Nissan (and Infiniti) went through a period in the mid-2000’s where a huge chunk of their vehicles were… to say it nicely – ugly. Thankfully they’ve turned the corner and the entire line-up is fantastic looking, gorgeous even. The new for 2022 Pathfinder is not only a looker, but Nissan videos show that it’s also a capable towing and off-roading vehicle. To our eyes the Pathfinder has always been a great-looking SUV – even when the original one came out in 1986. It’s changed considerably since then – as have more peoples’ needs and viewpoint on SUV’s. We spend a week with the 5th generation of this iconic SUV – let’s see how it fairs in 2022…
What Is It?
- Mid-size Luxury SUV
- All-New for 2022 – with lots of all-new bits too
- 5 Trim levels: S, SV, SL, SL Premium, and Platinum
- The test vehicle is the Platinum
- 5-litre Direct Injection V6 with an also all-new 9-speed transmission and Intelligent 4WD
- 7-position Drive and Terrain Mode, including Tow Mode that includes Trailer Sway Control
- Available 6,000 lbs (2,722 kg) maximum towing capacity (3,500 lbs comes standard)
- SPOILER ALERT: Recently announced is the 2023 Pathfinder Rock Creek for serious off-roaders
How Does It Look?
- It’s big, but nicely proportioned and sized for a family
- A great looking SUV! Unlike a lot of other’s out there, the face is well proportioned and looks good, instead of a disgusting mess of grills and lights (Toyota anyone?)
- If you don’t like the chromed nose it can be changed to a black one ($650)
- Great looking rims too – 20” Machine Finished Alloys
- The two-tone Scarlet Ember Tintcoat / Super Black Metallic paint job is a $950 option
What’s It Like Inside?
- Interior layout is very classy looking and everything is perfectly placed and easy to find with nothing more than a quick glance
- 3-inch fully customizable digital instrument cluster with a wealth of details comes standard
- 8 inch Head-Up Display (HUD) also comes standard – Bonus!! – it shows warnings for slower vehicles or traffic ahead, including Automatic Emergency Braking information, lane guidance for navigation, Lane Departure Warning, and speed information including Traffic Sign Detection and turn by turn navigation
- 9-inch infotainment system (with Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) sits nice and high on the centre of the dashboard
- Siri Eyes-Free / Google Assistant voice recognition helps you keep your eyes on the road
- Three choices of navigation comes with the Pathfinder: Nissan’s Door to Door Navigation; Google Maps or Waze
- Bose Premium Audio System with 13-Speakers and Acoustic Waveguide Technology and including dual driver subwoofer – is superb
- Also standard on the Platinum are: ProPILOT Assist with Navi-Link – automatically adjust your speed to match the flow of traffic and keeps you centred in your lane. It uses mapping technology to read the road ahead – it works surprisingly well, it almost feels like autonomous driving isn’t too far off
- Nissan Safety Shield 360 comes standard. For more details about this and other outstanding safety features, see after “What’s The Verdict?” below…
- Power Moonroof with power open/close/tilt is standard in all but the base (S) Pathfinder
- Heated and cooled front seats, with 6-way power driver + 4-way power lumbar adjustment.
- The front passenger seats is 4-way with NO power lumbar adjustment. The passenger seat was really low – so much so that it felt more like a sports car than an SUV and there’s no way to raise it – really odd to say the least
- 2-person memory seat, wheel and mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature – I wish all vehicles came with that!!
- Leather seats in all three rows comes standard
- Sliding 2nd-row rear seat captain’s chairs comes standard on the Platinum – the centre console is removable
- There’s plenty of knee and legroom for rear passengers with the bonus of a completely flat floor
- Both rear rows also get their own AC/heat controls
- The cargo area offers plenty of space and flexibility options with both the second and third row folding 60/40 and completely flat too
- Decent sized under floor storage in the rear cargo area
- Cargo Space: 16.6 cu.ft (470 L) behind the third row. Second row upright, third row folded flat: 45 cu.ft (1,274 L). All seats folded, max capacity: 80.5 cu.ft (2,280 L)
So How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?
