The redesigned Nissan Pathfinder is a huge improvement over the previous model. While it may not get the attention of competitors like the Ford Expedition, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and relative newcomers the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride, the Pathfinder is now a strong contender among three-row crossovers.
Base Price: $48,000
As Tested: $51,790
Mileage: 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway/22 mpg combined
The 2022 Pathfinder gets an updated exterior with rugged styling, a more upscale and spacious cabin – there’s now room for eight passengers up from seven in the previous model – and more standard features and tech. If you only need room for seven, you can replace the bench seat in the second row with the optional captain’s chairs.
The 2022 Pathfinder comes in four trims: S, SV, SL, and Platinum. Starting prices range from $33,880 to $48,640. Front-wheel-drive is standard and four-wheel-drive is available on every trim for $1,900.
All trims get the same engine: a 3.5-liter V6 that generates 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The V6 easily propels the Pathfinder in most driving situations. The nine-speed shifts quickly and smoothly, but can be a tad slow to downshift when you want power for merging and passing at freeway speeds. The Pathfinder is also relatively easy to drive in busy city traffic and to squeeze into smaller parking spots, despite its large size. There’s some body lean when cornering, as you’d expect with a vehicle of this size. The ride is on the firm side with bumps and rough roads noticeable but not jarring. Visibility is good to the front and sides but limited to the rear.
Nissan says that 35 years after its launch, the Pathfinder returns to its rugged roots. However, despite its name, the Pathfinder is not the best choice if you’re into serious off-roading. It’s a crossover with unibody design as opposed to the more truck-like body-on-frame vehicles, which perform better in off-road terrain. But with its seven inches of ground clearance, and available 4WD and many traction control modes, the Pathfinder is a good vehicle for outdoor pursuits such as camping and hiking, and can navigate well on snowy roads.
When properly equipped, the Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.
Fuel efficiency is decent for the class. EPA ratings for my tester are 20 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with a combined rating of 22. I got 21 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The cabin is upscale, attractive, and quiet. Soft-touch materials are on many surfaces, and the layout is clean and modern. Seats are supportive and comfortable. Taller adults will be comfortable in the first two rows, and the third row accommodates average-size adults, unlike many three-row crossovers. Seats in the second row easily slide forward for access to the third row.
Standard features include keyless entry, rearview camera, tri-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, four USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, automatic high-beam headlights, and rear door alert (to remind drivers to check the rear seats).
Available features include remote start, surround-view parking camera system, head-up display, leather seats, power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, heated steering wheel, 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, infotainment system with nine-inch touchscreen, navigation, 13-speaker audio system, wireless Apple CarPlay, two additional USB ports, wireless device charging, rear sunshades and a panoramic moonroof.
Standard driver assistance technologies include front and rear collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and driver drowsiness monitoring.
Available driver assistance technologies include adaptive cruise control with lane centering (which Nissan calls ProPilot Assist), and road sign recognition.
The infotainment system is user-friendly, whether you get the standard eight-inch or optional nine-inch touchscreen. Graphics aren’t the most up-to-date, but the system responds quickly to voice and touch commands. Physical buttons and knobs make it easy for quick audio and climate adjustments.
Cargo space is above average for the class. The Pathfinder has 16.6 cubic feet with all three rows of seating in place, 45 cubes with the third row folded, and 80.5 with the second and third rows folded. A manual liftgate is standard, while a power liftgate and hands-free power liftgate are options.
Easy to drive
Spacious, upscale interior
Well-equipped with lots of standard and available features and tech
User-friendly infotainment system
Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Decent fuel economy for the class
Not suited for rugged off-roading
Infotainment system graphics could use updating
My tester starts at $48,090. Running boards are $730. Carpeted floor mats and captain’s chairs are $255. The Lighting package is $795 and includes illuminated kick plates and welcome lighting. Two-tone premium paint is $745. Destination charge is $1,175 bringing the grand total to $51,790.
The redesigned 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is worth a look if you’re shopping for a three-row crossover with room for up to eight passengers. It’s easy and pleasant to drive, has a roomy and well-appointed cabin, and comes standard with lots of feature and tech.