It’s genuinely hard to believe that the Nissan Pathfinder has been on the market for 35 years. In that time it’s grown in every dimension, added a pair of doors and gone from body-on-frame to unibody, then back to body-on-frame, then back to unibody. With such vast changes between each generation, what will the all-new 2022 Nissan Pathfinder bring?
How about handsome looks? The old Nissan Pathfinder displayed soft, middle-of-the-road styling but for 2022, everything’s a bit leaner and meaner. The silhouette is more butch with a flat hood, sharp beltline and chiseled fascias. The roof is available in contrasting colours and can be fitted with a panoramic moonroof. The grille is both squarer and much larger than on the outgoing model. Overall, it’s a look that carries a certain sense of ruggedness, one that’s likely to be a hit with consumers.
On the inside, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder adds both practicality and upmarket touches. On the practical side of things, Nissan has taken care to carve out enough space behind the third row to allegedly fit four golf bags or a 120-quart cooler, a welcome surprise considering how many three-row SUVs struggle to fit a can of SPAM behind the third row seats. Drop both the second and third row and the new Pathfinder can carry 4×8-foot sheets of plywood, a pretty impressive feat. Cupholders? How about sixteen of them, two for each occupant with eight-passenger seating selected. As an added touch, the centre console is a floating design just like in the new Rogue. It seems then, that Nissan really has thought about practicality here.
As for upmarket touches, an available 10.8-inch heads-up display, available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster (a seven-inch partially-digital instrument cluster is standard) and an available nine-inch infotainment touchscreen (up from eight inches in lower trims) grab tech headlines. So do available wireless Apple CarPlay and an available 13-speaker Bose stereo, for that matter. Gravitating away from flashy screens and connectivity, it seems that Nissan has remembered what makes a nice car a nice car. How about some nice materials, for starters? Indeed, stitched materials abound and top-trim models get soft semi-aniline leather for an extra plush feel. Tick the right boxes and the front seats can be cooled, the rear seats can be heated and occupants can bask in brushed bronze trim accents and ambient lighting. Keeping things serene are acoustic laminated front windows, thicker second-row windows and more sound insulation in the doors and the floor. Nissan also claims a 60 per cent reduction in in-cabin engine noise which should be nice for when your kids fall asleep in the back.
Powering the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a tried-and-true 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated V6. Sporting direct injection and idle stop/start, it cranks out a respectable 284 horsepower and 259 lb.-ft. of torque. Where the Pathfinder shakes things up is in what that V6 is mated to. Gone is the much-maligned continuously variable transmission and in its place sits a brand-new nine-speed automatic gearbox with an all-electronic gear selector and paddle shifters for manual selection. As another bonus, full-time automatic four-wheel-drive is standard for grip in slippery conditions. As with most new vehicles, the Pathfinder comes with an abundance of drive modes, seven in fact. Standard mode for standard driving, Sport for aggressively getting to PTA meetings, Eco for stretching out distance between fuel stops, Snow for when Jack Frost exercises his sick sense of humor, Sand for driving on beaches, Mud/Rut for washed-out cottage trails and Tow which can help the Pathfinder tow up to 6,000 lbs when properly equipped. On the safety side of things, Nissan’s ProPilot ASSIST advanced highway driving assistant comes standard on every single 2022 Pathfinder, a welcome sight considering many competitors make advanced safety tech like this an expensive option.
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder looks like a practical, handsome family SUV with plenty of seating and lots of available equipment. Canadian market pricing hasn’t been announced yet but expect Nissan to release more detailed information closer to the new Pathfinder’s summer 2021 on-sale date.