New SUV

Redesigned, 8-seater 2022 Nissan Pathfinder gains throwback looks, smart innovations

Nissan introduced the redesigned Nissan Pathfinder today.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The fifth-generation Nissan Pathfinder was revealed today wearing throwback looks with an interior chocked full of innovation and modern technology. As ever, it remains a family-friendly staple of the Nissan lineup.

The new Nissan Pathfinder was inspired by the original Nissan Pathfinder. That doesn't mean that it's a square-bodied relic. Quite the contrary. All-new from the ground up, the Pathfinder is designed to look rugged and aggressive, saying a firm farewell to the bubble-like body of its predecessor. At the front is Nissan's new take on the V-motion grille and the company's new logo with C-shaped standard LED headlights on either side with upper daytime running lights. It looks a lot like the Armada.

The SUV's grille is reminiscent of that on the new Armada.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The side of the vehicle reveals a two-tone paint job, a first for Pathfinder, with the shape of the steel giving the Pathfinder a muscular identity. Nissan will offer the Pathfinder in a total of 14 color combinations including five new two-tone treatments. The Pathfinder shown today is wearing Scarlet Ember body paint with a Super Black Metallic roof.

Circling around the back, the eye catches slim taillights with an elongated "Pathfinder" across the tailgate.

The 2022 Pathfinder will be offered in S, SV, SL, and Platinum trim levels. Depending on the trim level, the Pathfinder rides on 18- or 20-inch wheels.

Under the hood of the three-row SUV is a 284-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine that yields 259 pound-feet of torque - that's unchanged for the new generation. Nissan has paired the engine with a new nine-speed automatic transmission. That's right, no more continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy numbers are expected to remain about the same for the new model.

The design of the new Pathfinder is inspired by the original Pathfinder.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

2022 Nissan P

Two-wheel drive is standard on the new Pathfinder. Nissan will sell the model with available Intelligent 4WD with a seven-position Drive and Terrain Mode Selector. Drive modes include Standard, Sport, Eco, Snow, Sand, Mud/Rut, and Tow.

The 2022 Pathfinder has a 6,000-pound towing capacity when properly equipped, which is better than the Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, Kia Telluride, and Honda Pilot. A 3,5000-pound capacity is standard. Like on the 2022 Nissan Frontier, Trailer Sway Control is also standard.

In front of the driver is an available 12.3-inch fully digital information cluster, which first appeared in the 2021 Rogue. A 10.8-inch head-up display is available as well and can offer turn-by-turn directions. An 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen is standard and a 9.0-inch screen is available for the center stack. It sits above revised climate controls that cleanly simplify operation of the vehicle.

An electronic shifter, just like the one in the Rogue, sits next to the SUV's cup holders, an electronic parking brake lever, drive mode selector, and an easy-to-reach button that shuts off the engine's auto start/stop functionality.

The interior of the Armada has been refined and offers additional soundproofing.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

As show in a high trim level, the Pathfinder offers a near-premium in-cabin experience. Seats are wrapped in standard woven cloth but buyers can upgrade to leather or premium quilted semi-aniline leather-appointed seats. Brushed bronze metallic accents are features in the cabin of the model shown and are part of one of the seven interior schemes available. There is new ambient lighting.

Nissan has improved the interior noise level of the Pathfinder for the new model year adding acoustic laminated front glass, thicker second-row glass, increased door and floor isolation, and a 60-percent increase in engine noise absorption.

Pathfinder seats up to eight people, including the ability to fit three adults across the back row. Captain's chairs are available for the second row and the center console of that row can be quickly removed using no tools. The standard second-row bench seat features one-touch release fold and slide functionality that allows car seats to remain in place on both the driver and passenger sides. The third row features 60/40 split-folding capability.

The three-row SUV now has seating for eight.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

There is 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row. The rear cargo area of the Pathfinder can accommodate a 120-quart cooler or four golf bags with all three rows up. With the third-row folded, there is 45 cubic feet of cargo space and with the second- and third-row folded there's 80.5 cubic feet. Those numbers are all an improvement on the outgoing generation's. The SUV can carry 4x8-foot sheets of plywood with no problem, according to the manufacturer.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder standard NissanConnect technology with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Available features include 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, climate controlled front seats, tai-zone automatic climate control, heated rear seats, a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless smartphone charter, wireless Apple CarPlay, a 13-speaker Bose Premium Audio system, NissanConnect Services, navigation, and an upgraded 360-degree camera view.

Nissan is making ProPilot Assist available on Pathfinder SV and SL. It combines steering assist and adaptive cruise control to control acceleration, braking, and steering on the highway. The top-tier Pathfinder Platinum upgrades to ProPilot Assist with Navi-Link, which was just introduced on the Rogue. It combines the driving assistance tech with navigation map data to further automate the driving experience.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Wireless Apple CarPlay is available on the new model.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan Safety Shield is standard on the Pathfinder. It's a suite of technology that includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking. Blind Spot Intervention, Intelligent Lane Intervention, a seat-mounted supplemental airbag, and traffic sign recognition technology is available.

Pricing for the model is not yet available. It will go on sale this summer.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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Updated premium crossover

2022 Infiniti QX50 picks up new standard features

The new QX50 gets more tech and safety features.

Infiniti

Infiniti is one of a handful of automakers that have continued developing and building cars instead of focusing only on higher-profit and much more popular SUVs and trucks. That said, Infiniti's catalog is crossover- and SUV-heavy. Its smallest and least expensive crossover, the QX50 gets a handful of new features for 2022, and today Infiniti announced pricing.

Infiniti offers the 2022 QX50 in five trims: $40,025 Pure, $43,375 Luxe, $47,825 Essential, $52,525 Sensory, and $57,975 Autograph. All trims get Infiniti's variable compression (VC-Turbo) engine that makes 268 horsepower and returns up to 26 mpg combined. The advanced engine shifts its compression ratio to match the driver's behavior. When more power is needed, the compression changes, and when efficiency is the priority, it changes again. It's a marvel of engineering, but it's not as fuel-efficient as a hybrid. Power reaches the front or all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission.

2022 Infiniti QX50 Pricing starts at around $40,000.Infiniti

Beyond the new standard features for 2022, buyers of the new QX50 will have to step up to the Luxe trim to get the most desirable features such as auto-folding exterior side mirrors, power lumbar support, and perforated leather upholstery. Standard comfort gear includes eight-way power front seats, dual-zone climate controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Infiniti stuck with its dual-screen infotainment configuration with the 2022 QX50. The top eight-inch screen handles wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto duties, as well as navigation. The bottom seven-inch screen handles vehicle controls, radio stations, and other settings. Though the system looks great and adds a high-tech feel to the cabin, two screens can be distracting and confusing while driving. The good news is that the QX50 gets an excellent 16-speaker Bose stereo starting with the Luxe trim.

2022 Infiniti QX50 ProPilot Assist and Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are now standardInfiniti

The 2022 QX50 hasn't been crash tested by either major ratings organization yet, but the 2021 model performed well. It earned Good ratings in crash testes and a Superior score for its standard crash prevention systems. The 2022 QX50 comes standard with Infiniti's ProPilot Assist system, which brings advanced adaptive cruise control functions that can center the car in its lane, brake, and accelerate. Other standard tech includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, rear automatic braking, predictive forward collision warnings, and forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.


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