2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L vs 2022 Nissan Pathfinder

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  • 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

    A silver 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Laredo is angled left.

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    2022 Nissan Pathfinder

    A white 2022 Nissan Pathfinder SV is angled right.

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    290-357Horsepower (hp)284
    84.6Cargo Space (cu.ft.)80.5
    7,200Towing (lbs)6,000

    When family time involves adventures in the wilderness, you need a vehicle that can handle rough terrain. In a market stuffed with SUVs from every manufacturer, few vehicles that tout the sport utility title can actually venture off-road safely. For families who tend to travel to places with slender tracks in the woods, enjoy finding remote beaches, or want to take a ski vacation on the less populated side of the mountain, there are few options. Here, we will compare two SUVs with enough capability to take the less beaten path: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L vs 2022 Nissan Pathfinder. Both SUVs have three rows of seats, ample convenience features for staying entertained on the road, and a standard suite of driver-assist safety technology to put a parent's mind at ease with little ones in the back.

    When you need more than just being able to get through snowy roads on mountain passes, both the 2022 Grand Cherokee L and 2022 Pathfinder have chops for going off the pavement…to a degree. While the Grand Cherokee L certainly has the Jeep capability that can take you virtually anywhere, the Pathfinder is more of a "soft-roader" that has better than average capability but not enough to crawl over rocks or ford streams like the Jeep. For 2022, the Pathfinder received a complete redesign, and yet in many ways, it still doesn't quite catch up to the interior luxury and attractive layout of the Grand Cherokee L.

    One common feature of both SUVs is that despite their rugged nature, ride quality on the pavement won't suffer. Passengers will find each of these SUVs provides a smooth, comfortable ride in the cabin. If towing a small trailer is part of your vacation plan, the 2022 Grand Cherokee L offers more capability up to 7,200 pounds compared to the 6,000 pounds the 2022 Pathfinder can tow. Purchasing the 2022 Grand Cherokee L offers six trim levels, from the entry-level Laredo to the uppermost Summit, while the 2022 Pathfinder only has four trims. And there are many other ways these SUVs differ, from capability to interior cargo space.

  • Performance

    A red 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is shown from a high angle on a highway after winning a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L vs 2022 Nissan Pathfinder comparison.

    Time to Hit the Trail

    The moment finally arrives when it's time to hit the trail. You steer your SUV from the pavement onto the uneven dirt track, excited to discover what views await in the backcountry, eager to show your kids how beautiful the world can be away from the city. Do you trust an SUV with all-wheel drive, or do you want the SUV with true four-wheel drive capability? Better yet, will you choose the vehicle that has a higher chance of scraping those rocks on the trail, or do you want the SUV with better approach and departure angles and more ground clearance? Even without going into all the details about the three available 4x4 systems for the 2022 Grand Cherokee L, the answer to these questions should be simple.

    For the 2022 Pathfinder, ground clearance is fair at 7.0 inches, but the 2022 Grand Cherokee L has 8.5 inches standard, with an available ground clearance of 10.9 inches in upper trims. The approach angle for the Pathfinder is a rather small 16.1 degrees compared to the Grand Cherokee L at 30.1 degrees. Departure angles are similar, with the Pathfinder at only 15.6 degrees and the Grand Cherokee L at 23.6 degrees. Real off-roading requires higher approach and departure angles to avoid damaging your vehicle when climbing up and down inclines on a trail. It also makes a difference if you have a four-wheel drive system that can offer more than just drive modes for terrain management. Jeep offers drive modes, but the four-wheel drive systems also offer a two-speed transfer case for maximum torque.

    Stand Tall

    A feature not found on the 2022 Pathfinder is Jeep's Quadra-Lift Air Suspension, which utilizes air springs to raise and lower the Grand Cherokee L for better ground clearance on the trail and better fuel economy on the highway. This feature is available for the uppermost Summit trim and gives the Grand Cherokee L its best-in-class ground clearance. The 2022 Pathfinder also doesn't have anything that can compare to the Trail Rated Overland trim, which can ford up to 24 inches of water, crawl over rocks, and deliver exceptional articulation on uneven terrain. Two engine options give Grand Cherokee L buyers more choices for power, with a standard V6 or an optional V8 for maximum power. Pathfinder buyers only get a V6 that has less power than the Jeep's base engine.

