2022 Nissan Pathfinder Review: Rugged Looks, Comfortable Seating for 8, Excellent Features List

2022 Nissan Pathfinder front face
The new face of the Pathfinder falls into line with the looks of its Nissan stablemates. Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is all new from the ground up. The complete redesign marks the beginning of the SUV's fifth generation, coming 35 years after the model was introduced to the market.

Nissan has combined design inspiration from the first-generation Pathfinder into the new, midsize SUV. The 2022 Pathfinder continues to slot into the Nissan lineup in the same place as its predecessor, below the full-size Armada and above the compact Rogue.

For the 2022 model year, Nissan's design team has given the Pathfinder a fresh, muscular appearance on new architecture. The body design makes the 2022 Pathfinder more robust looking than its previous generation while flourishes of modern Nissan design language make the SUV easily fit in with its stablemates.

The front of the new Pathfinder has a three-slot grille that harkens back to the old days. Slim daytime running lights, standard LED headlights, and an available two-tone exterior paint scheme pair with Nissan's signature V-motion grille. Fourteen color combinations are available, including Mocha Almond Pearl, Pearl White Tintcoat, Glacier White, Solid Gray, Super Black, Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, Deep Ocean Blue Metallic, and Obsidian Green Pearl. It rides on 18- or 20-inch wheels depending on trim level.

Across the rear of the vehicle, the word "Pathfinder" is badged with large block letters. Nissan's new logo makes an appearance on the front and rear. Roof rack rails are standard in all but the base model Pathfinder. Each of the Pathfinder SUVs get chrome badging, body-color door handles, a chrome grille, and body-color outside mirrors. Mid-grade models are able to be purchased with those items colored black (including the roof rails) however, there is no Midnight Edition of the Pathfinder just yet.

The overall look moves the Pathfinder in the direction it needs to go to keep up with the best-sellers in its segment like the Kia Telluride and Dodge Durango, both of which are heralded for their true-SUV-like looks.

 2022 Nissan Pathfinder side profile
Nissan has made the Pathfinder more rugged and muscular for 2022. Nissan North America

Nissan sells the 2022 Pathfinder in four trim levels: S, SL, SL, and Platinum. A 3.5-liter V6 engine that yields 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque is standard across the lineup. The strong engine is paired with a new nine-speed ZF-sourced transmission that provides smooth shifts, but struggles in the mid-range, revving high, especially when towing close to its 6,000-pound maximum. To combat this, a driver simply has to lift their foot off the gas for a moment allowing the transmission to recalibrate.

Two-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is available on every Pathfinder. Two-wheel drive models get a five-position drive and terrain mode selector while four-wheel drive versions of the SUV have a seven-mode selector and hill descent control. The Pathfinder's modes work well in the conditions they are designed to be able to handle. It is by no means a "Trail Rated" type of vehicle but the SUV is capable of going more than just a little off the beaten trail without hesitation, which is mostly how it will be used by its owners.

Braking is strong and smooth. The Pathfinder's steering is reasonably connected for an SUV of its size and the curb-to-curb turning diameter is impressively tight. Driving dynamics allow the Pathfinder to offer up a comfortable drive for daily use. Bumping up to Sport mode takes the engagement and throttle response up a notch. It rides relatively smoothly over most of the bumps in the road and doesn't deliver much in the way of body lean.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder rear back
Pathfinder badging dominates the look of the tailgate. Nissan North America

Looks and drivability are good, but the real substance of the Pathfinder is found in its cabin where thoughtful innovation takes the lead moving the SUV from simply an appliance to a vehicle that works to make life of the road easier for its occupants.

That starts up front where the doors can handle a plus-sized water bottle. There's a good amount of storage space between the front seats, including a spot to add a wireless smartphone charger, and an upright smartphone holder so you won't need to purchase that WeatherTech CupFone they're advertising all over the place these days.

Buyers can get their Pathfinder with either seven- or eight seats. In the eight-seat model, the SUV fits three across the rear seat, which has gained substantial legroom for 2022, and has second-row captain's chairs. The three-passenger bench seat of the seven-seater does a fine job as well.

On the side and back of the second-row outboard seats are buttons that electronically move the second-row seat (bench or chair) forward allowing for easy ingress and egress. The rear button is accessible by third-row passengers and is so easy to press a small child could comfortably operate it on their own.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder interior seats roof
The SUV seats seven or eight passengers, depending on configuration. Nissan North America

Seats in every row are as comfortable as one may expect from a Pathfinder. Even after a long day of over 200 miles of driving not one thought was given toward being uncomfortable after the standard 10-way power-adjustable seat in the Pathfinder Platinum was positioned.

High-quality materials abound throughout the cabin of the mid-grade and top-tier tester models Nissan had available. There's simply nothing here to complain about unless you really don't care for paint black plastic instrument and button surrounds, and even then the material is kept to a minimum compared to the way it's portioned out in other vehicles.

Nissan has given the SUV a standard 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen. A 9.0-inch is available. The automaker has blessed Pathfinder with its current infotainment operating system, which isn't the prettiest or easiest to use. Luckily, Apple CarPlay (wireless in top trims) and Android Auto are standard and are able to do much of the heavy lifting. A 13-speaker Bose Premium Audio system, Wi-Fi hot spot, and up to six USB ports (two in each row) are available.

The available 12.3-inch driver information display is a big win for Nissan and Pathfinder buyers. Information on the screen is easily readable. Moving away from the Pathfinder Platinum, where the all-digital screen comes standard, down to a more traditional 7.0-inch driver information display doesn't make a driver feel like they're compromising too much. A head-up display is available.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder interior driver
The SUV is chocked full of enough high-tech features to make it compete with its closest rivals. Nissan North America

There is enough cargo space behind the third-row seat to haul eight carry-on suitcases or four full sets of golf clubs, with room to spare. Under-floor storage is spacious and fits the removable center console that comes with the caption's chairs option box checked. The lid for the storage area props itself up, which is a thoughtful innovation that anyone who has had plants or groceries crushed by their SUV's current system can appreciate.

Every Pathfinder comes standard with Nissan Safety Shield 360, a suite of driver assist and safety technology that includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking. Lane-keeping assist, blind spot assist, traffic sign recognition, and a surround view camera are available.

Nissan sells the SUV with ProPilot Assist with linked navigation. The system includes adaptive cruise control and lane centering technologies, among others, and is extremely easy to operate with hands on the wheel.

Pricing for the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder starts at $33,410 for the base model and $35,310 for the Pathfinder S with four-wheel drive. It tops out at $44,190 for the two-wheel drive version and $48,090 for the most capable model. Nissan offers two packages that bring premium features to mid-grade trim levels.

The SUV's MSRP, styling, and features lineup is competitive and puts the new Pathfinder right where it needs to be, headed in the right direction to be a sales success.