2022 Nissan Pathfinder Adds New Features and Ditches the CVT

·3 min read
Photo credit: Nissan
Photo credit: Nissan

From Car and Driver

  • The new 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is redesigned with a new look inside and out.

  • It has the same 3.5-liter V-6 as before but a new nine-speed automatic transmission.

  • The 2022 Pathfinder will go on sale this summer, likely starting around $33,000.

Although nostalgia for old-school, body-on-frame SUVs is running high these days, Nissan's new 2022 Pathfinder is staying in the family-crossover milieu. Like its predecessor, this new version of the three-row SUV prioritizes cupholders over suspension travel, although it does looks a bit more rugged—and far more modern—than before. And if you're keen on nostalgia, know that Nissan has incorporated at least one subtle design cue from the original: the three slats at the top of the grille that hark back to the first-generation, truck-based Pathfinder.

Photo credit: Nissan
Photo credit: Nissan

The 2022 Pathfinder's wheelbase is the same as the old model's, and the new model is 1.5 inches longer, 0.6 inch wider, and 0.5 inch taller than before. There's slightly more cargo space with the third row raised but slightly less room with the second- and third-row seats folded.

The naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 engine is carryover, but its specs remain competitive enough in the three-row-SUV segment: 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque. The biggest powertrain change is a nine-speed automatic from supplier ZF that replaces the continuously variable automatic (CVT) from before. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional on all trims, and AWD models get a set of driving modes meant for various terrains including snow, sand, and mud.

Nissan boasts that the Pathfinder can be equipped to tow up to 6000 pounds, more than many of its closest competitors—and that applies to both front- and all-wheel-drive models when equipped with a towing package.

The third-row seat now has three seatbelts rather than two, increasing total seating capacity to eight. Newly optional are second-row captain's chairs that reduce that number to seven; a second-row bench is standard on most trim levels. Two USB ports come standard in the rear, with an option for a 120-volt power outlet in the second row and an extra USB port for the third row.

Photo credit: Nissan
Photo credit: Nissan

Compared with its predecessor, the new Pathfinder's dashboard looks far more attractive, and its tech offerings are finally up to class standards. The standard infotainment system is an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; upper trims offer a larger 9.0-inch screen and can be had with wireless Apple CarPlay capability. The top Platinum trim also comes with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a head-up display, along with nicer leather trim.

Many driver-assistance features come standard on the base Pathfinder S, while the mid-level SV model includes the ProPilot Assist system that's able to combine adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist on the highway. The SL trim adds an upgraded version of ProPilot that links with the navigation system to predict freeway curves ahead of time.

Nissan has yet to release pricing, but we expect it will range from around $33,000 up to $45,000 for a loaded Platinum with all-wheel drive. The 2022 Pathfinder will reach dealerships this summer.

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