2022 Nissan Frontier

Release Date: Summer 2021
Estimated Price: Starting at $29,000 (estimated)
  • Muscular styling matches formidable towing and payload capacities
  • Thorough interior redesign with standard Zero Gravity seats
  • New Pro-X model mimics the Pro-4X minus some off-road gear
  • Launches the third Frontier generation for 2022
Contact your local dealers about upcoming availability and pricing details.
2022 Nissan Frontier Review
'Modern Frontier' No Longer an Oxymoron
What is the Frontier?

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.

On the outside, the Frontier gets snazzy new upright styling, adds cool features including LED taillights and grows almost 5 inches in length. Underneath the skin, the new Frontier shares a lot of DNA with the previous one, but with several much-needed improvements that modern buyers will appreciate.

What's under the Frontier's hood?

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.

There are new goodies too. All 4WD versions will come with hill descent control, and a new rear stabilizer bar joins a larger front bar to improve handling. The truck frame itself is a continuation of the one in the previous Frontier, but Nissan says it's been improved every year since it debuted in 2004 and has been further enhanced for 2022. We're eager to test the new steering — it remains hydraulic, as opposed to a more modern electronic unit — but its slightly faster steering ratio will hopefully deliver improved response and feel compared to the previous version.

What about off-roading?

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.

Nissan also introduces a new Frontier trim: the Pro-X. Think of Pro-X as an off-road appearance package. This RWD-only pickup bears similar styling to the Pro-4X — sharing its LED exterior lighting package — but with very little in the way of off-road equipment. There are no skid plates or the electronic-locking diff. The Pro-X does get the all-terrain tires, Dana rear end and Bilstein dampers, though the shocks are tuned differently compared with the Pro-4X.

How's the Frontier's interior?

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.

Nissan includes its supremely comfortable Zero Gravity seats as standard in the front, which we expect will make long drives vastly more enjoyable. There are even neat design features such as big, looping grab handles and sharp accent colors on certain models. Sure, there's still a lot of hard plastic, and the buttons and dials don't exactly shout "deluxe." But the Frontier has come a long way.

How's the Frontier's tech?

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.

Elsewhere in the cabin, two front USB ports come standard, while a Wi-Fi hotspot, a wireless charging pad, rear USB ports and nine-speaker Fender premium audio system are all optional. On models with the larger touchscreen, you can even add a surround-view camera with an off-road mode for navigating precarious mountain trails.

On the safety front, only forward collision warning is standard. You can choose to add the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of driving aids, which includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert and braking. Other features such as adaptive cruise control, a driver alertness monitor and traffic sign recognition are also available.

How are the Frontier's storage, towing and hauling?

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.

Compared with the previous Frontier, executives say the bed floor remains the same, while the walls have grown taller to increase total depth. Maximum towing capacity remains the same, at 6,720 pounds when properly equipped. Maximum payload, meanwhile, increases to 1,610 pounds. Neither figure is tops in the Frontier's class, though both are formidable. Trailer sway control is now standard.

Whichever bed you choose, a built-in step is included to improve access. Also standard is a dampened tailgate — ensuring it drops gradually without slamming down. Nissan will offer two LED lights inside the bed for working at night too. Other available features include a spray-in bedliner and a system of adjustable rails called Utili-Track that can be used to secure large or oddly shaped cargo.

How economical is the Frontier?

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.

EdmundsEdmunds says

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.

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