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First Look 2022 Nissan Pathfinder

A new Nissan Pathfinder is coming for the 2022 model year, with more rugged styling and updated comfort, connectivity, and safety features.


A major revamp for the 2022 model year serves the Nissan Pathfinder well. This mid-size 3-row vehicle is still based on the previous unibody platform. But the 2022 Pathfinder has become more SUV and less minivan. Thanks in part to rugged new looks and a host of other substantive changes that enhance capabilities, comfort, connectivity, and safety. All the better to compete in a class filled with well-regarded rivals, most notably the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, and Toyota Highlander.

"Thirty-five years after the launch of the original model, Pathfinder has returned to its rugged roots, loaded with the benefit of everything learned along the way," said Adam Paterson, director of marketing, Nissan Canada Inc. "Today's large SUV owners want a vehicle that conveys strength and rugged capability while using advanced safety and technology features to keep their family safe and comfortable during every-day adventures, and the all-new 2022 Pathfinder is ready to take on those adventures."


What’s new?

Nissan tells us the design of the 2022 Pathfinder was inspired by adventure gear. As such, the SUV has been styled to look stronger, purposeful, and more capable. It does so with a blunter face, a flatter hood, a wider stance, prominent fender flares, and reduced front and rear overhangs. Larger tires also add to the rugged SUV look.

Perhaps our favourite update: Nissan has replaced the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) of the previous Pathfinder with a conventional 9-speed automatic. That means less drone when accelerating and a return to traditional shifting feel. Made by ZF of Germany, this new transmission has paddle shifters and an electronic stick-style controller on the Pathfinder’s shelf-style center console, which has a handy bit of storage space below.

While front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard on the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder in other markets, all Canadian 2022 Pathfinder models feature Nissan's new Intelligent all-wheel-drive (AWD) with 7-position Drive and Terrain Mode Selector. The AWD system features a clutch pack to send power rearward, and features a drive and terrain selector with seven modes: Standard, Sport, Eco, Snow, Sand, Mud/Rut, and Tow. When a particular mode is selected, it's displayed on the Pathfinder's new digital instrument panel. Nissan says as much as 50% of the V6’s power can go to the Pathfinder's rear wheels. The maximum tow capacity is 6,000 pounds (2,723 kilograms). Trailer Sway Control is standard on all new models.

For the first time, the Nissan Pathfinder is available with 2nd-row captain’s chairs, giving it a 2-2-3 seating configuration with a removable centre console. With the standard middle bench in place, the Pathfinder’s seating capacity is 8. The Pathfinder interior looks modern and spacious, highlighted by an available 12.3-inch digital instrument panel with several screen options. An available 10.8-inch head-up display allows the driver to see functions such as vehicle speed and navigational directions on the back of the windshield.

With both back rows of seats folded, the 2022 Pathfinder can serve as a van that can carry 4 x 8-foot sheets of plywood. Yet, at the same time, it’s a quiet people hauler aided by laminated front side glass, thicker windows in the second row, and significantly more under hood sound absorption.


What’s the same?

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is powered by a familiar engine: a transverse-mounted 3.5-litre 6-cylinder. This direct-injected aluminum-block powerplant puts out 290 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque, the same as in the outgoing 2020 model.


When will it go on sale?

The 2022 Pathfinder goes on sale in Canada during the summer of 2021.


How much will it cost?

Pricing for the 2022 Pathfinder will be available closer to the SUV’s on-sale date. We expect similar pricing to the 2020 Pathfinder that Nissan Canada is still selling, starting at $36,698 CDN.


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