Car Review: 2022 Nissan Pathfinder gets overhaul when it needed one most

The last Pathfinder was a bit of a wallflower — plain and forgettable in the crowded mid-size crossover/SUV market.

Nissan got wise and fixed that with the new 2022 Pathfinder. It has a stronger, squared-off SUV styling. It sports a tough and more rugged look with a hardy, trucklike grill and chrome accents that stand out.

The fenders are pushed out wider than before and filled with large, 20-inch wheels. The two-tone Boulder gray paint with black roof works to give this Pathfinder a more luxury SUV vibe.

Moving inside the new Pathfinder Platinum model, you are greeted with a well thought-out and plush cabin.

The quilted, semi-aniline leather seats would be right at home in pricier, luxury rides and the heated seats warm you quickly. The top-of-the-line Pathfinder Platinum also comes with standard, second row captain’s chairs and a panoramic moon roof.

The third row of seats is not as spacious as some of the competition, but it will serve families with children nicely. On lower trim levels, you have seating for eight.

Some big changes are noticed from behind the wheel. The ride has been improved and is much smoother than before.

Gone is the CVT transmission and replaced with a normal 9-speed automatic that is a smooth operator. The Pathfinder comes with a V6 engine that seems to easily keep up with traffic and you can even tow 6000 lbs.

Cost: $48,090; as tested $51,395

MPG: 20 MPG City; 25 MPG Highway. I managed 20.9 in 287 miles of mixed driving.

Options: $350 2-tone paint; $739 running boards; $255 carpeted floor mats; $795 lighting package; $1,175 destination charges

Safety: Intelligent backup intervention; steering assist; intelligent cruise control; automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection; intelligent forward collision warning; rear automatic braking; blind spot warning; rear cross traffic alert; lane departure warning; intelligent lane intervention; high beam assist; traffic sign recognition; intelligent around view monitor; brake assist

Things to know: Nissan gives its mid-size, three-row Pathfinder a needed overhaul to make it appealing in a crowded three-row SUV market.

Pros:

  • New bold styling cues give the Pathfinder a look that stands out
  • Vastly improved interior with better materials and more style
  • Can tow up to 6000 lbs.

 Cons:

  • Not as much cargo space as some other mid-size crossovers
  • Third row lacks space when compared to the competition
  • Fuel economy suffers when you choose AWD models of the Pathfinder

Mike Parris is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. The vehicles are provided by DriveShop, FMI, NAVS DC or Motus One for the purpose of this review.

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