2022 Nissan Pathfinder – Not All Who Wander Are Lost
The SUV segment is a high-stakes game, and after years without a fresh entry, Nissan is looking to reassert themselves with an all-new 2022 Pathfinder.
Let’s start with the growth of the Pathfinder, now a three-row, seven- or eight-passenger SUV. More seats equates to the large cross/utility vehicle class.
Next, there’s either front-wheel or four-wheel drive, the latter with a seven-position drive and terrain selector. No surprise that it’s a unibody, a concession to MPGs, with Nissan’s 3.5-liter V6 putting out 284 HP and 259 lb-ft of torque through a new paddle-shifted, 9-speed automatic with a shift-by-wire drive selector. Actual mileage may vary, and Nissan will let you know closer to when it actually hits showrooms. The optional best-in-class towing capacity of 6,000 pounds is impressive, especially if you have a home-on-wheels you’d like to take with you.
Eighteen-inch or 20-inch wheels, mounting 255/60R18s or 255/50R20s gives the Pathfinder a little street cred, less so among real off-roaders. Words like modern, aggressive, robust, and rugged are styling cues that signal a more dramatic exterior than previous iterations of the Pathfinder, and the next-generation version has its high points. Thankfully, it isn’t a GM styling-meets-Star Wars collaboration, where the front end appears to be squinting, and there’s no end to the grille.
LED headlights, daytime running lights, and taillights are described as expressive, and I’ll go with that. The large Pathfinder logo on the motion-activated power liftgate ensures its identity isn’t mistaken for any of those other crossover SUVs.
Have we exceeded the dimensions of interior screen size? Nissan offers a 12.3-inch digital dash, up from the standard 7-incher, and displays ranging from 8-inch to a 9-inch color, all the way to 10.8-inches when opting for a Platinum level heads-up unit.
Seating, as mentioned earlier, requires second-row bench seat coziness to pack in eight, or if you want a little separation, there’s captain’s chairs and a removable center console, and you’ll max out at seven. Way back in the nosebleed seats, there’s 60/40 split, folding bench seating. Second-row climate controls augment the automatic temperature control, but there’s no mention of any switches or knobs for any poor souls unlucky enough to be relegated to the third tier.
The safety and driver-assist technology you see in Nissan’s commercials are in the Pathfinder. Pedestrian-detecting, auto emergency braking, blind spot, cross traffic, lane departure warnings are a part of their Safety Shield. Testing vehicles with automatic braking that stopped when that wasn’t my intent, is it out of the question to opt-out of this molly-coddling, and instead require drivers to think for themselves and act accordingly?
The Pathfinder goes on sale sometime in the summer of 2021 as a 2022 model.