-slot grille bridges a flat hood with a broad face, similar to the original. Nissan’s U-shaped grille flares out to thin daytime running lights like wispy eyebrows over the standard LED headlights. 

Inside, Nissan optimized the space of the Pathfinder, which is slightly shorter than the outgoing model but far roomier. The cockpit is anchored by a large, truck-like center stack crowned by an 8.0-inch or available 9.0-inch touchscreen that rules over a band of horizontal vents and a climate control bar. 

It also handles up to eight passengers or seven with second-row captain’s chairs. It’s easier to get in and out with second row seats that flip forward with the push of a button to access the third row, and child safety seats can remain intact. Two adults can fit in the third row, and four sets of golf clubs can fit in the 16.6 cubic feet of space behind the third row.

A new 9-speed automatic transmission replaces the old CVT and sends power from the same 284-hp 3.5-liter V-6 to the front wheels or all four via available all-wheel drive. The driver can shift through seven terrain modes to optimize the gearing for the situation. When properly equipped, the Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds, which is in the higher end for the class. In front- or all-wheel drive, the 2022 Pathfinder tops out at 23 mpg combined. 

Standard features include an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, keyless entry, satellite radio, and other modern helpers, or Pathfinder shoppers can opt up to an available 9.0-inch touchscreen and wireless CarPlay. On Platinum trims, a large 10.8-inch head-up display can project vehicle info out on the road ahead, and a 12.3-inch digital display lights up the instrument cluster. Additional Platinum features include a Bose 13-speaker sound system, navigation, heated second-row seats, panoramic sunroof, and power tailgate.  

Nissan equips every 2022 Pathfinder with its front and rear automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings, and automatic high beams. Safety options range from a surround-view camera system to adaptive cruise control down to a stop. 

How much does the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder cost?

Sold in four trims, S, SV, SL, and Platinum, the base 2022 Nissan Pathfinder with front-wheel drive costs $34,560 including $1,150 destination fee. The top Platinum trim costs $47,340. All-wheel drive adds $1,900 to all trims. 

Where is the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder made?

In Smyrna, Tennessee. 


2022 Nissan Pathfinder


The 2022 Pathfinder balances modern needs with legacy design cues.

Is the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder a good-looking car?

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder retains the same general exterior proportions but reimagines some classic cues from the first Pathfinder that launched for 1987. That model looked like a small truck with a covered cab. 

The blend of classic and modern earns the Pathfinder a point each for the interior and exterior to a 7. 

The new model retains that high vertical face with short overhangs, and a slotted hood above Nissan’s U-shaped grille that flares out to standard LED headlights. That visual light line runs down the body, over rounded wheel arches flexed with black cladding to the rear. The Pathfinder rides on 18-inch or available 20-inch wheels. 

The distinct triangular window is gone, but Nissan cut a triangular shape in the pillar between the rear door and the back and blacked out the roof in Nissan’s contemporary design language of a “floating” roof. Five two-tone color options exaggerate the floating roof look. In back, horizontal LED taillights catch that line from the front, where it’s all tied together by “Pathfinder” stamped on the liftgate below the new Nissan badge. Rocker panels with available chrome inserts also broadcast the Pathfinder name.

Inside, Nissan opens up an airy cabin with tons of storage compartments and cloth or available leather upholstery. The squat center stack uses a lot of glossy black trim, but the mix of metallic accents, contrast stitching, and tactile buttons and dials balances all of the modern elements without overdoing the touch surfaces.

Review continues below


2022 Nissan Pathfinder


The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a capable hauler and a comfy cruiser.

The Pathfinder may use the same 284-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine as before, but the manner in how that 259 lb-ft of torque gets to the wheels is much improved. A 9-speed automatic replaces the shiftless continuously variable automatic transmission. Low-end torque improves so towing 6,000 pounds comes easy, and the front strut with a multi-link rear suspension absorbs infrastructure issues where the government won’t. The comforting suspension and powertrain capability earn it a point each to a 7. 

Is the Pathfinder 4WD?

Front-wheel drive comes standard on the 2022 Pathfinder, but all-wheel drive costs $1,900 more. The all-wheel-drive system that Nissan calls “Intelligent 4WD” handles mucky muddy terrain by routing up to 50% of the 259 lb-ft of torque to the rear axle, then all of that available torque to the one rear wheel with more grip via a limited slip differential. In muddy off-road ascents, you can feel the rear axle dig in and not only prevent wheelspin but propel the Pathfinder forward. It’s genuinely off-road capable, but it shouldn’t go too deep into the woods.

The driver can shift through seven terrain modes, ranging from Eco to Mud/Rut and Tow to optimize the gearing for the situation. In modes other than Mud/Rut and Tow, the system tweaks throttle response and steering weight, and defaults to front-wheel drive unless it detects wheel slip. The selector in the console has firm detents so you’re not spinning the dial randomly or overshooting what you want, and each mode illuminates in the cluster to confirm the selection. 

How fast is the Nissan Pathfinder?

The V-6 gets the Pathfinder to 60 mph in the low seven-second range, but the 9-speed is responsible for improvements in responsiveness off the line. It shrugs off its average 4,500-pound weight to feel lighter than it is, and the V-6 barks a bit unlike the turbo-4s replacing larger engines elsewhere. 

In fifth gear and above, the transmission defaults to efficiency. Cruising at 45 mph the transmission will hover in ninth gear, so passing moves require several downshifts to get the right power. If you don’t use the paddle shifters, it will take a firm and patient foot to get there. Under normal conditions, the shifts are nearly imperceptible. 

