By on February 4, 2021

FrontierSixty-two years ago, Nissan, then known as Datsun, introduced the first compact pickup in the U.S. For 2o22, an all-new Frontier looks to reestablish its leadership in the mid-size ranks.


When Nissan brought the Datsun 220 compact pickup to America in 1959, it started a trend that has continued until today. While the entire segment grew from compact to mid-size, the innovations attributed to Nissan have included the first half-ton compact pickup, the first king-cab body, the first compact truck manufactured in America by an import brand, the first compact pickup with a crew cab, and more recently, the first mid-size with 310 horsepower in the 2020 Frontier.


It’s not surprising that with all the breakthroughs Nissan has had in mid-size pickups, that it would seek to regain its front-running status. What Nissan didn’t do was as important as what they did, which was to retain their heavy-duty, fully-boxed ladder frame. The 310 horsepower, 3.8-liter V6, introduced in 2020, offers 281 lb-ft of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission omits shifting for yourself, but Nissan is quick to point out that it has a 99 percent wider gear range than the previous Frontier’s 5-speed. Retuning the hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering for better driving feel and less fatigue, the gear ratio has been increased by 16 percent for faster response and less effort.


New cab mounts reduce road vibration by 80 percent, while class-exclusive urethane jounce bumpers provide improved damping. A larger front stabilizer bar is joined by a rear stabilizer bar to reduce body roll and increase traction. 4-wheel ABS disc brakes are standard on all Frontier models. 4WD Frontiers feature a shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive system with a part-time transfer case. An optional 4-wheel limited-slip transfers power to the drive wheels on low traction surfaces. Standard across the range is Hill Start Assist, and Hill Descent Control is standard on all 4WD trucks, to help climb and descend steep grades. PRO-4X Frontiers also have an electronic locking differential, Bilstein off-road shocks, and skid plates for those venturing off-road.


Towing capacity is max rated up to 6,720 pounds, and for 2022, Trailer Sway Control, which detects sway and automatically applies the brakes for a better towing experience, is standard.


Modern design combined with elements that harken back to the iconic Nissan Hardbody is a winning look for the 2022 Frontier. Say what they will about the powerful front end, massive grille, chiseled hood, and interlocking headlights, the new Frontier is one I’d wheel. Its elevated stance provides plenty of clearance, and vertical fenders are less likely to contact unyielding surfaces. No doubt the 2022 Frontier could find a home in my garage. Too bad you’ll have to wait until sometime this summer for the Frontier to arrive at a Nissan dealer near you.

[Images: Nissan]

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29 Comments on “Can 2022 Nissan Frontier Once Again Be in the Mix?...”

  • avatar

    It’s a nice looking truck. I’m impressed. I will be interested to see some reviews.

  • avatar

    Nice blend of GM & Toyota styling cues, like it.

    I think the biggest issue that keeps these as niche is the price point vs the heavily marketed and incentivized full size pickups.

    I can’t understand why somebody, like the Koreans, doesn’t roll out an S10/Ranger sized rig at a significantly lower price. Surely there’s some money to be made.

    • 0 avatar

      These, well at least the current one is a niche within a niche. In 2020 they got especially hammered only selling about 37K compared to the Ranger and S-10 at right around 100K each and Toyota selling 239K Tacomas. 6% of a already small segment is pretty bad. Note 2020 was especially hard on the Frontier as they did move 72k in 2019.

    • 0 avatar

      The Koreans are on it: the upcoming Santa Cruz from Hyundai is a unibody setup and I hope will also offer a PHEV version one day.

      I’m a little surprised that Nissan isn’t offering a hybrid version of their new trucks. Maybe they’ll announce that later?

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      For a while, we thought Mahindra was going to be the one to bring over a tough, smaller, traditional pick-up. Alas, it was not to be.

  • avatar

    I really think this is a good looking truck. The blocky front end reminds me a tiny bit of the GMC Canyon. No interior shots?

  • avatar

    About effing time. Is the crew cab short bed going to be the only model? Auto only?

  • avatar

    I’m in the market to replace my decades old 4.7 V8 Dakota Quad Cab. The Ranger is currently at the top of the list. I pretty much only buy used vehicles so a “new” truck is going to have a hard time competing in terms of value unless its pretty cheap.

