2022 Nissan Pathfinder Preview

Thom Blackett | Feb 04, 2021
  • Completely redesigned
  • Available 7- or 8-passenger seating
  • 3.5-liter V6 paired with new conventional automatic transmission
  • Optional multi-mode 4WD system
  • Tech upgrades including a new head-up display
  • Available ProPilot Assist with Navi-Link
  • It goes on sale in the summer of 2021

Introduction - Find the best Nissan deals!

All new except for its V6 engine, the capable 2022 Nissan Pathfinder aims to take on the best midsize 3-row SUVs with fresh styling and numerous interior upgrades designed to exceed the needs of family-sized crossover buyers.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum Red

Yes, the redesigned 2022 Pathfinder returns as a crossover and not a traditional body-on-frame truck-based SUV. Yes, it remains available in a front-wheel-drive (FWD) configuration in addition to offering 4-wheel-drive (4WD). Yes, it still uses a 3.5-liter V6 engine, but now it’s bolted to a new 9-speed automatic transmission. So yes, the continually variable transmission (CVT) is already fading like a bad memory.

Trim levels include the base S, mid-level SV, upscale SL, and premium Platinum, with SV Premium and SL Premium option packages offered for buyers who want additional creature comforts. Nissan will announce the 2022 Pathfinder price closer to its release date in the summer of 2021.

Exterior Features - Find the best Nissan deals!

When the Pathfinder was last redesigned, the result met some criticism for shifting away from the boxy, rugged look that had long defined the truck-based vehicle. In its place, Nissan substituted a crossover with softer lines and, of all things, standard front-wheel drive.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum Red Side View

The all-new 2022 Nissan Pathfinder strikes a balance between the two. While still not a modern copy of the square-jawed original, this latest iteration features a more prominent front end highlighted by attractive standard LED headlights, adds a distinct off-road vibe with fender flares, and is nicely finished off with sleekly integrated LED taillights. 

Nissan credits the reimagined exterior styling, specifically the rear pillars, for allowing the use of two-tone colors. For the first time, Pathfinder buyers can opt for a black roof paired with one of five exterior paint hues. To avoid the risk of observers wondering what they’re looking at, Nissan spells out PATHFINDER in large letters across the liftgate.

Overall, the new Pathfinder exhibits some much-needed visual character.

Interior Features - Find the best Nissan deals!

Part of every significant redesign is a fresh interior, but the big news for the 2022 Pathfinder focuses on seating.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Interior Dashboard

Nissan scraps the 2-passenger 50/50-split fold-down third-row seat to make way for a new 3-passenger 60/40-split folding seat. When paired with the front buckets and 3-passenger, fold-and-slide second-row bench seat, the Pathfinder can accommodate eight passengers, up from seven last year.

Additionally, Pathfinder buyers can replace that second-row bench with new captain’s chairs with a removable center console section. People who select this configuration will have room to seat up to seven people.

To ensure all of those folks enjoy the ride, Nissan adds laminated windows and thicker glass, as well as extra insulation throughout the vehicle to knock down noise intruding into the cabin.

As for the new dashboard and center console designs, each incorporates modern technologies and plenty of storage space. Of particular note, the dashboard includes a storage shelf, and there is a large bin underneath the console’s “bridge.” 

Under the Hood - Find the best Nissan deals!

At the heart of the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is the same 3.5-liter V6 used in the previous model, delivering 284 horsepower and 259 lb.-ft. of torque. 

Nevertheless, the 2022 Pathfinder boasts a significant drivetrain improvement with the addition of a new 9-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and a redesigned electronic shifter. The new transmission replaces a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Shoppers considering a Pathfinder will have a choice between front-wheel-drive (FWD) and four-wheel-drive (4WD). The 4WD system is all-new for 2022 and includes a 7-position Drive and Terrain Mode Selector with multiple settings to suit various traction needs. These include standard, Sport, Eco, Snow, Sand, Mud/Rut, and Tow. 

Speaking of towing, the 2022 Pathfinder now comes with trailer-sway control and can haul up to 6,000 pounds.

On top of those upgrades, Nissan revises the Pathfinder’s steering to improve handling and a new electronic parking brake debuts.

Safety Systems - Find the best Nissan deals!

As we’ve seen in other recent models, Nissan is doubling-down on safety enhancements. For the 2022 Pathfinder, that translates to a standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 collection of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS).

Highlights include forward-collision warning, automatic forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, automatic rear braking, and automatic high-beam headlights. Another new addition this year is a driver monitoring system. 

Nissan’s ProPilot Assist technology is available on all 2022 Pathfinders except for the base S trim level. This Level 2 ADAS takes the SUV one step closer to autonomous driving with an adaptive cruise control system that will bring the vehicle to a complete stop and resume moving in stop-and-go traffic. 

Lane-keeping and lane-centering assistance is a part of the package, though it is only effective when the road is adequately marked and the Pathfinder’s radar sensors are free of obstruction. Note that ProPilot Assist requires the driver to keep at least one hand on the steering wheel at all times and is intended for highway use only.

New for the 2022 Pathfinder is ProPilot Assist with Navi-Link, which uses information from the vehicle’s navigation system to slow the vehicle in anticipation of curves or highway exits along the prescribed route. Most notably, Navi-Link alerts drivers to changing speed limits, and owners can set it to accelerate or slow down to match those speeds automatically. Traffic-sign recognition is also available for the 2022 Pathfinder.

Infotainment and Technology - Find the best Nissan deals!

From a technology perspective, Nissan stuffs the redesigned Pathfinder with features increasingly viewed as must-haves by today’s family SUV buyers. 

The standard 8-inch infotainment touchscreen is a carryover from the old Pathfinder, but the optional 9-inch upgrade is new for 2022. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, with wireless CarPlay available depending on the system. The 2022 Pathfinder also offers a wireless charging pad for smartphones, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a 10.8-inch head-up display.

For properly equipped Pathfinders, an app-based door-to-door navigation feature allows users to transfer directions to the vehicle from their phone. After you’ve arrived at your destination, it continues providing directions via a smartphone app when you’re required to park some distance away from where you’re going.

Previous Pathfinders had a 4-inch digital display in the gauge cluster. Nissan swaps it out for a standard 7-inch unit in the new Pathfinder. An impressive 12.3-inch fully digital instrumentation display is an additional upgrade.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Competitors - Find the best Nissan deals!

The new 2022 Nissan Pathfinder competes with a long list of family-sized 3-row crossover SUVs. They include the popular Chevrolet Traverse and Ford Explorer, as well as the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. The Nissan also goes up against the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Mazda CX-9, Subaru Ascent, and Volkswagen Atlas.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum Red rear view

Clearly, the 2022 Pathfinder faces an uphill climb in a popular but hotly-contested segment. Still, it is well-prepared with fresh styling, loads of user-friendly technology, and a more versatile interior.

Nissan is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of February 4, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

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