The shift away from the CVT in favor of the 9-speed was largely for better towing response. It worked. Towing a 5,200-pound trailer, the Pathfinder moves off the line with the kind of quickness that instills confidence. In higher gears, same as unladen, the confidence wanes and passing moves must be carefully calculated as the transmission registers that you’re moving from efficient cruising back to grunt work. It lacks the towing hardware of trucks, including all the fancy camera angles, but a brake control and trailer sway settings can be accessed through an app. If towing regularly, consider opting up for the surround-view camera system.

The Pathfinder features a dual-pinion electric power steering system that provides a more relaxed feel when cruising and more resistance in sport settings. It lacks the flabbiness of other three-row vehicles, and has solid on-center feel.

Review continues below


2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Comfort & Quality

The 2022 Pathfinder hauls families and all their gear in comfort.

The Pathfinder may cull design inspiration from the original, but it is a modern three-row crossover SUV in all the right ways. With a quiet, balanced ride, seating for up to eight passengers, good cargo volume, and second-row seats that make life easier, the 2022 Pathfinder earns a 9.

The 2022 Pathfinder can be equipped to seat seven with available captain’s chairs—a Pathfinder first—and has a center console that can be removed without tools. Seats are shod in cloth, leather, or quilted semi-aniline leather on top Platinum models. 

The rear doors open up wider to 72 degrees (from 68), so getting in and out is easier whether it’s through the standard three-row bench seat or the available captain’s chairs. Either way, the second row flips forward with the push of a button to access the third row. It’s that easy. Child safety seats can stay strapped in all three bench seats, but weight-based safety sensors immobilize the seat button if a child is strapped in.
Nissan’s claim of three adults in the third row is a stretch. Or a squeeze. Two adults can fit, however, thanks in part to five inches more hip room. One 6-foot-6 passenger tucked his head a bit but the rest of him fit fine. With the second row pushed all the way back, toe room was narrow, but for average size people, it’s easy to fit six, and a family of seven can enjoy going over the river and through the woods. 

Behind that third row is 16.6 cubic feet of space, a marginal increase over the outgoing model’s 16 cubic feet. The space is smarter, however, because of vertical walls instead of bulging wheel wells. Nissan says four sets of golf clubs can fit. Below it, a shallow storage bucket can fit the second-row console that can be removed with one hand. 

With mid- and rear seats folded down, the cargo volume expands 1.6 cubic feet to 80.5 cubes total. Nissan says 4x8 sheets of plywood can lay flat between the wheel wells.

This kind of versatility is complemented by 16 cupholders, a storage console below the gear shifter up front, and enough storage spaces and door pockets to keep the Pathfinder clean and organized, despite all of the odds against that reality. 

Improvements to noise and vibration are dramatic, with acoustic laminated glass and other sound-deadening measures meant to isolate the cabin from road and engine noise. The panoramic sunroof negates some of those measures with more wind noise at speed, but that’s the tradeoff for sun-baked touring.

Review continues below

2022 Nissan Pathfinder


The Pathfinder’s standard safety suite tries to avoid crashes altogether.

How safe is the Nissan Pathfinder?

Without official crash-test ratings from the IIHS and the NHTSA, we can’t assign the family hauler a safety rating. Its suite of standard driver-assist features does its best to avoid crashes, with front and rear automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings, and automatic high beams. Options include a surround-view camera system, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control. 

Nissan offers ProPilot Assist driver assistance in two grades that enable hands-free driving for about 15 seconds. The system maintains the center of the lane well, but like most systems there’s a long gap between the lead car, even when set to the shortest distance. The upgrade is ProPilot Assist with Navi-Link that requires navigation on the Platinum trim. It interprets map data to reduce speed in approaching turns or it can be set to adapt to the posted speed limit. In traffic, the adaptive cruise will go down to a stop for up to 30 seconds before requiring driver intervention.

Review continues below


2022 Nissan Pathfinder


A solid infotainment system and good features for a good price favor the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder.

In addition to the good standard safety features, the base Pathfinder S comes well equipped with keyless entry and keyless start, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a 7.0-inch digital vehicle info display that splits the analog gauges, satellite radio, cloth seats, and 18-inch alloy wheels. It’s a good haul for $34,560, and worth a 7 on our scale.

It comes with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty. 

Which Nissan Pathfinder should I buy?

The SL trim represents the highest level of equipment at the most reasonable price. For $40,740, it comes with the larger 9.0-inch touchscreen so you don’t need your cheaters, wireless Apple CarPlay so you don’t need your cord, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a surround-view camera system that’s key for towing.  

How much is a fully loaded 2022 Nissan Pathfinder?

With all-wheel drive, the Pathfinder tops out at $49,240 and throws in all the goodies, including a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.8-inch head-up display, navigation, tow hitch and harness, 20-inch dark alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, second-row captain’s chairs, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, and a Bose 13-speaker sound system. 

If that’s not enough, there are 35 available accessories or a Premium package offered on the SV and SL trims.

Review continues below


2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Fuel Economy

The 2022 Pathfinder earns 23 mpg in front- or all-wheel drive.

Is the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder good on gas?

The 9-speed automatic transmission helps a bit but the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder lacks the hybrid option of competitors such as the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander. Fortunately, it gets the same 23 mpg combined rating with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The EPA rates the former at 21 mpg city, 26 highway, 23 combined, while all-wheel drive bumps up to 27 mpg highway, which matches the Honda Pilot with front drive. The heavier Platinum trim with all-wheel drive gets 20/25/22 mpg.

Review continues below

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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MSRP based on S 2WD
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Expert Rating
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Styling 7
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 9
Safety N/A
Features 7
Fuel Economy 4
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2022 Nissan Pathfinder Pricing Insights

  • Redesigned 2022 Pathfinder is here
  • Lease: From $429 per month for 36 months
  • Rebates: No special offers
  • Finance: From 1.9% APR for 36 months
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