The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder keeps the previous generation’s 3.5L V6 with 284 horsepower.
A new nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the old continuously variable unit.
More active safety features, more modern interior, room for eight.
Seeking to regain its market share in the three-row midsize crossover segment, the thoroughly redesigned 2022 Nissan Pathfinder just made its official debut, and will go on sale in the summer of 2021.
Launched for the 2013 model year, the fourth-generation model made the transition from a body-on-frame SUV to a unibody crossover, and the change paid off as Pathfinder sales doubled in North America in its first year on the market. However, these past couple of years, it was starting to show its age and its competition was getting more sophisticated and more fuel-efficient.
The fifth-generation, 2022 Nissan Pathfinder benefits from an all-new exterior appearance, using the brand’s most recent design language in addition to wearing Nissan’s new logo. The crossover boasts a broad-shouldered stance and chiselled lines that give it a strong family resemblance to the new 2021 Nissan Rogue, but also the 2022 Nissan Frontier pickup, which has also just been revealed.
A familiar engine is found under the hood. The naturally aspirated 3.5L V6 is back with minor enhancements, and it still develops 284 horsepower as well as 259 pound-feet of torque. However, the big news here is that the continuously variable automatic transmission, which had its fair share of reliability issues early in the outgoing generation’s lifecycle, is replaced by a nine-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy numbers aren’t yet available, and if there is an improvement, it should be marginal.
As is the case with the later model years of the previous gen, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder boasts a maximum towing capacity of 6,000 pounds or 2,722 kilograms, which bests rivals such as the Kia Telluride, the Hyundai Palisade, the Subaru Ascent, the Chevrolet Traverse, the Honda Pilot, the Ford Explorer, the Toyota Highlander as well as many others in the segment. In fact, only the Dodge Durango can pull a heavier load. The Nissan now features Trailer Sway Control as standard.
There’s a new all-wheel drive system, standard in Canada and optional in the U.S., which now includes seven programs via the console-mounted Terrain Mode Selector, similar to what’s found in more and more crossovers: Standard, Snow, Mud/Rut, Sand, Eco, Sport and Tow. A new power steering system and wider tires round out the handling improvements.
Interior dimensions aren’t yet available, save for the cargo area that’s more or less roomy as before, but the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder can now carry up to eight passengers, thanks to a wider third-row seat. Upevel trims swap the second-row bench for two captain’s chairs, dropping capacity to seven. According to the manufacturer, a 4×8 sheet of plywood can be laid down in the cargo area between the wheel wells.
The trim level lineup includes S, SV, SL and Platinum, and all of them include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration on an eight-inch touchscreen, while NissanConnect services, an on-board Wi-Fi hotspot (data subscription required), SiriusXM compatibility (subscription required after trial period), wireless phone charging, wireless Apple CarPlay (but not Android Auto), embedded navigation, a surround view camera system, a nine-inch touchscreen, a 12.3-inch digital driver instrument cluster and a 13-speaker Bose sound system are available as well.
ProPILOT Assist is included across the board, which bundles intelligent cruise control, stop and go functionality and steering assist. SL and Platinum trims get ProPILOT Assist with Navi-Link, which uses the navigation system to proactively reduce speed for upcoming freeway exits. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist, rear automatic braking and a rear-seat passenger reminder alert all come standard.
It’s worth noting that the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder in the Canadian market will receive a higher content level than in the U.S. For example, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated outside mirrors and heated washer nozzles come standard, with all but the latter being optional south of the border. Canada also includes blind spot intervention and intelligent lane intervention in all trim levels. Meanwhile, cooled front seats, heated second-row seats and leather upholstery are available, while three-zone climate control and a 10-way power driver’s seat are standard in all trim levels in both countries.
Last but not least, Nissan claims the new Pathfinder’s cabin is quieter than before, thanks to thicker glass and improved door and floor isolation. In addition, the floor in the rear has been lowered, which means occupants will be more comfortable as their knees will be lower—a noticeable shortcoming in the outgoing model.
With these improvements, along with the updated technological features and the new looks, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is now much more competitive on paper. Pricing has yet to be announced, but we’ll know more about that closer to the crossover’s on-sale date scheduled for this summer.