2022 Nissan Pathfinder – Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Nissan

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

[Images: Nissan]

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