The Nissan Frontier is a midsize pickup truck offered in extended-cab (King Cab) and four-door crew-cab body styles. After 15 years on the road with few changes, the Frontier finally received an update in 2020 with a new 310-horsepower V6 engine and nine-speed automatic transmission. It was a taste of changes to come, as that powertrain now resides in the brand-new, redesigned 2022 Frontier.
2022 Nissan Frontier
There's only one engine and transmission combination in store for the 2022 Nissan Frontier — the aforementioned 3.8-liter V6 (310 horsepower, 281 lb-ft of torque) and nine-speed auto. We found this powertrain not only strong and capable but also smooth and pleasant in our previous tests. Rear-wheel drive is standard, though buyers can also opt for a four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed electronic transfer case.
In addition to its Frontier S and SV trims, the truck sees the return of the Pro-4X model. The Pro-4X comes with a long list of off-road goodies, starting with a lifted suspension, Bilstein shocks, a Dana rear axle and all-terrain tires. From a design standpoint, the front bumper has been trimmed at the edges to reveal more of the tires and improve approach on treacherous terrain. Underneath there are three steel skid plates, and an electronic-locking rear differential improves traction when you need it. The Pro-4X comes with 4WD only.
One of the previous Frontier's most glaring drawbacks was its outdated and cheap-looking interior. Any redesign would be an improvement, but Nissan outdid itself with the 2022 Frontier. The cabin and center button layout look much more deserving of a modern midsize truck, with a steering wheel that looks similar to the one in the Titan full-size pickup.
The Frontier was one of the last holdouts without either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone integration, and we're happy to report the new model will come with both. An 8-inch touchscreen is standard (upgradable to a 9-inch unit), as is a 7-inch driver information display flanked by analog gauges.
The Frontier remains a popular choice for vocational buyers, or those who use the truck for work every day. So capability and versatility are highly important. The extended-cab (King Cab) model uses a 6-foot bed, while the crew cab comes standard with a 5-foot bed. Buyers who want maximum space can opt for a long-wheelbase version of the SV trim, which pairs the crew cab with the 6-foot bed. The Pro-X and Pro-4X are offered in the crew-cab/short-bed configuration only.
Nissan has not released official fuel economy figures for the 2022 Frontier just yet. But given that it uses the exact same powertrain, it seems safe to assume the new model will mirror the old version's EPA ratings of 20 mpg combined (18 city/24 highway). Models with 4WD lose 1 mpg in each category.
Changes to the 2022 Nissan Frontier are bittersweet — the new model is much more modern and likely more comfortable, but a price tag nearing the $30,000 mark is all but inevitable. Still, the 2022 Nissan Frontier has appropriate changes that bring it up-to-date with the rest of its class. Its capability has never been in question, but now, for the first time in a long time, the Frontier appears to be a truck fit for everyday use.