I’ve whined and moaned before about how much I hated the minivan I was forced to buy back in the mid-1980s. It stunk, drove like a heavy shoebox on wheels, and I celebrated the day I sent it to the junkyard.
There was one good thing about having a minivan (emphasis on ‘one’). With all the space it afforded carrying groceries, or DIY home project materials or even more than four people, wasn’t an issue. Sure, we lost some toys, and maybe a kid, but hauling stuff was the only plus to having a minivan.
That’s why I understood the SUV movement that took shape in the decades that followed. SUVs are vehicles than can haul stuff, and people and have room left over. My only other requirement for an SUV is that it can go off road. Yes, that’s right. SUVs evolved out of the old vehicles of the 1970s that were little more than covered pickup trucks. And those beasts had no problem getting dirty.
But the thing I really detested about the SUV when they came about was how soccer moms in the suburbs got SUVs but seemed deathly afraid of even going off the pavement an inch. Heck, if it was up to me, I’d want an SUV that could take little Johnny to the soccer practice field, not just the parking lot. And if a coach or ref messed with my little Johnny, I’d want to be able to chase them across that field and run over them without worrying about getting mud on the tires.
So then, that’s why I like SUVs like the Pathfinder Nissan sent me for a recent week.
The last time I spent a week with a Pathfinder was back in 2020. And from that experience I knew the Pathfinder is more than capable of playing in the dirt. That was a Rock Creek edition which was outfitted with all the necessary items needed to go off the pavement.
However, there was a problem.
I noted than that although the 2020 Pathfinder was a good SUV, it sure could use a refresh.
Well, guess what boys and girls:
Nissan did just that, skipping over a 2021 model and introducing a brand-new comprehensive redesign for the 2022 model year.
Happy, happy, joy, joy.
The redesign starts on the outside with a more muscular, truck-with-a-cover appearance, taller and less lean than the previous model. And that’s a very good thing because the slope of the roof on the 2020 one sort left back seat passengers feeling a bit scrunched. There’s also additional storage inside and new technology features.
There are four trim levels for the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder: S, SV, SL and Platinum. All four use a 3.5-liter V6 engine (284 horsepower, 259 lb-ft of torque) paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. The S, SV and SL trims come with seating for eight. Second-row captain’s chairs are available on the SV and SL and standard on the Platinum.
I was beyond thrilled to see that Nissan has ditched the CVT (okay confession, it doesn’t take much). That was my other complaint with the 2020. The engine power and torque are the same, but there is now that new 9-speed automatic. #Winning
I had the top-of-the-line Platinum, so my tester had upgraded leather upholstery, a power-adjustable steering wheel, hands free liftgate, digital instrument cluster, a head-up display, a household-style power outlet and a power-adjustable steering wheel. That was in addition to the optional Premium Package that added a panoramic sunroof, 20-inch wheels, heated rear seats, a 13-speaker Bose audio system, wireless smartphone charging pad and second-row captain’s chairs with removable center console.
All that was in addition the standard Platinum stuff like second-row manual sunshades, 9-inch touchscreen display, integrated navigation, a surround-view camera, remote start, heated exterior mirrors, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power-adjustable driver’s seat, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision mitigation, rear automatic braking and of course Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration; all of which come on the lower levels as well.
The new cabin is well laid out and everything is easy to reach and use. On the road the Pathfinder is quiet inside with a nice smooth ride, and although I didn’t have a 4-wheel drive variant, I had little doubt driving across a soccer field would be an issue.
The only minor grovel I have, and it’s very minor, is the lack of the “Rock Creek” edition. Oh well, perhaps Nissan will bring that option back in the future; for now, the new Pathfinder is a great, and very affordable, SUV. And with this new redesign, it has a very bright future indeed.
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 2WD
MSRP (as tested): $49,890
Engine: 3.5-liter V-6, 284 horsepower @ 6400 rpm, 259 ft.lb. torque @ 4800 rpm
Transmssion: 9-speed shiftable
Fuel Mileage (EPA): 21 city, 26 highway, 23 combined
Fuel Mileage (as tested, mixed conditions): 24 mpg
Base Curb Weight (pounds): 4470
Maximum Towing Capacity (pounds): 6000
Exterior Dimensions (inches)
Width, without mirrors: 77.9
Front Track Width: 66.9
Rear Track Width: 66.9
Minimum Ground Clearance: 7.1
Interior Dimensions (inches)
Passenger / Seating Capacity: 7
Total Passenger Volume (cubic feet): 148
Front Head Room: 41.1
Front Leg Room: 44.3
Front Shoulder Room: 60.8
Front Hip Room: 58.3
Second Row Head Room: 38.4
Second Row Leg Room: 35.5
Second Row Shoulder Room: 59.6
Second Row Hip Room: 56.3
Third Row Head Room: 37.8
Third Row Leg Room: 28
Third Row Shoulder Room: 58.4
Third Row Hip Room: 46.7
Cargo Space/Area Length Behind First Row: 79.8
Cargo Space/Area Length Behind Second Row: 79.8
Cargo Space/Area Width at Beltline: 58.5
Cargo Bed Height: 33.3
Cargo Space/Area Behind Front Row: 80.5
Cargo Space/Area Behind Second Row: 45
Cargo Space/Area Behind Third Row: 16.6
3 Basic Years / 36,000 Basic Miles
5 Drivetrain Years / 60,000 Drivetrain Miles
5 Corrosion Years / Unlimited Corrosion Miles
3 Roadside Assistance Years / 36,000 Roadside Assistance Miles
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