After a two-year hiatus, the Frontier is back in Nissan showrooms – if you can find one. The new mid-sizer is reportedly disappearing from lots as soon as they are offloaded from the delivery vehicles.
The mid-size pickup market is hot, and the totally redesigned Frontier checks all the right boxes.
It has V6 power, fresh looks inside and out, new and popular features, can tow up to 6,500 lbs, and is available in King or Crew cab configurations.
The Frontier was due for a makeover after 16 years on the market.
Nissan was aware it had aged and pulled it from the market last year until then new version was ready. That makeover has resulted in a much more refined truck and the features expected in this tough segment.
The rugged frame dates back more than a decade. The 310-horsepower V6 and nine-speed automatic came along in the last appearance of the previous generation Frontier in 2020.
Everything else is new and improved, from the pugnacious style to the popular technologies so critical in today’s market.
From the in-your-face grill, and prominent fender blisters to the easy to open and close tailgate, the 2022 Frontier is fresh.
The interior upgrade is even more impressive. The stylish design and upgraded materials take it to a new and contemporary level, far removed from the plastic-laden old Frontier. Neat application of trim pieces and soft touch surfaces are effective.
Technology was one area where the old Frontier lagged well behind the competition.
The improvements for the 2022 truck include wireless connectivity for smartphones. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. The information display on all trim levels is larger and a 15-cm instrument cluster display is also new.
The new infotainment system runs through a 23-cm screen at this trim level and kudos to the design team for actual knobs for volume and tuning!
The tester also boasted an excellent nine-speaker Fender audio system, WiFi hotspot, wireless charging for your smartphone and 120-volt outlets in the cab and bed.
The front seats are from Nissan’s Zero Gravity program and invite and reward lengthy sessions. There are plenty of storage spots including under the rear seat and atop the dash.
The well-proven 3.8-litre V6 provides adequate acceleration and passing capability despite an empty weight of almost 5,000 pounds.
The nine-speed automatic is smooth, and shifts are almost imperceptible. It always seems to be in the correct gear without any sudden surprises, unlike some competitors.
The updated suspension results in an improved ride and reduced road noise. The ride is on the stiff side, which is not unexpected for a vehicle developed to do truck-like things, especially one with enhanced off-road capability.
The tester was the Pro-4X trim with emphasis on off-road abilities.
Pro-4X brings a beefier suspension, electronic locking differential, Bilstein off-road shock absorbers, skid plates under the engine, transfer case and fuel tank, under-rail lighting in the bed, and unique floor mats, carpet, and leather steering wheel. That wheel does not telescope, but you can adjust the tilt.
Other evidence of the update is a raft of driver-assistance and safety technologies.
They include forward collision warning, rear automatic emergency braking – a class exclusive, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic high-beams, rear cross traffic alert, and automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
The upgrades to the Nissan Frontier for 2022 are many and significant, bringing it more in line with the competition.
FACTS & FIGURES – 2022 Nissan Frontier C/C Pro 4X 4X4
As tested: $51,748 including freight
18-cm display, 120-volt power outlet, wireless charging, dual-zone automatic climate control,
Automatic headlights, rear door alert, trailer sway control, intelligent emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, rear sonar system with rear automatic emergency braking,
Power, heated mirrors; locking tailgate, spray-in bedliner, sliding rear window, utili-track bed system with adjustable tie downs, power driver’s seat, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, pushbutton start navigation, wi-fi hotspot, intelligent cruise control, 17-in alloy wheels
Pro-4X luxury package: leather front and rear seats, premium console stitching and door trim, 10-speaker Fender premium audio system, auto dimming mirror, $2,000; pearl paint, $300.,
3.8 litre V6, 310-horsepower, 261 lb.ft. of torque. Nine-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel-drive with two-speed transfer case, NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway): 13.7/10.6
Length, 5,692-mm; wheelbase, 3,550-mm, width, 1,853-mm; weight, 2,666-kg