2022 Nissan Pathfinder Road Test

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder represents a return to the model’s rugged image from when it was introduced back in the 1980’s. 2022 Nissan Pathfinder SUV

All new for 2022, this 5th generation Pathfinder is built on the same unibody platform shared with the previous generation. Over the years, Nissan has moved back and forth from a more truck-like body on frame construction to a more car-like unibody setup.

Over the years, Pathfinder’s styling has meandered in the direction of soft curves till the previous generation ended up a whisker away from emulating a large station wagon. The most noticeable change for buyers will be the more rugged, chunkier styling of the Pathfinder’s sheetmetal. The vehicle has reverted to its origins with a near slab-sided approach to the styling. The effort conveys a rugged feel and seems more appropriate for the Pathfinder heritage. If you’ve seen any of the television ads for the latest version, you’ll see images of the original Pathfinder alongside the newest model and both out tackling off-road trails. It’s clear where designers and marketers are pointing this reborn Pathfinder.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder front grillePowering all 2022 Pathfinders is Nissan’s 3.5L V6 engine that outputs 284HP and 259 lb-ft of torque. That power runs through a new 9-speed automatic transmission to Nissan’s intelligent AWD system. To underline the redirection of the Pathfinder, the previous generation Pathfinder was fitted with a CVT transmission, more at home in a sedan than an SUV offering Off-Road appeal. Acceleration feels more dramatic than the 0-100 km/hr time of around 7 seconds but more than adequate for a 4,500 pound vehicle. Brakes seem up to the challenge in stopping the bulky Pathfinder. The Platinum edition also comes with emergency proximity braking to warn drivers who fail to notice hazards ahead. 2022 Nissan Pathfinder dashboard

The interior of the 2022 Pathfinder, including the dash, centre console and inner patterns of the steering wheel have also rid themselves of soft curves. The treatment works well and manages to be both attractive and functional. From the driver seat, controls feel solid and are easy to adjust as the knobs and switches are large and tactile. The seating position offers a confidence inspiring view of the roadway with great sight-lines for a large SUV. A nice addition to the Pathfinder is a windshield projected Heads Up Display, feeding drivers critical information without the need to look away from the road or trail ahead.

The range topping Platinum trim level, aside from 20 inch alloy wheels comes with cabin conveniences included (among other things) a 12.3″ digital dashboard, second-row captain’s seats, rain sensing wipers, quilted leather topped seats and a wireless charging pad that sits ahead the gear selector on the centre console.

While I can only speculate about the off-road prowess of the new Pathfinder, the paved road performance did not disappoint. The suspension appears to have a good balance of responsive ride blended with comfort, as it manages to soak up pavement imperfections without feeling plushy. The vehicles size and heft becomes evident in corners, but that is to be expected, and the effect is minimal without upsetting the SUV. A rotary knob on the centre console, allows drivers to choose one of seven optional vehicle setups to tailor the driving characteristics of the Pathfinder to suit their driving style or road conditions. 2022 Nissan Pathfinder storage

The 2022 Pathfinder Platinum has seating for 7 passengers over three rows of seating. The first two rows of seating are top notch, offering firm support and comfort over the fairly long drives we ventured out on during our week with the vehicle. Getting to the last row with seating for three is usually a job for the agile but Nissan’s single button EZ Flex mechanism makes it easy. The third row in just about every vehicle I know of, is emergency seating for adults and preferred space for most kids. The Pathfinder is no exception. All trim levels below the Platinum mode are offered with a bench seat in the second row, as such there’s room for an extra passenger and seating for 8 in total. Catering to the full slate of passengers onboard, each row of seating on the Platinum model is treated to ample cup holders and USB device charging ports.

Storage room with the third row in place is a scant 470 litres. Dropping the third row seats adds about 800L of room and with the second row folded down, total storage mushrooms to 2280L. Towing capacity of the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is listed at 3,500 pounds. Nissan Pathfinder tailgate

Overall, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder represents a solid choice for anyone looking for a mid to larger sized SUV that will safely transport friends and family and just about any weather condition. The fact it has regained some of its earlier rugged character is all just an added bonus.

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Our tester was the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum edition, with optional floor mats and splash guards for an as tested price of $55,348. The full range of the Pathfinder line can be found at Nissan’s website.