Having last been updated back in 2012, it was time for the Nissan Pathfinder to receive a major update. The2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives as the fifth-generation of this once-rugged nameplate, reviving some of the original's iconic capability. We frequently lamented the fourth-generation Pathfinder for being too soft and road-oriented, dubbing it the "Mallfinder" as a result.
Nissan threw away what didn't work with the old Pathfinder, opting to give this new model a more rugged motif with improved performance. Taking what it learned from the 2021 Rogue, the new Pathfinder is also equipped with Nissan's best technology to rival the midsize crossover segment's top competitors.
3.5L V6 Gas
The new Pathfinder clearly borrows much of its rugged design from the facelifted Armada, which is great news. Gone are the old model's bulbous proportions in favor of a more truck-like shape. A wider stance and shorter overhangs provide a bolder stance than before, while new headlights and slim taillights usher the Pathfinder into a new decade.
Nissan also showed off a concept Pathfinder equipped with chunkier tires, new wheels, a roof basket, and roof lights to show off the model's rugged nature. We hope that a new Rock Creek Edition or some other future variant will take full advantage of the Pathfinder's bold styling.
It's no accident that the new Pathfinder's cabin looks a lot like the latest Rogue. Most of the controls, including the steering wheel, shifter, infotainment screen, and gauge cluster, look as though they were ripped straight from Nissan's compact sedan, albeit with a few minor changes. This isn't a criticism as the Rogue is a great place to spend time in. We particularly love the available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and large infotainment screen with wireless Apple CarPlay. Unlike the Rogue, the Pathfinder gets optional ventilated seats.
The Pathfinder seats up to eight passengers, though Nissan's photos show off optional captain's chair rear seats that limit the vehicle to seven people. The Pathfinder offers 16.6 cubic feet behind the third row, 45.0 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 80.5 cubic feet total in terms of cargo space. While not as large as the Chevrolet Traverse or Kia Telluride, the Pathfinder seems adequately sized.
Nissan's changes under the hood are less than we expected. The 3.5-liter V6 carries over from the previous model with 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque. And like the old Pathfinder, power still goes out to the front wheels or optional all-wheel-drive. There is a significant change in how that power is transferred from the engine, however.
The old continuously variable transmission is gone, replaced by a ZF-sourced nine-speed automatic. Our previous experience with ZF's nine-speed is hit and miss from various Honda/Acura and FCA products, so only time will tell how Nissan's tuning will fair against scrutiny. With this new transmission, the Pathfinder retains its 6,000-pound towing capacity but adds seven drive modes, including Standard, Sport, Eco, Snow, Sand, Mud/Rut, and Tow.
Nissan hasn't revealed pricing for the 2022 Pathfinder yet, but if it remains close to last year's model, it should range between $32,000 to $45,000. In this segment, the standout vehicle, the Kia Telluride, starts at just over $32,000 and tops out around $47,000. If the Pathfinder can undercut its rivals, even if it's only by a few thousand dollars, it looks like a compelling package on paper. Pathfinder sales have been relatively strong given how many years the nameplate went without a refresh, so we think this new model could spark a sales explosion.