First drive: 2022 Nissan Pathfinder in the UAE
After the Nissan Pathfinder’s 9-year long stint as a softly-styled inoffensive crossover, there is now an all-new model. The 2022 Pathfinder is not just a facelift but a complete redesign from the ground-up, with a host of mechanical and technological upgrades to cater for the midsize three-row crossover segment.
The new exterior is bolder with Nissan’s signature V-Motion grille and several design cues that draws inspiration from its 35-year heritage. The new Pathfinder comes in 10 standard colours and 5 two-tone colours with additional premium options such as Scarlet Ember Tintcoat and Pearl White Tricoat.
Nissan has really amped up the interior, at least in the top trim level, with quilted semi-aniline leather-appointed seats. The dashboard has brushed bronze metallic accents coupled with new ambient lighting and a panoramic moonroof.
It has a 9-inch touchscreen display, 12.3-inch digital dashboard and a 10.8-inch head-up display in the SL trim. The 12-speaker Bose Premium Audio system coupled with NissanConnect, featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, is offered along with a wireless charging pad and 5 USB ports.
The seating is standard 8-person or, for the first time on the Pathfinder, 7-person with second-row captain’s chairs (available in the SL grade).
Getting into the third row is now easier with its EZ FLEX one-touch release fold/slide with push button activation from both front and rear sides of the seats. And there’s a huge boot and ample beverage holders.
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder comes with its 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine with direct injection mated to a 9-speed automotive transmission with paddle shifters. With 271 hp on tap, the new Pathfinder doesn’t appear to be a huge upgrade on paper, but is designed to be a bit more off-road savvy than its predecessor.
We drove the Pathfinder on the roads of Dubai, rugged obstacle courses at the XQuarry Adventure Park in Mleiha, and mountain highways across Khorfakkan, Sharjah and Fujairah. Although it is a big step in the right direction by replacing the CVT with a “proper” automatic gearbox, we felt there is a small lack of torque in some situations which a turbo engine would’ve handled better, although the classic V6 workhorse is fine for daily use.
The new intelligent 4×4 system has seven modes — Mud/Rut, Sand, Snow, Sports, Tow, Road & Eco mode.
Compared to this writer’s own previous-gen Pathfinder, the 2022 model’s ride comfort has been significantly improved, while the quietness is complimented with the new acoustic laminated front glass and more door insulation.
This generation is packed with Nissan’s latest Safety Shield 360 and PROPILOT, bringing all the latest electronic nannies such as intelligent cruise control to automatically accelerate and brake based on upcoming traffic, lane intervention to ensure the car is within its lane, blind-spot intervention to prevent changing lanes when a car is nearby, rear cross traffic alert and emergency braking when needed.
Nissan Middle East is positioning the Pathfinder between the Nissan Patrol and the Nissan Xterra in terms of pricing. Having driven the previous generation for over 9 years for its all-round capabilities as a family hauler, I can safely say that the new model is worth trading in the old one for.
Pictures supplied by Nissan.
For UAE/GCC prices and specs, visit the Nissan buyer guide.