First Drive: Redesigned 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Is a Modern Take on the Original Truck

This roomy and comfortable three-row SUV is packed with standard safety systems

2022 Nissan Pathfinder front

The redesigned 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is meant to reignite consumer interest in its three-row SUV, which over the past few generations has become overshadowed by newer and better midsized SUVs.

When it debuted way back as a 1987 model, the Pathfinder was a blocky two-door, five-seat option in the burgeoning sport utility vehicle market. It promised the go-anywhere capabilities of a truck with family-friendly features like reclining second-row seats. I know, because my family owned one of the first ones in New Jersey. It covered tens of thousands of miles on family road trips, in addition to serving as my dad’s commuter vehicle and a snow blower hauler each winter for my driveway cleaning business.

With this redesign, Nissan has gone back to the squared-off styling of that original. But that’s where any similarity ends. This new Pathfinder is a major step forward from the previous-generation SUV it’s replacing—let alone the one from 35 years ago.

More on Three-Row SUVs

While CR is waiting to buy a new Pathfinder when they become available at dealers, we rented a top-line Platinum trim version from Nissan to get some time behind the wheel.

All Pathfinders come with a 284-hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine that’s mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Both front- and all-wheel drive are available.

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What we rented: 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4WD
Powertrain: 284-hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine; 9-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
MSRP: $48,090
Options: Lighting package (illuminated kick plates and welcome lighting) $795; captain’s chair floor mats $255
Total options: $1,010
Destination fee: $1,150
Total cost: $50,290

CR's Take

The new Pathfinder feels like a bigger version of the recently redesigned Nissan Rogue. It's got all the things we liked in the Rogue but with an extra row of seats. It’s a slick, well-thought-out vehicle that—at least in the Platinum trim—is competitive well above its price class. In fact, this trim feels like a solid competitor to the Acura MDX.

The last Pathfinder was bland, clumsy, and unimpressive—a forgettable SUV if there ever was one. This new Pathfinder is far better. It’s noteworthy that a new Infiniti QX60, which historically uses the same platform as the Pathfinder, is also on its way to the market. This bodes well, because Infiniti has been starved of competitive products for the past few years.

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