2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Release Date: Summer 2021
Estimated Price: Starting at $33,000 (estimated)
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission replaces previous CVT
  • Available 12.3-inch digital dash and 9-inch touchscreen
  • Safety Shield suite of driver aids now standard
  • Part of the fifth Pathfinder generation introduced for 2022
Contact your local dealers about upcoming availability and pricing details.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder Review
Just Happy to Be Here, Apparently
What is the Pathfinder?

The Nissan Pathfinder is a midsize three-row SUV that we've long praised for its spacious cabin and strong towing figures. Outside of those attributes, however, the current Pathfinder struggles to make an impact amid a competitive set of rivals. Now, Nissan has redesigned the Pathfinder with a new transmission, updated chassis and exterior design that marks a departure from the soft — and, frankly, sleepy — look of the previous model. And there are a lot of advancements under the skin too.

What's under the Pathfinder's hood?

The new Pathfinder uses the same engine as its predecessor: a 3.5-liter V6 making 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque. But that doesn't mean it will feel identical from behind the wheel. Nissan has mated the engine to a nine-speed automatic transmission sourced from auto supplier ZF, which we expect will improve on-road feel. (Although, secretly, we quite liked the continuously variable automatic in the last Pathfinder.)

The Pathfinder comes standard with front-wheel drive, but you can also opt for a four-wheel-drive system with additional driving modes. These include Snow, Sand, Mud/Rut and Tow — with different driving characteristics for each. Adding the 4WD system also includes a two-speed transfer case, but true off-road antics are best left to others. With 7 inches of clearance, the Pathfinder is closer to the ground than the Toyota 4Runner, Subaru Ascent and Kia Telluride.

How's the Pathfinder's interior?

Mirroring its blocky exterior design, the interior of the new Pathfinder has adopted an adventurous motif. Large, wide panels emphasize the breadth of the cabin, while the available digital instrument panel and large central touchscreen offer a touch of modernity. The traditional console-mounted shifter is out and replaced by a smaller electronic version that takes up less real estate. Rounding out the dash upgrades is a new steering wheel with a thin outer rim and flat bottom. It's a serious visual upgrade over the droopy-looking predecessor.

The new Pathfinder has a sleek center button layout, and while some automakers can overdo it with gloss black veneers, the mirror-like trim appears to work well here. We're eager to examine the quality of the materials inside the cabin, which Nissan promises will be pleasing to the touch — at least in the Pathfinder's upper trim levels.

Eight-passenger seating has been a Pathfinder staple since the mid-2000s, but the 2022 model will be the first Pathfinder with available second-row captain's chairs. It features a removable center console for better third-row access, which is further improved with an available one-touch button that folds and slides the second row. Third-row access was adequate in the previous Pathfinder, but here's hoping the new one offers improved headroom.

How's the Pathfinder's tech?

All 2022 Pathfinders will come equipped with a solid set of tech features. Standard equipment includes a 7-inch digital instrument cluster and an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Nissan's Safety Shield 360 suite of driving aids is also included, and it's packed with features including automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning.

Upgrade to a Pathfinder SV for ProPilot Assist, which consists of adaptive cruise control and lane-centering assist. The system relieves the stress of driving and works well in other Nissan vehicles, and we expect the same from the Pathfinder. The SL trim further bolsters ProPilot Assist with a feature called Navi-Link, which uses mapping to adjust ACC speed on the fly, such as braking for an impending sharp turn.

Upper trims will come with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and an upgraded 9-inch touchscreen, though we'll have to wait for further details on which levels they're available. Other optional features include wireless Apple CarPlay, a wireless charging pad, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a surround-view monitor and a head-up display.

How are the Pathfinder's storage, towing and hauling?

Most Pathfinders will be able to tow a maximum of 3,500 pounds and feature standard sway control. Optional for the SV and SL grades — and standard on the Platinum — is a towing package that increases this capacity to 6,000 pounds. That puts the Pathfinder near the top of its class, beating out rivals including the Ford Explorer (5,600 pounds) and Honda Pilot (5,000 pounds). However, the Dodge Durango bests all with a mighty 8,700-pound tow rating.

Cargo capacity was one of our biggest gripes with the previous-generation Pathfinder, and Nissan appears to have only made marginal gains for 2022. Room behind the third row grows from 16.2 cubic feet to 16.6 cubes. With both the second and third rows folded down, space has only increased from 79.5 cubic feet to 80.5 cubes. We'll wait until we have our hands on a Pathfinder to judge its capacity in greater detail, but the on-paper figure trails the Toyota Highlander (84.3 cubic feet) and Volkswagen Atlas (96.8 cubes) substantially.

EdmundsEdmunds says

Yes, it looks like a wall of sheer granite, but there are notes of finesse and nuance to the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder. Especially in the area of technology, this SUV has grown up quite a bit. Ultimately, though, with its carryover engine and a revised version of its aging frame, it seems a stretch to imagine the new Pathfinder measures up to modern champs like the Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot and our other top-rated picks in the three-row SUV segment.

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