2022 Nissan Pathfinder: 10 Things We Like or Dislike

Strong points
  • Impressive evolution inside and out
  • Towing capacity still better than most
  • New transmission
Weak points
  • No changes under the hood
  • Feels big, drives big
  • Base MSRP now way up
Full report

The Nissan Pathfinder is all-new for 2022, looking a lot like a bigger Rogue and a much more refined and technologically advanced version of its old self.

After spending a full week with the Pathfinder just as winter arrived, here are 10 things we like or dislike about Nissan’s next-generation midsize SUV.

We Like: Sharper, More Muscular Looks

The old Pathfinder, despite an update for 2017, looked a bit fat and somewhat out of sorts. The new model, on the other hand, is more sharply sculpted and way more modern. The rear three-quarter angle is particularly attractive, the two-tone exterior is a nice touch, and retaining the raised roof rails is a wise move.

We Dislike: Front Fascia

There has to be an exception, right? The front end certainly can be polarizing—Nissan went too far with the headlight treatment. Then again, we said the same thing about the latest Rogue when it debuted, and look at how many Canadians are buying one these days.

Photo: Guillaume Rivard

We Like: Space and Access

The 2022 Pathfinder is larger and more spacious than its predecessor, with more storage including a convenient area underneath the centre console. Also, the second-row bench can be replaced by a pair of captain’s chairs with a removable console in top-line Platinum trim.

The seats are comfortable, flat-folding and a breeze to manipulate thanks to the EZ Flex system. In fact, access to the third row is literally child’s play (all it takes is one push of a button).

Photo: Nissan

We Dislike: Smallish Display

The Rogue-inspired cabin marks a huge improvement over the previous generation in terms of design, materials and technology. But while the available 12.3-inch instrument panel and head-up display are nice, the centre touchscreen is just 8 or 9 inches large depending on the trim level. It’s easy to find bigger screens elsewhere. Nissan’s Armada full-size SUV now features a 12.3-inch display, so why not the Pathfinder? Also, wireless Apple CarPlay is included, but Android Auto still requires a USB cable.

Photo: Nissan

We Like: CVT is Gone

The nine-speed automatic transmission replacing the continuously variable unit is fantastic news. It’s not perfect, sure (there can be some hesitations at lower speeds), but the CVT was much farther removed from perfection with well-documented reliability issues. Acceleration and the overall driving experience are more pleasant for 2022. We also like the seven-mode multi-terrain selector. Having said that…

Photo: Nissan

We Dislike: No Engine Changes

Keeping the same old—and dependable—3.5-litre V6 engine rated at 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque was a cautious move by Nissan, but some extra grunt would have been sweet. There’s no performance or hybrid variant, either, leaving the Pathfinder with just one engine option to lure buyers away from the competition. Hopefully some changes will be made later in this generation, as was the case with the previous one.

Photo: Nissan

We Like: Towing Capacity

The Nissan Pathfinder can once again tow heavy loads up to 6,000 pounds, which is better than every other midsize SUV except the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee L. The new nine-speed autobox (inherited from the departed Titan full-size pickup) will sure do a better job when towing than the CVT did. With more and more families going camping with big trailers, Nissan has them nicely covered.

Photo: Nissan

We Dislike: No Adventure-Ready Model

Nissan used to offer a Rock Creek Edition of the Pathfinder, although that one was mostly about cosmetic upgrades. There is no such model for 2022, but the company should consider bringing it back and going a step further, especially at a time when more rugged, adventure-ready SUVs are so popular. Just look at the Ford Explorer Timberline, GMC Acadia AT4 and Honda Pilot TrailSport.

Photo: Nissan

We Like: Safety

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder not only feels remarkably solid, but is also comes standard with the ProPILOT semi-autonomous driving system and Nissan Safety Shield 360. The latter includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, rear automatic braking and high beam assist.

By the way, ProPILOT is even more effective and helpful on navigation-equipped Pathfinders.

Photo: Nissan

We Dislike: Price Bump

A price bump was inevitable—everything is now more expensive, and the new generation has eliminated the base FWD model. The Nissan Pathfinder’s entry price is now up $7,000. Still, it’s slightly cheaper than average, starting at $45,973 including destination. The top-line Platinum is priced just over $56,000, encroaching on Infiniti QX60 territory. The latter is brand new for 2022, as well, so it’s up to you to decide which one appeals to you the most.

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