2022 Nissan Pathfinder: Review

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience 2022 Nissan Pathfinder
All new for the 2022 model year, Nissan’s redesigned Pathfinder features bold new styling influenced by the original model, combined with an attractive interior, more passenger room, new technology and impressive capability. One of the original SUVs when it debuted 35 years ago as a 2-door, truck-based utility vehicle, the Pathfinder evolved over time into a three-row midsize crossover with a smooth ride and luxury amenities. The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder competes with top-selling midsize SUVs such as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience Test Vehicle
Nissan provided us with a 2022 Pathfinder Platinum 4WD finished in two-tone Scarlet Ember Tintcoat along with a Super Black and Chestnut semi-aniline leather interior. The base MSRP for the Pathfinder Platinum 4WD is $48,090, and our test vehicle options included running boards, a lighting package, floor mats and premium paint for an as-tested price of $51,790 including a $1,175 destination charge.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum
As the top trim, the Pathfinder Platinum offers a high level of standard equipment and luxury amenities including a 12.3-inch driver display, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a panoramic moonroof, a Bose premium audio system, wireless smartphone charging, brushed bronze-metallic interior trim and 7-passenger seating with second-row captain’s chairs and a removable center console. The Platinum also includes a Class III receiver hitch with a trailer wiring harness, chrome bodyside moldings, a motion-activated tailgate and 20-inch machined aluminum alloy wheels.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience Rugged Design
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder has a more rugged, squared off design than the outgoing version, which possessed a more flowing, organic shape. The upright design — along with bulging fenders and three-bar grille — pay homage to the original Pathfinder. The new model features an updated version of Nissan’s familiar V-Motion grille used on the marque’s other model lines, as well as standard LED headlights that flank the grille and slim LED daytime running lights that wrap around the hoodline.

© Nissan North America Classic SUV Proportions
From the side, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder clearly exhibits classic SUV proportions: the hood slopes slightly forward while the roofline slopes slightly rearward. The optional two-tone paint, offered for the first time on Pathfinder, emphasizes the floating roof design. At the rear of the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder, slim LED taillights wrap around the corners, connected by a dark bar with a Nissan logo in the center. The Pathfinder will not be mistaken for anything else on the road with large Pathfinder letter across the tailgate.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience Under the Hood
Nissan has been known for many years as a maker of excellent V6 engines, and the 2022 Pathfinder is powered by the same 3.5-liter V6 from the previous generation, which produces 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque. The good news is that this 3.5-liter unit now gets mated with an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission that replaces the previous model’s CVT.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience Intelligent 4WD
The test vehicle arrived equipped with Nissan’s Intelligent 4WD system, which features direct coupling to provide quick torque transfer to the rear wheels as needed. The driver can choose from Drive and Terrain modes to adjust Pathfinder for varying road and weather conditions. Other modes include Standard, Sport, Eco, Snow, Sand Mud / Rut and Tow.

© Nissan North America Inner Space
Designers working on the interior of the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder created a cleaner look that offers more open space and includes a 9.0-inch center display mounted tablet-style in the center of the dash. The new electronic gear selector takes up less room and opens up the center console with more storage space both in front of the shifter and below as well. The audio and navigation systems have fixed digital buttons as well as physical ones with simple, intuitive access to other features. Separate climate controls provide easy access to the heated seats, heated steering wheel and rear climate control.

© Nissan North America Pathfinder Platinum
The Platinum trim also adds a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and head-up display for a high-tech look. Second-row captain’s chairs have two-tone quilted leather for the first and second rows. The second row folds and slides with the touch of a button for easy access to the third row. The second-row console can be removed to allow third-row access between the second-row seats.

© Nissan North America Advanced Safety Equipment
Nissan Safety Shield 360 — the automaker’s suite of advanced safety features — comes as standard equipment on every Pathfinder trim level. The safety suite includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and rear automatic braking.

© Nissan North America ProPILOT Assist
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum we drove came with the latest version of the automaker’s ProPILOT Assist system, which includes intelligent cruise control with full speed range and hold. ProPILOT assist uses the Pathfinder’s adaptive cruise control and steering assist to aid with acceleration, braking and steering — both in heavy traffic and on the open road.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum
We like the exterior design of the 2022 Pathfinder, especially the top-level Platinum in Scarlet Ember with its black roof and 20-inch wheels that give it an upscale, luxurious look. Inside, the premium surroundings feature two-tone quilted leather seats and a digital dashboard. Although we prefer the center screen to be more integrated with the dash design, we get that tablet-style applications are still in vogue so this layout is not a surprise. The second-row captain’s chairs also add to the upscale vibe, although the third row is a tight fit for adults — to be expected in a vehicle this size.

© Nissan North America On the Road
The 2022 Pathfinder Platinum drives well with a definite focus on comfort over a sporty experience, which is the norm and to be expected in this segment. The V6 engine provides adequate power for decent overall drivability. The new 9-speed automatic transmission that replaces the previous CVT is a welcome change — we simply don’t appreciate a CVT driving experience, especially in a vehicle this big. Acceleration is strong in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder and the new transmission provides smooth, quick shifts.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience Sure-Footed in Snow
When the test vehicle arrived, we were pleased to see it had been recently fitted with a brand-new set of Michelin X-Ice Snow SUV winter tires. It typically doesn’t snow often in the Seattle area, although the Pathfinder arrived one day before an unusual week of heavy snow followed by periods of melting and freezing that produced days of varying road conditions. The Pathfinder Platinum 4WD with winter tires performed flawlessly in all conditions, inspiring confidence even in bouts of inclement weather.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience Winter Driver
In slippery winter conditions, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder easily induces some front wheelspin before the 4WD begins to redistribute torque, although switching to the Snow mode smooths out the throttle response and helps mitigate excessive slip. The Pathfinder would be an excellent vehicle for winter driving when equipped with proper tires for such conditions, even as a preferred vehicle for ski trips or other winter activities.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience Rating: 8.5
The new 2022 Nissan Pathfinder competes admirably in one of the toughest segments of an SUV market brimming with well-established midsize players that invariably top most sales charts. With the latest updates for the 2022 model year, Pathfinder is ready to take on all challengers thanks to an attractive exterior design, a modern interior vibe and a decent powertrain featuring a new automatic transmission. The 2022 Pathfinder should certainly be part of any consideration set for shoppers seeking a three-row SUV.

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