2022 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2022 Subaru Ascent

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  • 2022 Nissan Pathfinder

    A red 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is angled left.

    Starting at


    2022 Subaru Ascent

    A black 2022 Subaru Ascent is angled right.

    Starting at


    284Horsepower (hp)260
    6,000Max Towing (lbs)5,000
    8/9Infotainment Screen (in)6.5/8

    There is a lot of buzz in the automotive industry concerning the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder, and for some very good reasons. You see, the all-new Pathfinder is more, much more than just your typical mid-size SUV with a third row of seating; it is a very capable vehicle that will enhance your driving experience. Now, we can sit here all day long writing about all of the great features the Pathfinder has to offer, but that just isn’t enough to get the point across. To get a better idea and bigger picture of just how special the Pathfinder is, it is best to compare it with the competition, for example, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2022 Subaru Ascent.

    This way, you get a better idea of how the Pathfinder is more than just your family-friendly ride. In an effort to prove that the Pathfinder is worth the investment, we are going to put it head-to-head with another favorite of the segment to see just how well these two vehicles stack up. Then, it will be easy for you to see just what the Nissan Pathfinder has to offer that puts it above the rest of the competition.

  • Performance

    A green 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is shown from the front driving through a city after winning a 2022 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2022 Subaru Ascent comparison.

    The Power of the Pathfinder

    284 and 6,000 aren’t just a couple of random numbers that we are throwing out there. These numbers represent two areas of performance in which the Pathfinder clearly outshines the Ascent. These numbers might not be that important for the casual driver who thinks they will only use their Pathfinder for commuting purposes or taking the family on a round of errands on a Saturday afternoon. After all, nobody thinks about horsepower and towing capacities when taking the family to the sporting goods store for new soccer cleats.

    But here is something you need to think about; there is an excellent chance that these numbers will make a difference at some point in the future. For example, you get a bonus at work for a job well done, and you find yourself looking at campers or maybe a boat. The reason you do this is that you have always wanted one, and now that you have a Nissan Pathfinder, you have an SUV with the capability to tow your new camper or boat, so why not splurge and buy one.

    The Power of the Ascent

    That’s not to say the Subaru Ascent isn’t a capable SUV in terms of power and towing; it just doesn’t quite stack up to the Pathfinder. The Pathfinder edges out the Ascent in horsepower 284 to 260. But more importantly, for those who plan to utilize their SUV for weekend adventures, the Pathfinder can tow a full 1,000 pounds more than the Ascent. The bottom line is that the Ascent’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is just no match for the Pathfinder’s 3.5-liter V6.

    There will be those out there who worry that you lose fuel efficiency when choosing a more powerful engine, especially if it is a V6. However, you don’t have to worry as the fuel economy for both models is almost identical. It’s almost like having your cake and eating it too; if you are all about cliches. Keep in mind that you want that added power when you are merging onto the interstate or passing a slow semi on a two-lane highway.

  • Interior

    The white interior of a 2022 Nissan Pathfinder shows two rows of seating.

    Comfort and Space

    There is a good reason you are interested in a Pathfinder or Ascent; you need the extra space found in a mid-size SUV. One of the reasons why SUVs are so popular is that many of them can seat more passengers than your typical sedan, and they have lots of cargo space. While both the Pathfinder and Ascent offer seating for eight, you will be getting a little more head and legroom in the front seats for your passengers with the Pathfinder. This might not seem like a big deal, that is, until you are asked to carpool, or you have to drive some important clients to a remote meeting. It is in situations like these that you will appreciate the comfort your passengers enjoy in the Pathfinder.

    Cargo space is again one of those features that people tend to not think a whole lot about until they have to stuff something big in the back of their SUV. Both the Pathfinder and the Ascent offer over 80 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats flooded down, which is enough to pack the items you need for an outing or a long trip.

    Convenience and Infotainment Features

    When you compare the comfort and convenience features found in both the Pathfinder and Ascent, you will discover they have a lot in common and share many of the same goodies. For example, you will find a backup camera, auto-off headlights, and steering wheel controls on both models. There are a few features you get with the Pathfinder that are either optional on the Ascent or not offered at all. For drivers who have a difficult time backing into a parking spot, the Pathfinder provides Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Automatic Braking as standard features. Even those of you who claim to be experts in parking any vehicle will utilize this feature to be sure; they just won’t admit it. Keyless start is another convenience feature that you will find standard on the Pathfinder but is not even an option in the Ascent.

    Infotainment systems are becoming an increasingly more important feature in all modern vehicles. You see, infotainment systems are so much more than just a way to play music while you drive; they keep you connected to your vehicles and all of your devices as well, especially your smartphone. A quality infotainment system offers a decent size touchscreen, smartphone connectivity, and a smooth interface.

    The Pathfinder offers an eight-inch touchscreen mounted high on the dash where it is easy to reach, the menu is straightforward and easy to utilize, and the graphics are crystal clear. There is also a nine-inch touchscreen option on higher trims. More importantly, Apple AirPlay and Android Auto is a standard feature on the Pathfinder. Other tech features like wireless charging and Wi-Fi connectivity are optional. While the Ascent also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, unfortunately, they only offer a standard 6.5-inch screen that can be upgraded to an eight-inch screen.

  • Features

    A white 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is shown from the side driving on a dirt road.

    Safety features have continued to come a long way since the beginning of the automotive legacy. Many drivers grew up in an era in which airbags and seatbelts were about the extent of the safety features found in cars. Modern models like the Pathfinder and the Ascent come standard with several helpful safety features, including electronic stability control, traction control, and child safety locks. There are, however, a few additional safety features found on the Pathfinder that you don’t get with the Ascent, including integrated turn signal mirrors and blind-spot monitoring.

    Off-Road Chops

    One other advantage the Pathfinder holds over the Ascent is in its off-road abilities. Granted, not everybody who buys a Pathfinder is going to take the SUV on off-road adventures. Still, the optional four-wheel drive will come in handy in certain paved road conditions. For example, when you find yourself in a situation in which the road is very slick or muddy, four-wheel drive is often a better option than all-wheel drive. While the Ascent comes standard with all-wheel drive, there is no four-wheel-drive option, which means it won’t perform as well in off-road conditions. All-wheel drive is still a great option if you have to travel through adverse weather conditions, but four-wheel drive will also do the trick just fine.

    Vehicles are given names that reflect their personality or strong points; the Pathfinder was named as such because of its off-road ability. In other words, the engine, transmission, and other features in the Pathfinder are designed for rough terrain. For example, the seven drive and terrain modes are designed with specific conditions in mind. You get to choose from driving modes that include snow, sand, and mud/rut, and the mode you choose will help you through these types of conditions.

    Better still, the Pathfinder offers features like Hill Descent Control that aids when going down a steep decline and Hill Start Assist that will help prevent rolling back while on an incline. In addition, the Pathfinder features a suspension system tuned to give you more stability and better handling in all types of road conditions. We aren’t saying that the Ascent won’t do well in off-road conditions; we are just saying the Pathfinder is a better bet for such adventures.

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