The Nissan Pathfinder was first introduced in 1985 as the Japanese vehicle manufacturer’s response to the Chevy Blazer. Sales numbers have always remained relatively modest compared to competitors since the Nissan Pathfinder’s introduction, never exceeding 90,000 units sold in any year. But with the new, family-friendly 2022 Pathfinder loaded with features, it seems Nissan wants to claim a spot on the sales leaderboard.
The Nissan Pathfinder is one of the most kid-friendly midsize three-row SUVs
MotorTrend reviewers seem pretty impressed with the new 2022 Nissan Pathfinder, writing that “Nissan is eager to return to the midsize three-row SUV sales leaderboard.” They continue by stating, “So designers and product planners toiling on the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder put on their thinking caps and came up with a raft of cool upgrades aimed at making us forget all about the unlamented fourth-generation ‘Mallfinder’ midsize three-row crossover.”
MotorTrend pointed out nine of these family-friendly features in a recent June 2021 review of the 2022 Pathfinder. The Platinum trim comes standard with newly available second-row captain’s chairs equipped with one-touch electric release buttons. “The switches lift and tilt the seat without changing the backrest angle, so it can be done with a child seat installed,” the author explained. The passage between the second row measures 10 inches, starting at the floor, with the widest point measuring 24 inches.
Nissan’s Zero Gravity design concept added 4.7 inches of hip room in third-row seats. The author of the MotorTrend review called it a “Three-Kid Third Row.” However, “There’s not quite enough height from hip to ankle for taller adults to get comfy, and the 46.7 inches of official hip room is tight for three adults,” they clarified.
Nissan has made the rear heat, and AC controls to a level that makes it easier for kids of all ages to reach. Another significant update for 2022 is having the second-row AC vents moved to the side rails of the ceiling rather than in the center console. By positioning the AC vents there, the cold air won’t dry out a baby’s eyes. On top of that, it’s a more energy-efficient way to cool the space and allows more room for a panoramic roof.
Nissan Pathfinder: Great utility features for busy families
Nissan did remember that teenagers and adults will be passengers of the 2022 Pathfinder as well, so you’ll find plenty of great utility features for families with busy lives. Since smartphones have become an increasing part of that business, the passenger-side dash tray is deep and wide—two of the largest smartphones or phablets on the market today, the iPhone 12 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, can sit side by side.
A sizeable Qi-format wireless charging mat is in the center console, allowing for a third smartphone of similar size. Sloping down and forward, the wireless charging mat has a rubbery surface for improved grip, as well as a “lip” at the bottom.
The MotorTrend review stated that “Pathfinders equipped with the captain’s chairs in the second row also get a center console that’s a breeze to remove.” Additionally, the cup holders are “Big-Gulp Friendly,” capable of accommodating even the largest refillable water bottles within reason. But it’s not only large beverages Nissan thought about: a four-foot-wide cargo area allows you to fit sheets of plywood in the rear.
For those trips that require wings, six TSA-approved roll-aboard suitcases can be stuffed behind the third row. That’s two piles of three. Tailgaters can also fit their 120-quart cooler back there. A big under-floor bin with wipe-clean plastic lining is the perfect solution for grubbier items. Not only does this bin have removable dividers, but friction hinges keep the lid open as well.
The starting MSRP of $33,410 won’t get you many family-friendly features
Nissan’s tagline for the 2022 Pathfinder is “Return to rugged.” But don’t think you’ll be doing any returning to rugged merely paying the base price. The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is powered by either a 2WD or 4WD drivetrain. The 2WD model has an MSRP of $33,410, while the 4WD model is priced starting at $35,310, according to Nissan.
If you’re one who sees little logicality in buying a 2WD SUV and opts for the 4WD model, all trims come standard with a 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve direct-injection V6 engine. It produces 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission with “manual mode.”
For features listed by MotorTrend, such as the second-row fold-down captain’s chairs, the panoramic moonroof, and the wireless charger, be prepared to spend $48,090 on the 4WD Platinum trim. The “Latch and Glide” seating system and 3rd-row 60/40-split fold-flat reclining bench seat come standard in the S trim model.