By on November 6, 2020

Nissan unveiled a substantially updated version of the Navara pickup truck sold overseas on Thursday, foreshadowing what we might be seeing with the next incarnation of the mid-sized Frontier.

The model shares DNA with many vehicles around the world, including the Renault Alaskan, Dongfeng Ruiqi 6, and the failed X-Class from Mercedes-Benz. While they all have unique touches to distinguish themselves from each other, the platform is fairly consistent and should offer us a glimpse into the future of our Nissan Frontier. But that won’t be because it’s using the same platform as the new Navara.

As far as we know (the planned Frontier’s debut was scuttled this year thanks to the pandemic) the pickup will be using an updated version of the older architecture its been dependent upon for over a decade. That technically keeps the truck in the Navara-family but makes it the weird cousin. But it should be picking up some of the Navara’s visual cues and remain a little larger in just about every dimension to better cater to the North American market.

Nissan’s event actually showed early renderings of the Frontier during a short video teaser, suggesting it will be different than the version sold in South America and Mexico. Though it will probably look quite a bit like the Navara shown here in the Pro-4X trim. Meanwhile, spy shots have indicated that the base 2021 Frontier probably won’t come with roof racks, running boards, or those aggressively flared fenders.

It also won’t use the standard-issue Navara powertrain, which would have been considered anemic for the typical U.S. customer. The Frontier will instead keep the 3.8-liter V6 sending 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque through its new nine-speed automatic transmission that was issued in 2020. Rear-wheel drive is standard but a 4×4 version is a given, as are numerous cab options for customers needing extra seats for the family.

We also know that it’s getting a four-spoke steering wheel, modern touchscreen interface, push-button starter, and will probably adopt some of the Navara’s updated technologies (e.g. forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, Apple CarPlay, LED illumination, etc). Nissan has also indicated that it wanted to outfit all new products with upgraded interior materials. That could push the Frontier’s starting MSRP beyond $27,000 but the factory isn’t going to let pricing run away with itself with the competition so fierce.

[Images: Nissan]

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16 Comments on “Nissan Navara Revealed, Hints at 2021 Frontier Redesign...”


  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    – automatic transmission: Deal breaker
    – numerous cab options: Bet regular isn’t one
    – forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, Apple CarPlay, LED illumination, etc: Nannies and distractions

    Sorry Nissan, you lost me.

    • 0 avatar
      johnnyz

      I wouldn’t buy a new car of truck unless it had adaptive cc.

      In order to get the adaptive cc, you must buy the technology package which includes: forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, “Nannies and distractions”.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        I found adaptive CC useless for myself. When I take long trip, I just push 75 and release it the end of the trip. ACC get you driving with the speed of the driver in front of you. I want to drive 75, eh…

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I want the 007 package cruise control where it uses rockets under the grille to enforce the speed I set with drivers in front.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            I’d be spending a bazillion dollars a year to reload that! In Northwest Ohio, the only traffic law followed is the underposted speed limit on the freeway! And especially in the left lane, where it’s usually a single driver oblivious to the line of vehicles behind them!

    • 0 avatar
      pveezy

      I don’t think they will miss you. There are only like… 5-10 boomers who actually want single cab manual trans anymore. Even fleets don’t buy single cabs because at the end of the day nobody on the used market wants them.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      I’m with you Pig_Iron… for exactly the same reasons.

    • 0 avatar
      saturnotaku

      Even if Nissan gave you everything you want, you still wouldn’t buy it. Every time a car company gives the automotive commentariat something they say want, it is never a success.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    6% take rate on manual transmissions. Only 18% of drivers can operate a manual transmission.

    Safe bet most of those are at least over 50 years old.

    It’s a wonder there are still vehicles that have that option.

    They are dying QUICKLY.

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      I have an old Miata with a stick of course and I met a young guy, mid 20’s, driving a beat up 90 Miata in Marina blue. I told him he needed to sell it to me so I could live it and fix it up. He was telling me that his friends liked it and were INTERESTED IN LEARNING TO DRIVE A MANUAL TRANSMISSION!!!
      How can you legally carry a Man Card without knowing how to drive stick???

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      All my kids at least tried the stick, during the overlapping times when I had one and they were learning how to drive.

      The two youngest actually know how, and the youngest actually drives one every day. He’s 20.

      Sometimes I miss the stick, but not usually. My 1-spd EV with regen gives the downshift effect, anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Couple of days ago I vent to the store. The bill was $57.30. I said to the girl, I’ll pay $55 in cash and $2.30 on credit card. I gave her $100 bill and she gave me $43 in change. Took her calling a supervisor so the supervisor could tell her that she should give $45 in change.

      I think, in America, this and MT story are all the same. We became a nation of inept, incompetent people.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    2004 to 2020 16 years without a redesign. Navara received full redesign. Frontier carried on.
    What will be totally new on 2022 Frontier? We don’t know.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The 1/4 and profile views reveal very odd proportions to me. Maybe it will look better in Frontier trim.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Function now follows form.
    This thing is unnecessarily ugly… but so are many other new vehicles.

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