Review by Veeno Dewan
The Nissan Pathfinder SUV has been around since 1986, and for its fifth generation has a substantial makeover. The new Pathfinder is slightly wider and taller, and a few inches shorter with a more compact rear end, LED lighting; and the distinctive Nissan “floating” roof treatment. Interior wise, there is new technology, cabin design, thicker floor insulation and isolation, along with thicker side window glass. Also, for the first time, the Pathfinder arrives with seating for up to eight people, or with available captain’s chairs and a removable console on the top tier Platinum model. Up to three car seats can fit in the second row, and two in the third row. For 2022 Nissan keeps the carryover V6 engine but mates it to a better transmission. The chassis features improved suspension and steering along with a host of new features and technology.
The venerable 3.5-litre V6 engine generates 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque and is now connected to an all-new nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. Properly equipped, the Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 lbs.
The Pathfinder range starts with the base S at $45,658 and moving up through the SV, the SL and our tester, the top -fully loaded Platinum, at $55,348. All prices are before tax plus $1,860 freight charge. All models include emergency front and rear braking, blind-spot monitoring, automatic headlights, heated front seats and steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, power driver’s seat, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Siri/Google Assistant voice recognition. Higher spec models up the ante in terms of more equipment such as: navigation, panoramic sunroof, ventilated seats, rain-sensing wipers, wireless charger, and leather upholstery. On the safety front, models also arrive with a full suite of safety aids — from forward collision warning with auto-braking and blind-spot monitoring; to rear cross-traffic alert with auto-braking.
The interior is nice looking and well thought out, Simple easy to use buttons and knobs mean no faffing around with tedious touch controls or silly tiny sliders when you want to adjust climate functions, seat heaters, drive mode, and other features.
The cabin has been well designed and is luxurious, especially in the Platinum model as tested. There are comfortable Semi-Aniline heated and cooled leather front seats. The dash features the new 12.3-inch customizable instrument cluster and nine-inch infotainment screen Also new is an awesome 10.8-inch head-up display, and ProPilot Assist technology with Navi-link. The infotainment setup gives easy access to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, and the audiophile quality sound system.
Moving to the second row, the Platinum’s twin single captains’ chairs are very comfortable and roomy, replacing the standard bench seats. The EZ Flex middle row seating gives one-touch access to the third row. Just press a button and the middle seat lifts and pulls the second row out of the way.
The cargo capacity is excellent – with all rows up, there is 470 litres; and 1,274 L of cargo capacity with the third row folded flat. Dropping the second row of seats provides a whopping 2,280 L. One very cool and useful fact is that a 4×8 sheet of plywood can be carried flat on the floor between the wheel wells with the second and third row seats folded flat.
On the road, the Pathfinders new transmission makes a big difference, shifts from the new 9 – speed automatic AWD system is faster and smoother. The new all-wheel drive system, which Nissan calls Intelligent 4WD, features seven selectable driving modes.
The front wheels are powered to improve fuel economy, but when needed the rear wheels are connected instantly, sending as much as 50 per cent of available torque to the rear wheels when needed. The Pathfinder feels smaller and more agile than it looks ,with somewhat over light steering the seven driving modes comprise: Standard, Sport, Eco, and Tow for on-road situations; along with Snow, Sand and Mud/Rut terrain modes. There is also downhill descent control. The Pathfinder has a maximum tow capacity of 2,722-kilograms; and with fuel economy rated at 11.6 L/100 km in the city, and 9.2 on the highway.
Nissan’s advanced driver-assist system is included in all trims, adding adaptive cruise control to keep its distance from traffic ahead, and steering assist that keeps the vehicle centred in its lane. But be conscious of the fact the system is an assist, not a fully autonomous self-driving aid.
To sum up, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder model is a tempting buy. It looks great, can seat up to eight people and is roomy and versatile. It is also comfortable and offers a ton of flexible of cargo space, plus decent towing capacity. Highly recommended for families and the active- inclined.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum priced as tested 57,208 including freight and PDE. More info at www.nissan.ca