A red 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is shown parked in a remote area for a 2022 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2022 Subaru Ascent comparison.

A Cabin Comparison: 2022 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2022 Subaru Ascent

Picture it… you’re running late for work, undoubtedly finding yourself in traffic, which will make you even later, and you have to drop the kids off at school. Stressed yet? Yes, everyday family travels can be hectic, but the vehicle you choose to travel in can help to alleviate a lot of that stress, especially when it offers you a comfortable retreat anywhere you need to go. SUVs are quickly taking their place among the top options for busy families as we quietly say goodbye to the stereotypical and oh-so outdated minivan, and when drivers require an elevated experience behind the wheel, there are a few crowd favorites out there. Today, we’re comparing two beloved options to find out which vehicle offers the all-around coziest, most functional cabin space in the industry, so when it comes to the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder vs 2022 Subaru Ascent, which vehicle will be a family’s new BFF?

Comfortable Designs

Let’s start by talking comfort. The only thing worse than traffic and running late is being stuck in traffic, running late, and being uncomfortable in your vehicle. Seats that don’t cushion the bumps on the road and a cabin space that just looks boring can have a serious impact on your travels. The Nissan Pathfinder and the Subaru Ascent both do their part in trying to change the way we travel, but both do so in very different ways.

We’ll talk about the Pathfinder first since it sports a recent redesign for the 2022 model year, and to say drivers are impressed is an understatement. Before, the Pathfinder showcased lackluster design and ho-hum interior features, but the 2022 model tosses bland and boring out the window, instead replacing it with the wow factor. Upscale features accent the cabin of the Pathfinder, like available semi-aniline leather seating, a driver’s seat memory system, and second-row captain’s chairs, so all on board can enjoy the most luxurious ride possible. Its panoramic moonroof allows for maximum enjoyment of the surrounding areas, even in dense traffic, while Tri-Zone Automatic Temperature Control keeps the Pathfinder at the ideal temperature, no matter how balmy or chilly it is outside. In short, the name of the game for the Pathfinder is refined luxury, and Nissan portrays this perfectly in its all-new 2022 model.

The 2022 Subaru Ascent showcases its own take on comfort, with heated seating, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and more upscale appointments throughout; however, these can only be found in higher-level trims. The Ascent also features available second-row captain’s chairs and a panoramic moonroof to take in the sunny skies above during the day and the stars at night. Although it features a lot of the same design elements as the Pathfinder, you’ll undoubtedly be paying more to enjoy these upper-level features, which can be out of budget for some.

The rear cargo area of a 2022 Subaru Ascent shows a folded third row seat.

Convenient Cargo Solutions

Nowadays, it’s all about convenience, and there’s something to be said for a versatile and flexible vehicle. Having trouble loading up your car with everything you need to travel with, from your kids’ sports gear to work materials, makes any drive more stressful. That’s why the 2022 Pathfinder and the 2022 Ascent make storage simple with ingenious solutions found all throughout their cozy cabins.

The Pathfinder stuns here with the use of many unique storage options, including under-shifter storage, perfect for small items, and second-row center console storage for your passengers to stay organized. You’ll even find storage under the dash, as well as cubbies throughout the cabin to maximize organization on board. Offering 80.5 cu. ft. of total cargo space, the Pathfinder is a family’s dream, and with easy-clean under-floor storage as well, accommodating anything you’re bringing along for the ride is ultra-convenient. The cool thing about the Pathfinder’s interior is that with all the storage solutions, carefully built-in throughout, drivers are able to maintain a sense of order in their vehicle, even when the world around them remains a bit chaotic.

Unfortunately, even though the Ascent also offers its fair share of cubbies and storage solutions, it doesn’t provide as many options as others in its class. It does offer 86.5 cu. ft. of storage space, which is perfect for those looking for more room in their SUV. You’ll find other functional elements, like velcro straps in the cargo area to assist with securing the cargo floor, as well as folding second-row seats to help increase the capacity in the Ascent’s cabin. All in all, both the Pathfinder and the Ascent offer superior cargo solutions, and even though the Ascent showcases slightly more cargo space, it’s the Pathfinder’s ingenious storage options throughout that leave us impressed. Having clever spaces for big and small items makes any commute easier, especially when there are young travelers on board.

Family-Friendly Features

Speaking of young travelers, let’s talk about how both of these SUVs are ready to make family journeys easier and more comfortable for everyone. Both offer seating for seven or eight passengers, depending on the seating configuration. And both deliver their own family-oriented options for the best drive possible, whether you’re driving the kids to school or venturing out on a family road trip.

The Pathfinder’s EZ Flex second-row seating makes it easy to maneuver inside the vehicle, even when there’s a car seat occupying this space. Simply slide the seats forward and tilt to be able to gain access from both the driver’s side and passenger side of the vehicle. Make sure youngsters remain comfortable, even on the sunniest of trips, with built-in rear sunshades that pull down easily to shield their eyes from harmful UV rays. In addition to convenient design features, the Pathfinder exhibits maximum functionality with its motion-activated liftgate, making grocery hauls, loading and unloading gear, and more effortlessly convenient. Speaking of convenience, the Pathfinder’s Rear Door Alert feature alleviates the risk of leaving items behind, as it alerts drivers to check the second and third rows before exiting the vehicle.

The Ascent also offers plenty of family-friendly features, like extra-wide rear doors to help secure those in the way back easily. Although the Ascent offers three rows of seating, like the Pathfinder, taller passengers report that it’s a little snug in the back, which vastly limits how many passengers the Ascent can hold comfortably. It attempts to make up for this by offering 19 cup and bottle holders, and those with kids know that these will definitely come in handy. All of the family-friendly features are undeniably welcomed for families everywhere, but it seems as though the Pathfinder wows us again with its spacious confines and configurable seating arrangements to make family travels more comfortable for all.

A woman is shown by the open tailgate of a maroon 2022 Nissan Pathfinder.

The Ultimate Family Cabin

By now, you probably have a good idea of who the winner is when it comes to functional cabin spaces. The Pathfinder’s newly redesigned interior is not only beautiful, but it’s effortlessly functional as well, without taking away from its upscale appearance and features. Plus, with loads of cargo space, as well as ultra clever storage solutions found throughout the entire vehicle, it’s difficult for other vehicles to even compete with the innovation that lies within the Pathfinder. The Ascent, unfortunately, just couldn’t impress us enough with its lack of third-row space and lack of storage options throughout. The Pathfinder showcases a fine variety of family-friendly features, designed with today’s busy family in mind, which makes it our winner when it comes to the best family cabin.