2022 Nissan Pathfinder increases storage, interior space

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The Nissan Pathfinder is shaping up to be a competitive family shuttle. The carmaker has just announced interior specs for the new 2022 model, greatly improving on the space and functionality of the outgoing model.

For the first time, the Pathfinder will be offered in either a seven-passenger layout with two captain's chairs in the second row, or an eight-passenger format with a bench second row. If you select the former, a console sits between the captain's chairs, but Nissan says that it can be removed without tools for a 7-inch pass-through, good for either cargo or people.

Access to the third row can be had from either door by sliding the second row seats forward and up against the front buckets. Nissan says this is possible even when a child carseat is attached to the second row, a boon for parents.

Stuff-hauling capacity gets a slight bump. With all the seats up, the cargo area gets an extra 0.4 cubic feet to 16.6. With the two rearmost rows folded, the 2022 can carry 80.5 cubic feet's worth of cargo, 1.0 more than its predecessor. More importantly, how that space is configured gives the new Pathfinder a significant edge. With a four-foot-wide floor, it can accommodate a standard piece of 4x8 plywood flat. With a length of 79.8 inches it's 16.2 inches short of closing the tailgate shut, but it's still a lot more usable than before.

A new under-floor luggage box with self-supported lid can hold 54.1 liters a significant improvement from the old model's 33.3 liters. It's plastic rather than carpeted for easy cleaning, though it lacks a drain plug like on the Honda Ridgeline.

The center console now offers a pass-through below the shifter for even more storage while a storage shelf by the glove box adds space for phones or shades. These little pockets nearly triple the previous model's cabin area storage. And, crucially, there are 16 cupholders, giving every passenger the option to double-fist beverages.

Interestingly, though 2022 exterior dimensions remain largely the same as the previous generations — wheelbase are identical, track widens by a negligible 0.6 to 77.9, and length actually shrinks by 1.5 inches to 197 — total interior volume has grown 10.6 cubic feet to 164.6 from the previous generation's 154.0. Part of that goes to the front seat legroom, which increases from 42.2 inches to 44.3.The third row gains almost five inches of hip room, from 42 to 46.7. Turns out it's better to design an SUV like a box than a jellybean.

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