- Good standard safety tech
- Good cargo room
- 6,000-pound towing capacity
- Push-button second-row seats
- Fresh look
- Same, singular V-6 engine
- Same interior proportions
- Fuel economy?
- How about a hybrid?
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder nudges back into relevancy in the crowded three-row crossover class.
What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder? What does it compare to?
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a three-row crossover SUV with available all-wheel drive that 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?
We’ll know more when we get drive impressions late this spring. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What's new for the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder?
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 and suspension remain the same, but a new transmission, all-wheel-drive system, and electric steering rack allow drivers to better match modes with conditions.
Style, powertrain, and fuel economy
With its first new suit in nearly a decade, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder retains the same general proportions but reimagines some classic cues from the first Pathfinder that launched for 1987. That model had a broad flat hood with three slots between the hood and grille, as well as a triangle window behind the front door. It looked like a small truck with a covered cab.
The new model retains that high vertical face with short overhangs, and those three slots bridge a flat hood with a broad face. Nissan’s U-shaped grille flares out to thin daytime running lights like wispy eyebrows over the 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 odd but 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.
Inside, Nissan offers seven available “environments” inspired by adventure gear that mix and match material options and accents; Nissan didn’t disclose the specific combinations. 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. A flat-bottomed steering wheel and deep armrest console with two-tiered console storage shelf suggest the changes happening beyond the cabin
The tiered storage shelf was enabled by an electronic gear shifter that connects to a new 9-speed automatic transmission. It replaces the old CVT that had a tendency to muddle uphill without adequate power. The 9-speed sends power from the same 284-hp 3.5-liter V-6 to the front wheels or available all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive system that Nissan calls “Intelligent 4WD” can shift 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. The driver can shift through seven terrain modes, ranging from Eco to Mud/Rut and Tow 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, and standard trailer sway control helps slow down the vehicle to get the trailer under control.
The Pathfinder features a new dual-pinion electric power steering system that should provide a more relaxed feel when cruising and more resistance in sport settings.
It remains to be seen if the Pathfinder will improve on its EPA-rated 23 mpg combined rating from 2020. Nissan said weight reductions were offset by more standard equipment for 2022.
Comfort, safety, and features
With seating for eight passengers, the 2022 Pathfinder aims to haul families and all their gear in comfort. 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. Nissan says three adults can fit in back. We’ve heard similar claims from other automakers and found that squeezing is believing; the Pathfinder’s interior proportions aren’t much greater than its predecessor, which fit seven in all, while three kids in the third row was a tight squeeze.
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 interior versatility is complemented with convenience. Child safety seats can remain in place behind the passenger and driver seat, and more cargo spaces optimize the interior space, such as a tiered front console.
The cargo volume expands a bit from 16 to 16.6 cubic feet behind the third row, which Nissan says can fit four sets of golf clubs. 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.
The Pathfinder rolls with the screen game in multiple sizes and areas. Standard is an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, or an available 9.0-inch touchscreen and wireless CarPlay. A 7.0-inch digital vehicle info display splits the analog gauges, or the whole dash display can go digital with an available 12.3-inch display. On Platinum trims, a large 10.8-inch head-up display can project vehicle info out on the road ahead.
Additional options include a Bose 13-speaker sound system, navigation, heated second-row seats, wireless smartphone charger, panoramic sunroof, and power tailgate.
Nissan equips every 2022 Pathfinder with its suite of driver-assist features including front and rear automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings, and automatic high beams. Optional safety gear includes a surround-view camera system, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control down to a stop. Nissan offers ProPilot Assist in two grades that effectively enable limited hands-free driving.
How much does the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder cost?
Sold in four trims, S, SV, SL, and Platinum, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder will have an expected price range between $30,000-$50,000.
Where is the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder made?
In Smyrna, Tennessee.