Looks like: A bigger Nissan Rogue
Competes with: Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Subaru Ascent, Toyota Highlander
Powertrain: 284-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 with nine-speed automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Summer
As the market for SUVs — especially three-row models — heats up, Nissan gives its long-serving Pathfinder a redesign for the 2022 model year. The Pathfinder gets a rugged new look, a new interior layout and a new, nine-speed automatic transmission.
Related: 2021 Nissan Armada: 5 Pros, 4 Cons
Most notable about the new Pathfinder’s exterior is how few curves there are. Nissan says it found inspiration in the first-generation Pathfinder, which debuted as a 1987 model. While this isn’t an angular two-door SUV like the original, it eschews most of its predecessor’s curves and flowing lines for straighter edges. The front and rear are very upright, while the hood is flat.
A body-colored C-pillar connects to the roof, and buyers can choose to have a two-tone look with a black roof. Wheels will come in 18- and 20-inch sizes.
Restyled, Roomy Interior
Inside, the Pathfinder follows the path set by both the redesigned Rogue and refreshed Armada, with a new-look set of center controls that’s cleaner and more user-friendly. An 8-inch touchscreen is standard, with a 9-inch unit optional. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is also optional.
The new touchscreen will include wired Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay. Nissan says the system will have over-the-air updates, so it’s possible wireless Android Auto may come at a later date. A wireless device charging pad is also available.
There’s seating for seven or eight occupants, with a third row that can now fit three passengers and a second row that’s either a three-seat bench or two captain’s chairs — the latter setup available with a removable center console, as in the larger Armada SUV.
Cargo figures quoted by Nissan indicate comparable volumes behind the first, second and third rows versus the outgoing Pathfinder. Nissan also claims that a 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood can fit flat inside the new SUV, welcome news for the home-improvement crowd.
Same Engine, New Transmission
Nissan didn’t mess with something that wasn’t broken, leaving the standard 3.5-liter V-6 — and its 284 horsepower and 259 pounds-feet of torque — under the hood. New, though, is a nine-speed automatic transmission that replaces the previous continuously variable automatic. Like its predecessor, the 2022 Pathfinder is available in front- or all-wheel drive; estimated fuel-economy figures have not yet been announced. Drivers can switch on the fly between seven drive modes: Standard, Sport, Eco, Snow, Mud/Rut, Sand and Tow.
Speaking of towing, Nissan has added standard trailer sway control to the new Pathfinder, which can be equipped to have an impressive 6,000-pound towing capacity instead of the standard 3,500-pound capacity. That approaches the Dodge Durango (6,200 to 8,700 pounds) for best-in-class numbers.
Nissan will equip the new Pathfinder with standard Safety Shield 360 technology, which includes automatic forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and high-beam assist. Blind spot intervention, lane-keeping assist, a 360-degree camera system and traffic sign recognition are optional.
Nissan’s ProPilot Assist, which adds lane-centering steering and adaptive cruise control, is available on most trim levels. ProPilot Assist with NaviLink, meanwhile, goes beyond that to use the built-in navigation and adjust speed based on curves and traffic signs; it’s available on SL and Platinum trims.
Pricing and Release Date
Pricing information for the new Pathfinder is not yet available, but we should have that information closer to its expected on-sale date this summer.
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