The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is here, and it’s not just a skin-deep update.
So far, the revamps among Nissan’s mainstay SUVs amounts to two: the restyled Armada and the more thoroughly revamped Rogue. Now, it’s the Pathfinder’s turn, and this is a revamp we’ve been anxiously awaiting. Why? Those of us who think back on the Pathfinder, even occasionally, remember its intent as a no-nonsense, rugged SUV that served as a notable alternative to those who wanted to break from the Jeep or Toyota crowd. While the third generation model evoked virtually none of that heritage, Nissan’s aiming to change that with the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder.
Right from the outset, the automaker ditched the plain-Jane styling for something along the line of those newer SUVs. More importantly, though, are the powertrain changes in store with the new model. Namely, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder will not, as the previous model did, use a continuously variable transmission.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder: The highlights
Styling is purely objective, of course, but I’ll say it: The new Pathfinder is a much better-looking proposition than the old model. Now, for those who were hoping Nissan would go all the way back to their boxy SUV roots, the company didn’t go quite that far. It does have broad-shouldered, boxier styling than the old car, but it is still a unibody three-row crossover. You can still get it with front or four-wheel drive, and it still packs a naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine. Instead of the CVT, though, Nissan opted for a ZF 9-speed automatic transmission at customers’ behest.
In short, Nissan says, the new model is supposed to be an answer to customer demands of rugged styling and capability without sacrificing much in the way of efficiency or towing capacity. To that end, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder does still tow up to 6,000 pounds when properly equipped. Short of getting a full-sized, body-on-frame SUV or getting into a truck, few SUVs out there beat the Pathfinder in that measure.
Inside, straight lines, angles and edges abound in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder as another major departure from the last generation. A 9.0-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support echoes the Rogue and the updated Armada, but a key change from those two is the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. It’s only available on the Platinum trim (as is the 10.8-inch head-up display). That said, these changes at least up the Pathfinder’s game to take on the segment’s heavy-hitters. The fiercely competitive segment includes the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Kia Telluride, among several others.
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder adds an 8-passenger configuration to the mix, beyond the typical 2-2-3 layout.
More tech onboard
As with the brand’s other revamped models, the new Pathfinder includes the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of safety technologies. That includes front and rear automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic high-beam assist. While the old car had most of this technology, another key addition to the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is ProPilot Assist. That’s a technology we’ve seen on the Rogue for a little while, but Nissan’s recent enhancement uses navigation (called “ProPilot Assist with Navi-Link”, when equipped) to aid in steering and braking to help the driver. It’s worth noting, though, that ProPilot Assist is still a hands-on system, so the driver has to remain engaged for the system to stay active.
More on those powertrain changes
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder carries a more adventurous spirit than the old car, and that in no small part comes down to the powertrain changes. At its heart, the 3.5-liter V6 still produces 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque. This time, though, the 9-speed automatic transmission should help establish this new model’s more rugged credibility. Nissan also added a 7-mode terrain selector to adapt the Pathfinder to various terrain conditions.
At this point, Nissan hasn’t announced full specs for the Pathfinder just yet. So, if you do plan to tackle more difficult trails with your family SUV, more information like approach, departure and ground clearance may be available closer to the new model’s on-sale date this summer. For what it’s worth, the old Pathfinder had 7.0 inches of ground clearance.
Fuel economy and pricing TBA
At this point, fuel economy and pricing are not available for the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder just yet. The previous generation started off around $34,000 (including destination), and we don’t expect this model to get drastically more expensive.
Check out more on the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder below, and let us know what you think in the comments.