Is the Nissan Frontier Right for You?
What Is It & Who Is It For
After a wait of 16 years, the Nissan Frontier has gotten a much-needed makeover that adds more capability, more safety features, and a vastly updated cabin. The only notable carryovers from the previous Frontier are the 310-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission.
The 2022 Frontier offers a choice of two cab lengths, two cargo bed sizes, and rear- or four-wheel drive. For truck owners planning to go offroading, the Frontier Pro-4X trim adds features such as underbody skid plates, Bilstein shock absorbers, and an electronic locking differential.
What Makes It Unique?
The 2022 Nissan Frontier finally has the chops to compete directly with rival midsize trucks like the Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, GMC Canyon, and Ford Ranger. The previous version of the Frontier mainly appealed to truck shoppers interested in saving money, since it cost thousands less than the competition. Now, thanks to its stout V6 and newly standard features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Frontier competes on merit, not simply as a bargain choice.
Frontier vs. Other Nissan Models
The Frontier sits beneath the Titan, Nissan’s full-size pickup truck. Starting at roughly $37,000, the Titan is powered by a 400-horsepower 5.6-liter engine and comes in rear- and four-wheel-drive format. For heavier duty jobs and added towing capability, Nissan also offers the Titan XD. When properly equipped, the Titan XD can tow 11,040 pounds, versus 9,310 in the standard Titan and 6,720 in the 2022 Frontier.
Frontier vs. Competition
The Nissan Frontier faces strong competition in the midsize truck field. Rivals like the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are roomy and versatile, while the Toyota Tacoma has a reputation as a rugged off-roader:
- Toyota Tacoma: Rugged, 4 and 6-cylinder engines, many standard tech features
- Chevrolet Colorado: Smooth ride, great towing capability, optional diesel
- Ford Ranger: Agile, good fuel mileage, strong turbo-4
- GMC Canyon: Comfortable, slightly more upmarket feel, three engine choices.
- Jeep Gladiator: Tenacious on unpaved roads, roomy, easy-to-use infotainment system
Is the 2022 Model Year Right for You?
Changes for 2022
- Completely redesigned
- Standard 310-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 engine
- Rear-wheel drive (RWD), optional four-wheel drive (4WD)
- 9-speed automatic transmission
- Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Available Wi-Fi hot spot
- Standard forward collision warning
- Available Nissan Safety Shield 360 advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS)
2022 Nissan Frontier vs. Older Models
Considering how long the previous Frontier was on the market, there’s no shortage of used models out there. Over its long run, the second-generation Frontier received modest updates, mostly related to trim level changes and the addition of safety items like added airbags and electronic stability control. For the 2020 model year, the 310-horsepower V6 used in the brand-new Frontier worked its way under the hood of this pickup. While the motor upped performance, it also significantly pushed up the price, to more than $26,000. Previously, a base Frontier could be had for less than $20,000.
Which 2022 Nissan Frontier Will be the Best Value?
The 2022 Nissan Frontier will be available in three trim levels: S, SV, Pro-X, and Pro-4X. Sales are scheduled for the summer of 2021. At the time of writing, pricing details have not been released.
Since every Frontier now has the same motor and transmission, going to higher trims means adding extra tech or safety features. The Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of ADAS features is available for the first time on the Frontier. Also being offered are tech touches such as a larger touchscreen, wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a Fender audio system.
The Pro-X and Pro-4X are geared more towards adventure-loving truck buyers. The Pro-4X includes 4WD, versus the RWD-only Pro-X, along with upgraded shocks, skid plates, and an electronic locking differential. This allows the Frontier to take on similarly off-road-themed trucks like the Tacoma TRD and Colorado ZR2.
2022 Nissan Frontier Performance
The 2022 Nissan Frontier will be offered with one choice of engine:
- 310-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 engine paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Compared with the class? Most of the Frontier’s rivals offer a choice of at least two engines. Granted, the V6 found in the Frontier now makes it among the most powerful midsize trucks. But the lack of a 4-cylinder, diesel, or any type of manual transmission could lead some buyers to consider more customizable makes and models.
At the time of writing, the 2022 Nissan Frontier has not been tested by the EPA for fuel mileage numbers. Considering the outgoing Frontier used the same V6 engine, however, it’s safe to assume economy figures will be nearly identical. The 2021 Nissan Frontier in rear-wheel-drive trim returned 18 mpg in city driving, 24 mpg on the highway, and 20 mpg combined. With four-wheel drive, this drops to 17 city/23 highway/19 combined. Those numbers are below average for midsize trucks.
2022 Nissan Frontier Safety Ratings & Features
Standard Safety Features
The 2022 Nissan Frontier comes standard with the safety features listed below:
- Forward collision warning: Warns drivers of a potential front-end collision, or of people in the road ahead.
- Rearview camera
Optional Safety Features
- Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection: Helps a vehicle avoid a collision – or reduce the severity of a crash – if the driver doesn’t respond in time.
- Lane departure warning: Alerts drivers when approaching or crossing
- Blind spot monitoring: Alerts drivers when a vehicle is located next to them on either side, just out of view. Some systems also auto-steer away from nearby vehicles.
- Rear cross-traffic alert: Warns drivers if the system detects a vehicle, pedestrian, or object in the way, or approaching from either side. Some systems will auto-brake.
- Automatic high-beam headlights
- Surround-view monitor
- Rear automatic braking
2022 Nissan Frontier Interior
Cabin Storage and Features
- Two rows of seating, King Cab or Crew Cab format
- 8-inch touchscreen, 9-inch screen available
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard
- Two USB ports, Type-A and Type-C
- Cabin storage areas: Glovebox, center console bin under armrest, front door pockets, second-row door pockets, storage bin on top of dash.
Compared with the class? The 2022 Nissan Frontier gets a huge upgrade when it comes to the design and layout of its interior. More tech features are available and the dashboard no longer looks like it’s a decade behind the competition. An 8-inch touchscreen is standard, though a 9-inch screen is optional.
- The Frontier has two cabin choices: King Cab and larger Crew Cab.
- There are two cargo beds available: 5 feet in length, and 6 feet in length with the extended wheelbase variant.
Compared with the class? The 2022 Nissan Frontier is competitive in terms of cabin and cargo bed size. Yet rivals like the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Toyota Tacoma offer greater towing and payload capacities.
Compared with the class? The King Cab is the standard cabin length and offers seating for four adults. The Crew Cab is roomier and has space for five people on board. Anyone who regularly travels with more than one passenger would likely prefer the added space provided in the Crew Cab.
2022 Nissan warranty
- 3 years / 36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper. Covers many parts and systems, but does not include consumables such as brakes, tires, wiper blades, shocks, or struts.
- 5 years / 60,000 miles powertrain. Covers major engine and transmission components.
- Both warranties are measured from the date the first owner purchases the car. They are transferable to used car buyers.
Compared with the class? Average for the segment.
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