I don’t think a better definition of the word “dated” exists than the old Nissan Frontier. It had the styling of a Japanese truck from the early 2000s and that’s what it was. However, underneath the dated looks there was an honest, affordable and reliable vehicle for the old school farmer and worker.
Now there’s a new one and although it looks great, I am not sure it will have the same attributes as the old one.
Nissan is now aiming directly at the Tacoma and judging by the way the new Frontier looks – it’s obvious. I believe it’s trying a bit too hard to be a Tacoma and that could be both good and bad. It definitely made Nissan push themselves to produce a decent truck. However, I fear that the Frontier will struggle to differentiate itself in the mid-size truck market. Specs look promising though, let’s have a look.
Nissan Frontier Trim Levels
The new Frontier will be available in S, SV, PROX and PRO4X. What’s cool here is that Nissan provides a 2-wheel drive Prerunner version of the PRO4X – dubbed the PROX. So, if you want the rugged looks of the PRO4X and don’t need 4WD then the PROX is the way to go. Keep in mind that the PROX will only be available in the States and not in Canada.
As far as engines go there’s just one option in all trim levels of the Nissan Frontier and that’s the new 3.8 liter V6 with 310HP and 281 LB-FT of torque. It will be paired to the only available transmission – the nine-speed auto. Here’s the problem: by ditching the four-cylinder option, Nissan might have let down the buyer who needs a cheap, simple and easy-to-repair work truck. The nine-speed auto and the big V6 will be too expensive to maintain and run for some people.
On the other hand, people have argued that by sticking with just one engine, Nissan has saved money on production costs – we will have to wait though, prices aren’t available yet.
Buyers can choose between two cab configurations – a king cab and a crew cab. The king cab will have a six-foot bed and the crew cab a 5 foot. A king cab PRO4X will only be available in Canada.
The frame of the Frontier is a heavily revised version of the old one. Wheelbase is the same, but the body is 4 inches longer.
Off-Roading in a Nissan Frontier
It is obvious that Nissan is aiming at the lifestyle market with this one. To do that, the new truck has to pack a lot of off-roading potential. The Frontier runs Bilstein off-road shocks, three skid plates, 32-inch Hankook all-terrain tires, a rear E locker and 360 cameras. On paper, it looks promising.
Towing and Payload
Here is where the Nissan Frontier falls short. The 2WD PROX version can tow 6720 pounds and has a rated payload of 1610 pounds. Four the four-wheel-drive variant towing numbers are even lower at 6490 – not much when compared to its competitors.
Once again, this might have enabled Nissan to save costs during development making the Frontier the more affordable option. Plus, the amount of people who need to tow more than that is far less than those who don’t.
The new Frontier looks promising with its amazing looks, off-road capabilities and up-to-date tech. Will it be able to keep up with the big guns though? I think that will come down to the pricing of this truck – it has to be cheaper than its competitors. What do you think?
Build your own 2022 Nissan Frontier and see if it’s the right truck for you.