2022 Nissan Pathfinder vs. 2022 Volkswagen Atlas: Surprising Similarities

These two SUVs come from companies of extremely different origins, but they are more similar than you would expect. The Nissan Pathfinder and Volkswagen Atlas come with three rows and a V6 engine. Each of these models offers AWD to give you power at all four wheels, but many differences exist.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder2022 Volkswagen Atlas
Price Range$33,410 to $46,190$33,475 to $50,645
Engine Options3.5-liter V62.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder/3.6-liter V6
Horsepower 284 horsepower235 horsepower/276 horsepower
Torque259 lb.-ft.258 lb.-ft./266 lb.-ft.
Transmission9-speed automatic8-speed automatic
MPG Rating21/26 FWD, 21/27 AWD21/25 FWD, 20/24 AWD | 18/24 FWD, 17/23 AWD
Data Source: Kelley Blue Book

Immediate differences between these midsize crossover SUVs

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Reviewing the table, you see the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is the more affordable, SUV and it comes with only one powertrain across all trim levels. The 2022 Volkswagen Atlas reaches higher pricing levels, but it has a choice of two powertrains based on the trim you select. The Pathfinder is also more efficient than the Atlas. So far, the Nissan SUV is in the lead.

How comfortable is the cabin of the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder?

2022 Nissan Pathfinder on a dirt trail
2022 Nissan Pathfinder | Nissan

Modern design elements and stylish leather upholstery make up part of the top trim in the Pathfinder. This SUV brings a strong reputation for being a good family vehicle, but it is the smaller model of the two. According to AutoGuide.com, adults are perfectly comfortable in the first two rows, but the third row is only suitable for small children.

The rearmost row of seats only affords 28.0 inches of legroom, hardly enough for an adult-sized person, while the cargo area measures only 16.6 cubic feet. Folding the third row down opens this area to 45.0 cubic feet, and you’ll find 80.5 cubic feet of storage space with both rear rows of the Nissan Pathfinder folded down.

Can you find more comfort in the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas?

The Atlas has a sense of spaciousness, which is made possible by the light-colored leather and dashboard available for this model. Similar to the Pathfinder, you’ll find plenty of room for adults in the first two rows of seats when you drive the Volkswagen Atlas. The third-row is easily accessible when using a lever to fold a second-row seat forward, giving you more legroom than in the rear seat of the Pathfinder.

Putting the space into numbers, you’ll find 33.7 inches of legroom for third-row passengers in the Atlas. The rear cargo area of this VW measures 20.6 cubic feet, and it opens to 55.5 cubic feet when the third row is folded flat. With both rear rows folded, you’ll find a massive 96.8 cubic feet of useful storage space.

The Volkswagen Atlas takes a point with a larger cabin that gives everyone greater comfort during any drive.

Which three-row SUV has better tech features?

Silver 2022 Volkswagen Atlas on the road
2022 Volkswagen Atlas | Volkswagen

The top trim of the Pathfinder brings you an impressive 9.0-inch infotainment screen, a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, and a 10.8-inch head-up display to give you all the information you need. The response times are quick, and you’ll enjoy a smooth connection using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in this SUV. You’ll be pleased with the package of safety features included in the Nissan Safety Shield package while you’re listening to the music you love coming through the 13-speaker Bose audio system.

When you check out the Atlas, you’ll notice the lack of a head-up display in this SUV. The VW does provide an 8.0-inch touchscreen that operates the MIB3 infotainment system along with a large instrument screen with the readings you need on the road. Even though it’s not named, the safety package of the Atlas keeps you secure and confident on any road.

The Nissan Pathfinder wins the technology battle between these two SUVs.

Which SUV should you buy?

Even though these two midsize SUVs are similar, the differences could help you make the right decision. If you’re willing to spend a little more for added roominess, the Volkswagen Atlas is the SUV you’ll want to drive. On the other hand, the Nissan Pathfinder has the better tech and a lower price to stay in consideration.

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