Expect MPG Boost When Re-engined Nissan Frontier Lands

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
expect mpg boost when re engined nissan frontier lands

That headline comes with an asterisk, as the fuel economy gains expected from the 2020 Nissan Frontier are only applicable if you planned on buying a V6 model. The four-cylinder Frontier is dead for ’20, as is the manual transmission.

While the Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t yet bestowed MPG figures on the “new” truck (same body, new powertrain), Nissan has come clean with estimates.

Speaking to Motor1, the automaker claims the rear-drive 2020 Frontier, which carries a standard direct-injection 3.8-liter V6 and nine-speed automatic (previous V6 Frontiers boasted 4.0 liters of displacement and either a five-speed auto or six-speed stick), should garner a rating of 19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined in 4×2 guise.

Four-wheel drive models should net a rating of 17/23/19.

The estimates top the old 4×2 4.0L by 2 mpg, regardless of transmission, while the 4×4 sees a gain of either 1 or 2 mpg. It’s worth noting, however, that the base ’19 Frontier with four-banger and manual tranny returned 21 mpg in combined driving. The ’20 does top it on the highway, though.

With the six-speed manual gone for the current model year, Nissan fans can forget about a resurrection of the bargain-basement row-your-own model. According to Melaina Vasko, Nissan’s vehicle performance development manager for trucks and full-size SUVs, the nine-speed will remain the only transmission option.

Apparently, the model’s stick shift take rate was only 5 percent.

While the Frontier’s fuel economy specs change for 2020, they’re likely to change again when the redesigned 2021 model emerges. Boasting a new body, less weight, and extra aero, the ’21 should see further improvements in the MPG situation.

[Image: Nissan]

Join the conversation
2 of 16 comments
  • DenverMike DenverMike on Apr 08, 2020

    The old drivetrain was the main attraction.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Apr 08, 2020

    Agree the old drivetrain was the best part of the Frontier along with a very competitive price. Nissan might not sell as many Frontiers once they move to completely new model especially if they have to raise the price. The Frontier sells on its price it is a good value. Raise the price and only offer a Jatco automatic makes the Frontier less desirable.

  • Kwik_Shift Once 15 Minute Cities start to be rolled out, you won't be far enough away from home to worry about range anxiety.
  • Bobbysirhan I'd like to look at all of the numbers. The eager sheep don't seem too upset about the $1,800 delta over home charging, suggesting that the total cost is truly obscene. Even spending Biden bucks, I don't need $1,800 of them to buy enough gasoline to cover 15,000 miles a year. Aren't expensive EVs supposed to make up for their initial expense, planet raping resource requirements, and the child slaves in the cobalt mines by saving money on energy? Stupid is as stupid does.
  • Slavuta Civic EX - very competent car. I hate the fact of CVT and small turbo+DI. But it is a good car. Good rear seat. Fix the steering and keep goingBut WRX is just a different planet.
  • SPPPP This rings oh so very hollow. To me, it sounds like the powers that be at Ford don't know which end is up, and therefore had to invent a new corporate position to serve as "bad guy" for layoffs and eventual scapegoat if (when) the quality problems continue.
  • Art Vandelay Tasos eats $#!t and puffs peters