Return to rugged in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder, coming this summer to Finch Nissan in London, Ontario

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is coming to London, Ontario. Ruggedly redesigned, refined and rebuilt for a whole new generation of family adventure. Return to rugged. And just about anything else.

With crossovers becoming such an integral part of any auto manufacturers’ portfolio, the redesigned 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a critical launch for Nissan.

Thirty-five years and four-generations ago, it spearheaded the company’s push into the SUV market, and it has been a popular choice ever since.

Now comes the new 2022 fifth-generation Pathfinder. It’s part of a push that will see a total 10 new vehicle launches, six of which will be on sale by the end of this year. So far Versa, Sentra and Rogue have landed. Armada and Kicks will arrive later this month. Further out, the plan includes a new Z car and the all-electric Ariya.

The Pathfinder’s rework touches every facet. Key is the fact it goes back to its roots — the three slots at leading edge of the hood and the fender blisters speak to the original design. In the process it sheds the jelly-bean-like profile by adopting a more upright stance and sharper tail. Throw in the LED lighting, a “floating” roof line and the availability of two-tone paint, and the look is an attractive blend of sophisticated and rugged.

As before, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder will be offered in S, SV, SL and Platinum trim levels.

The interior is as sharp as the exterior and arrives with a healthy list of standard fare, even on the starter S model. It includes Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats with 10-way adjustment for the driver, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The flat-bottom steering wheel then finishes off a well-conceived cabin. Of course, there are 16 cupholders!

Moving up to the SV and SL models adds an around-view camera, motion-activated power tailgate, a free-standing nine-inch infotainment touch-screen that includes navigation, a 13-speaker Bose sound system, panoramic moonroof, leather upholstery and heated second-row seats. The top-line Platinum then adds a new 12.3-inch customizable instrument cluster and a 10.8-inch full-spectrum head-up display — it allows the driver to select the content including turn-by-turn directions, safety warnings, and speed limits.

Beneath the sheet metal, the new model rides on a derivative of the previous Pathfinder’s platform. It is now slightly shorter overall, but 25 millimetres wider. This means room for eight riders with the middle-row bench seat in place; or seven passengers when the captain’s buckets are installed. The rework brings better flexibility. For example, the inclusion of a shift-by-wire gear lever and electronic parking brake frees up enough space to provide a handy under-console storage area.

The cargo capacity numbers are impressive. Behind the third row there’s 470-litres, which is enough for four sets of golf clubs. Folding it down opens up 1,274L. A one-touch function sees the middle row drop flat, which opens up 2,421L. With all seats down, the extra width means there’s now enough space between the wheel well covers to accept a 4×8 sheet of plywood, which is a rarity.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is also rich from a safety perspective, as Nissan’s ProPilot Assist and Safety Shield 360 systems are now standard on all models.

The semi-autonomous ProPilot Assist has been enhanced with a better radar and camera to bring smoother braking and better steering assist when engaged. The SL and Platinum models also include the Navi-Link extension. It uses all the same sensors along the information from a destination stored in the navigation system to proactively reduce speed for an upcoming bend and help the driver ready to exit the highway.

The Safety Shield 360 setup includes forward collision mitigation with auto-braking, rear auto-braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, auto high-beams and a drowsy-driver alert system. It also includes rear sonar parking sensors.

Power comes from a 3.5-litre V6 that makes 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque. Where the Pathfinder makes a radical change, especially for a company that had put all its eggs in the continuously variable transmission basket, is the adoption of an all-new nine-speed automatic transmission. The combination promises to drop the run to 100 kilometres an hour to around seven seconds, which is strong.

The new powertrain also brings a maximum tow capacity of 2,722 kilograms, which is more than the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Kia Telluride and Toyota Highlander. It also earns Trailer Sway Control as standard fare. This extension of the stability control system helps to prevent the trailer from wagging the Pathfinder.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives with a revamped version of Nissan’s Intelligent all-wheel-drive system. It now includes a better direct coupling, which controls the torque distribution more accurately by predicting front wheel slip. This brings a more authoritative take-off on-road and some off-road potential.

Equally new is the seven-function Drive and Terrain mode selector. It includes Eco, Standard, Sport and Tow driving modes along with Snow, Sand, Mud/Rut terrain modes. Having traded in the original’s off-road chops in favour of a mall-assault mandate for the later generations, the 2022 Pathfinder looks to be heading back to its roots!

Pathfinder rides on front struts, independent multiple rear links, and larger P255/60R18 or P255/50R20 tires. It also benefits from a new dual-pinion electric power steering system that, says Nissan, brings better feel and feedback than before — the outgoing Pathfinder tended to be more of a highway cruiser than corner carver because of the numb steering feel, so the improvement is welcome.

Finally, the use of acoustic laminated front side windows, thicker second-row windows, more door and floor isolation and better insulation promises a much quieter highway ride, and the outgoing Pathfinder was already very good in this regard.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder will arrived here at Finch Nissan in London, Ontario. Full specifications and final pricing will be announced closer to the launch date.

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