The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder receives a complete refresh with this new 5th generation SUV offering more space, better fuel economy, and more technology. But is it enough to keep it top of mind in a competitive 3-row SUV market?
Engine – The Nissan Pathfinder only has one engine option; a 3.5L naturally aspirated V6. This engine produces 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque (211 kW / 351 Nm). Compared to other 3-row SUVs, it has less power than the Hyundai Palisade & Toyota Highlander but more than the Honda Pilot. Because this isn’t a turbocharged engine, the peak torque and power figures are higher up in the rpm range. However, it never feels as though the engine is struggling to pull the 2,098 kg (4,625 lbs) body. The engine responds quickly to your throttle inputs and doesn’t make a fuss of it.
With the 4WD system, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is rated for 11.6 L/100km (20.2 MPG) in a city and 9.2 L/100km (25.6 MPG) on a highway. During my time with the SUV, I averaged a very respectable 10.5 L/100km (22.4 MPG).
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder has one of the best in class tow ratings at 6,000 lbs. But the payload is lower than the competitors at 1,274 lbs.
Transmission – The big news with this 5th generation Pathfinder is that it no longer has a CVT automatic. It has been replaced with a more conventional 9-speed automatic. The new 9-speed is smooth to change between the gears but it’s not the fastest to react to driver inputs via the paddle shifters. Ideally, you should just leave it in “D” and let the transmission’s computer decide when to change gears depending on your throttle inputs.
Braking – The brakes are plenty strong to bring the almost 2.1 tonne SUV to a stop. The brake pedal is not too sensitive but it doesn’t have a long travel either. The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder comes standard with front automatic emergency braking and pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear automatic braking, and rear cross traffic alert.
Handling – In Canada, the Nissan Pathfinder is equipped with standard i-4WD while in the United States, it is optional. There are three off-road drive modes; Mud/Rut, Snow, & Sand. Each slightly varies the operation of the throttle response, transmission shifts, 4WD system, and traction & stability controls to ensure that the Pathfinder doesn’t get stuck when you’re off the beaten path. This SUV was obviously not meant for extreme off-roading but over a forest service road or a sandy beach, it’ll handle the terrain with relative ease.
On city streets, the suspension and steering of the 2022 Pathfinder has been refined to provide a bit less body roll and more sporty driving feel. It doesn’t feel like a lazy, lumbering boat of an SUV like the previous generation. It tackles twisty roads with some “sprite” in its step.
Ride Comfort – While the 2022 Pathfinder is a bit more engaging to drive, it still retains a comfortable ride for commutes or long family road trips. You do feel the bumps of the road but the suspension doesn’t translate that shock through the cabin and seats. The ride is comfortable but without being bouncy or giving the Pathfinder a numb feeling when driving.
Interior Space – The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is, as one would expect, bigger than the outgoing generation. The Nissan pathfinder now has the most front occupant headroom and legroom. In fact, I actually had to raise the driver’s seat a bit but even with my 6’4” height, I still had plenty of space. One thing to note, the passenger seat does not have any height adjustments so if you are shorter, it could be difficult for you to see over the dash.
Second row occupants don’t have as much space but it’s still enough for taller adults. However, other 3-row SUVs provide more headroom and legroom in the 2nd rows. Lower trims of the Pathfinder come equipped with a bench in the 2nd row while this top spec Platinum trim receives captain’s chairs. The console in between the seats has cup holders and a bit of small item storage. It can also be completely removed should you need the space between the seats. As for the seats themselves, they can slide forwards & backwards as well as recline.
The 3rd row is easily accessible thanks to a button on the side of the 2nd row seats which spring those chairs forward and upwards. But there isn’t a whole lot of space in the 3rd row. On paper the 2022 Pathfinder has a bit more legroom and headroom than the Toyota Highlander but quite a bit less than the Honda Pilot. Of course, those seats were designed with kids in mind rather than adults.
Behind all rows of seats, the Nissan Pathfinder has 470 L (16.6 cu-ft) of cargo space. There is quite a spacious cargo area underneath the floor. Fold the 3rd row seats down and cargo capacity increases to 1,274 L (45 cu-ft). With the 2nd row seats folded, maximum cargo capacity is 2,280 L (80.5 cu-ft) which is quite a bit less than the Highlander and Palisade and a lot less than the Pilot.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – Nissan’s engineers spent a lot of time making the cabin quieter. It has acoustic laminated front glass, thicker 2nd row glass, increased door and floor isolation, and a 60% increase in engine noise absorption. All of these changes make the cabin feel about as quiet as a luxury SUV when driving on bustling city streets.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder starts at $43,998 CAD ($33,680 USD w/ 2WD, $35,580 USD w/ 4WD) with this top spec Platinum trim costing $54,598 CAD ($48,440 USD w/ 4WD). The starting price is roughly the same as the Toyota Highlander but approximately $2,000 CAD less than the Honda Pilot. At the other end of the price spectrum, it is on par with the Hyundai Palisade Ultimate and only $1,000 CAD less expensive than the Pilot Touring.
Gadgets – With a price of just under $55,000 CAD, the 2022 Pathfinder is very well equipped. The usual features of opulent leather, panoramic sunroof, power liftgate, heated & ventilated front seats, heated 2nd row seats, satellite navigation, surround view cameras, head-up display, adaptive cruise control, lane centering system, LED headlights, and so on are all there.
The infotainment system is displayed on a 9-inch touchscreen – lower trim levels receive an 8-inch touchscreen. While the infotainment looks very similar to the system of older generation Nissan vehicles, the processing power is much more powerful and is faster to respond to your touch inputs. Apple CarPlay & Android Auto integration is standard on all trims but with the 9-inch touchscreen system, it allows for wireless Apple CarPlay but not wireless Android Auto.
Interior Design – The 2022 Pathfinder follows the same design elements of its little brother; the Nissan Rogue. It has a large “floating” console with an almost identical gear selector, there’s a large 12.3-inch driver display on this Platinum trim, physical buttons and knobs for the climate control (however they are gloss black plastics which attract fingerprints and dust), and an almost identical steering wheel (if not identical) to the one in the Rogue. With the Chestnut Leather option, the contrasting colour of the upholstery and dashboard leather adds a bit of flare to the cabin.
Exterior Design – The redesigned Pathfinder looks a bit more rugged but also a bit more premium than the outgoing model. The front fascia has similar LED headlights and daytime running light accents as the Nissan Rogue. The side has a bit of a floating roof design with the contrasting black roof while around back, it’s impossible to mistake it for something else because of the contrasting black roof (a $950 CAD option).
Warranty – The 2022 Nissan pathfinder is covered by a 3 year / 60,000 km new vehicle basic warranty and a 5 year / 100,000 km powertrain warranty. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For USA warranty, click here.
Overall, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a more refined, larger, and better to drive 3-row SUV than the previous generation. The price does undercut the Honda Pilot but the Pilot is still the king of offering the most amount of space in this category. However, the Pathfinder has almost all available safety & driver aids as standard which is arguably the most important concern for any family.
Thank you to Nissan Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Nissan.ca