  • Technology

    A close up shows the sound system on the infotainment screen in a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L.

    More Screens, More Features

    When the time comes to interact with technology in your vehicle, you want systems that work seamlessly with your lifestyle and are easy to use. In terms of infotainment, the 2022 Grand Cherokee L starts with an 8.4-inch screen against an 8.0-inch screen in the 2022 Pathfinder. Ranging into upper trims increases the difference, offering buyers a larger 10.1-inch infotainment screen in the Grand Cherokee L compared to the available 9.0-inch screen in the Pathfinder. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard for the Grand Cherokee L, but the Pathfinder only has available Wireless Apple CarPlay, starting with the third trim level. Sorry, Android users. No wireless for you.

    Want to keep your kids entertained in the back seats while you travel on your adventures? Jeep makes it easy in the Grand Cherokee L, from the 12 USB ports scattered throughout the rows of seats to the available dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system. In the Pathfinder, you get only get up to seven USB ports and no rear-seat entertainment system. Audiophiles even have two choices of audio systems in the Grand Cherokee L; the available Alpine system with nine speakers and the ultimate sound quality of the McIntosh system with 19 speakers found in the uppermost Summit. Looking toward the Pathfinder, an available Bose system with 13 speakers is a great option for upper trims, but it's still only one option. Finally, one thing the 2022 Grand Cherokee has that the Pathfinder doesn't: a 10.3-inch touchscreen display for the front-seat passenger.

    Safety Technologies

    Safety technology is standard for both the 2022 Grand Cherokee L and 2022 Pathfinder, each offering up a full suite of advanced tech that prevents or mitigates accidents on the road. Both SUVs have a version of automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, but Jeep adds Cyclist Protection to its roster. For the Pathfinder's Lane Departure Warning, the Grand Cherokee L returns with Active Lane Management that gently steers your SUV back onto the road. In upper trims, both SUVs have semi-autonomous driving systems available, but only the Grand Cherokee L has Intersection Collision Assist and a Night Vision Camera that can spot heat signatures of animals or people up to 100 feet ahead.

  • Interior

    A close shows front interior and dash in a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L.

    A Luxury Ride

    Riding in an SUV can be serene and comfortable, especially with luxurious seating and attractive materials like real wood trim to warm the space. Entry-level seating in the 2022 Grand Cherokee L and 2022 Pathfinder will not be the same level of comfort, with the Pathfinder only giving buyers six-way manual adjustments for the driver compared to the Grand Cherokee L, which has eight-way power seats for both passengers in front. Legroom in the Grand Cherokee L is more generous for rear-seat passengers in both second and third rows, with 39.4 inches and 30.3 inches of space. In the Pathfinder, the backseat legroom is a meager 35.5 inches and a kid-sized 28.0 inches that will not provide much room for taller passengers, especially on long trips.

    In upper trims, leather is available for both SUVs, with the 2022 Pathfinder offering quilted semi-aniline upholstery for its uppermost trim and the 2022 Grand Cherokee L giving buyers the option of Napa leather or the more luxurious quilted Palermo leather. Both SUVs have available heated front and second-row seats, as well as the option for ventilated front-row seats, but only the Grand Cherokee L offers ventilated second-row seats. Further appointments in the interior tell different stories about the welcoming environment, with the available materials in the Pathfinder leaning toward cold metallic trim and the Grand Cherokee L drawing you into the warmth of real walnut wood accents. Another added bonus of the Grand Cherokee L: massaging front seats.

    Conveniences such as standard tri-zone climate control and an available panoramic sunroof are found in both SUVs, but the Grand Cherokee L will up the ante with available quad-zone climate control. Driver's seat memory and second-row captain's chairs can be found in each SUV, but only the Grand Cherokee L has passenger seat memory, too. Cargo space is yet another way that the Grand Cherokee L out-maneuvers the Pathfinder. From the rear cargo area to the fully expanded space with all seats folded, the Grand Cherokee L has more room. And only the Grand Cherokee L has a genuine wood steering wheel, a feature that truly takes the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee into opulent territory.

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