After nine long years without any major changes, Nissan has finally given the Pathfinder a complete redesign. The big SUV takes this opportunity to return to its roots, with more emphasis on ruggedness and adventure than any model of recent memory. Other than a carryover V-6 engine, almost everything else is new.
Choosing Your Nissan Pathfinder
As it was with the outgoing generation, the 2022 Pathfinder comes either with a front- or four-wheel drive and is offered now with four trims: S, SV, SL, and Platinum. Prices begin at about $33,000 for a base S and run past $50,000 for a Platinum fully loaded with all the goodies.
Anyone familiar with the previous Pathfinder will quickly recognize the 3.5-liter V-6 under the hood, something that Nissan deemed good enough to carry into this new generation. It makes an unchanged 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to compete with the Honda Pilots and Kia Tellurides of the world.
More notable is the new 9-speed automatic transmission. Previously, the Pathfinder had used a CVT, a design that remains widespread across the Nissan lineup. This all-new transmission returns to a traditional gearbox, which we imagine will lead to more predictable performance. We'll certainly feel better exploiting the Pathfinder's 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity.
The new Pathfinder returns 21 mpg city, 26 highway, and 23 combined in front-wheel-drive form. Those figures are largely the same for four-wheel-drive models.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The Pathfinder will seat up to eight passengers thanks to a standard two-person third row. The middle row comes standard with a bench seat but the two middle trims offer captain's chairs as an option. The Platinum comes standard with this setup.
Behind the third row, buyers will find 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space. Stash that row into the floor and 45 cubic feet of space opens up. With both of the rear rows folded, buyers will enjoy a tad over 80 cubic feet of cargo space.
Nissan made its Safety Shield 360 suite of driver assists standard fare for every Pathfinder. That means forward and reverse automatic braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitors, and rear cross-traffic alert all come standard.
Step into any trim beyond the base S and you'll additionally get blind-spot intervention, lane intervention, and adaptive cruise control.
Crash-test results aren't out yet for the Pathfinder.
Depending on trim, two infotainment systems are available. The standard setup incorporates an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; the larger, optional 9.0-inch unit is found on the top two trims and boasts wireless smartphone compatibility as well as navigation and a wifi hotspot.
If you opt for the bigger screen, the navigation will tie in with the adaptive control to preemptively slow for on-ramps, intersections, and the like.
The base Pathfinder isn't much of a base model considering the abundance of standard equipment. Aside from cloth upholstery and manually adjusting seats, the Pathfinder is decked out with touches like tri-zone automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, and a 7.0-inch driver assist monitor. 18-inch wheels and body-color trim decorate the exterior.
There are no options available.
Upgrading to the SV means getting a leather-wrapped steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, Nissan cloud services, and a power-adjusted driver's seat. The outside mirrors and the front seats are now heated as well.
For a bit more in luxury, the SV Premium Package brings a panoramic moonroof, a power tailgate, and second-row captain's chairs. It also includes the towing package that features a heavy-duty transmission cooler to deliver the full 6,000-pound towing capacity.
The SL moves more definitively towards luxury thanks to leather upholstery, a power liftgate, the upgraded infotainment system with navigation, a surround-view camera, and an additional USB port for the third row. LED fog lights and grayed-out 18-inch wheels help differentiate the SL.
An SL Premium Package helps bridge the gap between SL and Platinum with 20-inch wheels, a moonroof, 13-speaker Bose audio, second-row captain's chairs, heated rear seats, and wireless device charging.
Pathfinder Platinum - From $47,340
All the Pathfinder's bells and whistles are found on the Platinum, including all the contents of the SL Premium Package. Other features include semi-aniline leather, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a head-up display, a memory driver's seat, and a motion-activated power liftgate.
The Platinum is as loaded as a Pathfinder can get - there are no further goodies available.
Compare Pathfinder Trims Side-By-Side
The SV with the Premium Package would be our recommendation. The bottom line wouldn't crest $40,000, yet you'd still get a well-equipped SUV that can tow 6,000 pounds while keeping the brood comfortable and connected.