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2022 Nissan Pathfinder. Photo: Nissan

The Nissan Pathfinder has received a welcome makeover for 2022, going from run-of-the-mill crossover to stylish and rugged contender among family-friendly SUVs.

The big picture: It's the latest in a string of attractive models from Nissan, which has been mounting a turnaround effort after abandoning a profit-sapping discount strategy to fuel growth.

What's new: The 2022 Pathfinder was redesigned from the ground up, except for the carry-over V6 engine, which is now paired with a new 9-speed transmission.

I drove the $41,490 Pathfinder SL version with standard front-wheel-drive. (All-wheel drive is optional.)

  • It came with a $2,900 premium package that added features like a panoramic roof, heated second-row captain chairs and a 13-speaker Bose audio system.

The interior was spacious and comfortable, with one-touch access to third-row seating and desirable tech features like a 9-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay, a wireless charging pad and a WiFi hotspot.

One cool feature: The hands-on, assisted-driving system (Nissan ProPILOT Assist) is linked to the car's navigation system, which means the Pathfinder knows when a curve or exit is coming up and will automatically slow down.

One annoying feature: The Pathfinder honked six times every time I exited the vehicle. It's Nissan's way of reminding drivers to check the back seat for kids or pets.

  • Hot-car deaths are avoidable tragedies, and a proposed law would require all cars to have a rear-seat-check reminder.
  • But safety advocates say technology that actually detects movement inside the vehicle is preferable.
  • It would also save my neighbors — and me — some annoyance.

Go deeper

Oct 15, 2021 - Economy & Business

What we're driving: The $110,000 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The interior of the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Photo: Stellantis

Carmakers keep testing the limit of what people will pay for an automobile packed with luxury, high-tech features. Consider the $110,000 Jeep Grand Wagoneer I drove recently.

This is the largest, fanciest Jeep ever, with a spectacular interior bathed in dark walnut and supple leather that's outfitted with every tech gizmo you could want.

  • It's hard to imagine off-roading in this luxury yacht — though it has a 10-inch ground clearance and can ford two feet of water.
  • But that's not the point: this SUV is about exploring the reaches of American opulence.

The big picture: The Stellantis-owned brand known for its iconic and rugged Jeep Wrangler has already mined the low end of the SUV market with the Cherokee, Compass and Renegade. So now it's pushing the other end of the spectrum, taking on premium full-size SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator.

Details: The stately, upright Grand Wagoneer is massive and hard to maneuver — though the 360-degree, bird's-eye camera helps — yet it's still surprisingly refined and comfortable on the highway.

  • It's powered by a 6.4-liter V-8 engine which gets an EPA-rated 13/18 mpg city/highway.
  • It comes in five trim levels, ranging from about $90,000 to $110,000. (A slightly less grand model — the similarly sized Jeep Wagoneer — starts around $69,000.)

There are screens everywhere — including a 10-inch front passenger screen that has a special privacy filter to prevent distraction for the driver.

  • Second-row passengers have a 10-inch touchscreen between the captain's chairs, and individual screens mounted on the seatbacks in front of them.

Are we there yet? The Grand Wagoneer and Wagoneer are the first in the industry to come with Amazon Fire TV for Auto, which lets passengers stream content from Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, among others.

  • When you sync the system to an existing Amazon account, you can even pause programming in your home and resume watching in the car.
  • A fun feature lets kids track the trip's progress, and the time to destination, just as airline passengers can.
  • There's also a rear-seat monitoring system that lets drivers see passengers seated behind them on a video feed.

There are some surprises too, like an optional cooler in the front center console or a touchpad-controlled safe to stow valuables under the split front armrest.

The bottom line: You have to wonder if it's worth spending $110,000 on a Jeep, but if you've got the money, the Grand Wagoneer won't leave you asking for anything more.

2 hours ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.