2022 Nissan Pathfinder adds style, ditches the old 3-row SUV's worst feature

Nissan has taken the wraps off the new 2022 Pathfinder, a complete redesign of the SUV that promises a welcome tech upgrade to go with its clean new styling. Unveiled today alongside the 2022 Frontier pickup, the new Pathfinder keeps owner-favorites like all-wheel drive and plenty of towing capacity, but polishes off some of the rougher edges.

It certainly looks more refined than the outgoing Pathfinder. The overhangs are shorter, while the fascia is larger. Nissan's V-motion grille has three slots – a nod, the automaker says, to the very first Pathfinder – and there are C-shaped headlamps and a floating roofline. LED headlights are fitted as standard, with DRLs.

More LEDs appear at the rear, fro the taillights, which are slimmer than on the old SUV. A boxed-out lift gate has an oversized "PATHFINDER" logo in satin chrome, to match the aluminum-alloy wheels. Nissan will have 14 colors and color-combos, five of which are two-tone.

Under the hood there's a 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6, with 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque. It's paired with a new 9-speed automatic transmission, a welcome change from the little-loved CVT of the old Pathfinder. Two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive Pathfinder models will be available; the latter will have a new Intelligent 4WD system, with 7-position Drive and Terrain Mode Selector. It'll use direct coupling, which Nissan says should improve pickup in low-traction situations, while drive modes will include Standard, Sport, Eco, Snow, Sand, Mud/Rut, and Tow.

Either way, you get a new electric power steering system. There's front strut and rear independent multi-link suspension with both front and rear stabilizer bars. Total towing capacity is 6,000 pounds, trim depending, with Trailer Sway Control fitted as standard.

Inside are where some of the biggest changes can be found. There's now a 12.3-inch digital binnacle on the options list, along with a 10.8-inch head-up display. A 9-inch touchscreens infotainment system is available too. Nissan has replaced the old shifter with an electronic version, helping open up more center console space.

There'll be a choice of cloth, leather, and quilted semi-aniline leather for the seats, and ambient lighting. Nissan has seven interior trim themes to choose between, including a brushed bronze metallic option. There's also acoustic laminated front glass, thicker glass in the second-row windows, and more door and floor isolation to keep the cabin quieter.

Eight seats are fitted as standard, though second-row captain's chairs with a removable center console can be had too. EZ FLEX one-touch fold/slide supports easier movement, while the third-row can be split 60/40 for more cargo space. Even with all three rows up though, Nissan says, you could still fit four golf bags. Options include a 10-way power driver's seat, heating and cooling for the front seats, heated rear seats, and tri-zone climate control.

As for the tech, there'll now be NissanConnect across all trims. That supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; wireless CarPlay will be optional, along with WiFi hotspot, a wireless phone charging pad, and a Bose audio system with 13 speakers. A 360-degree camera and navigation are also available.

ProPILOT Assist – which combines adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping – will be available too, on the Pathfinder SV and SL trims. The 2022 Pathfinder Platinum, meanwhile, will have ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link, which can automatically adjust the system's speed for upcoming freeway curves and junctions, as well as for the next exit if a destination has been programmed in the navigation system.

Nissan Safety Shield 360 is standard across the board. That includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking, together with Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Driver Alertness, and Rear Door Alert. Blind Spot Intervention, Intelligent Lane Intervention, and Traffic Sign Recognition will be optional.

Sales of the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder will kick off in summer 2021. It'll be offered in both 2WD and 4WD configurations, and in four trims: S, SV, SL, and Platinum. There'll also be SV Premium and SL Premium. Pricing will be confirmed closer to its arrival in dealerships.