    • 0 avatar

      You may not want to eliminate new from consideration. The way used truck prices are right now, it might make sense to buy new, especially if you can find a previous model year leftover like I did. Two years ago I bought a brand new 2018 Colorado after the 19s had already come out, and I got it for less than I could have bought a used truck with 50k on it.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I’m not in the market, but this is a seriously handsome truck. I think an Xterra based off of this would do well. I’ve had 2 VQ powered sedans and it’s a bulletproof powerplant. I’d much rather have an NA v6 vs a turbo 4 in a utility vehicle/truck.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    It’s not a bad-looking truck. I’m sure it’ll sell well enough. I was hoping to get back into a pick-up before long. But this won’t be it if I have to take four doors and an automatic.

    • 0 avatar

      If you want a manual-transmission truck I’m pretty sure the Tacoma and Gladiator are the only options. And the Toyota is the only one where you can get a manual and extended cab (versus a 4-door crew cab).

      So at least you won’t have to do much shopping around.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve Biro

        ajla… that’s certainly true. I’ve tried to be flexible… but I just can’t take to most modern pick-ups. And, given their price, I see no need to settle for what I don’t want or need.

        I realize that I’m the outlier. Most Americans love big, ugly trucks and load them up with every luxury they can get away with. I had high hopes for the Ford Maverick. But that doesn’t look like anything I want, either.

        So, unless we get a surprise, I guess it’s the Toyota or nothing.

  • avatar

    Here’s what’s bothering me. They’re saying it’s “all-new,” when it really needs a *.

    *for North American Frontier

    This is the Navara that’s been on sale globally since 2015.

    • 0 avatar

      Do they sell the Frontier outside of North America?

      • 0 avatar

        Unsure on that, I think it might be in South America a couple places?

      • 0 avatar

        Yes, it was made in Mexico for South America until recently. Last year Nissan shifted part of the production to Argentina.
        As a side note, the same plant was going to produce the MB X Klasse and the Renault Alaskan, both Nissan Frontier “clones”. MB pulled out but Renault started selling the Alaskan.

    • 0 avatar

      No it aint. This is a reskin of the 2005 D40 Frontier. The Navara forked off ala Toyota Hilux with the D23 platform.

    • 0 avatar

      I think the new Frontier is based off of the current D40 as a NA standalone model, not the D23 Navara that everyone else gets. Granted, it *is* a kind of thing that Nissan do, so I can’t blame you for the assumption.

      Eitherway, we’re better off than the home Japanese market, where the first “all-new” car that they got in 10 years (for 2020) was a facelift of Nissan Kicks that Brazil had since 2016.

  • avatar

    I’ll give my two cents. I think it looks fantastic. If I was in the market for a small/mid-size truck, I would have to check this out. Well done Nissan.

  • avatar

    When is on sale date?

    Nissan considered going smaller for Frontier redesign. Did not happen. Ford has this segment covered with Maverick.

  • avatar

    I’m not sure if any Frontier has been in the mix. The Hard Body, yes of course. This Frontier looks to change that. But Nissan.

  • avatar

    I like the styling inside and out.

    The press kit has more photos, the back seat looks really bad. The cushion looks to be about 14″ long, which doesn’t greatly matter since first owners don’t put people back there, but there’s also a big plastic pedestal underneath so it won’t fold up cleanly to put your groceries back there either. It took forever for half tons to get this right, and the Tacoma and Colorado aren’t there yet either, so Nissan really could have stood out here. Big miss.

    The new 3.8 powertrain showed up last year in the existing Frontier, where the drive by wire leaves what must be a third of the horses permanently stabled. Crap times in C&D, crap times in the Youtube 0-60s. Any desirability here is contingent on them being turned back on in the new one.

    Does anything else that isn’t a 00s carryover still have hydraulic steering?

  • avatar

    I find “trucks” with virtually non existent cab-to-axle rather offputting. Aside from that, this on looks a-ok. But as a pickup. Or ute. Not really truck……

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Nice truck but I don’t trust Nissan. This truck will more likely be more expensive than the competition except maybe Tacoma. If I were to buy new I would pick the Tacoma because the quality has been proven. Nissan pre Renault was much better. The new Frontier would have to be on the market for several years before I would consider it. Yes I know Nissan has made a version of this truck for several years but the global version is mostly diesel.

    • 0 avatar

      Jeff, I think you’re dead on with your comment that the fate of this truck will depend on reliability and price. While I’m disappoointed to hear Nissan made customers wait 100 years for a new truck only to deliver a warmed-over restyle of the Stone Age one, this bodes well for reliability and price since there’s presumably very little new tech here to screw up. Now it’s just a matter of waiting to see how deeply they’ll discount.

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