Nissan Pathfinder Platinum — Nothing short of outstanding View

By Jim Prueter

(July 27, 2022) With a dated lineup of utility vehicles that are well past their freshness date, Nissan has been rejuvenating its SUVs and the Pathfinder is the latest to receive a comprehensive and complete redesign for the 2022 model year. The previous Pathfinder was well out of its league and at the bottom of the segment against exceptionally good competitors like the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

After recently spending a week behind the wheel of a new Pathfinder Platinum, I can easily sum it up in a word – “Outstanding.” Its purely modern look is classy, classy both outside and in. It’s not only lightyears ahead of the Pathfinder it replaces a strong case can be made that it has leapfrogged its way to the top of the class. Yes, even ahead of the excellent Telluride and Palisade.

Offered in a choice of the standard front-wheel drive or optional 4WD shoppers can choose from four well-equipped trim levels – S, SV, SL and Platinum. Further, Nissan has just announced it is adding a rugged Rock Creek model for the 2023 that gets a boost in horsepower, its own special interior, a revised front grille, badging and a modified suspension, all-terrain tires on unique wheels and standard all-wheel drive.

All trim levels will be powered by the same 284-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 from the previous-generation Pathfinder, but the good news is the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) has been replaced by an excellent new nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive adds seven different drive modes, including off-road oriented Sand and Mud/Rut mode.

Our top shelf Platinum test Pathfinder could closely pass for an Infiniti model with its bold, squared-off physique, 20-inch alloy wheels, chrome side sills, dual panoramic roof, Bose Premium audio system, head-up display, premium leather power tilt/ telescoping steering wheel, quilted Semi-Aniline leather seating, bronze metallic brushed interior trim, ambient interior lighting and more.

Our Pathfinder Platinum also includes Nissan’s new ProPILOT Assist with Navi-Link Door -to-Door Navigation System. The navigation map data can proactively reduce speed for upcoming freeway curves or junctions and also help the driver slow for freeway exits.

All Pathfinders come equipped with the Nissan Safety ShieldÆ 360, that includes a long list of advanced driver safety systems including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert with rear automatic braking and more. Ten airbags are standard with 11 on the Platinum trim.

Standard infotainment features include Nissan ConnectÆ with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Wi-Fi Hotspot, a wireless smartphone charging pad, and a digital intelligent Around View Monitor.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a three row SUV with seating for eight. A seven-seat layout is optional, and it trades the second-row bench seat for a pair of captain's chairs with a removable center console in between. Front seats are firmly cushioned and especially comfortable even after hours of long driving. Our Platinum included ventilated and heated seats for the first tow rows. There are three or four complete sets of LATCH child seat connectors, depending on the seating configuration selected.

There’s 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third row of seats, enough for a few sets of golf clubs or carry-on luggage. Folding the third and second row of seats forward increases cargo space to 45 and 80 cubic feet respectively.  

On the road, our Pathfinder had excellent acceleration and the transmission is one of the best we’ve experienced in its class. It’s smooth with prompt seamless gear changes and instant downshifts when passing other vehicles on the highway. The ride is smooth and quiet with some minimal body lean through turns, but the handling is well controlled and confident. Steering is quick and parking is sufficiently maneuvered in and out of smaller spaces. Our week of driving returned 23.7 mpg combined on our two-wheel drive test vehicle beating its EPA rating of 23 combined.

Overall, the redesigned 2022 Pathfinder is an excellent midsize SUV and vastly improved on the outgoing model it replaced. We especially liked the styling and our Platinum trim felt downright lavish — a long way from the hard plastic fare of the previous Pathfinder. All that goodness is complemented by the refined engine and transmission, composed handling, comfortable and quiet driving dynamics and generous room for people and cargo. It comes loaded with advanced safety features and looks far more expensive than its price suggests.

Vital Stats
2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum
Base Price: $46,190
Price as Tested: $48,390
Engine/Transmission: 284-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine paired to a 9-speed automatic transmission.
EPA Fuel Economy: 21/26/23 MPG – City/Highway/Combined
Seating: Up to eight

Crash Test Safety Ratings: Overall “Good” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Where Built: Smyrna, Tennessee

Competes With:
Buick Enclave
Chevrolet Traverse
Dodge Durango
Ford Explorer
Honda Pilot
Hyundai Palisade
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Kia Telluride
Toyota Highlander
Volkswagen Atlas

Impressive styling
Loaded with infotainment and driver assist technology
Roomy, quiet, comfortable

Hybrid not offered
Adaptive cruise control not standard