Folks have been cruising around in Nissan Pathfinders since Jennifer Beals was flash dancing in leg warmers and cut off sweatshirts, and the Bangles were walking like an Egyptian. Those first Pathfinders were small yet powerful, blazing a trail for folks who liked the ruggedness of an SUV that was at home on or off the road. But those days of mullets and parachute pants are gone, and today we need a Nissan Pathfinder that can serve the needs of drivers and families now. Nissan understands this challenge why it is ready to introduce the fifth generation of this storied midsize SUV, starting with the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder.
The Pathfinder has been a three-row SUV since 2005 with the third generation model, but reviews of the last generations found that the interior was a little cramped. In addition, the looks of the Pathfinder needed an updating since the last facelift in 2014. So, what makes the new 2022 Pathfinder stand out from the crowded field of three-row midsize SUVs? What has changed since the last model to pique the interest of the Nissan fan? Let’s take a deeper dive into the all-new 2022 Nissan Pathfinder.
Rugged New Looks
Nissan has given the Pathfinder’s exterior a significant update for the 2022 model, and it is truly bold and rugged. Where prior Pathfinders had a more conventional, boxy look, the new 2022 model is sleeker with more aerodynamic lines. Nissan has given the Pathfinder a “floating” roofline that is as modern as anything we have ever seen on this model before.
Adding to these looks are five available two-tone exterior paint schemes. These are options that are added in addition to the ten available single-tone exterior colors, which include two premium colors – Ember Tintcoat and Pearl White Tintcoat. This gives you 15 different external appearances for your Pathfinder, more choices than practically any other SUV on the market.
Still, the designers at Nissan pay homage to the original Pathfinder model from 1985 with a three-notch grille design. This is set off by a set of C-shaped LED headlights on the front fascia, showing that the Nissan Pathfinder is grounded in its historic legacy while having a bold face forward to the future.
A Powerful Powertrain
With the 2022 Pathfinder, Nissan has decided to build on the success of its prior models with respect to performance. The engine is a 3.5-liter DOHC V6 with a direct injection gasoline system with standard idle stop/start to reduce emission and improve fuel economy. This engine will produce up to 284 horsepower and generate 259 pound-feet of torque. As a result, the Pathfinder can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 6.7 seconds, which is a very solid number for a three-row SUV. In addition, the Pathfinder has a top speed of 119 miles per hour, but unless you are on a racetrack or other controlled course, you are probably never going to have to push this engine that hard.
Nissan has decided to go in a very different direction with the transmission on the 2022 Pathfinder. Where the previous model featured a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is much like other SUVs offered by other Japanese automakers, the new Pathfinder is equipped with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The key is that Nissan has chosen to equip the 2022 Pathfinder with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and an electronic shift-by-wire drive selector. This will give you the best of both worlds, with the ease of an automatic transmission coupled with the added control offered by the paddle shifters, allowing you to shift the engine on the fly for better performance, responsiveness, and control.
The 2022 Pathfinder has also been designed to provide you with the ability to tow trailers, something that many other midsize SUVs have moved away from, setting this SUV apart from the others. The standard conventional towing tops out at a solid 3,500 pounds. You can actually boost this number to an amazing 6,000 pounds of towing with some available equipment. This makes the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder one of the most versatile SUVs on the market today.
An Intelligent New Drivetrain
The Pathfinder comes with a standard front-wheel drivetrain. This 2WD system features a Drive Mode Control that lets you choose between five different settings. Standard Mode is for everyday driving. Eco Mode improves the already solid fuel economy and is great when cruising on a freeway. Sport Mode will boost the already solid acceleration on the Pathfinder. Snow Mode will give you greater traction, while Tow Mode is for those times when you want to take advantage of the Pathfinder’s exceptional towing capability.
For those who want even greater traction, Nissan offers the 2022 Pathfinder with an available Intelligent 4×4 system. This features two additional settings to the Drive + Terrain Mode Control. Sand Mode will help you when driving off-road in desert or beach conditions, while Mud/Rut Mode is great when you are out traversing streams and riverbeds. The Pathfinder models equipped with the Intelligent 4×4 system feature a new direct coupling system that is immediately engaged without any wheel slippage.
No matter which drivetrain you choose, you get standard hill start assist, active brake limited slip, and trailer sway control. The 4×4 Pathfinder also gets hill descent control to improve the off-road capabilities. The 2022 Pathfinder features an independent front suspension and independent multi-link rear suspension with a hollow tube stabilizer bar.
Both models of the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder get exceptional fuel economy. Both the 2WD and 4×4 models will give you 21 miles per gallon in city driving and a combined 23 miles per gallon. Interestingly enough, the 4×4 model gets even better gas mileage on the highway, 27 miles per gallon, than the 2WD Pathfinder with 26 miles per gallon.
A Roomy Interior With Improved Cargo Space
Nissan has heard from its drivers and made the new 2022 Pathfinder roomier than ever. There is an incredible 148 cubic feet of passenger space efficiently apportioned among the Pathfinder’s three rows. Too many three-row midsize SUVs represent a compromise between passenger and cargo space, with drivers often getting not enough of either. This is not the case with the new Pathfinder, as the third row is fully useable with 28 inches of legroom, making most models able to accommodate 8 passengers with the rear two rows featuring bench seats.
The third row is also standard 60/40 split to make it easier to fold down one side for cargo without sacrificing the entire third model. There is also a second row of captain’s chairs that are standard on the Platinum trim and available as an option on the SV and SL trims. While this will reduce the passenger capacity in such models to 7, it will also make it easier to access the third row without folding down the second row of seats. In addition, your second row passengers may find the seats more comfortable.
The cargo space has also not been sacrificed for improved passenger space. The Pathfinder’s hatchback easily opens to give you access to a full 16.6 cubic feet of space for your stuff. This is more than in any previous version of a three-row Pathfinder. If you need more space, simply fold down the third row of seats for a total of 45 cubic feet of cargo space. Folding down the second row of seats will give you an incredible 80.5 cubic feet of space, enough for your largest loads. Coupled with the towing ability of the Pathfinder, this fifth generation is the most versatile midsize SUV ever built by Nissan.
Every model of the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder comes equipped with a standard NissanConnect infotainment system, featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Sirius Eyes Free, Google Assistant, and SiriusXM satellite radio. The S and SV trims feature an 8-inch color touchscreen, while this is expanded to 9-inches on the SL and Platinum trims. In addition, the Platinum trim has a Bose Premium Audio system with 13-speakers that is also offered as an option on the SL trim. This is sure to put a smile on the face of even the most critical audiophile in your Pathfinder.
Finding Paths to the Future
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder builds on the legacy of this excellent SUV, offering you the performance to match its rugged, futuristic looks. With a spacious interior and exceptional functionality, Nissan has clearly found the path to the future with the 2022 Pathfinder.