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2022 Nissan Pathfinder: Ding, dong the CVT is dead, 5 other things you should know

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2022 Pathfinder

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder gets a more rugged profile, and has an adventure-ready interior. (Image courtesy of Nissan North America)

In addition to the handsome new design, probably the biggest news that came out of the reveal of the 2022 Pathfinder is the fact Nissan finally ditched the Xtronic transmission. We seem to use this word a lot when talking about Nissan products of late, but hallelujah!

The Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) in the Pathfinder has been plagued by problems – and even a class action lawsuit – since its inclusion in the vehicle for the 2013 model year. But for 2022, Pathfinder will adopt a 9-speed automatic with manual mode paddle shifters. Can we get an Amen?

Needless to say, this transmission has been a huge sticking point for potential buyers – well, that and the vanilla styling. But Nissan nips both of those issues in the butt, so it clears the way for people to see the potential of this all-new SUV.

In addition to the transmission news, here are five other big things to know about the 2022 Pathfinder.

Engine stays the same, 4WD is new

We don’t have any issues with Nissan’s stalwart 3.5-liter direct injection V-6 engine, and we imagine it’ll only feel better with the new transmission. Power ratings also stay the same at 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque. Max towing capacity also stays the same at 6,000 pounds.

What’s new with the drivetrain is the addition of Nissan’s new Intelligent 4WD. This system features direct coupling allowing for confident acceleration in low-traction situations as well as includes a new seven-position Drive and Terrain Mode Selector. Drive modes include: Standard, Sport, Eco, Snow, Sand, Mud/Rut and Tow.

2022 Pathfinder

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder still has plenty of curves, but it gets a more upright stance overall. (Image courtesy of Nissan North America)

The bubble butt is gone

Nissan has started to implement a more upright and aggressive stance with its SUVs. We saw it first in Armada and then Rogue. Now it makes its way to the 2022 Pathfinder.

Ken Lee, senior design director at Nissan’s Global Design Center, said he took inspiration for this all-new SUV’s design from the original Pathfinder, which was a more traditional boxy SUV. The new Pathfinder still has plenty of curves, but it has a more vertical stance and upright grille, which gives it a much more rugged appearance.

Speaking of heritage, Easter egg hunters will appreciate the three-slot hood design, which both hearkens back to the first generation and is functional.

I’m particularly fond of the rear profile with its flatter, wider expanse.

2022 Pathfinder

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder comes standard with seating for eight, but captain’s chairs are available in the middle row for the first time. (Image courtesy of Nissan North America)

There’s room for 8

The current-gen Pathfinder seats seven, with a 2-3-2 configuration. But the third row, courtesy of the wider stance, has expanded to seat 3 for 2022. So, the standard seating configuration is for eight, with a middle-row bench seat. Captain’s chairs are now available for the first time in the middle row.

With a focus on family, it’s worth noting available convenience features include a tri-zone climate control, heated middle-row seats and an extra USB-A port in the third row.

Safety is standard

I feel like a broken record because I literally just wrote this in the 2022 Frontier reveal article, but Safety Shield 360 is finally standard on the 2022 Pathfinder. Previously, only automatic emergency braking was standard. Now, every Pathfinder, starting with the S trim will include not only automatic emergency braking but also blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, automatic high beams and rear automatic braking.

The all-new Pathfinder will have Pro Pilot Assist available on SV and SL trims. This system includes lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control – which will take you all the way to a stop, and restart automatically as long as you aren’t static more than 30 seconds.

2022 Pathfinder

The Intelligent Around View Monitor in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder. (Image courtesy of Nissan North America)

2022 Pathfinder is tech forward

In addition to standard safety and available ProPilot Assist, the 2022 Pathfinder gets a whole host of other new and available technology. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be standard on all trims, but it will be the wired-in variety. Wireless CarPlay is available, but wireless Auto is not.

Most of the other cool goodies are going to be available as you level up, though. To break it down:

  • S: Safety Shield 360, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto.
  • SV: NissanConnect powered by SiriusXM, ProPilot Assist
  • SL: ProPilot Assist with NaviLink, Intelligent Around View Monitor, Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Platinum: 12.3-inch digital cluster, 10.8-inch head-up display, wireless charging pad

The bottom line on the 2022 Pathfinder

The previous generation Pathfinder was boring, and frankly, it was ill-designed for petite drivers. I, in polite terms, did not like it very much.

However, with today’s reveal, Nissan continues to wow with its product onslaught. If the 2022 Pathfinder drives as well as the new Rogue (which is awesome!), this all-new three-row SUV is going to be a home run for the struggling automaker.

Though the 2022 Pathfinder will go on sale this summer, pricing hasn’t been announced. However, for reference, the current 2020 model (Nissan skipped the 2021 model year), starts at $31,980. With all the new tech, we’re going to have to see a price increase, and we anticipate the base price will land somewhere in the $34k range.

Related posts:

2021 Nissan Rogue: The 5 Most Important Things To Know

Review: 2017 Nissan Pathfinder – Get OFF THE DAMN PAVEMENT

Nissan makes important changes to 2021 Armada

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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