Did the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Just Cheat Off of All Minivans?

The minivan. This car segment has long represented giving up and turning into old folks like our parents. First of all, minivans can be super rad. Secondly, the giant three-row SUV is just the minivan of this current generation. Lots of people want to pretend they dodged the minivan bullet becuase they bought a GMC Yukon. Hear me when I say; there is nothing wrong with driving a minivan, and most three-row SUVs are just minivans but a little cooler. Take the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder, for instance. 

2022 Nissan Pathfinder parked in the desert
2022 Nissan Pathfinder | Nissan

There is a 2022 Nissan Pathfinder and it’s a cool parent-mobile

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is all-new for this model year. The Pathfinder has always been a boxy, ugly little thing, but it always meant business. As The Drive mentions, the first-generation Nissan Pathfinder was an old-school body-on-frame with no business carting children around. Over the years, the Nissan Pathfinder has had four generations, and it has flopped around a bit here and there but was always ultimately an SUV in the more traditional sense. 

The all-new Pathfinder is an ideal family adventure vehicle not just in looks, but in modern capability as well. Every 2022 Pathfinder features a 284-horsepower 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6 with 259 lb-ft of torque. The engine is matched with an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission, which provides a smooth, strong, direct vehicle response.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder | Nissan

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder has fully adhered to the current three-row-SUV trend of making sure it can fit 30 kids before we think about giving it a 4-low. I’m not going to be a total hater, though. I understand why this current trend has legs, and this new-generation Nissan Pathfinder isn’t all that bad to look at. 

What engine is in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder?

According to The Drive, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder kept the 3.5-liter V6 but thankfully ditched the CVT and slapped a nine-speed automatic transmission. The 3.5-liter V6 is making 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque. Nothing about these specs suggests that it will be a terribly strong SUV, but a wider, boxier stance at least makes it seem like it could be tough. 

The all-new Pathfinder is an ideal family adventure vehicle not just in looks, but in modern capability as well. Every 2022 Pathfinder features a 284-horsepower 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6 with 259 lb-ft of torque. The engine is matched with an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission, which provides a smooth, strong, direct vehicle response.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder | NIssan

There is another feature that feels a little more SUV-esq for Nissan Pathfinder. If you pick the trims with a tow hitch, the Pathfinder can pull up to 6,000lbs, strong for its class. The Drive also notes that trailer sway control is now a standard feature and six different driving modes. The six driving modes are Standard, Sport, Eco, Snow, Sand, Mud/Rut, and Tow. Having these options is nice, but it is still a minivan dressed in SUV clothing, which is ok; we just need to be clear about what we are looking at. 

The minivan/SUV line is getting blurry

Even though the Nissan Pathfinder is trying really hard to hide it, it is mostly a squared-off minivan. For instance, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder has 16 cup holders, for crying out loud. I’m not complaining, but there isn’t anything “sport” about that. The interior is littered with USB ports, cubbies, and compartments. There is also a plastic storage compartment with a drain plug. It may be marketed as a place to keep beverages while camping or tailgating, but it’s more likely to store juice boxes and orange slices. 

To be clear, I do not believe that minivans or family vehicles are in any way bad or shameful things. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. I can’t wait to buy a land yacht for the fam, but I would like to see a little more honesty from carmakers and buyers when dealing with SUVs. This silly fear of minivans only managed to weaken the state of the SUV and 4x4s as a whole. Instead of having many dedicated off-roaders, we now have models that once were strong 4x4s that are now just square minivans. Minivans also still exist.