It’s hard to believe the fan-favorite Nissan Pathfinder has been around since 1985: young enough to still feel fresh yet easily approaching icon territory. The completely redesigned 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is here, and with it comes a whole new level of technological advancements in just about every area, including safety, connectivity, and infotainment. Would-be Pathfinder buyers had to wait a model year for this moment because Nissan skipped production of their mid-size SUV in the 2021 model year. Some industry insiders wondered if that decision would diminish demand, but the new 2022 Pathfinder tells a different story; buyers can’t wait to get their hands on one.
The Pathfinder’s transformation is part of a larger Nissan corporate strategy, called Nissan NEXT, to entirely refresh its product line. The difference between the Pathfinder and the rest of Nissan’s vehicle lineup, though, is the Pathfinder is one of the brand’s flagship nameplates. It occupies an important space in Nissan’s brand image, and the comprehensive redesign pays homage to that, with a ground-up redesign that adds just a dash of the original Pathfinder’s brawn.
If you’re in the market for a versatile SUV that ticks all the boxes - safety, capability, performance, spaciousness, and more - take a look at the reimagined 2022 Nissan Pathfinder. With a robust trim lineup and an expansive list of standard safety and infotainment technology, the legendary Pathfinder can be anything you need it to be.
The all-new 2022 Pathfinder is powered by a 3.5-liter direct injection V6, the same engine as it had in previous generations, with an excellent 259 lb-ft of torque and 284 horsepower, generating enough power to tow up to 6,000 pounds. A nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the CVT transmission, offering a smooth-shifting driving experience with plenty of low-range torque for off-roading and hauling.
Buyers can choose from either front-wheel drive or Intelligent four-wheel drive, the latter of which equips the cabin with a 7-position Terrain Mode Selector. Drivers can toggle between Standard, Sand, Mud/Rut, Eco, Sport, Snow, or Tow depending on road conditions and the amount of torque or traction required for optimal performance. All that capability doesn’t affect fuel economy, either. The Pathfinder achieves up to 21 MPG city and 26 MPG highway.
Nissan upgraded just about every component in the Pathfinder’s powertrain, including the suspension. Most drivers aren’t that concerned with how their vehicle’s suspension is configured, but if they’re driving a vehicle with a substandard one, they almost always notice the effects: jarring over bumps, vibration, and stiffness are common maladies associated with poor suspension engineering. Ride quality tends to be noticed most when driving over rough terrain or heading into a tight turn.
The Pathfinder’s front suspension is designed to increase roll stiffness by a whopping 28 percent. Roll stiffness is a measure of how well the vehicle maintains its position in a turn. As the vehicle turns, the higher the roll stiffness, the less the body follows the tires when rolling into the turn. The rear multi-link suspension receives new shock absorbers and dampers, which increases rear roll resistance by 14 percent. The upgraded suspension also delivers a smoother ride overall.
By far, the biggest headline on this newest Nissan Pathfinder is the increase in interior spaciousness. Automakers measure cabin space in cubic feet, so if you’re comparing vehicles and looking for the largest cabin with the most passenger and cargo volume, check the interior volume specification. For 2022, the Pathfinder offers 164.6 cubic feet of interior volume, a massive increase from the previous model's 154 cubic feet of volume.
What’s most interesting about the interior size difference is the Pathfinder’s overall length hasn’t increased substantially. Nissan figured out a way to design the vehicle to offer more space without adding weight or size, which ultimately means fuel economy isn’t sacrificed, nor is maneuverability. The extra volume also created space for a 7 or 8-passenger configuration. For the first time ever, the Pathfinder is now able to hold up to 8 passengers.
Buyers can choose either seating for eight or swap out the standard second-row bench seats for captain’s chairs, changing passenger capacity to seven. Choosing the latter adds a removable center console for middle-seat passengers. The third-row bench is 60/40 split-folding, offering plenty of configuration options to accommodate people and cargo. With all the seats up, the Pathfinder offers 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold down the third-row seats, and that number increases to 45 cubic feet. Fold down the second and third rows, and 80.5 cubic feet of cargo space is freed up for hauling big items or making a trip to the local home store.
If technology is high on the list of must-haves, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder won’t disappoint. Featured on all Nissan models, the NissanConnect operating system allows drivers to seamlessly connect their smartphones, with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all trims. There’s also an available Wi-Fi hotspot to keep everyone wired in and entertained on long road trips, as well as optional wireless smartphone integration. A 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen is available, as is a 12.3-inch digital dashboard and a Head-Up Display.
The Pathfinder is available in four trims: the affordable base S, the SV, the SL, and the upscale Platinum. Depending on the trim you choose, seating is either cloth, leather, or a luxurious quilted semi-aniline leather on the top-of-the-line Platinum. Ambient lighting is available for the cabin, as well as plush extras like tri-zone automatic temperature control, heated rear seats, a wireless charging pad, and an upgraded 13-speaker Bose premium audio system. Nissan also offers 35 different accessories.
Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link is a standard feature on the Pathfinder Platinum. This driver-assist system combines with Intelligent Cruise Control to automatically adjust highway speed to allow for changing traffic conditions, keeping the vehicle a consistently safe distance from the car ahead. This eliminates the need for drivers to manually adjust cruise control or apply the brakes to allow for stop-and-go traffic.
ProPILOT Assist also boosts navigation capabilities to include a speed limit sensor, automatically adjusting speed to ensure the vehicle is traveling at the legal posted speed limit. The system also “communicates” with compatible highways and roadways, anticipating curves and exit ramps and automatically adjusting speed for safe driving, all while offering detailed turn-by-turn navigation cues and traffic alerts. ProPILOT is designed specifically to make highway driving more enjoyable, safer, and easier.
Nissan also includes standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 on all Pathfinder trims. This is great news for families because Safety Shield 360 is a suite of driver-assist safety technologies that work together to keep occupants safer and help avoid crashes. The suite of systems includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist, and Rear Automatic Braking.
Safety Shield 360 also includes standard Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Driver Alertness, and a Rear Door Alert. The “intelligent” part of these systems incorporates predictive sensors and camera-equipped technology to anticipate potential hazards. The Intelligent Driver Alertness System, for example, can interpret the driver’s attention level and recommend resting when it senses a reduction in attention. These features are all aimed at one overarching goal: make driving safer for everyone, from the driver and passengers to pedestrians and other motorists.