- It feels very solid and well planted – almost luxurious
- I actually had spent the previous day (5+ hours) behind the wheel of an Explorer Limited – a direct competitor, and the Pathfinder was superior in every way
- As a large SUV, it can’t be compared or even driven as a “sporty” vehicle, but it is nimble and doesn’t feel as large as it actually is – Nissan might not like this comparison, but it actually felt like I was driving a station wagon of yore and not a large SUV… and that’s a compliment
- In Sport mode the steering instantly changes and becomes firmer and more responsive along with a much better response from the gas pedal. There are paddle shifters if you want a bit more control over the transmissions shift points
- My wife didn’t like the transmission shift from P to D in first gear – felt like it stuttered and didn’t actually GO when the gas pedal was prodded (I didn’t notice that)
- She also hated the Auto Start/Stop feature – it lagged too much between taking her foot off the brake and the engine coming to life. I noticed it, but it wasn’t as prominent from my perspective
- Switching on the Adaptive Cruise Control, you immediately feel the steering change as the Pathfinder takes over control of the steering by keeping it between the lines. At first it’s an odd feeling, almost like losing complete control – but then you quickly get used to it. Adaptive Cruise Control has come on leaps and bounds over the early versions – I might actually start to like these new-fangled safety features!!
- Nissan’s Intelligent AWD system – At takeoff, the system doles power to the front and rear axles in a 50:50 split and if no slip is detected, the system can send up to 100 percent of the power to the front wheels only
Horsepower: 284 @ 6,400 rpm
Torque: 259 @ 4,800 rpm
Top Speed: N/A
0-60 mph (sec): 7.1
What Does It Cost? For up-to-date pricing and options visit: www.Nissan.ca
2022 Pathfinder starting prices: $44,338 (S) / Platinum $54,998
As Tested: $55,948
Options: Two-tone Scarlet Ember Tintcoat/Super Black Metallic – $950
- Rated at (L/100 km): City – 11.6 / Highway – 9.2 / Combined – 10.5
- We averaged between 9.0 and 9.6 L/100 km on the highway (120-135 km/h) – the best was 8.8 at 110km/h
- Town/City we averaged 12.4-12.9 L/100km
- Basic: 3 years/60,000 km
- Powertrain: 5 years/100,000 km
- Roadside Assistance: 3 years + Travel Planning Service
Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer Limited, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Sorento, Kia Telluride, Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- The Good: Looks, quality, standard features and functionality
- More Good: Price and superb fuel economy
- The Bad: Unusually low front passenger seat that couldn’t be raised up to match driver’s seat
- The Ugly: Auto Start/Stop feature combined with the initial off the line pedal feel
What’s The Verdict?
I’m not usually a big fan of 3-row SUV’s simply because they have too many compromises when a van does the job so much better, but every now and then a good one comes along that changes my viewpoint and the 2022 Pathfinder is a winner. With the 2nd row captain’s chairs, it’s a breeze getting in and out of the 3rd row. And let’s not forget probably the biggest problem associated with 3-row seating – there’s usually a tiny cargo space behind the 3rd row – but not in the Pathfinder, there’s plenty of cargo room for a family back there. Bottom line, this HAS to be on your list if you’re in the market for an SUV – especially if you have a family.
SAFETY – Safety Shield 360
(Several cameras, radar technology and sonar work together to create a system that looks in front, behind and beside the vehicle as it drives)
- Intelligent Forward Collision Warning – It watches two cars ahead, monitoring your speed and distance, and when it detects sudden deceleration, it can give you a warning to slow down.
- Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection – can provide audio and visual alerts and even apply the brakes to help avoid or mitigate a collision
- Blind Spot Warning – was disappointing only because Nissan/Infiniti usually place the blind spot light – nice and high on the A-pillar where it’s very easy to get your attention. For some reason they’ve put it on the outside mirrors like all the other manufacturers. There’s probably a reason for it, but we just loved the other location
- Rear Automatic Braking – will actually stop the vehicle if it detects something that may not be in your field of vision
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert – can alert you to approaching cars that might be out of sight
- Intelligent Around View Monitor with moving object detection – Four cameras combine to give you a composite, bird’s-eye view from above – works great, a regular single backup camera is sooo yesterday!
- Lane Departure Warning – vibrates the steering wheel just enough to get your attention without being annoying
- Driver Attention Alertness – analyzes driver steering behavior to provide an alert if signs of drowsiness or inattention are detected
- High Beam Assist
Copyright © 2022 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Iain Shankland
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