CHATHAM, Mass. – Amid the growing three-row mid-size segment of sport utilities (SUVs) offered to the American consumer, Nissan launched an all-new-from-the-ground-up Pathfinder for 2022.
We spent a very pleasant holiday period in a comprehensively equipped Platinum all-wheel drive (AWD) example, perfect for visiting family during the early winter season.
Turned out the weather was relatively mild and nice, not great for examining the snow, sand and mud/rut settings of the drive mode selector (also settings for standard, sport, economy and towing), but the seating for seven (heated captains’ chairs in the second row) was a big plus for those visiting family members.
A solid powertrain and platform provide support for the new SUV
The Pathfinder provided smooth, quiet and comfortable accommodations during my time with this Nissan. The 3.5-liter double-overhead-cam V6 direct-injection engine puts 284 horsepower and 259 pounds-feet of torque through a new nine-speed automatic transmission.
This powertrain features (up to) a 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity — plenty for common customer needs such as towing boats, ATVs, camp tents or trailers. Trailer Sway Control is standard.
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Compared to the previous Pathfinder generation, the front suspension incorporates an updated mount system, helping increase roll stiffness by 28 percent, and the rear suspension combines an independent multi-link design with updated shock absorbers and dampers, helping increase rear roll stiffness by 14 percent.
These updates, coupled with a 50-percent increase in high strength steel, were aimed at increasing the overall driving experience. I do not have personal experience to enable me to talk about past models, but this 2022 Pathfinder is very satisfying to drive, regardless of the road conditions or driving environment. Power was more than up to any task I required, whether merging onto a highway, passing sluggish tourists visiting the area or maneuvering along the winding roads along Cape Cod Bay.
Keeping the Pathfinder under control
A foundation for many of the features within the extensive Nissan Safety Shield® 360 advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) is the Pathfinder’s brake system. Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs (13.78 x 1.18 inches in the front, 12.99 x 0.63 rear) with electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and four-channel, four-sensor anti-lock system (ABS) are the braking system’s primary components. (The electronic parking brake has a center-console location.)
The Nissan Safety Shield® 360 features Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic
Additional ADAS include Braking. Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Driver Alertness and Rear Door Alert are also standard, while Blind Spot Intervention, Intelligent Lane Intervention and Traffic Sign Recognition.
The Platinum model we drove also had Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link. Linking ProPILOT Assist with Nissan’s Door-to-Door Navigation System: the navigation map data can proactively reduce speed for upcoming freeway curves or junctions and help the driver slow for freeway exits.
This system builds on Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist which combines steering assist and Intelligent Cruise Control to help control acceleration, braking and steering in both heavy traffic and on the open highway.
The combination of ProPILOT Assist and ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link allows for some limited hands-off driving, a feature I found a little disconcerting, but it worked in my limited ability to test it.
The 2022 Pathfinder Platinum AWD is not an autonomous vehicle (AV), but between the various ADAS systems described above, goes a long way in helping the driver get the most enjoyment out of the SUV.
Not technically an ADAS, but certainly a driver aid, is the Platinum’s standard heads-up display which puts crucial driving information in the windshield in front of your eyes, thus minimizing having to look away from the road to check on this in other locations.
Inside, everything an SUV buyer could want or expect
The Pathfinder Platinum interior has all of today’s amenities, technologies and creature comforts and conveniences. The leather-clad seats are heated and cooled up front; electrical adjustment positions the heated steering wheel and front seats (the driver’s having two-person memory), and the automatic climate-control system has three zones.
The nine-inch color touchscreen provides the focal point for the infotainment system with sources like AM/FM/SiriusXM satellite radio+ SiriusXM Traffic & Travel Link+/Bluetooth streaming audio/Apple CarPlay (wireless)/Android Auto playing through a BOSE® Premium Audio System with dual-driver subwoofer.
Being the modern SUV, the Pathfinder is filled with connectivity capabilities. A WiFi hotspot allows every passenger’s mobile device to connect to the Internet, while two USB ports for each of the three mean everyone can recharge while on the move. In addition, a wireless charging pad lives in the front of the center console.
Overhead is a panoramic sunroof with automatic sliding shade.
The numbers for the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder
The mid-size SUV segment is crowded and competitive, as many of the manufacturers offer multiple variants with this group (including Nissan which also sells the Murano). The all-new 2022 Nissan Pathfinder fits in quite well with the larger, three-row members, producing competitive positions in the two bottom-line areas: fuel economy and price.
The Pathfinder is rated by the federal Environmental Protection Agency at 22 miles per gallon overall (20 city, 25 highway) and we hit that number.
The four trim-level (all available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive) Pathfinder family begins at $33,680 for the FWD S and ranges up to the Platinum AWD like I drove at $48,090. Mine had a few options – running boards, carpeted floor mats and a lighting package (illuminated kick plates and welcome lighting) – which, along with the $1,175 destination charges, brought the total to $51,045, a price commensurate with others in this part of the mid-size SUV segment.
A venerable name within the legacy of Nissan’s American history, the new 2022 Pathfinder more than meets the standards established by its predecessors. This is a capable, comfortable, highly competitive addition to the mid-size SUV wars.