Nissan has lifted the covers off the fifth-generation Pathfinder large SUV that brings more space and off-road capability as well as a bold new look that harks back to the original model.
Designed primarily for the US market, but with traits that will appeal to Australian buyers, the Hyundai Palisade eight-seat SUV rival has bold design touches that pay homage to the original WD21 Pathfinder, including the fender blisters, forward-leaning C-pillar, 'boxed-out' rear end and even the three slots above the grille.
Other design elements come straight from the current Nissan handbook, including the V-motion grille that matches the 2021 X-Trail, C-shaped headlights, floating roofline and slim upper daytime running lights, while the distinctive rear-end is adorned with slim LED taillights and spaced out, bold, satin chrome PATHFINDER branding end to end.
Available in front- and four-wheel-drive options, the Pathfinder will launch in the US later this year with four trim levels – S, SV, SL and Platinum – and will be available with 14 colours/colour combinations including five two-tone treatments.
Inside, the 2020 Pathfinder brings all new materials and a more spacious environment than before.
Upper-spec models receive a 12.3-inch multi-display digital dashboard and 10.8-inch head-up display.
Most versions also come with a 9.0-inch touchscreen that stands high on the clutter-free dashboard and displays the NissanConnect infotainment system featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay that’s standard across the range.
Spending more on higher-spec variants will bring WiFi Hot Spot, a wireless phone charging pad, wireless Apple CarPlay, 13-speaker Bose premium audio, SiriusXM navigation, and high-res 360-degree parking monitor.
Other available interior features include a 10-way power driver’s seat, climate-controlled front seats, tri-zone climate control and second-row heated seats.
Space and some
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder's 5003mm length and 2900mm wheelbase are virtually identical to the current model, but it is slightly wider, which has allowed for a three-seat third row that Nissan claims will accommodate three adults.
The eight-seat interior can be reconfigured to a more spacious seven-seat cabin with optional second-row captain’s chairs that can be fitted without tools.
The standard second-row bench seat has ‘EZ FLEX’ one-touch release fold/slide with push-button activation from both the driver and passenger sides, making life easy for parents and backseat passengers alike.
Meanwhile, the third-row bench splits 60:40 to allow for flexibility when carrying passengers and cargo.
With all three rows in use, the Pathfinder has a very handy 470-litre boot space. This is actually 33 litres smaller than the current model, however with the third row folded down the new model can fit 1274 litres of stuff, which is 110 litres more than before.
If you need to carry more, it has a 2700kg towing capacity with trailer sway control.
Despite the new rugged appearance, Nissan promises all occupants a quiet ride with the fitting of acoustic laminated front glass, thicker second-row glass, increased door and floor isolation, and a 60 per cent increase in engine noise absorption.
V6 returns, but no hybrid
Speaking of engines, all variants will come with an updated version of the 3.5-litre direct-injection V6 engine found in the current model, coupled with a new nine-speed automatic transmission that Nissan says provides a smoother and more direct throttle response.
Curiously, unlike the current model, there is no hybrid version despite other brands introducing electrified versions of their SUVs, like one of its key rivals, the all-new 2020 Toyota Kluger that launches this month.
The 4WD models feature an all-new, seven-position terrain-mode selector that directs torque transfer to control traction in a variety of situations. Modes include Standard, Sport, Eco, Snow, Sand, Mud/Rut and Tow and are displayed as a pop-up notification on the meter cluster.
Nissan claims handling has been enhanced with new dual-pinion electric power steering and front strut and rear independent multi-link suspension.
New safety tech
All Pathfinder variants come equipped with ten airbags, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist and rear auto braking.
Forward collision warning, driver alert monitor and rear door alert are also standard, while blind-spot intervention, lane intervention and traffic sign recognition are available in higher-spec variants.
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Apart from the entry-level S, all versions also come with ProPILOT Assist smart active cruise control that works on the open road and in heavy traffic.
The Platinum grade adds the new ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link that works with the satellite navigation system to proactively reduce speed for upcoming freeway curves or junctions.
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder will launch in the US around August 2021, with an Australian launch date yet to be confirmed.
Additional details such as pricing and fuel economy will be available closer to launch.