2022 Nissan Pathfinder: SUV returning to its rugged roots

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By James Raia
The Nissan Pathfinder debuted 35 years ago and it was promoted as a rugged, midsized off-road sport utility vehicle. It worked. Nearly two million have sold.

For 2022, the Pathfinder is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with 284 horsepower and a nine-speed automatic transmission. It also features a best-in-class 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity with Trailer Sway standard.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder will return to its rugged roots.
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder will return to its rugged roots.

The new Pathfinder has a “boxed out” rear liftgate. It’s an homage to the original Pathfinder and features oversized satin chrome PATHFINDER lettering. There are now 14 available color combinations.

Nissan Pathfinder features

All-wheel-drive models come with Nissan’s “Intelligent 4WD.” It features a seven-position drive and terrain mode selector. Those include Standard, Sport, Eco, Snow, Sand, Mud/Rut, and Tow modes that adjust throttle mapping and transmission shift points.

Power is transferred to the rear differential through a direct coupling, which allows for immediate torque transfer in low-traction situations. The SUV doesn’t need to wait for wheel spin to engage the rear-drive unit.

The spacious interior of the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder.
The spacious interior of the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder.

An available 9.0-inch color touchscreen infotainment system is mounted high on a new and improved instrument panel. A 12.3-inch digital dashboard and a 10.8-inch head-up display are available. Wireless Apple CarPlay, a Bose premium audio system and Nissan’s Intelligent Around View Monitor are also available. Wireless Android Auto is pending.

Safety features in the Nissan Pathfinder

ProPilot Assist is available for the first time on Pathfinder SV and SL grades. The platinum grade gets ProPilot Assist with Navi-link. All 2022 Nissan Pathfinder models come equipped with Nissan Safety Shield 360. That includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, high-beam assist and rear automatic braking.

New Pathfinder customers can choose from cloth, leather, or premium semi-aniline leather-appointed seats in a wide range of colors. There are seven new interior “environments,” some featuring unique ambient lighting and brushed bronze accents.

Seating flexibility has also been improved, with standard three-row, eight-passenger seating. Second-passenger seating with second-row bucket seats are available for the first time.

Nissan designed the 2022 Pathfinder’s cargo area to accommodate a 120-quart cooler or four golf bags behind the third row. With the second and third rows folded, a full 4×8-foot sheet of plywood will fit flat.

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James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: james@jamesraia.com.

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