Arriving in U.S. showrooms this summer, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder breaks cover with all-new, square-jawed design aimed at distinguishing the long-running midsize SUV from a well-populated field of competitors that includes the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and Toyota Highlander. The new-generation Pathfinder is the fourth since Nissan first introduced the nameplate in 1986. More than 1.8 million have since been sold in the U.S., Nissan says.
As with the recently introduced 2021 Nissan Rogue compact SUV, curves are out and boxier proportions are in for the new Pathfinder. A more squared-off silhouette is accented by black fender blisters, larger wheels (up to 20 inches), more upright side glass and a shorter front overhang. For the first time, the Pathfinder is available in two-tone paint with a contrasting roof color.
Inside, a completely new cabin layout offers an open design with a choice of seven unique color and trim “environments.” Higher trims come with premium wrapped surfaces on the instrument panel and door trim and quilted coverings for the seats. A panoramic sunroof is available also.
Similar to that offered in the Rogue, a 9-inch high-definition color infotainment touchscreen stands atop the dash and a reconfigurable 12.3-inch driver display is available in higher trims. New to the Pathfinder is an available head-up display on the windshield for the driver to view content such as road speed or turn-by-turn directions without taking eyes off the road. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto cellphone mirroring are standard on all trims with wireless Apple CarPlay, a wireless device charger, embedded navigation and a Wi-Fi hotspot available. Wireless Android Auto will arrive later in the model year.
The 2022 Pathfinder comes with three rows of seats with perches for up to eight passengers. New this year is a 7-passenger option featuring second-row captain’s chairs.
Practicality gets a boost in the new Pathfinder as well. A 4×8-foot sheet of plywood can lay flat on the cargo floor. Rear doors open nearly 90 degrees to ease passenger entry and exit.
As it was previously, the new Pathfinder comes with a choice of front- or 4-wheel drive. Last year’s 284-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 continues as the sole engine choice. There is no hybrid version available — yet.
New this year is a 9-speed step-shift automatic transmission, a design that provides a more direct response to driver inputs than the previous continuously variable gearbox. The 2022 Pathfinder continues with a 6,000-lb maximum tow rating and comes with standard trailer sway control.
Also new in 2022 is available Intelligent 4WD that Nissan says offers quicker response, providing as much as 50 percent of drive torque to the rear wheels proactively for enhanced grip without waiting for slippage to occur.
Nissan’s hands-on ProPilot Assist adaptive cruise control with steering assist is now available on all but the base model and the top trim includes ProPilot Assist with Navi-Link which uses map data to slow the Pathfinder for junctions, exits and curves.
The 2022 Pathfinder is a key part of NissanNext, the company’s plan to introduce ten new or redesigned models in 20 months, six of them on sale by the end of 2021.
The three-row crossover SUV class has gotten more competitive, and Pathfinder was looking rather long in the tooth measured against the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Traverse, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Mazda CX-9 and other fresher competitors. Genuine action in NissanNext will benefit the entire Nissan lineup, so this is a step in the right direction. A potential side-benefit for thrifty shoppers, leftover 2020 Nissan Pathfinder models are still lingering on some dealer lots, and will likely be subject to big discounts until they are all gone.